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Common Cause takes to Vine to Fight Efforts to Rig Electoral College

WASHINGTON - Common Cause is taking its drive to hold power accountable to Vine, the new social networking tool that lets users keep in touch through brief video messages.

The non-partisan advocacy group’s first six-second Vine posting spotlights a bid by some Republicans to get electoral votes out of Pennsylvania for GOP presidential candidates – even in years when those candidates lose the popular vote – by making up their own rules.

In the video, a person playing the legendary board game Monopoly is seen turning over a “Chance” card with the message: “Partisans Rig Electoral College, Advance to Pennsylvania Avenue.”

“That’s not fair!” the voice says.

“Kids have an innate sense of right and wrong,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. “They understand that making up rules in the middle of the game so that you can win is cheating.”

“That lesson seems in danger of being lost in Pennsylvania,” Edgar said, referring to Republican leaders’ consideration of a bill to change the way the state’s electors are awarded in the 2016 presidential race and beyond. “They want to use their legislative control to pull Republican electoral votes out of a state they keep losing, while benefitting from winner-take-all rules in the states where that’s to their continued advantage,” he added.

“It’s called cherry picking, and it’s cheating plain and simple,” Edgar said.

Common Cause’s Vine debut may mark the tool’s first early use in advancing political reform. Less than a month old, Vine catapulted into public view on Sunday, when a power failure interrupted the Super Bowl in New Orleans. Advertisers including Oreo cookies, Tide detergent and Calvin Klein underwear used the break to peddle their wares on social networks; their impromptu commercials included a Klein ad made using Vine and shared on Twitter.

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Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

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