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Are elected secretaries of state inherently conflicted?

Following up on Kevin Johnson's Election Dissection post Tuesday about the dangers of politicizing election fraud investigations, it's a good time to highlight the Election Reformers Network's comprehensive report examining how the presence of elected secretaries of state can undermine confidence in the vote. Secretaries of state need to be umpires, not players, in the elections they supervise, the report says.

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Government Ethics
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Louis DeJoy's days as postmaster general should be numbered, writes former GOP Rep. Tom Coleman.

Election mail may flow, but USPS ethical lapses must be stanched fast

Coleman was an assistant Missouri attorney general and Republican congressman from 1976 to 1993. Now retired as a lobbyist, he is an advisor to Protect Democracy, an anti-authoritarian watchdog group.
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Balance of Power
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The proposal unveiled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and seven committee leaders was assembled without any Republican input.

Democrats unveil plan to rein in the presidency once Trump's gone

House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a democracy reform plan, focused on a rebalancing of power to bolster Congress at the expense of the presidency, signaling it will be an early priority if their party wins control of both the White House and the entire Capitol this fall.

The legislative outline was compiled without any input from Republicans, underscoring its purpose at least in the short term as a campaign messaging manifesto.

But the plan nonetheless makes clear that Democrats would seek to move swiftly in a Joe Biden administration to reverse many of what they see as a sweeping collection of checks-and-balances abuses by President Trump.

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Big Picture
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During their own presidential bids, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris emphasized their commitments to different pieces of the fix-the-system wish list.

While ticking the boxes, Democratic ticket hasn’t pushed the reform agenda

Americans are getting their most extensive and unfiltered look this week at the national Democratic ticket, whose election could set in motion the tackling of a democracy reform agenda that's been totally stalled for four years.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the marquee speaker Wednesday at the party's unprecedented virtual convention, have embraced almost all of the most prominent ideas for fixing the country's political system — although with different and complementary areas of focus.

The big question, in the minds of advocates focused on restoring democracy's credibility, is where such proposals would fall on a Biden administration's list of priorities. Except for a recent burst of talk about ensuring a credible and mostly vote-by-mail election, the two candidates have not emphasized improving democratic governance all that much, and the topic received only sporadic mention during the convention's first two nights.

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