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These 12 bipartisan policies could improve voting for everyone

Much of the efforts to change the way states conduct elections, in the wake of last year's pandemic-era voting, are being done in favor of one major party or the other. Democrats are pushing voting expansions, while Republicans are backing restrictions.

But election reform advocates say it doesn't have to be this way. The Bipartisan Policy Center released a report this week in the hopes of cutting through the partisan noise. The new report details a dozen bipartisan recommendations for improving the voting process moving forward.

While election security experts have repeatedly confirmed that the 2020 election was the most secure in American history, the report says there are still many ways to streamline the voting process, bolster voter confidence and increase election security.

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Chair of new Colo. mapmaking panel ousted for stop-the-steal views

Colorado's inaugural congressional redistricting commission, which operates outside of the purview of politicians, has already faced its first partisan test.

Chairman Danny Moore was removed from his leadership position Monday after his fellow commissioners learned he had shared conspiracy theories about the 2020 election on social media. The 11 other commissioners voted unanimously to remove him from the chairmanship, but he will be allowed to continue serving on the commission.

While politicians still have mapmaking power in most of the country, Colorado is one of a handful of states that adopted a redistricting commission over the last decade. For the first time, these states will employ an independent panel to redraw congressional and state legislative maps in a more fair and transparent manner.

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Republican lawmakers say New Hampshire's rules are "adequate."

New Hampshire Republicans stop no-excuse absentee voting

Republican lawmakers have turned back efforts to make no-excuse absentee voting a permanent fixture in New Hampshire.

On Thursday, the GOP-led state Senate voted along party lines to reject a bill that would have eliminated the excuse requirement to vote by mail.

During the 2020 election, all 1.1 million New Hampshire voters were able to request an absentee ballot due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Democratic lawmakers had hoped to make voting by mail a fixed option in future voting.

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Joe Biden's presidential victory was aided by $174 million in dark money contributions, according to a report by OpenSecrets.

Dark money spending exceeded $1 billion in 2020 election

More than $1 billion spent on the 2020 election — the most expensive presidential contest in history — came from unknown sources.

Because of the secretive nature of this so-called dark money, it's difficult to capture the entire scope of such undisclosed spending. So this enormous sum, first reported by OpenSecrets, is actually a conservative estimate. The organization, which tracks money in politics, published its report Wednesday after studying Federal Election Commission reports and advertising data.

Ironically, Democrats, who largely advocate for bolstering transparency around political spending, were the ones who benefited most from these undisclosed funds. OpenSecrets found that liberal dark money groups spent $514 million last year, compared to $200 million spent by conservative groups.

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