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Oklahoma starting its biannual move to purge voting lists

Thousands of Oklahomans will be purged from the voter rolls this month under a state law permitting government officials to remove people who haven't voted in several years and don't respond to address confirmation mailings.

The last such purge, in April 2017, deleted 13 percent of the people then registered – more than 291,000 out of 2.2 million, according to records Oklahoma Watch obtained from the state Election Board. Of that amount, more than half were deleted due to inactivity. Of those, 46 percent were Democrats although members of that party make up 39 percent of registered voters.

Six other states give similar power to election officials to cull the rolls of inactive voters. Oklahoma drops people who haven't voted in eight years and don't answer several mailings from the state. The biggest states with such "use it or lose it" rules, Ohio and Georgia, allow election officials to purge voters after a six-year period of inactivity.

The House's comprehensive political process overhaul, HR 1, would restrict states from pursuing such policies. But last year the Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that Ohio's law did not violate the Voting Right Act.

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RepresentUs acquired 8,000 signatures on a petition asking Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez to keep working on a "revolving door" bill. Paula Barkan, Austin chapter leader of RepresentUs, handed the petition to Brandon Simon, Cruz's Central Texas regional director, on July 31.

Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez still discussing revolving door bill

Remember that tweet exchange in May between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the one where they discussed bipartisan legislation to ban former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists?

To recap: Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her support for legislation banning the practice in light of a report by the watchdog group Public Citizen, which found that nearly 60 percent of lawmakers who recently left Congress had found jobs with lobbying firms. Cruz tweeted back, extending an invitation to work on such a bill. Ocasio-Cortez responded, "Let's make a deal."

The news cycle being what it is, it's easy to forget how the media jumped on the idea of the Texas Republican and the New York Democrat finding common ground on a government ethics proposal. Since then, we've collectively moved on — but not everyone forgot.

The government reform group RepresentUs recently drafted a petition asking Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez to follow through on their idea, gathering more than 8,000 signatures.

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Adults of all ages agree: There's little confidence in elected leaders

But in general, young adults have a lot more trust issues than their elders

Sixty percent of young adults in the United States believe other people "can't be trusted," according to a recent Pew Research survey, which found that younger Americans were far more likely than older adults to distrust both institutions and other people. But adults of all ages did agree on one thing: They all lack confidence in elected leaders.

While united in a lack of confidence, the cohorts disagreed on whether that's a major problem. The study found that young adults (ages 18-29) were less likely than older Americans to believe that poor confidence in the federal government, the inability of Democrats and Republicans to work together, and the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups were "very big problems."

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