Common Cause

Working together, we are building a democracy that works for all of us. Every aspect of our elections and representative self-government must be fair, open, accessible, and set-up so we all have faith in the integrity of election outcomes and the people we elect to serve us. Common Cause is solutions-oriented. Our network of democracy experts, working at the state and local level across the country, are winning pragmatic, common sense solutions and building a national movement that will make sure our generation secures and strengthens democracy for the next. We work to ensure that every vote counts, that every eligible voter has an equal say, that our elections represent the will of the people, and that our government is of, by, and for the people.
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Advocates for nonpartisan redistricting are calling on Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker to reject the latest district maps approved by the Legislature.

Illinois Democrats slammed for rushing a partisan redistricting plan

Griffiths is the national editor of Independent Voter News, where a version of this story first appeared.

The Democrats who run the Illinois Legislature didn't waste any time ramming new state House and Senate maps through the legislative process this week, despite criticism and pleas from community organizations for a more thorough and transparent process.

State lawmakers revealed new maps Monday to replace a series of maps that had already been passed prior to the release of updated census data. However, it was determined the new maps violated the "one person, one vote" principle, forcing a third set of maps to be offered the next day,. That final set of maps was approved hours later.

Democratic leaders argued that the maps accurately reflect the census data that was released in August. Republicans and other critics, however, called the maps a "sham" and accused the Democratic majority of putting partisanship ahead of better representation.

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Donald Trump Jr. should have reported a Russian request for a campaign meeting to authorities, according to the writers. Legislation would make it a legal requirement.

Two smart ways to deter foreign money and dirt-digging from our elections

Spaulding is a public policy attorney at Common Cause. Gilbert is executive vice president and Holman is a lobbyist at Public Citizen. Both groups advocate for a broad array of democracy reforms.

This is part of a series advocating for parts of legislation soon to be proposed in the House, dubbed the Protecting Our Democracy Act, designed to improve democracy's checks and balances by curbing presidential power.

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Voters in San Diego will soon have easier access to campaign finance data for candidates in local races.

Coalition brings transparency to San Diego campaigns

Rocco is a freelance writer. A version of this story first appeared on Independent Voter News.

Determining who's footing the bill for political campaigns and has long been a challenge for voters. But the people of San Diego will soon be able to track and analyze the campaign contributions and independent expenditures of local political campaigns with an online dashboard created by a coalition of nonpartisan political reform organizations.

While campaign finance information has long been available to the public, it is hard for a non-tech-savvy individual to make sense of the numerous spreadsheets and PDF files, said Amy Tobia, co-leader of Represent San Diego, a local branch of the national anti-corruption organization. This difficulty effectively prevents the public from accessing the available information.

Hence, the San Diego Campaign Finance Dashboard.

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Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn says her organization will continue to fight against racial and partisan gerrymandering in 2021.

Reform in 2021: Common Cause to push states, Congress to strengthen voting rights

This is the third 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, Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause, answers our questions about 2020 accomplishments and plans for the year ahead. Her organization has long been on the front lines of advocating for democracy reform. Hobert Flynn's responses have been edited for clarity and length.

First, let's briefly recap 2020. What was your biggest triumph last year?

In an unprecedented election year, challenged by the pandemic and rampant disinformation, Common Cause worked to ensure that every voter was able to cast their ballot safely, securely and with the confidence that their ballot would be counted. We navigated and combatted an unprecedented amount of online voter intimidation and disinformation, and implemented a multipronged approach to fight suppression policies, actions and tactics from an array of special interests at all levels, up to and including the Trump administration.

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