voting-rights

Maybe it’s time to untie the hands of special counsels
The way Mueller interpreted the special counsel’s limits to make a ‘prosecutorial judgment’ about a sitting president needs to be explored

Former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. He testified earlier in the day before the House Judiciary Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — Former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III made clear he wouldn’t discuss “deliberations within our office” when he took questions from two House committees July 24 about his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and what Donald Trump’s presidential campaign knew and did about it.

That’s unfortunate. Even if you put aside the argument that Mueller writing that his report “does not exonerate” Trump really means he is “guilty” or “should be impeached,” the way Mueller interpreted the special counsel’s limits to make what he called a “prosecutorial judgment” about a sitting president needs to be explored further.

Capitol Ink | Special Cocktail

2020 census affects more than representation, billions at stake
The census influences more than $800 billion in federal government spending and business decisions

Protesters hold signs at rally in front of U.S. Supreme Court after ruling on census was handed down. In Alaska, census results drive tens of millions of dollars from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to Native American communities to help build up housing that is lacking. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Less than 300 miles from the Arctic Circle, Toksook Bay, Alaska, has about 600 people, a dozen or so streets and averages a high of 12 degrees in January, the month the 2020 census will begin there.

The responses among Alaska Natives in Toksook Bay and throughout the state could have a huge impact on the future of their community, not just in terms of political representation but whether they have a roof over their heads.

A paper record for every voter: It’s time for Congress to act
Along with mandatory machine testing, it’s the only way to secure our nation’s democracy

If Congress can pass legislation that requires a paper record for every voter and establishes a mandated security testing program for the people making voting machines, the general public’s faith in the process of casting a ballot can be restored, Burt writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Over the last few years, policymakers, election security experts and voting equipment vendors have examined how we can continually ensure our elections and voting machines remain safe and secure.

Recently, we've seen many lawmakers — from bipartisan members of the Senate Intelligence Committee to presidential candidates — call for reforms to secure the integrity of our elections. When it comes to the machines that count votes and the people who make those machines, there are a few things that must happen to ensure faith in our system of democracy continues.

Capitol Ink | The Art of the Census

Women share pride in Eleanor Holmes Norton dedication at Georgetown Law
Friends and supporters laud D.C. delegate’s role in ‘civil rights and women’s rights and D.C. rights’

Breaking ground on the Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton Green and monument at Georgetown Law Center are, from left, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser; Georgetown Law Center Dean William Treanor; Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.; Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md.; and Georgetown President John DeGioia. (Clyde McGrady/CQ Roll Call)

The Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton Green at Georgetown University Law Center is a point of pride for the women in attendance for its groundbreaking Tuesday.

Surrounded by her children, grandchildren, colleagues and friends among the 150 supporters beneath a white reception tent on the law center’s green, Norton, 81, basked in the honor and recounted the civil rights and feminist battles fought during her time in and out of office.

Has the longtime swing state of Ohio stopped swinging?
Democrats may struggle to reverse Buckeye State’s recent turn to the right

A woman holds her voting sticker in her hand after casting her ballot in Leetonia, Ohio, on Election Day 2016. President Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 8 points to pick up the state’s 18 electoral votes . (Ty Wright/Getty Images file photo)

When it comes to presidential elections, no one picks ’em like Ohio.

Going back to 1896, the Buckeye State has backed the winning candidate in all but two elections — the best record for any state in recent history. John F. Kennedy in 1960 was the last person to win the White House without winning Ohio.

House passes HR 1 government overhaul, sending it back to campaign trail
With Senate not planning to take it up, Democrats plan to continue fight into 2020

Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., led Democrats' effort to draft the HR 1 government overhaul package as chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force. The House passed the measure Friday on a party-line vote. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With passage of HR 1, House Democrats’ political money, ethics and voting overhaul, the mammoth proposal now heads exclusively to the 2020 campaign trail, where candidates in both parties say they believe their message will woo voters.

The House passed the measure 234-193 Friday morning. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the bill’s foe in chief, has assured his side he plans to officially ignore it in his chamber, refusing to bring it for a vote even as the Kentucky Republican said Wednesday that he believed his party could win elections against people who support it.

After HR 1 vote, Democrats ready to move quickly on other top 10 bills
Pelosi has been steadily rolling out bills HR 1 through 10 to keep priorities advancing

Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Democrats are following through on their campaign promises with legislation. She’s designated bills HR 1 through HR 10 to reflect those top priorities. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:03 p.m. | House Democrats were in high spirits Friday after they passed the top item on their policy agenda — a package of voting, campaign finance and ethics overhauls dubbed HR 1 — but they’re not going to stop to celebrate for too long.

The new Democratic majority has been quickly, but steadily and deliberately, rolling out legislation to fulfill their 2018 midterm campaign promises and reintroducing bills that languished during the past eight years when Republicans controlled the House. 

10 things you might not know about HR 1
Some significant changes have not been talked about much as the bill has advanced to the House floor

The House begins debate on HR 1 this week, a comprehensive bill overhauling election and campaign finance law that contains several under-the-radar but still significant provisions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the House begins debate Wednesday on HR 1 — the Democratic majority’s package overhauling voting, campaign finance and ethics law — some parts of the bill will likely get more attention than others, but several under-the-radar provisions in the 622-page legislation would nevertheless have sweeping impacts.

Here are 10 provisions that have not received much attention as the legislation advanced through committee hearings and markups on its way to the floor.