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Companies unite in pledge to give workers time for voting

At least 2 million workers will be given paid time off to vote for president this fall under a pact formed by hundreds of companies, which say boosting turnout is part of their corporate civic responsibility.

The agreement was announced Wednesday by a business coalition, Time to Vote, which said 383 firms have already made such a promise. The goal is to expand the roster to 1,000 by Election Day, doubling the participants in a similar initiative ahead of the 2018 congressional midterms.

The commitment by corporate America to support their employees' civic engagement is notable because efforts to shape turnout have been such a partisan flashpoint in recent years — and because not being able to break away from work is the top reason people cite for not voting.

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A new report gives Democratic presidential campaigns high grades for their cybersecurity.

Presidential wannabes doing well on cybersecurity, experts say

The good news from a new report by a cybersecurity firm on the online presence of the Democratic presidential candidates is that they all deserve good grades for their defenses against cyber attacks.

The less good news is that the review, released Thursday by a New York company that conducts information security assessments, rivals any doctor's report you've ever read for arcane and obscure lingo. And that's all the more remarkable given how one of the most bluntly dramatic aspects of the election security narrative four years ago were the cyberattacks on the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Overall, Security Scorecard found the 14 candidates whose websites and applications were studied (several no longer in the race) all deserved a B or better. Or as the report puts it with masterful bureaucratic understatement, their "cybersecurity posture is positive."

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The Las Vegas debate will be Mike Bloomberg's first, giving him the opportunity to reveal his position on democracy reform.

Debate gives Bloomberg airtime to detail (and defend) his democracy reform ideas

Mike Bloomberg's debate debut offers him an opportunity to explain where he stands on most of the main agenda items in the democracy reform movement, a topic on which he's revealed little so far.

And if he doesn't volunteer his views, starting with his attitude as a self-funding billionaire candidate toward regulating the campaign giving and spending by others, his presidential rivals will have every incentive to press him hard Wednesday night.

Of the 17 most prominent proposals for improving the way democracy works — not only on campaign finance but also on access to the ballot box, election security, political ethics and revamping our governing systems — Bloomberg has staked out a clear position on just 10.

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Sen. Susan Collins, whose Portland office was overrun by Maine voters during the Brett Kavanaugh nomination hearings (above), will still compete in a ranked-choice election even if the state GOP blocks its use in the presidential voting.

Maine GOP challenges expansion of ranked-choice voting

Maine, one of the birthplaces of the ranked-choice voting movement, is facing pushback from Republicans who don't want it in the fall presidential election.

Earlier this month the state Republican Party filed paperwork proposing a referendum in November on repealing a law, enacted less than a year ago, allowing Mainers to be the country's only 2020 voters who list their presidential choices in order of preference — with third-party candidate support in all likelihood redistributed to the major party nominees.

Simply gathering the required 63,000 signatures in the next three months would halt the use of so-called RCV on the presidential line in November — which would represent a major setback for an alternative voting system that's been gaining significant national acceptance in recent years.

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