President Trump's increasingly hyperbolic attacks on voting by mail, amplified by Attorney General William Barr and the Republican National Committee, have triggered alarms that the country is heading toward another contested election.
Trump appears to be gearing up to cast doubt on an outcome that doesn't go his way. Primaries marred by hours-long lines, voting machine malfunctions and controversies over absentee ballots have many bracing for a meltdown starting Election Day. A much bigger surge of mailed-in votes in November virtually guarantees the results won't be known for days, setting the stage for a crisis in voter confidence if the results are close enough to be challenged, as happened in 2000.
Yet for all that, voting rights advocates mobilizing to secure the election and neutralize Trump's divisive voting rhetoric have surprising and influential allies in their corner: many leading Republicans.
- Jimmy Carter, in reversal, embraces vote by mail - The Fulcrum ›
- Conservative anti-Trumpers launch vote-by-mail ad campaign - The ... ›
- Vote-by-mail limits challenged in three Southern states - The Fulcrum ›
- Mail-in voting benefits neither party, is nearly fraud-free - The Fulcrum ›
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.
- Coronavirus alters democracy reform world's priorities - The Fulcrum ›
- Reform groups condemn use of military against protesters - The Fulcrum ›
- Racism is the greatest threat to democracy today - The Fulcrum ›
After 262 days in limbo, the Federal Election Commission can operate again. But a toxic mix of partisanship and the agency's own rules provides little hope the campaign finance regulator will soon function.
The doors can symbolically reopen because the Senate voted Tuesday, 49-43 along party lines, to confirm conservative Texas attorney Trey Trainor as a commissioner — ending the longest period ever when the panel lacked the four-person quorum required to conduct business.
But it also takes four votes to do anything consequential. And the even partisan split Trainor creates means the FEC is returning to its life for the past decade — at an impasse on almost every question about enforcing the limited laws of money in politics. The persistent deadlock is one of the main reasons the campaign finance system is derided by critics as out of control.
- Trainor survives Democrats' jabs, looks in line for FEC post - The ... ›
- Senate hearing on FEC nominee Trey Trainor - The Fulcrum ›
- 5 things to know about FEC nominee Trey Trainor - The Fulcrum ›
- Trey Trainor takes over as chairman of the FEC - The Fulcrum ›
- FEC will be in limbo again after just 29 days of minimal life - The Fulcrum ›
Organizer: American Promise
Neal Simon, author of the newly released book "Contract to Unite America, Ten Reforms to Reclaim Our Republic," joins American Promise to kick of the new Citizen Leaders Book Club. Each quarter, we'll read a new book, and then meet together online with the author. We are pleased to be joined by some of our partners in the non-partisan reform movement – Issue One, Unite America, the Congressional Management Foundation, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, and others.
As a four-time CEO and independent candidate for the U.S. Senate, Neal will share insights gained from his political campaign on how the next era of American politics is being shaped by citizen-led reform movements – including American Promise's constitutional amendment. This is an interactive call and questions will be welcome.