The most prominent conservative group pushing to overhaul election procedures during the coronavirus pandemic has expanded and refocused its campaign.
The targets of a new, $750,000 advertising blitz are 10 GOP senators. The group controls the fate of a proposed infusion of cash to pay for diversified voting options this year, mainly by accommodating an expected surge of absentee balloting.
Republicans for the Rule of Law has purchased three weeks of airtime on Fox News affiliates in their states and on Facebook, starting Wednesday, urging them by name to support funding in the next economic stimulus package.
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Bipartisan majorities want more options for voting this year, and will be angry at members of Congress who oppose expanded absentee and early balloting in all six states where Republican senators are struggling hardest for re-election.
That was the top take-away of a survey released Thursday, the latest piece of an expanding campaign by good-government groups to pressure Congress to finance preparations for a vote-by-mail surge this fall because of the coronavirus.
House Democrats next week are expected to pass another pandemic response package, focused on aid to cities and states, with $4 billion in grants for making the election smoother and safer: more ballots, postage, counting equipment and even sanitizing supplies for polling places. The fate of the aid rests with the Senate, where resistance from majority Republicans has hardened in part because of President Trump's opposition.
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Civic engagement and progressive groups this week launched their campaign in Colorado to defeat one of the hottest ballot measures in the world of democracy reform this year.
The proposal would make the state quit a deal it made just a year ago: It pledged to award all its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, as soon as states with 270 votes in the Electoral College (a majority) do likewise.
Fifteen other states and Washington, D.C., with a combined 187 votes, have joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. All of them are more deeply blue than Colorado, which has tilted increasingly that way — and is the first place where a grassroots campaign to exit the compact has gained significant traction.
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Minority-group voters are so "gullible" they believe fabrications about voter suppression concocted by Democrats, one of the most combatively conservative Republicans in Congress maintains.
"The Democrats lie when they say, 'Oh, this is to suppress votes,' or 'This is to hurt minorities.' It's just a lie," Rep. Doug Lamborn said on a recent conservative radio broadcast getting some decent recirculation on social media, from both fans and foes of his thinking. "They want to stir up minorities who are gullible and believe that garbage."
The comments are a sharp rhetorical escalation in one of the most intense partisan disagreements over how to improve American democracy: Republicans maintain that their interest in strict rules surrounding voter registration and access to the polls is all about preventing voter fraud, and Democrats counter that the GOP sees its easiest path to victories in contests where turnout is held down by such rules.
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