The Voting News

National: Holder: Trump’s election fraud claims are laying foundation for voter suppression | The Hill

Former Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday tore into President Trump’s claims of rampant voter fraud, saying the allegations have laid a foundation for voter suppression and more restrictive voter identification laws. “The vote fraud mantra is said so often — it’s almost said robotically — that some people have unthinkingly begun to believe that the issue is real,” Holder said at a National Action Network conference in New York City. “And with recent claims by Mr. Trump of ‘rigged elections’ based on fraud, again without any proof, save the bluster of the candidate, this mistaken belief in voter fraud becomes almost hardwired,” he continued. Read More

National: House Intelligence Committee reportedly agrees on witness list for Russia probe | Business Insider

The House Intelligence Committee has agreed on a witness list of between 36 and 48 people for its investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, CNN reported Wednesday night. Included on the list are current and former associates of President Donald Trump believed to have been in contact with Russian officials during the campaign or transition period. According to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, the list includes Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser; Roger Stone, a Trump confidant; Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser; and Carter Page, an early Trump campaign adviser. Read More

National: Senator fears Russian election interference could be ‘normalized’ | The Hill

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) said Thursday that Russian meddling in U.S. elections could become “normalized” if the government does not further respond to Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential contest. Shaheen doubled down on her push for an independent investigation of Russia’s actions and more sanctions on Moscow in a speech at the Center for American Progress Action Fund on Thursday afternoon. “If Russia gets a pass on 2016, it could interfere in future U.S. elections not only at the presidential level but at the House and Senate level,” Shaheen said.  Read More

National: Facebook found efforts to sway presidential election, elect Trump | CNBC

Facebook says some groups tried to use its platform to sway the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. In a case study of the 2016 presidential election, the company said it found several instances of “information operations,” its term for governments and organizations who attempt to sway political opinion by spreading fake news and other nefarious tactics. The case study was included in Facebook’s white paper on “information operations.” It also detailed ways it was combating “fake news” and other misinformation spread by adding new technologies and creating more security features. Read More

Editorials: Why won’t Congress really investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia? | Douglas L. Kriner and Eric Schickler/The Washington Post

Politicians, pundits, and scholars alike routinely call Congress the “broken branch.” Most often, they note its abysmally low level of legislative productivity recently, a trend that even the return of unified Republican control of government has failed to reverse. But Congress’s feeble efforts to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election may be an even more startling and serious institutional failure. The House inquiry has been plagued by infighting and missteps. The most notable so far was the clandestine meeting to share intelligence between chief investigator, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and the White House he was charged with investigating. While the Senate investigative committee has pledged a thorough probe, it’s done little so far. It has held no high-profile hearings. Until very recently, it had no full-time staff, and its few part-time staffers have no investigative experience or expertise with Russia. Read More

Editorials: Purging voter rolls doesn’t weed out fraud — it weeds out voters | Frederick News Post

Maryland has found itself in the crosshairs of the conservative activist group Judicial Watch, which has thereatened to sue the state if a better effort isn’t made to clean up its voter rolls. Earlier this month, the group sent a letter to the Maryland State Board of Elections to complain that there are more registered voters in Montgomery County than there are voting-age residents. Judicial Watch argues the overage demonstrates that there is “strong circumstantial evidence” that non-citizens may be registered to vote in heavily-Democratic Montgomery County, which is also Maryland’s most populous jurisdiction. Read More

California: Moving to March primary gaining traction: Legislation on presidential races passes key Assembly committee | San Mateo Daily Journal

Legislation to elevate the political influence of one of the nation’s most populous states by bumping up California’s presidential primary received bipartisan support this week as it heads toward the Assembly floor. Assembly-man Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, seeks to move California’s typically June primary to the first Tuesday of March during presidential elections. On Wednesday, Mullin’s bill passed 6-1 through the Assembly’s Committee on Elections and Redistricting, garnering support and dissent from two Republicans. The goal is to provide California, the sixth largest economy in the world and where 1 in 8 U.S. voters resides, with a more influential role in deciding presidential nominations for both the Republican and Democratic parties, Mullin said. Read More

Louisiana: Let 70,000 ex-felons vote? No, says Louisiana House committee | Associated Press

Proposals to restore the voting rights of more than 70,000 Louisiana ex-felons on probation or parole got a chilly reaction from some state lawmakers Wednesday (April 26). The House Governmental Affairs Committee rejected one such proposal and persuaded a lawmaker to delay action on a similar bill until next week. Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, D-Baton Rouge, pulled her House Bill 229 from a vote after her colleagues expressed concern about giving the vote back to people who have been on parole or probation for five years. The law affects about 71,000 people, roughly 1.5 percent of the state’s population. Similar proposals have died before in the conservative Louisiana Legislature. Smith introduced the bill after supporters of restoring voting rights struck out in court last month, when a judge told them they would have to get the law changed if they want the prohibition lifted. Read More

Michigan: Gerrymandering seriously impacts voting, according to new test | The Michigan Daily

Although President Trump won the state by a narrow margin, GOP candidates in down-ballot races in Michigan won across the board, adding further to their large majority in the State Legislature. According to a new test conducted by Bridge Magazine, GOP candidates succeed in Michigan despite relatively equal support for both parties because of gerrymandered districts. The test, titled the “efficiency gap,” calculates how many votes are “wasted” when a certain party draws district lines in their favor. Wasted votes are those cast for the candidate that didn’t win and those cast for the winning candidate beyond the number they needed to win. Read More

Montana: Voters confused over multiple mail ballot elections | Ravalli Republic

In what may be one of the most confusing election cycles ever, voters who cast their ballots by mail need to pay attention this next week. “We have some voters who are definitely confused right now,” said Ravalli County Clerk and Recorder Regina Plettenberg. “We’ve been getting calls from people telling us that they opened their envelopes and found there weren’t any congressional races on their ballots.” That’s because the absentee ballots for the upcoming special election to select Montana’s sole congressman won’t be mailed out until next week. The mail ballots that voters have already received are for several school and one fire district election. Read More