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Campaign Legal Center

Through litigation, policy analysis and public education, CLC works as a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization to protect and strengthen the U.S. democratic process across all levels of government.

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Super PACs tied to major parties misled voters, complaint alleges

Political groups with names like Keep Kentucky Great and Texas Forever sound innocuous and homegrown, but are largely — and secretly — financed by prominent D.C.-based funding organizations, according to a campaign finance watchdog organization.

The nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center on Thursday filed a 50-page complaint with the Federal Election Commission against 18 of these seemingly local super PACs for allegedly violating federal law by not disclosing their affiliations, and therefore "denying voters the right to know who is spending big money to influence their vote."

Between 2017 and 2020, the 18 super PACs collectively spent more than $200 million to influence voters in competitive federal elections. And nearly all their funding came from five national groups, including the Republican Senate Leadership Fund and the Democratic Senate Majority PAC, the Campaign Legal Center found.

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is managing the For the People Act, has circulated changes to the bill that would help election officials.

Democrats tweak For the People Act, but to what end?

Democrats, seeking to shore up support for their expansive election reform legislation, have made some modifications to the bill -- but the changes appear unlikely to help get the legislation through the Senate.

Responding to the concerns of election officials who questioned whether they would have the time and resources to meet all of the requirements laid out in the For the People Act, Sen. Amy Klobuchar has drafted changes and circulated them among her fellow Senators, according to The Washington Post.

While the modifications offer waivers and later deadlines to ease states' path to implementing vote-by-mail systems, early voting and election equipment standards, they do not address the major complaints from Republican lawmakers, who claim the bill is an appropriation federalization of elections.

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Demonstrators protest legislation placing new restrictions on voting in Georgia.

At a turning point for voting rights, direction signals point both ways

The public's access to electoral democracy may be about to dangerously contract — or else expand dramatically.

So far, the movement to restrict access to the ballot box has gotten by far the most play. The Georgia law enacted to national headlines last week goes way beyond barring water deliveries at polling places, in part by setting a disturbing precedent in stripping administrative power from nonpartisan election officials and placing it in the hands of politicians. Broad new curbs on voting in Iowa, enacted three week ago, include criminal charges for local officials who skirt the new rules. Six other states are considering similar moves to take power from nonpartisan election administrators.

Less noticed, meanwhile, has been a parallel movement to expand voter access in states literally from coast to coast.

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Casey Atkins/Campaign Legal Center

The staff at the Campaign Legal Center will be working to revise the Electoral Count Act.

Reform in 2021: Campaign Legal Center looks to fortify voting and election processes

This is the second installment of an ongoing Q&A series.

As Democrats take power in Washington, if only tenuously, many democracy reform groups see a potential path toward making the American political system work better. In this installment, Corey Goldstone, communications manager for the Campaign Legal Center, answers our questions about 2020 accomplishments and plans for the year ahead. His organization works to achieve voting, campaign finance and redistricting reforms through litigation. Goldstone's responses have been edited for clarity and length.

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