The Southern Poverty Law Center is ponying up $30 million to help community organizations further their voter registration efforts.
The "Vote Your Voice" campaign, announced Tuesday, focuses on increasing registration and mobilization of voters of color in five states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Voting registration efforts across the country have taken a hit because of the coronavirus. Physical distancing and state lockdowns have made it difficult for organizers to do many of the usual voter registration pushes that take place during a presidential election year.
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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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Update: Republican Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio went to court Monday afternoon hoping to delay until June 2 the in-person Democratic presidential primary vote set for Tuesday, saying that proceeding would not comply with new federal coronavirus guidelines against gatherings of more than 50 people. He filed the suit because elections in the state are run by counties, so DeWine does not have the authority over polling places as he does over the restaurants, movie theaters and other places he ordered shut on Sunday. Ohio has 50 known cases of the virus as of Monday.
The four presidential primaries scheduled for Tuesday are going ahead on schedule, albeit with last-minute modifications and serious wariness about turnout in light of the intensifying national coronavirus shutdown.
Officials in Florida, Ohio, Illinois and Arizona have all said they are taking extra health precautions so voting in person remains safe. Besides, they say, so much early balloting has already happened that closing the polls on the final scheduled day of voting would severely muddy the integrity of the results.
After Tuesday, however, the national political calendar is increasingly in flux — making some voting rights advocates wary about the potential for suppression, while other arguing the Covid-19 pandemic presents a silver lining for democracy reform if it prompts more widespread adoption of voting from home and by mail.
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