Eliza Newlin Carney

Eliza Newlin Carney is a weekly columnist at The American Prospect. Her email is ecarney@prospect.org.

 

Recent Articles

House Democrats’ Anti-Corruption Push Resonates Well Beyond the Beltway

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California holds the gavel after being sworn in at the Capitol. democracy_rules.jpg H ouse Democrats’ sweeping anti-corruption bill may be dead-on-arrival in the GOP-controlled Senate, but HR 1 is already having an impact outside the Beltway. New York legislators who just approved a slate of election reforms, including early and absentee voting and curbs on corporate political spending, had one eye on the democracy reforms that Democrats have placed front and center on Capitol Hill. Still further reforms, including statewide public financing, are now on the agenda in New York, which is just one of several states pursuing voting and campaign-finance changes in 2019. These follow hard on a string of democracy-related ballot wins in November. The success of the democracy movement at the state level demonstrates why HR 1 matters well beyond messaging and symbolism, and regardless of its fate in the Senate. The ambitious omnibus bill...

Democrats Have Promised to Clean Up Washington. Can They Deliver?

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speak to the media in Washington. democracy_rules.jpg A key question for House Democrats who plan to vote on a sweeping package of democracy reforms as their first order of business is whether they will be content to stop at scoring political points, or will press on to genuinely fix what’s broken in public life. Inevitably, the House’s pending vote on the reform package known as H.R. 1 will be at least in part symbolic, given the likelihood that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will refuse to bring it up for a vote. McConnell’s foreseeable opposition will put the GOP on record as the Party of No—no small-donor matching funds, no disclosure, no fixes to voting rights, ethics or gerrymandering—a stance that places Republicans at odds with most Americans , and that hands Democrats a politically potent talking point. But Democrats could face their own political backlash if they...

Republicans Who Slap Voters in the Face May Be in for a Nasty Surprise

John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal via AP Opponents of the Wisconsin legislature's lame-duck actions rally in Madison. democracy_rules.jpg R epublicans in Michigan and Wisconsin who have moved aggressively to steamroll voters and strip power from incoming Democratic officials appear confident that they will pay no political price, and many analysts seem to concur . After all, state legislators won’t face re-election for another two to four years, and electoral maps gerrymandered to heavily favor Republicans won’t be redrawn until after 2020. That’s a long time in politics, and it would be easy to assume that protesters now crowding the state capitals in Lansing and Madison will by then have moved on. But that assumption overlooks two powerful lessons from the recent midterms: One, that gerrymandering can backfire , particularly when the political winds shift dramatically. And two, that voters are increasingly fed up with assaults on democracy. The more Republicans take aim at voting...

Read It and Weep: Georgia Lawsuit Paints Stark Portrait of Voter Suppression

AP Photo/David Goldman Voters wait in line on Election Day in Atlanta, Georgia. democracy_rules.jpg E mory University freshman Phoebe Einzig-Roth took three IDs to her Atlanta polling place on Election Day, determined not to let anything block her from voting for the very first time. Einzig-Roth had accompanied her parents to the polls as a little girl, and had “always dreamed of the day” when she could vote herself, she later recalled. But when she handed her driver’s license to a poll worker, Einzig-Roth—who was born in New York and grew up in Boston—was told that “she might not be a citizen of the United States,” and was directed to a supervising official. That official ultimately handed her a provisional ballot, but gave her no receipt, and no instructions on how to ensure that it would be counted. Einzig-Roth’s confusion turned to anger when she later tried to verify her eligibility, and was rebuffed for the lack of a receipt. “THIS is what voter suppression looks like in Georgia...

It’s Time to Fix American Elections -- Again

AP Photo/John Minchillo Voters use electronic polling machines as they cast their votes at the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus, Ohio. democracy_rules.jpg I n Georgia, untold numbers of voters who had registered and checked their voting locations well before Election Day were turned away , told they couldn’t be found on the rolls or had come to the wrong polling place. Many were denied provisional ballots, which were in short supply, and which some poll workers were handing out selectively . In Florida, Governor Rick Scott called from the porch of the governors’ mansion for a criminal investigation into supposed fraud in Senate vote counting—despite running as the GOP nominee in that very election. Scott ultimately recused himself from certifying his own election results, under pressure from a lawsuit, but not before leveling wild and damaging claims. He’s one of three politicians seeking statewide office this year who helped oversee their own races. In Michigan, North...

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