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Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a trio of democracy reform bills this week.

California governor signs three political reform bills

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law on Tuesday three democracy reform bills focused on local redistricting, voting access and campaign contributions.

The first piece of legislation prohibits partisan gerrymandering at the local level by establishing criteria for cities and counties to use when adjusting district boundaries. While California is the largest state to use an independent redistricting commission to draw its congressional and state district maps, local districts did not have the same regulations.

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Gov. Ralph Northam used his executive authority to restore voting rights for felons, noting that Virginia is among the states that permanently strips such rights after a felony conviction.

Virginia governor restores voting rights to over 22,000 felons

More than 22,000 Virginians with felony convictions have regained the right to vote thanks to executive actions taken by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam since he took office in January 2018, his office announced this week.

In a statement, Northam's office said he has so far restored the civil rights of 22,205 people who had been convicted of felonies and have since completed their sentences. Those civil rights include the right to vote as well as the right to serve on juries, run for public office and become a notary public.

Northam previously announced in February that nearly 11,000 convicted felons had their voting rights restored under his watch.

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Big Picture

The partisan divide is getting worse

How bad is the partisan division in this country?

Roughly half or more Republicans and Democrats believe members of the other party are more "closed-minded" and "unpatriotic" than other Americans, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans see others as unpatriotic, while only 23 percent of Democrats feel that way.

The survey, which was conducted in early September and before Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans to pursue an impeachment inquiry against President Trump, revealed a growing animosity that has festered since Pew last conducted a similar survey three years ago.

Compared to the 2016 survey, the share of partisan Americans who believe the other side is closed-minded or immoral has spiked, with double-digit increases in the percentage of Republicans who believed Democrats were "more closed-minded" and Democrats who said Republicans were "more immoral" than other Americans.

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