Red States Nope Out Of Data Sharing To Catch Double Voters, Because That Is Like Every Person In Florida

But more importantly, they also don't want to have to offer to register people to vote.

Yesterday Republican secretaries of state in Florida, Missouri, and West Virginia demonstrated their deep and abiding concern for the integrity of elections by pulling out of the interstate organization that helps maintain voter rolls. Citing vague concerns about partisanship, the three states withdrew from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), the non-profit partnership that helps states maintain their voter rolls by pooling information about voters who have died or moved, allowing deletion of duplicate registrations.

As NPR notes, the Florida Secretary of State claimed in January to have "used data provided by ERIC to identify approximately 1,177 voters who appear to have voted in Florida and in one of the other member states, in the same election" during DeSantis's performative crackdown on supposedly ineligible voters. And yet the state pulled out yesterday, mumbling about an "obligation to protect the personal information of Florida’s citizens, which the ERIC agreement requires us to share." But of course the compact has always required data-sharing — that's kind of the point. So perhaps the the real reason lies in vague insinuations about "limiting the power of ex-officio partisan members of the ERIC board."

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State/Local Politics

PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE CLUSTERFU ... Wait, Actually, Power Transfer All Quite Civilized!

And now there'll be no more GOP mischief ever again. Right?

Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Mark Rozzi (D) stepped down this morning, clearing the way for the Democrats to elect Rep. Joanna McClinton the body's new speaker shortly after. The election of McClinton brings to an end nearly two months of needless chaos in the state House. Hooray for an end to clusterfuckery!

As you may recall, Democrats flipped a dozen seats to win control of the state House in the fall midterms, resulting in a narrow lead of 102 seats to the Republicans' 101 seats, but there were complications: One of the winning Dems, Rep. Tony DeLuca, died shortly before the election (he won anyway), and new Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro appointed two other members to jobs in his administration.

Rather than accepting the results of the November elections, Republicans decided that since they had more actual butts in seats, they wouldn't recognize the Democratic majority, no sir. After some maneuvering, a few moderate Republicans joined all the Democrats to elect Rozzi, a Democrat, as a kind of caretaker speaker until special elections could be held to fill the three empty seats. Rozzi pledged to act as a nonpartisan leader but didn't change his party affiliation, and some Republicans even whined about that.

In special elections on February 7, all three of the vacant seats — in safe D districts anyway — went to Democrats, and so today Rozzi stepped down and McClinton was elected Pennsylvania's first woman speaker of the House. She's only the second Black speaker of the House; K. Leroy Irvis was the first, in 1977.

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2020 presidential election

Gosh, Wonder Why Arizona's Republican AG Sat On Report Showing No Vote Fraud?

It is a mystery wrapped in a conundrum.

As yet another regular reminder that you should never trust Republicans when their lips are moving (or at any other time), the Washington Post reports (free gift linky) that former Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich ordered his staff to do a comprehensive investigation back in 2021 of claims of fraud and irregularities and shenanigans and HOOPLA in Arizona's administration of the 2020 election. So how did that turn out, exactly?

Investigators prepared a report in March 2022 stating that virtually all claims of error and malfeasance were unfounded, according to internal documents reviewed by The Washington Post. Brnovich, a Republican, kept it private.

Instead of releasing the full report that debunked the Big Lie many Arizona Republicans fervently believed in, and ran on in the midterms, Brnovich issued a bogus "Interim Report" that just plain lied about the investigation, claiming it turned up "serious vulnerabilities" in Arizona's election processes.

Oh, yes, it gets worse, too: not only did that "interim" report leave out "edits from his own investigators refuting his assertions," Brnovich then sat on a second report from his investigators in September last year, an "Election Review Summary" that once again "systematically refuted accusations of widespread fraud and made clear that none of the complaining parties -- from state lawmakers to self-styled 'election integrity' groups -- had presented any evidence to support their claims."

Brnovich never released it. It only came to light after Arizona voters elected Democrat Kris Mayes to replace Brnovich. Mayes released the documents to the Post this week in response to a request from the paper. The Post notes that Mayes "said she considered the taxpayer-funded investigation closed[.]" Hooray for sunshine!

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Nice Time

Dems Have Awesome Special Election Night. Please, Republicans, Talk More About Hunter Biden's Peenerwanger.

Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

There were a bunch of special elections yesterday (that's what we in the business call a real "grabber" of a lede), and a bunch of Democratic candidates won by larger margins than Joe Biden's presidential results in 2020. Also, yesterday's Wisconsin Supreme Court primary set up the chance to flip that court to Democratic control for the first time in forever. So huzzay!

Let's hop right in!

Virginia: Meet Rep.-Elect Jennifer McClellan!

State Sen. Jennifer McClellan will be headed to Congress after winning the special election for Virginia's Fourth Congressional District. She'll take the seat previously held by Rep. Donald McEachin, who won re-election to the House last November but died of cancer later that month.

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