Sara Swann is a staff writer covering campaign finance and other reform issues. She previously reported on local and state government for The Daily Times on Maryland's Eastern Shore. She has also done money in politics reporting for the Center for Responsive Politics. Sara is an alumna of Syracuse University.
Gov. Larry Hogan is making one last effort to stymie partisan gerrymandering in Maryland before the next decade's election maps are drawn.
The Republican governor announced this week the creation of the state's first-ever citizen-led redistricting commission to draft new congressional and state legislative maps. But final approval will ultimately be up to the General Assembly, which is dominated by Democrats.
In most states, partisan map manipulations have favored Republicans, but Maryland is one of the few examples of Democratic gerrymandering. Several states' election maps have been challenged in court over the last decade, including Maryland's. But the Supreme Court deflected judgement over partisan gerrymandering, saying there is no clear standard to use in evaluating the maps.
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California is widely regarded as the gold standard for campaign finance transparency, but one of the state's disclosure rules will soon face scrutiny from the Supreme Court.
The high court agreed last week to hear an appeal, brought by two conservative advocacy groups, that challenges California's law requiring nonprofits to disclose their top donors.
The Americans for Prosperity Foundation, founded by the influential Koch family, and the Thomas Moore Law Center, a conservative Catholic legal group, claim California's law infringes on their rights of free speech and association, but state officials say it is necessary to prevent charitable fraud.
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- Despite efforts, campaign cash remains hidden in New Mexico - The ... ›
Acknowledging election complications caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a slate of reforms to ease the voting process Monday.
As part of his 2021 State of the State agenda, Cuomo wants to extend the early voting period, make voting by mail more accessible and speed up the ballot counting process. These reforms would build on election changes the state has made in recent years.
In the aftermath of the unprecedented 2020 election, many states are considering changes to their voting systems as legislative sessions begin. And the Democratic-controlled Legislature in Albany will almost certainly be supportive of expanding access to the ballot box for New York's 13.6 million voters.
- 34 states are making voting easier, if only for this fall - The Fulcrum ›
- Anyone can vote by mail in New York this fall - The Fulcrum ›
- New York passes automatic voter registration - The Fulcrum ›