Conservatives want Florida to underscore citizenship requirement for voting
A conservative group is starting an effort to change Florida's constitution to underscore that "only a citizen" who is qualified and registered may vote.
The state's charter now says voting is the right of "every citizen" who's qualified and registered, so it's unclear if the altered wording would have any legal consequence. But putting the change on the 2020 statewide ballot would assure more prominence during the presidential campaign for the polarizing discussions about citizenship and immigration – potentially energizing the electorate to the benefit of Republicans.
"Efforts are underway across the country in liberal cities to allow non-citizens to legally vote. San Francisco, Chicago, several cities in Vermont and Maryland already allow non-citizens to legally vote in some or all local elections. Boston and New York City council leaders are pushing to allow non-citizen voting in their cities," John Loudon, chairman of the Florida Citizen Voters, told the web site FlaPol.
The group has already spent $263,000 on a service to gather petition signatures and reports another $828,00 in in-kind signature-gathering contributions.
The spread of disinformation online promises to be one of the biggest threats to American democracy during the 2020 election and beyond, if no action is taken. But efforts to defend against these falsehoods remains hamstrung by partisanship.
Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub called disinformation "a fundamental assault on democracy" during a digital disinformation symposium this week at FEC headquarters in Washington.
Weintraub, along with PEN America and the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University, invited politicians, government officials, tech companies, academics and media representatives to the symposium to discuss disinformation and how to combat it. There were no ready answers.
Only a handful of states earned high marks in a new report analyzing the enforcement power and transparency of state ethics agencies.
The researchers behind "Enforcement of Ethics Rules by State Agencies" surveyed 2018 enforcement statistics for every state ethics agency and scored states by how well those agencies made their actions publicly available. The study was released last week by the nonprofit Coalition for Integrity, which works to combat corruption in both governments and business.