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After successful Texas debut, tech-based voter registration platform goes national

News

After successful Texas debut, tech-based voter registration platform goes national

Having had remarkable success at signing people up to vote in Texas last year, an Austin group of activists is expanding its pilot program into a full-blown national effort to overcome the sometimes ignored first hurdle for people in the voting process — registration.

"There are millions of voters who are registered who don't get out to vote," said Christopher Jasinski, director of partnerships for Register2Vote. "But the unmeasured part of the pie is the actual number of unregistered voters."

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N.C. legislators on course for on-time undoing of their partisan gerrymander

North Carolina's new state legislative district lines are on pace to be finished by Wednesday's court-imposed deadline after versions of the maps passed both chambers of the General Assembly.

The Senate's bipartisan, 38-9 vote happened Monday night. The House and Senate are now reviewing each other's maps, potentially making additional tweaks to some boundaries before they are forwarded for final approval to the three state judges in Raleigh who ordered the redistricting this month.

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Democratic dysfunction comes with $4 billion bill

For those who believe the breakdown of American democracy has no cost beyond the aggravation of the citizenry, consider the figure $4 billion.

That's the minimum, measurable cost to taxpayers of the most recent three partial government shutdowns, according to a bipartisan report released Tuesday by a Senate panel.

Most of that money, $3.7 billion, went to back pay to federal workers who were furloughed during the shutdowns — and did not perform any work during that time. An additional $300 million-plus went for other costs that include extra administrative work and lost revenue.

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Ditching QR codes, Colorado will count votes a more old-fashioned way

Colorado is dropping the use of QR codes from ballots statewide, saying the ubiquitous square bar codes are susceptible to hacking that could manipulate election results.

This will make Colorado, likely one of the most hotly contested states in the 2020 presidential contest and also home to one of next year's premier Senate races, the first state where all ballots get tabulated "using only human-verifiable information," officials said in an announcement Monday.

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The time for bold action and systemic change is now. Readers of the Fulcrum get a $30 discount with code FULCRUM. It's on! Join us at NCLC!

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Debate

Playing the long game for a civically engaged democracy

To truly have a representative democracy, the first step is getting people engaged, argues Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement executive director Kristen Cambell.

Community

It's time YOU draw the line! - Holt

Interested in joining the independent commission to draw Michigan's legislative lines? Join Voters Not Politicians on Sept. 19 to learn about the amendment that helped end partisan gerrymandering in Michigan and how you can get involved.

News. Community. Debate. Levers for better democracy.

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Ballot measures are good democracy — but only if you can understand them

Marginal improvements have been made to help voters understand the questions posed to them on the ballot this November, a new study concludes, but such ballot measures still favor the college-educated — who represent a minority of the U.S. population.

This year voters in eight states will decide the fate of a collective 36 such propositions. In a study released Thursday, Ballotpedia assessed how easy it is to comprehend what each proposal would accomplish, concluding that the difficulty level had decreased compared with the referendums decided in the last off-year election of 2017 — but not by much.

In fact, according to a pair of well-established tests, 21 of the 36 ballot measures cannot be understood by the 40 percent of the voting-age population who never attended college.

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Balance of Power
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Two states asking Supreme Court for permission to regulate Electoral College conduct

Colorado has become the second state to ask the Supreme Court to decide if states may legally bind their presidential electors to vote for the candidate who carried their state.

The issue of so-called faithless electors is the latest aspect of an increasingly heated debate about the virtues and flaws of the Electoral College that has blossomed, especially among progressive democracy reform advocates, now that two of the past five presidential winners (Donald Trump in 2016 and George W. Bush in 2000) got to the Oval Office despite losing the national popular vote.

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