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Democracy reform groups seize time of racial protest to press their cause

A week of escalating and violent protest against racial injustice has prompted democracy reform groups to start uniting behind a message that resonates with their own goals.

Responding to the wave of demonstrations against the deaths of black people killed by police, many of these organizations are reaching out to declare unequivocal support for the marchers. But their statements, which grew in volume Monday, are also seeking to connect the furious urgency of the moment to the pursuit of their sometimes more esoteric sounding agenda.

Achieving racial justice and fixing all that's broken with governance and politics are two sides of the same pursuit, they say. Giving all Americans an equal standing is a prerequisite to securing a democracy that works for all voters, but reducing the current imbalance in democratic power is at the same time a prerequisite for giving all voices a chance to be heard.

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In search of Eric Holder's help in combating a Democratic gerrymander

Gorrell, a retired advocate for the deaf and former Republican Party statistician, filed the first lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Maryland congressional district map drawn in 2011.
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Fight over purging vs. accuracy of voter rolls arrives in battleground Pa.

Two prominent voting rights groups are attempting to formally intervene so they can fight a Pennsylvania lawsuit that threatens thousands of names on the voter rolls in that marquee battleground state.

The suit filed two weeks ago by Judicial Watch, a conservative advocacy group, maintains the state and three bellwether counties are not following federal law requiring regular maintenance to cull registration rosters of people who have moved, died or are no longer eligible to vote for some other reason.

It is the latest skirmish over voter rolls that could alter the course of the 2020 election. Republicans argue that properly maintaining the lists is not only a federal mandate but also helps prevent election fraud. Democrats generally oppose these efforts, which they say are too often partisan crusades to suppress the vote and end up improperly disenfranchising eligible voters.

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Former Common Cause President Ann McBride Norton

First woman to run Common Cause, back when political reform was bipartisan, has died

Ann McBride Norton, who was among the earliest Republican volunteers and later the first female president of Common Cause, one of the nation's original and most influential democracy reform groups, has died.

Her death, at her home in Washington on Wednesday at age 75, was caused by complications from Alzheimer's disease, according to a daughter, the pop rock musician Mary McBride.

She was known as Ann McBride during her 27-run at Common Cause, which ended in 1999 after four years in the top job as successor to the organization's longtime third president, the legendary good governance impresario Fred Wertheimer.

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