If you want to put a citizens initiative on the 2020 ballot, you had better file it by early 2019

Voting rights and electoral issues were on the ballot in 13 states, and voters overwhelmingly supported expanding access to the ballot box. Voting Rights Were The Biggest Winner In The Elections:

One clear winner emerged from last week’s elections: voting.

Voting rights and electoral issues were on the ballot in 13 states, and in almost all of them, voters overwhelmingly supported initiatives that expand access to the ballot box and make the right to vote easier to exercise.

In Colorado, Michigan, and Missouri, ballot initiatives aimed at replacing gerrymandering — the redrawing of legislative districts by political incumbents to strengthen their party’s electoral representation — with nonpartisan methods of redistricting all received more than 60% of the vote. Colorado’s proposal to allow independent commissions to handle redistricting garnered over 70%.

Marylanders turned out in favor of same-day voter registration. Nevadans ushered in “motor voter” automatic registration for those who visit the Department of Motor Vehicles. Floridians, meanwhile, restored the right to vote for 1.4 million released felons(excluding those convicted of murder or sex crimes).

Perhaps the most significant victory for voting rights came in Michigan, where two-thirds of voters adopted Proposal 3. Among other provisions, the new law guarantees same-day voter registration, automatic registration at the DMV, and no-excuse absentee voting. Voting has never been easier in one America’s most important swing states.

This bodes well for the millions of Americans who have expressed a newfound interest in democratic participation in recent years.

In Arizona, the “dark money” forces of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the “Kochtopus” network blocked voters from even considering the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative. Anti-‘dirty money’ initiative knocked off ballot in Arizona, Supreme Court rules.

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Made in Tucson Market on November 25

Hosted by Made in Tucson Market and Historic Fourth Avenue

“Meet Tucson artists, take a peek into their processes, and buy locally-made goods! The Made in Tucson Market will be happening November 25, 2018 on Historic Fourth Avenue. This is going to be an impressive marketplace that reflects the authenticity of Tucson and its makers! Represented, will not only be established designers, but some new emerging artists as well!”


Carolyn’s note:  I like to promote local artisans and vendors, so drop by this market, just in time for holiday shopping. And weather forecast is sunny with high at 68 degrees F.

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Republican economic policies cause their constituents to fall farther behind the rest of the country economically

John Harwood at CNBC has an important report on a new Brookings Institution study documenting that “economic divergence is as central to 21st century polarization as race, gender and religion.” These charts show how Democrats represent the growing modern economy – and how Republicans are left behind:

[T]his year’s midterm elections affirmed this much: in Washington, the two parties now speak for dramatically different segments of the American economy.

Republicans represent the smaller, fading segment, with less-educated, more-homogenous work forces reliant on traditional manufacturing, agriculture and resource extraction. Democrats represent the larger, growing one, fueled by finance, professional services and digital innovation in diverse urban areas.

Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 5.48.21 AMh/t 270towin.com – 2018 House Election Interactive Map. Note: A geographic map is deceptive, because there is a lot of “big empty” space in the middle of the country and in the west. A cartogram map weighted for population is more accurate, but one is not yet available for the 2018 congressional election.

Donald Trump carried 2,584 counties across the country, but calculations by scholars at the Brookings Institution showed that the 472 counties Hillary Clinton carried accounted for nearly two-thirds of U.S. economic output.

Now, new Brookings calculations show the same from 2018 House elections. With a few races still undecided, districts won by Democrats account for 61 percent of America’s gross domestic product, districts won by Republicans 38 percent.


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Midterms Kickstart Democratic Efforts to End Gerrymandering in 2020

By Michael Bryan

The 2018 midterms have set the table pretty well for the Democratic Party to roll back the GOP’s 2010 gerrymandering spree, and a path to ending the practice is now apparent. Most of the West, New England, much of the Piedmont, and the upper Mid-West are now largely immune to further gerrymandering after 2020 due to Democratic control, divided government, or independent commission control.

However the GOP continues to control a the organs of government needed to continue or deepen the gerrymandering of a plurality of Congressional districts, including the vital and highly populous states of Texas, Florida and Ohio.

Gerrymandering remains a serious problem, even in states where Democrats have made significant gains, the results still bear the hallmarks of the 2010 gerrymander.

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Stacy Abrams’s ‘concession’ is a call to arms against systematic GOP voter suppression

Democratic Georgia  gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams acknowledged on Friday that she had no clear path to victory. She did not, however, offer a concession speech but rather a call to arms against systematic GOP voter suppression in Georgia. Video Link. Abrams spoke truth to naked abuse of power.

Screen Shot 2018-11-19 at 9.39.30 AM

Full Text: Stacey Abrams’ speech to end the Georgia governor’s race (excerpts):

[W]e are a mighty nation because we embedded in our national experiment the chance to fix what is broken. To call out what has faltered. To demand fairness wherever it can be found. Which is why on Election Night, I declared that our fight to count every vote is not about me. It is about us. It’s about the democracy we share and our responsibility to preserve our way of life. Our democracy – because voting is a right and not a privilege.

I stand here today as witness to that truth. This election is about all of us – as is the resolution of this moment.

I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

But to watch an elected official – who claims to represent the people of this state, baldly pin his hopes for election on the suppression of the people’s democratic right to vote – has been truly appalling. So, to be clear, this is not a speech of concession.

Concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper. As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede. But my assessment is that the law currently allows no further viable remedy.

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