December 2, 2022

In a Rejection of “Radical Re-ordering” of the Law, the Court Rejects Special Treatment for the Former President 

In September, Lawyers Defending American Democracy reported on the unexpected and unprecedented actions of Florida District Court Judge Aileen Cannon for her rulings in a criminal investigation into former President Trump’s handling of presidential documents, including many designated as top secret. LDAD concluded that Judge Cannon’s ruling appointing a Special Master and effectively halting a criminal investigation was unprecedented and gave the appearance of partiality to the former President.  

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November 14, 2022

Diary of a Poll Observer: Election Day Arrives

Though it will not be the end of the election for the workers, Election Day finally arrived.

I returned to Reno on Sunday afternoon, after a recuperative weekend at home.  On Monday, I worked on “ballot cure,” a process that varies widely by state.  In Nevada, if a mailed ballot has a problem (e.g., the signature does not match the one on file), the voter is allowed to “cure” it by providing other identifying information or emailing a copy of an ID.  This must be done by close of business the following Tuesday.

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November 9, 2022

Democracy Heroes & Threats: November 2022

Democracy Heroes and Threats often emerge from the same circumstances. Heroes trying to protect the justice system and the rule of law, too frequently, must endure withering criticism – and far worse – before they are vindicated. Here are two examples.

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November 5, 2022

Election 2022: On the Ground in Nevada

This is my second blog posting about my election activities in Nevada, and I am writing after my third shift observing the counting of mailed ballots. Mostly, it's like watching grass grow.  

Unlike many states, Nevada allows processing of ballots while voting is ongoing.  Pennsylvania, on the other hand, is an example of a state where mailed ballots cannot be touched until the polls close on Election Day. In addition to slowing the process, this was a source of some (unjustified) suspicion in 2020. "What are they doing with all those ballots during all that time?”  “Tampering?  “Trashing" Duplicating?"  Many possibilities suggested; none accurate.

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November 2, 2022

“Intimidation is the bread and butter of terrorism”

As shocking lies continue to spread about the attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, federal and state law enforcement authorities have moved quickly to file charges against the assailant that could keep him in prison for life.

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October 31, 2022

Diary of a Poll Observer

I am writing during my fourth day as a "poll observer" for the 2022 mid-term elections. I have been working on elections, in one capacity or another, every two years since 2004, and frequently for many years before that. Sometimes that work has been nonpartisan, sometimes party-affiliated. This cycle, I am poll watching for the Democratic Party in Reno, NV. 

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October 6, 2022

Another ‘Breathtaking’ Supreme Court Term

The Supreme Court term that just began promises to be every bit as breathtaking as the last.  

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July 21, 2022

Texas Legislators Threaten Sidley Over Abortion Care

The recent threatening letter written by the Texas legislature’s Freedom Caucus to the global law firm of Sidley Austin has coupled the state’s war on women with an equally dangerous attack on the state’s legal profession.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Sidley reportedly told its employees that the firm would provide assistance for abortions and related travel expenses.  Several other large law firms with offices in Texas have promised similar protections.

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July 7, 2022

The Threat of Exhaustion

A public radio station host asked listeners to describe how they are coping with the onslaught of terrible news each day. Many callers described feeling: “depressed,”“fearful,” and “afraid of what will happen next.” 

Their calls echoed what we hear often from people who are already feeling pandemic-weary, and now are further worn down by the ongoing lies about election fraud, an attack on our Capitol, state-enacted policies that make it harder to vote and easier to marginalize others, and a Supreme Court that is issuing inconsistent rulings that seem to adhere to a pre-existing agenda.

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June 22, 2022

Election Subversion in New Mexico: the 2022 Primary

In a rural county in New Mexico, the nation has been given a terrifying glimpse into the bleak future of democracy, absent aggressive intervention by those who care about its protection.

In a shocking refusal to perform their legal obligation, three Otero County Commissioners refused to certify the results of the June 7 primary election, instead citing vague – and false – concerns about Dominion voting machines and voter fraud. 

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