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Fix Democracy First

Fix Democracy First is a non-profit in the state of Washington fighting to improve our Democratic processes. We have been running initiatives and projects in support of public financing of campaigns, fair elections, overturning Citizen's United, protecting voting rights and other similar efforts for almost two decades. We have recently merged with WAmend and continue to work very closely with allies, partners, and volunteers towards our common goal of getting money out of politics.

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Progressives' final indictment of gerrymanders cites voting curbs

Manipulating district lines is just one way politicians stay in power. Another is by making it harder for the electorate to vote them out. A new report by a liberal think tank concludes that partisan gerrymandered legislatures have led to more voting restrictions — "a power grab on top of a power grab."

The Center for American Progress study, released Wednesday, found that Republicans in four states used map-guaranteed statehouse majorities to enact voting restriction (such as photo ID laws) and block easements to the ballot box (like longer early voting periods) — efforts that have proven particularly burdensome for communities of color, which usually vote Democratic.

The report is the fourth and final in a series designed to show why the cause of redistricting reform — turning district map drawing over to independent commissions — should be more of a priority for the left. The first, in December, blamed partisan gerrymandering for an absence of new gun controls this decade. The others cited the system for limiting Medicaid expansions and curtailing government spending on child care and education.

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Members of the Crow tribe in Montana, seen participating in a 2018 powwow, are among those who sued over a new law restricting who can pick up and deliver mail-in ballots.

Judge blocks Montana ballot harvesting law at tribes' urging

A Montana judge has blocked new state restrictions on the collecting of others' ballots, a victory for Native American tribes that say their members rely on the help.

The law probably violates the tribal members' right to vote because it would make it especially difficult for them to make sure their own ballots got from reservations and other remote areas to election offices, District Judge Jessica Fehr of Yellowstone County said Tuesday in putting a hold on the requirements.

Her injunction, while not final, is nonetheless the latest voting rights victory for people in Indian Country, who say too many election rules disregard their special circumstances and amount to suppression. It's also the latest turn in the generally partisan battle over so-called ballot harvesting.

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Balance of Power
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If he perceives President Trump as a threat to fundamental democratic institutions, does Chief Justice John Roberts use the Supreme Court's power to protect those institutions? Or does he defer?

Will it be Chief Justice Roberts who helps save democracy?

Goldstone is the author of "On Account of Race: The Supreme Court, White Supremacy and the Ravaging of African American Voting Rights" (Counterpoint Press). This piece was originally published by Independent Voter News.
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New felon rights win: Californians will decide on letting parolees vote

Another big moment for efforts to expand the voting rights of former prisoners will come in November, when Californians decide whether almost 50,000 parolees should be given access to the ballot box.

Sponsors of the referendum, which last week won final legislative approval for a spot on the ballot, say they're confident the vote will go their way. That would add the nation's most populous state to the roster of 16 that permit felons to vote as soon as they get out of prison.

Restoring the franchise to ex-convicts has become a top cause of civil rights groups, who say democracy is enhanced when political power is given back to people who have paid their debt to society. The campaign has gained additional momentum this summer from the nationwide protests against police violence and systemic racism.

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