Dane County Farmers' Market

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Celebrate National Voter Registration Day




For Release: Tuesday - September 27, 2016


Happy National Voter Registration Day! Here's a rundown on some of the ways we can all mark the day – and how we can stay engaged throughout these final six weeks before the November 8th election:

First and foremost, make sure you are registered to vote at your current address. Go to MyVote.WI.gov, select "Register to vote," and enter your name and date of birth.

If you find out that you are not already registered to vote at your current residence, see this information on voter registration options and deadlines. And then make sure that every family member, friend – anyone you know who is eligible to vote – is registered, too.

Don't let up after today. This is too important.

Next, if you think there is any chance that you won't make it to the polls on Election Day, then vote early. Early voting started yesterday at multiple sites in Madison and Milwaukee. To find out where and when you can cast an early, in-person absentee ballot in your city/town/village, contact your local municipal clerk.

Here is more on what you need to know about casting an early, absentee ballot – in-person or by mail. Read it – and share this link widely.

And don't forget an ID.

You will need to present one of the acceptable IDs pictured left when voting in Wisconsin, so take a moment and check to see if you have the ID you need to cast a ballot early or on Election Day.

If you don't have an acceptable ID, review the information on our downloadable fact sheet on voter ID and/or visit Bring It To The Ballot. You can also contact one of these two voter ID hotline numbers for assistance from our friends at Vote Riders: (844) 338-8743 or 414-882-8622.

Want to do more? How about volunteering?


We've said many times that if we want our democracy to work, we have to show up. But for those without transportation to the polls, "showing up" can be tough, if not impossible.



In response to this need, CC/WI is identifying and recruiting organizations and individuals statewide who are willing to offer free rides to the polls during early voting, on Election Day, or both.

We will be publishing a list of these individuals/groups this week, and updating it regularly as more volunteers are added. If you are interested in being a driver or know of any folks in your area offering this service, please contact CC/WI by email so that we can add them to our list!

Another way you can help is by volunteering as an Election Observer.

With the prospect of close races and potential confusion at the polls, volunteering to be a poll monitor is a critical way you can make a huge difference this election.

Our longtime partners, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, are providing online training to folks statewide. Just sign up using the League's online Election Observer Volunteer Form. Or, if you prefer, contact Sandra Miller at CC/WI.

Cap off your National Voter Registration Day by joining us tonight at 7PM in Madison at the Goodman Center (149 Waubesa Street, Madison 53704) where political correspondent Ari Berman from The Nation Magazine and MSNBC will speak about his timely new book Give Us The Ballot in which he talks about the intense, ongoing struggle over voting rights in America since passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


CC/WI is presenting this event in partnership with the Center for Media and Democracy and the Wisconsin Book Festival. More details are here. Hope to see some of you tonight!

If you are in the Fox Valley area, Ari will also be speaking at UW-Green Bay on Thursday, September 29th.

And finally, National Voter Registration Day isn't about paying attention for just this one day, but rather, it is a day meant to highlight an important step that all eligible voters must take to preserve our democracy.

Take the step, and help as many people as you can do the same.





Contact:

Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)

jheck@commoncause.org



For Voting Information, contact
:
Sandra Miller
Director of Information Services & Outreach
608/658-2109 (cell)
smiller@commoncause.org


Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org


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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Author Ari Berman to Speak in Madison on Tuesday, September 27th



Saturday - September 24, 2016


Common Cause in Wisconsin is proud to join the Center for Media and Democracy and the Wisconsin Book Festival in presenting the following "must-attend" event on a topic that could not be more relevant:

Ari Berman
, political correspondent for The Nation Magazine and MSNBC, and nationally-prominent expert on voting rights, will speak at the Goodman Center (149 Waubesa Street, Madison 53704) on Tuesday evening, September 27th at 7pm.

Ari will talk about his just-released new book, Give Us the Ballot, in which he describes the turbulent, on-going struggle over voting rights in America since passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and "provides new insight into one of the most vital political and civil rights issues of our time." Ari is also an expert on the voter suppression that is happening here in Wisconsin.

Don't miss this event, which coincidentally, occurs on National Voter Registration Day!

And to our friends in northeast Wisconsin: if you can't be in Madison on Tuesday, Ari will also be speaking at UW-Green Bay on Thursday, September 29th -- so please plan to attend, and spread the word about that event as well!




CONTACT:

Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)





Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org



Read More...


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What You Need to Know about Early Absentee Voting in Wisconsin




For Release: Tuesday - September 13, 2016

Early Absentee Voting in Wisconsin
In-Person or By Mail



What You Need to Know

Election day is November 8th – just 56 days from today! But opportunities to cast "early" votes – either by in-person absentee ballot or by mail absentee ballot begin very soon.

As a result of a July 2016 federal court decision, early absentee voting will begin across Wisconsin sooner than has been the case over the last five years. Early voting restrictions now removed include:
  • Limiting municipalities to one location (municipal clerk's office) for in-person absentee voting;
  • Requirement that in-person absentee voting run no earlier than two weeks before an election, and only take place on weekdays;
  • Prohibition on distributing absentee ballots by email or fax.
Determining the location and schedule for early in-person voting is the responsibility of individual cities, villages and towns. Therefore, implementation of these new changes will vary. For example, in the cities of Madison, Milwaukee and Green Bay, early in-person voting is set to begin on September 26th; in Appleton and Oshkosh, early in-person voting is scheduled to start on October 17th.

In order to help Wisconsin voters understand their options in light of these recent changes, CC/WI has created a webpage with information on what Wisconsin voters need to know in order to vote with an early absentee ballot:

Early Absentee Voting in Wisconsin – In-Person or By Mail

The page contains important links and deadlines, and – as with our page on student voting – will be updated regularly with new information as we receive it. So check back often. And make sure everyone you know understands what they need to do in order to vote early – either by in-person absentee ballot or by mail – in the weeks and days leading up to the November 8th election.

Please feel free to share this information widely!





Contact:

Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)

jheck@commoncause.org



For Voting Information, contact
:
Sandra Miller
Director of Information Services & Outreach
608/658-2109 (cell)
smiller@commoncause.org


Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org


Read More...


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Russ Feingold Joins Other Wisconsin Congressional Candidates in Telling Voters Where He Stands on Democracy Reform




For Release: Thursday - September 8, 2016


Wisconsin voters are demanding to know where candidates for federal public office stand on democracy reform solutions and several Wisconsin congressional candidates, including Democratic US Senate nominee Russ Feingold, have heard voters’ calls and answered the "Who Will Fight Big Money" questionnaire.

Launched by a coalition of national democracy reform groups and led by Common Cause, the "Who Will Fight Big Money" campaign is a nonpartisan effort to get congressional candidates from across the country on the record on solutions that will bring balance to our democracy, including increasing political spending disclosure, overturning Citizens United, enacting citizen-funded election systems, and reducing barriers to the ballot box. Since the campaign’s launch, nearly 40,000 people have visited WhoWillFightBigMoney.org, and thousands have sent emails and tweets to candidates urging them to fill out the questionnaire.

“Every Wisconsin congressional candidate should listen to voters and fill out this questionnaire,” says Common Cause in Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck. “This campaign lays out a common sense agenda that voters in both parties support and are demanding to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard and that candidates are able to focus on the needs of everyday voters instead of those of just the big donors.”

Wisconsin congressional candidates who have filled out the questionnaire in addition to Democratic US Senate nominee Russ Feingold include Democratic challengers Khary Penebaker (5th CD), Sarah Lloyd (6th CD), and Mary Hoeft (7th CD). You can find all completed questionnaires by Wisconsin congressional candidates at:

www.whowillfightbigmoney.org/wisconsin


If your incumbent U.S. House Member and/or challenger have not yet answered these questions, demand that they do so. You have a right to know and they have the duty and responsibility to respond.




CONTACT:

Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)





Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org



Read More...


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Statement of Jay Heck of Common Cause in Wisconsin on "Ethics Commission" Decision to Allow Ethics Commissioners to Make Political Contributions




For Release: Wednesday - August 24, 2016

Yesterday, the newly-constituted partisan "Ethics Commission" voted 4 to 2 to allow its members to make political contributions to state candidates for election.

This is insanity.

As Ethics Commission member Robert Kinney, a former Oneida County circuit judge, argued yesterday “it’s a matter of perception and public confidence.”

“We have, right now, people claiming that elections are rigged,” Kinney said. “We don’t want to create a situation where there’s less confidence in government, less confidence in fairness, less confidence in nonpartisanship.”

Kinney and Republican Pat Strachota, the former Assembly majority leader, effectively voted against allowing contributions according to an AP article about the vote yesterday.

But much shame on Peg Lautenschlager, the former Democratic Attorney General, for voting against the ban on contributions from the partisan commissioners. As well as to Democratic, hyper-partisan attorney, David Halbrooks, Republican Party partisan Katie McCallum and former Republican State Senator and Waukesha County Judge Mac Davis for their support of allowing commission members to make contributions.

Just how stupid do they think Wisconsinites are?

The non-partisan retired judges, who comprised the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board prior to June 30, 2016, did not make political contributions to candidates for state office. But these commissioners yesterday, by a 4 to 2 vote, decided "it's fine."

No, it isn't.

How far we have fallen, so quickly.

Wisconsinites already have very little confidence in the newly-constituted, hyper-partisan Government Accountability Board to effectively oversee elections, campaign finance law, ethics and lobbying in Wisconsin, which was formed by Republican legislators and Gov. Scott Walker after they destroyed the nonpartisan GAB late last year.

This latest decision destroys what little confidence there may have been.




CONTACT:

Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)




Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org



Read More...