Democracy Blog.

A blog about democracy.

The Electoral College

While the Electoral College may be hard to eradicate out of existence, The National Popular Vote bill will take effect when enacted into law by states possessing 270 electoral votes (a majority of the 538 electoral votes).  It has been enacted into law in 13 jurisdictions possessing 181 electoral votes, including 4 small jurisdictions (DC, HI, RI, VT), 5 medium-sized states (CO, CT, MD, MA, WA), and 4 big states (CA, IL, NJ, NY).  

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Virginia House of Delegates v. Golden Bethune-Hill

In 2011, Virginia had already complied with the pre-clearance as required by the Voting Rights Act, meaning the federal government had approved these voting districts as racially equitable. (This requirement went away with 2013’s Shelby County vs. Holder, which muted many of the Voting Rights Act’s key reforms.) But the residents of the twelve districts at issue in Virginia House of Delegates v. Golden Bethune-Hill argue that the voting districts drawn only have the appearance of being fair.

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Rucho v. Common Cause

An important case is before the Supreme Court that could affect gerrymandering and how much legislators can take advantage of their elected office. In Rucho v. Common Cause, the North Carolina redistricting effort was brazenly drawn to partisan advantage for Republicans, creating ten Republican districts, and only three Democratic districts.

Here are the amicus briefs filed by Common Cause in support of fair redistricting, from an impressive lineup of contributors.

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We Need to Fight for HR1

We need to train our firepower on Mitch McConnell. Stop attacking Democrats over climate positions that won’t matter if Republicans can keep stacking legislatures. Trump is just the distraction. We can’t let Mitch McConnell hold back the people’s voices again. We need to go all in on HR1. Our democracy is counting on it.

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Milwaukee Gets the DNC and the Ghost of 2016

As it is, we know Russian operatives worked to sow chaos in American discourse during 2016, with the aim of getting Trump elected. We know that Russian code was introduced to U.S. voting machines, courtesy of Reality Winner’s sacrifice. But we need to study what happened on Election Night 2016, when states that hadn’t gone Republican in 20 years improbably went red by the same small margin of votes.

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Oversight & Reform

Today, the House Committee of Oversight & Reform sent letters to the Georgia Governor and Secretary of State inquiring about challenges to voting in the 2018 election. Voter suppression tends to be fought nowadays before the election, by striking down voter ID laws and challenging census/redistricting. But Democrats don’t usually follow up after the fact, save for the Conyers Commission investigating Ohio after the 2004 election under SoS J. Kenneth Blackwell.

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"We are Living Through a Full-Fledged Crisis in our Democracy"

Hillary Clinton was honored with an award at the annual Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee, to commemorate the violent attacks on protesters attempting to cross the Edmund Pettis bridge in peaceful protest 54 years ago in Selma, Alabama. In her remarks she called out voter suppression as the primary obstacle to health care and a thriving economy, noting her election in 2016 was the first without the Voting Rights Act since its introduction.

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The Essence of Democracy

Idealism leads to denial. I finally understand what realism mixed with idealism yields: Hope. That’s what Barack and Michelle brought. Not “It’s our revolution, they owe us everything.” Hope that we can move forward, together, with cool heads. It’s a different worldview.

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Presidents on Voting

"For this Nation to remain true to its principles, we cannot allow any American's vote to be denied, diluted, or defiled. The right to vote is the crown jewel of American liberties, and we will not see its luster diminished."

—Ronald Reagan

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National Emergency

Today Trump declared a national emergency, while acknowledging there was no emergency, in a speech that would evoke the Reichstag Fire if announced by a blabbering idiot. Trump announced his plan to appropriate billions from disaster relief to pay for some of the wall meant to protect us from foreign invaders.

But the real national emergency is that Trump is actually destroying the walls that matter to make it easier for foreign invaders from Russia and elsewhere.

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Making Election Day a Holiday in Ohio

Not only is this an important step for voter empowerment, perhaps the most important part is this shows how significant electoral reform can be established at the municipal level. While the House holds hearings on HR1, the For The People Act, it’s not expected that Trump will sign it or that Senate Republicans will vote for it. It’s more of a “someday” thing. When the Help America Vote Act was passed in 2002 to respond to the disaster of the 2000 Florida election, HAVA brought more problems than solutions, instituting the provisional ballot and paying for touchscreen voting machines.

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Klobuchar Pushes Wisconsin Myth

It has become some kind of accepted excuse that Hillary’s narrow loss in Wisconsin was the fault of her not visiting the state just before the election. Colbert jokes about it, SNL jokes about it, it has settled as the one thing people seem to grasp went wrong in a confusing election that had more Russian bots than voters.

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