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Virginia is the eighth Republican-led state to leave ERIC: NPR



A voter fills out their ballot at an early voting station in Alexandria, Virginia on September 26, 2022.

Andrew Harnick/AP

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Andrew Harnick/AP

A voter fills out their ballot at an early voting station in Alexandria, Virginia on September 26, 2022.

Andrew Harnick/AP

On Thursday, Virginia became the latest Republican-led state to emerge from the Interstate Partnership, which until early 2022 was widely regarded as a widely credible bipartisan voter information-sharing effort.

The move makes Virginia the eighth state to leave the Electronic Registration Clearinghouse, or ERIC, amid minor conservative media reports and conspiracy theories trying to link the group to liberal donors and activists.

Virginia’s departure is notable because the state was a founding member of the treaty in 2012 under a former GOP governor. Bob McDonnell.

Just three months ago, Republican voters in other states, who have since abandoned the vote, were praising it as a “god find” and “one of the best anti-fraud tools we have.”

But in a letter received by the VPM member station, Virginia election commissioner Susan Beals said a host of concerns led her to rethink the state’s membership. She cited the recent departures of neighboring states, “growing concerns about the administration, maintenance, confidentiality, and confidentiality of voter information” and “controversy surrounding the historical sharing of data with outside organizations used for political purposes.”

ERIC has previously shared some anonymous data for research purposes with an outside election organization led by ERIC founder David Becker, but each participating state did so voluntarily.

“We will seek other information agreements with our neighboring states and look for other opportunities to partner with states in an apolitical manner,” Beals wrote.

Beals was appointed to the post last year by the Republican governor of Virginia. Glenn Youngkin. She previously served as an aide to State Senator Amanda Chase, who later became perhaps the state’s most notorious election denier.

Beals did not immediately respond to requests for comment. ERIC chief executive Shane Hamlin confirmed that the organization had received Virginia’s resignation on Thursday, and Macaulay Porter, Youngkin’s spokesman, confirmed in a statement that Virginia was leaving.

Youngkin, who hinted at a possible presidential race, dodged questions about the legitimacy of the 2020 election until securing the Republican nomination for governor. He later acknowledged that the vote was legitimate, but campaigned for candidates who thought otherwise, including Arizona gubernatorial contender Kari Lake.

Delegate Marcus Simon, who previously chaired the House of Delegates Election Committee, accused Youngkin and Beals of “going all the way to MAGA”. He argued that Virginia’s voter rolls would get worse as a result of the move, a view previously expressed by voting experts after other states left the ERIC.

“This was done to prevent all the things that you Republicans say can happen — people vote out of state or vote in more than one state,” Simon said. “It’s based on data. And it’s based on science. And apparently we’re leaving because someone in the administration wants to join these MAGA Republicans who think the election has been stolen.”

bipartisan consortium

ERIC is the only way that states currently have to share election data, as well as data from state transportation agencies and other government departments.

The organization anonymizes the data it receives from the states and then compares it to produce reports that local election administrators can use to correct outdated addresses, remove dead voters and reach out to eligible people who are not registered.

During the first 10 years, ERIC grew steadily with the addition of states such as South Carolina, Connecticut and, most recently, New Jersey.

And one of her main calling cards was that she helped expose the small amount of voter fraud that happens in every federal election. A January report by the Florida Department of Crime and Security’s Office said it “used data provided by ERIC to identify” hundreds of voters who appear to have voted in Florida and another ERIC member state in the same election.

Florida has since announced its departure from ERIC.

This was stated by Ryan Germany, who worked as General Counsel to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. recently at a campaign event that he saw ERIC change the accuracy of their voter lists.

“We’ve just seen that with ERIC, roster management has gotten a lot better,” Herman said. “It’s because of interstate data, yes. But even without them, it contributes to better service in the states, helps to catch more dead people that we might not have caught with our normal state process.”

But more recently, the organization has become the latest aspect of the American vote to become polarized.

Last year, a far-right website targeted the organization with a series of articles alleging that ERIC was a left-wing conspiracy to steal election results. This set off a chain reaction of massive pressure in conservative states.


Dominion V. Fox News libel trial begins this week



What does Fox say?

V letter filed by Foxthe company believed it aired allegations of voting machine rigging because they came from the incumbent and those close to him and were thus newsworthy.

“The incumbent’s attempt to challenge the election results and change the outcome of his re-election bid is newsworthy,” the document says. “Therefore, the media throughout the country and around the world widely covered and commented on the president’s allegations and trials.”

Fox claimed that “Fox News has lived up to its commitment to full disclosure and unbiased commentary,” adding that “some presenters were skeptical of the president’s claims; others looked at them hopefully; everyone recognized them as deeply informational.”

The network claims to have covered Dominion’s denials and given the company a chance to make its point.

“In short, Fox News has done exactly what the First Amendment protects: it has provided the public with access to newsmakers and critical information that would help foster an “uninhibited, active and wide open” debate about fast-moving events of unprecedented importance.” V litigation according to Fox’s lawyers.

Fox also argues that “the Dominion lawsuit is an attack on the First Amendment and the free press.”

Who is expected to take the position?

According to Associated Press, Carlson, Hannity and Murdoch are to testify. Many also believe that Pirro, Scott and former host Lou Dobbs will also take the position.

Can you watch it on TV?

No cameras will be allowed under Delaware court policy, and a judge recently denied media companies’ request to broadcast audio excerpts.

What are the possible outcomes?

If Fox loses, the company is likely to be stuck with big payouts, its stock price could suffer and its reputation damaged. Fox News claims that if it loses, the case would damage press freedom and the First Amendment.

“Free, vibrant American discourse depends on First Amendment protection for news gathering and press reporting,” a Fox Network spokesperson said in a statement. The newspaper “New York Times.

If Dominion loses, not only will it keep the media defamation bar extremely high, it could push Fox News and other networks into even more defamation in the future.

“If Fox misses one thing that it says is that there are limits to propaganda, to lies on TV… to misinforming your viewers,” said Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at New York University. CNN. “If Fox wins, it kind of says otherwise, there are no limits.”

Whatever happens in the Dominion trial, this is far from the end of Fox News’ problems. in 2021, Smartmatic, a London-based global technology company, also filed a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit. against Fox News and Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Dobbs.

The lawsuit was filed after a series of false claims about Smartmatic voting machines and the 2020 elections were posted online. About a month ago, the New York State Supreme Court Manhattan gave the go-ahead to keep the Smartmatic business going.

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House approves strict GOP border bill attacking Biden over immigration



On Thursday, Republicans in the House of Representatives pushed through a sweeping border security bill that would crack down on illegal immigration, sidestepping staunch Democratic opposition and narrowly avoiding an embarrassing insurgency within their own ranks thanks to one of their trademark interim campaign promises.

Republicans have timed the approval of the measure, which stands no chance in the Democratic-led Senate, to underline its tough stance on immigration, just as President Biden faces a potential border surge with Section 42 expiring Thursday night, rules pandemic era. allows for the rapid expulsion of migrants.

The bill will revive and codify a number of border policies championed under the Trump administration, including the construction of a border wall, the practice of “stay in Mexico” where migrant asylum seekers remain either in detention facilities or on the opposite side of the border, and an accelerated deportation of unaccompanied children. It would also require companies to verify that their employees are legally eligible to work in the United States through a program known as E-Verify and criminalize overstayed visas for more than 10 days.

The 219-to-213 vote to pass the bill comes only after months of intra-Republican feuding, culminating in a final marathon round of bidding this week that highlighted the party’s weak hold on its fractious majority and led to a series of last-minute changes. to defeat opponents. Two Republicans, Representatives Thomas Massey of Kentucky and John Duarte of California, joined the Democrats in opposing the law, citing objections to the E-Verify requirement.

Republican divisions have threatened to confuse a debate that the party has timed to maximize political advantage, in which GOP lawmakers have denounced the Biden administration for rising waves of migration that are expected to rise further after Section 42 expires.

“Everyone knows we are days away from disaster,” Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, just hours after he struck a deal to keep his conference from splitting. Describing Mr. Biden’s track record as “record crossing of the border, record negligence, record chaos,” he boasted that Republicans wrote “the strongest border security bill to pass Congress in more than 100 years.”

President Biden threatened to veto the legislation.

“This bill has no chance of becoming law and is nothing short of pure political theatre,” New York Representative Jerrold Nadler, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said Thursday, blaming the law for being a “controversial and duplicative mess” , which will “destroy our economy” and “destroy the asylum system”.

Democrats have warned that the bill would empower cartels by banning migrants from using a phone app to schedule immigration interviews at ports of entry, and provoke an unprecedented level of chaos at the border due to regulations penalizing many non-governmental organizations that offer assistance to migrants by restricting their access to funding for the Department of the Interior. security.

Representative Benny Thompson of Mississippi, the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, said on the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday that the bill was “brutal, inhuman, and unworkable,” adding that it was “written in an extreme Republican MAGA echo chamber.” .

But some mainstream Republicans who have opposed earlier versions of the measure have argued that it has redemptive elements that could form the basis of a bipartisan compromise in the future.

“There’s enough bones in this bag that when it’s given to the Senate, the Senate can pick it up and be able to make something,” said Rep. Tony Gonzalez, a Texas Republican. “For me, it never ended with 218 votes in the house. It was always about making something into law.”

Mr. Gonzalez was one of the first and most vocal members of his party to denounce early versions of the bill, demanding changes to the provisions that would effectively shut down the asylum system once detention centers fill up. ready to lead a devastating streak of defections that would be enough to kill their account, the response was to soften the wording to be a little less restrictive. He has since become a vocal amplifier.

“I won,” Mr. Gonzalez proudly declared this week. “When you win, you vote yes.”

But other factions in the party have threatened to withdraw their support this week, forcing the leaders to suspend hearings in the chamber on Wednesday as they attempted to twist arms and frame opponents.

A group of ultra-conservative members objected to language they argued would undermine the party’s efforts to limit asylum claims, while some larger Republicans objected to the hiring law’s demands, arguing that they would destroy the agricultural industry.

Although Mr. McCarthy scored a razor-thin victory, it demonstrated the difficulties he continues to face in maintaining his rebellious conference.

Rep. Daniel Crenshaw, a Texas Republican, drove members of the right-wing Freedom Caucus into a recent frenzy over a provision in a bill directing the administration to look into whether Mexican drug cartels should be considered foreign terrorist organizations.

He argued that the change would give more asylum seekers reason to seek protection in the United States.

On Wednesday, Republican leaders agreed to scrap the provision and replace it with language directing Congress to give a report on the matter. At the same time, the House of Representatives is expected to set up a task force to examine the issue, in which Mr. Crenshaw is expected to play a leading role.

GOP MPs, who expressed concern about the impact of the recruitment bill’s requirements on the agricultural industry, which relies heavily on undocumented migrant labor, demanded fewer concessions. Republican leaders added a non-binding “Congressional Sentiment” resolution saying that adverse effects on the agricultural workforce and food security will be taken into account before the mandate is finalized.

Rep. Dan Newhouse, the Washington Republican who led the mitigation effort for the agricultural industry, said the changes were enough to attract “almost all” members who shared his concerns.

Some senators have expressed hope that the passage of the bill will help the Senate expedite work on a broader and more comprehensive immigration bill.

“I’m less concerned about the elements of the bill passed by the Republicans in the House of Representatives and more concerned about them passing the bill to us,” Sen. Kirsten Sinema, an Arizona Independent, told reporters Thursday.

Ms. Cinema, who worked with Senator Tom Tillis, Republican of North Carolina, to draft legislation relating to both border security and legal immigration, argued that House action could help the Senate “work in a bipartisan, bicameral manner to shape the final plastic bag”.

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Boundary bill passed by House of Representatives could spark bipartisan immigration talks



The termination of the Section 42 policy and concerns about DHS’s willingness to deal with any resulting increase in the number of migrants crossing the border have sparked a flurry of legislative proposals on the subject, in addition to a bill passed by the House of Representatives.

Earlier this month, Tillis and Cinema introduced a bill that would allow border officials to continue to deport migrants, as they did under the Section 42 policy, for another two years. Cinema told reporters on Thursday that they “continue to add members every day” as co-sponsors, and she expects more people to join after the Title 42 policy expires.

Durbin announced plans to introduce a bill this week along with Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York to provide more resources to border agents and communities that welcome migrants, but other major Senate immigration players said Thursday that they did not see and were not informed about it. it’s an effort.

As of Wednesday, Durbin said it remains to be decided whether his account will match the new money or reprogram the funds. Subcommittee Chairman on Homeland Security Appropriations Christopher S. Murphy, D-C, said Thursday he has not seen the measure but expects Congress to eventually approve some emergency funding.

But Republicans in the Senate are unlikely to agree to this without other political decisions. “You’re just throwing good money after bad [policies] unless you change your asylum laws,” said Lindsey Graham, a senior member of the judiciary.

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