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Canvass Bonnaroo Art and Music Festival

Organizer: RepresentUs

Build momentum for anti-corruption wins at Bonnaroo! Join us in collecting signatures to gather support for the American Anti-Corruption Act. We'll talk to voters about our broken political system, the plan to fix it, and recruit new volunteers into the movement.

Join RepresentUs volunteers to:

  • Spread awareness about America's corruption crisis and how it impacts our lives
  • Learn how to use petitioning to build voter support for anti-corruption
  • Find new supporters to join Represent [city/chapter] and build support for campaign victories

Location: Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival, 627 Campground Rd., Manchester, TN

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The state government was hoping to have the lawsuits against its new voter registration statute dismissed.

Judge allows suits against 'punitive' new registration rules in Tennessee

Lawsuits by civil rights and voter registration organizations against Tennessee's new restrictions on voter registration groups have been kept alive by a federal judge.

The state government sought to dismiss the two lawsuits, which say mandates enacted this spring by the overwhelmingly Republican legislature will hinder voter registration especially, among minority groups. But this week Judge Aleta Trauger refused and derided the new statute as "a complex and punitive regulatory scheme."

The law makes it a misdemeanor for voter registration groups to pay workers based on quotas, or to enroll more than 100 voters without completing a new regime of government training and paperwork on a tight deadline. Submitting more than 100 incomplete new voter forms is also newly a crime, as is the employment of out-of-state poll watchers.

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There are steps we can take to open the presidential debates to candidates who want to change the system, writes Beckerman.

All politics, and all political transformation, is local

Beckerman is the founder of Open the Debates, a cross-partisan group that advocates allowing more third party and independent candidates to participate in campaign debates.

Are you sick of our political discourse yet? I know I am.

Are you tired of being trapped in a two-year vortex of nauseating presidential politics every four years?

For better or worse (okay, definitely worse), presidential campaigns capture the energy and attention of voters and leave us feeling powerless to fix a completely broken political system. Candidates that aim to fix the system — think John Anderson, Ross Perot, Ron Paul, Ralph Nader, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein — get shut out of the main conversation.

There have been countless efforts to hold the self-proclaimed Commission on Presidential Debates accountable to produce fair and inclusive debates. But it is a private corporation created by the Democratic and Republican parties, and it has the political establishment's blessing to maintain a duopoly on presidential debate participation. The courts, so far, have obliged.

If we are ever going to succeed at opening up the presidential debates to more voices and better choices, we need to do two big things that will take the decision-making out of the hands of some untouchable front-group for the two parties:

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Clarence Singleton registers to vote in Fort Myers, Fla., in January after an amendment passed that restored the voting rights of convicted felonies. Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation requiring felons to pay all fees and fines before being able to vote again.

Movement to restore felons' voting rights keeps growing, in unexpected ways

Sometime in the next few days, 45-year-old Milton Thomas of Nashville is going to pick up his mail and find something that symbolizes another step in his ongoing journey toward being a productive citizen.

It's his voter registration card.

Thomas lost his right to vote when he was convicted of a drug-related felony – one of an estimated 6 million people nationwide disenfranchised because of felony convictions.

His return to the voting rolls is just one example of a slowly expanding nationwide movement to restore voting rights for convicted felons – one that has sometimes sparked controversy and also made for unusual political alliances.

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