Defending Democracy

Defending Democracy

Congress Defending Democracy News Top Story

Members of U.S. Senate committee consider bipartisan changes to Electoral Count Act

Proposal seeks to prevent repeat of confusion from January 2021 surrounding Vice President's role and duties WASHINGTON — Lawmakers and legal experts at a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday outlined the need to pass legislation clarifying an archaic election law so that the peaceful transfer of presidential power is ensured. The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, a bipartisan bill being pushed by 16 senators...

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Disenfranchised no more, ‘Second Chance voters’ can register and cast ballots — for now

Allowing those on probation and parole to vote marks the largest expansion of voting rights in North Carolina since the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Daquan Peters didn’t waste any time registering to vote on Wednesday. He hadn’t been fast enough last year, during a 10-day window between court proceedings where people like him, those who were home after spending time imprisoned for a felony but still on probation or parole, were briefly re-enfranchised.

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Congress Defending Democracy News Top Story

Beasley vs. Budd: With 12 weeks to go, Democratic Senate candidate finds surprising momentum

Pivotal contest that some had already conceded to the GOP is shaping up to be closer than expected With less than three months to go before the start of early voting, North Carolina’s closely watched contest for an open U.S Senate seat remains as close as it is contentious. Going into summer the race between Rep. Ted Budd and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley appeared tilted in favor of the Republican.

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Congress Defending Democracy News Top Story

Republicans in Congress shy away from campaigning on national abortion platform

WASHINGTON — Republicans, hoping to flip control of Congress in the November elections, appear to have decided against campaigning on a unified abortion platform that would specify exactly what conservatives plan to do if given control of the U.S. House and Senate. Yet Republicans in Congress have written dozens of proposals that, if passed, would restrict abortion nationwide.

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Defending Democracy Events

August 4 Crucial Conversation: Moore v. Harper: The latest NC gerrymandering case and its implications for American democracy

Join us Thursday, August 4 at 3:00 p.m. for a very special (and online) Crucial Conversation: Moore v. Harper: The latest NC gerrymandering case and its implications for American democracy At the end of its most recent term in June, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would hear a North Carolina redistricting case...

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Election officials risk criminal charges under 31 new GOP-imposed penalties

Since the 2020 election, Iowa has enacted one new felony and two new misdemeanor offenses targeting election officials. The state’s omnibus election law, passed in 2021, criminalizes election officials who fail to perform their duties, don’t adequately maintain voter lists, or interfere with other people performing their duties in or near a polling place. The first offense carries a potential five years in prison.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Criminalizing the vote: GOP-led states enacted 102 new election penalties after 2020

During the 2020 election, Rhonda Briggins and her sorority sisters spent days providing voters in metro Atlanta with water and snacks as they waited in long lines at polling places. The lines for early voting and on Election Day at times stretched on for hours. As the national co-chair for social action with the Delta Sigma Theta sorority for Black women, Briggins felt compelled to help, and she and her sisters unofficially adopted one DeKalb County location where many elderly Georgians cast their ballots.

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Defending Democracy News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

State elections board rejects NC GOP signature matching request for absentee ballots 

The NC Board of Elections, in a 3-2 party line vote, rejected state Republicans’ request for signature verification on absentee ballots.   Republicans wanted local elections officials to be able to compare voters’ signatures on their registration cards against signatures on requests for absentee ballots and on the returned ballots. 

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Congress Defending Democracy News Top Story

Trump led pressure campaign on state election officials, Jan. 6 panel says

Former President Donald Trump was directly involved in efforts to pressure state officials in Georgia, Arizona and elsewhere to overturn the 2020 election results in their states, according to evidence the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack presented Tuesday at the panel’s fourth hearing this month.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

State Board of Elections will rule on GOP request for signature checks on mail-in ballot requests

Proponents tout election security, but opponents say signatures change and predict significant voter disenfranchisement The North Carolina Republican Party wants local county elections officials to set aside requests for absentee ballots and double-check the mail-in ballots themselves based on whether they think voter signatures match.

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Defending Democracy Education News Top Story

Durham GOP’s “Better Board, Better Schools” candidate slate is soundly defeated

Five Republicans vying to win control of Durham’s progressive school board were soundly defeated in Tuesday’s election. Four of the five finished last in their respective races. Durham’s progressive incumbents – Natalie Beyer, Matt Sears and Bettina Umstead – won three of the five seats up grabs.

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Congress Defending Democracy News Top Story

Role of outside money looms larger than ever as PAC-backed candidates surge to primary election wins

State Sen. Valerie Foushee of Orange County won the Democratic primary for the open seat in the 4th Congressional District, defeating Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam and six other candidates in a contest where the millions in independent PAC spending for Foushee became a central issue in the race.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Florida gave voting rights to people with felony convictions. Now some face charges for voting.

Florida authorities arrested a Black man while he was staying in a homeless shelter and charged him with voting illegally in a case tied to Republicans’ drive to root out election fraud. But Kelvin Bolton’s arrest raises questions about the rollout of Amendment 4, passed by Florida voters in 2018 to restore voting rights to Floridians with felony convictions.

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Congress Defending Democracy News Top Story

National prognosticators say NC Senate race will favor whichever GOP candidate emerges from May 17 primary

Presumed Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley faces an uphill fight, but will bring plenty of experience and funding to the effort Absentee ballots are starting to roll in and in-person early voting began Thursday in this year’s U.S. Senate primary, an election in which nearly all of the focus is on the bare-knuckled fight in the Republican race. But even before that’s decided, the country’s top political prognosticators are out with predictions for the fall.

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Congress Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas pressed to recuse himself from Jan. 6 cases

NC's Deborah Ross among 24 members of Congress speaking out Two dozen congressional Democrats are calling for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from cases involving the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, following revelations his wife communicated with the Trump White House about overturning the election. In addition, it appears likely that the U.S. House committee probing the attack will ask Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, a Nebraska native and longtime conservative activist, to answer questions about her recently disclosed text messages as the panel’s investigation steps up.

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