Memo Released on Citizens United Bill

After much hullabaloo, more details have been revealed about Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Chris Van Hollen's (D-MD) legislative response to counter the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. FEC. Even though it has not been formally introduced, a memo has been disclosed outlining the bill.

read in full

AU Asks IRS to Investigate Florida Church for Electioneering Against Gay Mayoral Candidate

Americans United for Separation of Church and State asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate a Florida church for improper electioneering. Americans United filed the complaint against Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, as a result of the church posting a sign on its property that read, "No Homo Mayor," in an apparent attempt to deter people from voting for Craig Lowe, an openly gay Gainesville mayoral candidate.

read in full

Recent Push for Bipartisan Voter Reform Measures

Recent efforts to reform and modernize the voter system have received bipartisan support. The Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, which would allow overseas troops and American citizens to access voter information online, passed Congress last week with bipartisan support from legislators who "decried an antiquated voting system that left as many as one out of four overseas ballots uncounted," according to Roll Call.

read in full

Group Formed to Modify Voter Registration

The Committee to Modernize Voter Registration has been formed to work on overhauling the nation's voter registration system. The group consists of bipartisan members led by co-chairs Trevor Potter, general counsel for Senator John McCain's (R-AZ) presidential campaigns, and Marc Elias, lawyer for Senator Al Franken (D-MN) during the recount. The two charge that their campaign experiences have led them to believe that the country needs to move toward a more automated registration system.

read in full

Schumer Urges the President to Designate the VA as a Voter Registration Agency

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), the chairman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, wrote to President Barack Obama supporting the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as a voter registration agency. The letter states: "The Veterans Voting Support Act, offered by Senator Feinstein and co-sponsored by myself and you-when you were in the Senate-would have required the Department of Veterans Affair to provide nonpartisan registration services to the veterans it serves.

read in full

Renewed Focus on Voting Reform

Recent efforts have renewed focus on voting reform efforts. Voter registration reform, a major issue highlighted in the 2008 election, is receiving attention from key legislators. According to the National Journal, Sen. Charles Schumer ( D-NY), chair of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, will introduce a bill later this year that addresses concerns with the voter registration system.

read in full

Is the Time Ripe for Clear IRS Rules on Political Activity?

A BNA Money and Politics ($$) report addressed a Feb. 20 technical advice memorandum (TAM 200908050) discussing whether a 501(c)(3) organization had intervened in a political campaign by including partisan content from an affiliated 501(c)(4) on its website.

read in full

Alabama Moves One Step Closer to Early Voting

An Alabama House Committee approved a measure that would allow no-excuse absentee voting for Alabama voters.  The bill would allow anyone to cast an absentee ballot as long as 40 days before the election.  The House Constitution and Elections Committee approved the bill 9-2.

read in full

Nonprofits File Lawsuit after Secretary of State Orders Them to Register as Political Committees

Two nonprofit organizations that engaged in a direct mail campaign targeting a group of state legislators sued the New Mexico Secretary of State for requiring that they register as political committees. The lawsuit was filed by the Center for Civic Policy and Southwest Organizing Project. Before the June primary, the groups send out fliers addressing several lawmakers' voting records, and all but one was up for re-election.

read in full

New Report Makes Recommendations to Improve Communications with Congress

The Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) has released a report Communicating with Congress: Recommendations for Improving the Democratic Dialogue. In June CMF released a draft version of this report and requested that interested stakeholders review the recommendations and submit comments.

read in full