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iVote Launches, Impact felt

Yesterday, iVote, a new PAC of grassroots activists and veterans of the campaigns of last three Democratic nominees, launched a campaign to “flip the script” from playing defense on voter suppression, to playing offense, not only on voter protection, but also on expansion of voting access.

As evidenced by Jon Husted’s response, it’s clear it’s already making an impact.

Washington Post: Going on offense to expand the vote.  “Dems are beginning to take the war over voting far more seriously than in the past — and are gearing up for a protracted struggle over voting access that could make a real difference in 2016… and the promise of Dems going on offense over the issue could bring in more grassroots cash from across the country, for these four races for secretary of state and other efforts beyond that." (1/30/14)

AP: Parties target campaigns for secretary of state.  “[I]n the states where the [Secretary of State] is an elected position, the campaigns tend to be sleepy affairs overshadowed by more prominent races for governor and attorney general.  That is beginning to change.”  (1/30/14)

Politico: iVote targets state secretary races.  "A new group led by a who’s who of Democratic strategists is entering the game to elect more liberal secretaries of state… As battles over voting laws have become increasingly controversial and heated in recent years, more groups are turning their attention to secretaries of state, who in most cases serve as states’ election administrators." (1/30/14)

Huffington Post: Obama Campaign Vets Launch PAC To Target Secretary Of State Races. “Hoping to fight political battles today so they don't become court cases tomorrow, a group of high-ranking Democrats and Obama veterans are launching a new political action committee focused on expanding voting rights… ‘We need to really flip the script on voting rights and go from defense on voter suppression efforts, to offense on expanding access,’ said Jeremy Bird, an iVote board member and former national field director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign.” (1/31/14)

Washington Post: The Exciting War to Make Secretaries of State More Boring. “iVote will definitely get the most buzz of the three… The group's board thinks that progressives have been playing defense for far too long on voting rights, according to Bird, "rolling the dice" in the court system instead of playing offense and making elections run smoothly in the first place. The way they see it, spending money in a secretary of state race -- which usually cost around $500,000 -- is a far more cost-effective way of expanding access to the vote." (1/31/14)

Columbus Dispatch: Husted defends his record. “‘[A] new Democratic group is forming to back the party’s candidates for secretary of state in several states, including Ohio, in an attempt to make those elections an argument over voting access. The group, called iVote, was reported this morning by the Associated Press. ‘People in politics say crazy things that they can’t justify,’ Husted said. ‘I consider those kinds of statements the kind of crazy things people say.’" (1/30/14)

Ralston Reports: Nevada will be key battleground on voter ID.  “In the space of 24 hours, Angle announced her voter ID initiative and ex-Obama campaign grassroots guru Jeremy Bird declared that Nevada is one of four states his new group fighting such tactics will focus on… Why Nevada? Because we matter.” (1/30/14)

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