Common Cause

wikipedia commons

Massachusetts, a state with a reputation for liberal politics, has what many consider outdated election laws.  That is about to change as state legislators have approved a compromise bill that includes provisions long sought by advocacy groups.

The legislation would authorize early voting up to 11 days before Election Day, create a system for online voter registration, allow 16-and 17-year- olds to pre-register to vote, and provide for postelection audits of randomly selected polling places to assure the accuracy of voting machines.

Common Cause Teams With Techies To Help Voters

Sep 9, 2013
Wikipedia Commons

The return of lever voting machines  in New York could create problems on Election Day, so Common Cause is stepping in to help voters.

The good-government group is helping to re-launch PollWatchUSA. That's a cross-platform mobile web application to help New Yorkers across the state report problems at the polls on Election Day.

PollWatchUSA is a crowd-sourcing tool that allows anyone with a smart phone to act as a poll monitor. The tool was originally launched in September 2012 in New York City and over one thousand voters took advantage of it.

Report Analyzes NYS Legislators' Personal Finances

Sep 4, 2013
Emily Conwell, flickr

A few New York state lawmakers from the Hudson Valley rank high on a list of state legislators’ personal finances. In fact, a Westchester assemblywoman is number one for household income. The new report from good government groups is a first, and shows several lawmakers are making their money outside the legislative chambers.

When state lawmakers approved a bill to permit new gambling casinos in the final hours of the legislative session, they left something out.   A provision to ban campaign contributions to legislators from gambling corporations did not end up in the final version.

When Governor Cuomo announced his plan to create new gambling centers in New York, he said he also wanted to ban campaign contributions from gambling entities to state lawmakers.

WAMC

Information about how taxpayer’s money is being spent can be just a few mouse clicks away. There’s a growing government transparency movement that Massachusetts appears to be in front of  to give the public a clearer look at how their money is spent.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.