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In the fall of 2019, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs included language to protect the right to vote for eligible, incarcerated Arizona voters in the draft of Arizona’s Election Procedures Manual that she submitted to the Governor and Attorney General for approval. This language, though, was rejected by the Attorney General. On December 12, 2019, CLC sent this letter to Arizona’s Attorney General, Governor, and Secretary of State to address the concerns raised by the Attorney General, reaffirm the state’s obligation to enfranchise these eligible voters, and urge them to adopt the new language proposed by Secretary Hobbs.
In Ohio, eligible voters who are arrested in the days leading up to the Election are being unconstitutionally denied their fundamental right to vote because the state excludes them from its emergency absentee ballot procedure. Ohio’s disenfranchisement of these qualified electors violates the First...
On September 23, 2019, CLC and Demos submitted a letter to Judge Lina Hidalgo and the Harris County Commissioners Court urging them to move forward with their plan to turn Harris County Jail into a polling location and provide voting machines to the eligible voters incarcerated there. Harris County Jail is one of the largest in the nation, incarcerating an average of 9,000 people daily. Most of Harris County Jail's population is held in pretrial detention or serving misdemeanor sentences, which means they retain their eligibility to vote under Texas law. However, Harris County provides no means by which many of these voters can cast their ballots. Our letter discusses Harris County's obligation to provide ballot access to these eligible voters and urges them to move forward with this initiative.
About 750,000 people are incarcerated in jails across the United States every day, most of whom retain their right to vote. Casting a ballot, though, can be impossible for these eligible voters simply because they are incarcerated. CLC has launched a program to fight jail-based disenfranchisement...
On November 13, 2019, Erin Chlopak, CLC’s Director of Campaign Finance Strategy, testified on behalf of North Dakotans for Public Integrity (NDPI), the committee that sponsored the transparency ballot measure that passed as a constitutional amendment in 2018. Chlopak provided to the testimony to the Interim Judiciary Committee of the North Dakota Legislative Assembly, describing how wealthy special interests pour millions of dollars into state and federal elections while concealing their identity as the sources of that spending and even misleading voters about who is actually behind political advertising. Chlopak explained the U.S. Supreme Court’s long-standing approval of transparency requirements for election spending as foundational to democratic self-government and described how loopholes in current state and federal laws allow groups to spend enormous amounts of money in elections without disclosing the true source of that money. Chlopak also identified some key legislative features of election spending transparency rules that will ensure the true sources of election spending are disclosed.
On November 13, 2019, CLC submitted this statement to the Interim Judiciary Committee of the North Dakota Legislative Assembly, on behalf of North Dakotans for Public Integrity. The statement urges the Committee to implement North Dakota’s new state constitutional amendment, Article XIV, in a way that provides transparency in election spending. An effective implementation of Article XIV would make sure that there are no loopholes by which wealthy special interests can secretly spend in North Dakota elections and keep their identities hidden from the public. The Committee has an opportunity now to ensure that state law complies with the transparency mandate in Article XIV and that North Dakotans have the information they need to effectively participate in our democracy.