Commentary

Automatic voter registration isn’t the sexiest way to start a political revolution, but it may be the most effective.

The advocates' letter threatens legal action if the state doesn’t cooperate.
 
Scott Novakowski, an attorney with Demos, said the groups hope to come to an understanding with the state and map out short-term and long-term solutions for the problems.
 
Nevada still is mired in a lawsuit filed in 2012 by some of the same groups concerning a different part of the law, which requires public assistance agencies to register people to vote.

Every four years we Americans become spectators in a circus known as the presidential election. For most of us, participating in the process of electing the next president involves watching televised debates, discarding flyers from local and state candidates, and muting the slugfest known as campaign advertising. We’re spectators in the sense that we are watching, listening, and processing the event, but most of us remain far from the table of influence, which is increasingly reserved for a very small, very white, very male, and very rich group of individuals.

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Over the last decade, an increasing number of cities and states passed laws limiting the use of credit checks in hiring, promotion, and firing. These laws have been motivated by the reality that personal credit history is not relevant to employment and that employment credit checks prevent otherwise qualified workers with flawed credit from finding jobs, and that unemployed workers and historically disadvantaged groups, including people of color, are disproportionately harmed by credit checks.

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The campaign money chase makes the sliver of Americans who donate large sums the most important citizens, and they are both unrepresentative (90 percent of 2012 presidential donors were from majority-white neighborhoods) and, by definition, doing well in our inequitable economy.

In a recent report, Demos and the Public Interest Research Group showed how many viable candidates, including many candidates of color, struggle to compete against better-funded incumbents.

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The 2016 election is the first Presidential election that will occur since the Supreme Court struck down key provisions in the Voting Rights Act. Partially because of the weakened VRA, 10 states passed harsh new voting restrictions that will be in full force for 2016, including seven new voter ID laws. New studies suggest that the motivation of these laws is suppressing non-white voters, and worryingly, that they will be successful at doing so.

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The 2016 election is the first Presidential election that will occur since the Supreme Court struck down key provisions in the Voting Rights Act. Partially because of the weakened VRA, 10 states passed harsh new voting restrictions that will be in full force for 2016, including seven new voter ID laws. New studies suggest that the motivation of these laws is suppressing non-white voters, and worryingly, that they will be successful at doing so.

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Racism divides the American political system, strengthening opposition to social programs and reinforcing a plutocratic agenda. This is the lesson to draw from new YouGov data, which reveals that most Americans wrongly believe African-Americans make up a majority of welfare recipients and are net “takers.”

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Hard-working New Yorkers need time to care for their families without the pressure of missing a paycheck or losing their job. Whether it's the precious first months of a baby's life, the final days of an aging parent, or the critical weeks of recovery from a spouse's serious illness or accident, when a loved one needs care, New Yorkers need the time to be there for them.

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