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Author: Fred Edwards

Verified Voting on a mission to secure elections

Verified Voting is a “non-partisan non-profit organization that advocates for legislation and regulation that promotes accuracy, transparency, and verifiability of elections.” Its primary concern is ensuring that the means for verifying election outcomes are in place and used for that purpose. To address this component of voting rights, Verified Voting bridges key stakeholder groups such as election officials, voter advocates, lawmakers, technologists, researchers, and the media.  Verified Voting was founded in 2003 by David L. Dill, and has since generated national attention and brought measurable results. Verified Voting encourages jurisdictions to enact requirements for voters, including the ability to...

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Federal Court rules American Samoans should be granted birthright citizenship, but some American Samoans disagree

Last week the US District Court for the District of Utah made a landmark decision against the United States in favor of John Fitisemanu, an American Somoan living in Utah who wants American Samoans to be recognized as citizens upon birth. Because he was born in the unincorporated US territory of American Samoa, Fitisemanu was born a US national, not a US citizen. His US passport even makes that distinction painfully clear, reading in all caps, “THE BEARER IS A UNITED STATES NATIONAL AND NOT A UNITED STATES CITIZEN.” As a US national, John is restricted from things that...

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Corruption, Telegram scandals roil Rosselló administration

The governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, is refusing to step down amid scandals involving text messaging and corruption. Some top Puerto Rican officials have already resigned amid the outcry, which is so tremendous that demonstrations against Rosselló have grown violent. Federal officials have also begun to chime in, with Representative Raul Grijalva (D) of Arizona calling on the Governor to resign. The Representative’s call for resignation is a big deal, because Grijalva chairs the House committee which oversees the US territory of Puerto Rico. Congress can’t depose Rosselló outright, but does hold power over Puerto Rico in other...

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Guam’s political landscape doesn’t fall neatly into the Democrat-Republican binary

Guamanian politics don’t follow the same party lines as mainland America’s two major parties, despite those two parties being the dominant political parties on the island. The Guam Legislature currently has 10 Democrat members and 5 Republican members, but their priorities differ from those of the same party in mainland America. The Guam Legislature is a unicameral body and Senators are elected at-large through an open partisan primary and a subsequent island-wide election. With a population less than 200,000 and distance from mainland America of about 7,000 miles, Guam faces different challenges and has a different political overview than...

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Voterfied could help solve some of democracy’s biggest problems

A democracy relies on participation, and participation rates in the US these days are low. Many people feel that candidates and officeholders don’t listen to them and that their voice doesn’t matter, so they don’t even bother getting involved. Voterfied is looking to change that. Voterfied allows candidates and officeholders, such as mayors, state legislators, and Congressmen, to connect directly with constituents and get a better feel for the issues their people care about. It seeks to expand participatory democracy by allowing constituents communicate in more effective ways than phoning a candidate or officeholder’s office or tweeting at them....

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