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Election Reform

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NEWS
August 5, 1993 | From Associated Press
Heeding the wishes of corruption-weary Italians for reforms, the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday approved the last step to make Parliament more directly elected by the people. By a vote of 287 to 78, with 153 abstentions, the lower house gave final passage to a reform making three-fourths of the seats in the upper house, the Senate, directly elected. The remaining seats will be filled under Italy's old system of proportional representation.
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NEWS
October 18, 2012 | By James Rainey
The journey toward election reform that began with the hotly contested presidential election of 2000 is “less than halfway complete,” according to a group of scientists, who on Thursday urged the shoring up of old problems and a go-slow approach on innovations like mail-in voting. The comprehensive report by the Caltech-MIT Voting Technology Project said millions of voters continued to lose access to the polls or have their votes uncounted because of technological and procedural shortfalls.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 3, 1998
Outside the conference room at the Civic Arts Plaza stands a hatrack bearing the sign, "Please hang your political hat here." Inside, the 17-member Thousand Oaks Citizens' Blue Ribbon Campaign Finance Reform Committee is striving to do what loftier forces in Sacramento and Washington have repeatedly failed to do: scrub the taint of big bucks from the election process. The challenge outside is nearly as tough as the one inside. That's because memories of The Recall remain fresh and raw.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2012
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NEWS
January 19, 1996 | CARL INGRAM, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A coalition that includes the group Common Cause submitted more than 700,000 signatures this week in hopes of qualifying a major campaign reform initiative for the November ballot. The initiative, if approved by voters, would limit contributions to candidates for state and local offices, restrict spending by candidates, outlaw solicitation of donations from lobbyists, prohibit fund raising in nonelection years and ban the exchange of funds between candidates.
NEWS
June 17, 1993 | MICHAEL ROSS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Senate, urged on by President Clinton, broke a long Republican filibuster Wednesday and cleared the way for passage of legislation as early as today that would radically reform the financing of congressional campaigns. But the breakthrough that gave the Democrats the extra votes they needed to overcome the GOP senators' delaying tactics came after a compromise with moderate Republicans that angered many of the bill's staunchest supporters.
NEWS
April 28, 2002
Re "Ordinance Proposed to Limit Slate Mailers," Letters, April 14: While I was somewhat surprised, I welcome Irvine Councilman Greg Smith's sudden change of mind regarding election reform in Irvine. Two years ago, I was one of the speakers urging the Irvine City Council to allow a reform initiative in the November 2000 election. Smith proposed to spend taxpayers' money to file a lawsuit to keep the initiative off the ballot. Fortunately for him, the initiative fell short by 89 signatures.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 1991 | TOM McQUEENEY
The newly formed Election Reform Committee will meet Tuesday to begin considering methods of changing the city's often criticized system for filling a City Council seat left open after a member is elected mayor. The council formed the committee in January after it couldn't agree on a new election system.
NEWS
May 7, 1990 | From United Press International
Thousands of Israelis demanding electoral reform demonstrated outside the Parliament today as it opened its summer session by commemorating the 45th anniversary of Nazi Germany's defeat. At the gates of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, demonstrators booed and whistled at members arriving for the special session. "Everyone is disgusted with what's going on," said Roni Lottner, 24. "They offer jobs. They offer bribes to try to form a government. The system is distorted."
NEWS
March 14, 2002 | From a Times Staff Writer
Nearly a month after the House passed a landmark bill tightening campaign financing rules, the Senate's Democratic leader moved Wednesday to bring final action on it by next week. "Time has run out," said Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) as he scheduled a preliminary vote for Friday. More votes would follow next week in an effort to resolve the issue before Congress leaves for a two-week spring break.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2009 | GEORGE SKELTON
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he "absolutely" loves the idea of holding a constitutional convention to overhaul state government. California hasn't had such a confab in 131 years. But as Sacramento continues to embarrass itself, a citizens' movement is mounting to call one.
NATIONAL
November 10, 2008 | David G. Savage, Savage is a Times staff writer.
The nation's much-maligned election system passed a major test last week when more than 132 million Americans -- a record -- cast ballots with few reports of problems. But now, election reformers are calling for a move toward a "universal voter registration" system, in which the government takes the lead in ensuring that all eligible citizens are registered to vote. "This means the registration process would no longer serve as a barrier to the right to vote," said Wendy R.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2008 | David Zahniser
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Tuesday named a nationally known election reform advocate to fill a seat on the city's Ethics Commission. Paul H. Turner, who works in community relations and development for Citibank, will fill the seat vacated by Robert Saltzman, who recently joined the city's Police Commission. Turner worked from 2001 to 2006 at the Greenlining Institute's Claiming Our Democracy Program, which advocated for such policies as same-day voter registration and full public financing of elections.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 2007 | George Skelton, George Skelton writes Monday and Thursday. Reach him at george.skelton@latimes.com.
California finally is joining the pipsqueak states to become a player in the 2008 presidential election. But there's a chorus of cynical whining that is shortsighted and hypocritical. The cynics are fussing about the self-serving legislators -- mostly Democrats -- who have decided to move up California's presidential primary from June to Feb. 5 and give the public an opportunity to extend their term limits before they're forced out next year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2007 | Sara Lin, Times Staff Writer
Riverside County's aging absentee ballot system needs a major overhaul, and election officials must do a better job convincing absentee voters -- who accounted for more than half the ballots cast in the November election -- to vote early, county officials said Tuesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 13, 2006 | George Skelton
Voters last week elected 34 new state legislators, people who have never held office in Sacramento. You'd like to think some, at least, will show up wide-eyed and idealistic. But only one thing is certain: Within a short time, each will pick up the business cards dropped off by lobbyists and begin making calls for political money. It's never too early to start planning the reelection campaign and hitting up special interests to bankroll it.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 5, 1992 | GEBE MARTINEZ
A bold election-reform package that would limit the mayor's term in office and would call for City Council members to be elected through single-member districts was proposed Monday by Councilman John Acosta. In presenting the proposals to his colleagues during their regular meeting, Acosta asked that they be placed on the November ballot. Although the councilman is considering running against Mayor Daniel H.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 25, 2006 | Jeffrey L. Rabin, Times Staff Writer
The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, refining a plan for full public financing of election campaigns, tentatively agreed Tuesday that the money should come primarily from the city's general fund rather than by raising taxes. But the panel delayed a decision until Nov. 14 on whether to send a public financing plan to the City Council for consideration.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2006 | Jordan Rau, Times Staff Writer
Under fire from county registrars and voter advocates, Secretary of State Bruce McPherson said Friday that he would press for changes in state election law to avert widespread voting troubles that some elections officials have predicted for the June 6 primary. Trudy Schafer, program director for the League of Women Voters of California, said the changes would be a step in the right direction but do not resolve all concerns about voters' being kept off the election rolls.
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