Posts Tagged ‘voting’

Cease fire Sooner or later, tyrants are always abandoned by their followers

The American civil war didn’t end, and we have a Confederate president

The First Family of Fraud

Fox and Friends: If the Media Doesn’t Want to Be Called ‘The Enemy’They Should Report the Story How He Wants

Amy Biancolli: We are not the enemy

John Oliver: Migrant Family Separation and Drain the Swamp

Why Is It So Hard to Vote in America? Voter turnout lags in the world’s most powerful democracy? and Cost of Voting in the American States

A Legislative Agenda for House Democrats

What Republicans fear most of all

A man who survived a mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017 was among those killed in the 2018 mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, CA

There’s very little known about the thousands of victims who survive deadly shootings

Tammy Marshall – My Breast Implants Almost Killed Me – The Truth About BII

The US just elected 9 new scientists to Congress

The Ancestor Hunt: Historical Jewish American Newspapers Online

Why are the Spanish living so long?

Ken Levine interviews media consultant, Valerie Geller – Tell the truth, make it matter, never be boring: Learn the keys to successful communication

Ntozake Shange, Who Wrote ‘For Colored Girls,’ Is Dead at 70

Former San Francisco Giants first baseman Willie McCovey’s presence was one of a kind

In Conversation: Alex Trebek The Jeopardy! icon on retirement, his legacy, and why knowledge matters

Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), a former Navy SEAL, representative-elect: SNL mocked my appearance; here’s why I didn’t demand an apology

Jimmy Kimmel: Trumpy bear

John Boehner: Washington Needs to Legalize Cannabis – NOW, he says it

The Crazy Contentious History Of Taco Tuesday

Scott McCartney, travel writer for WSJ, taking world’s longest flight — Newark to Singapore; tips on how to endure the 18+ hour flight

The cheapest ways to get to the center of Manhattan from the three airports that serve the Big Apple

Esquire Fiction: Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah – Annual holiday super sale? Or zombie apocalypse?

Video tour from the forties Los Angeles side-by-side with the same route in 2016

It slices, it dices, and it’s older than me

This image has exactly 12 dots, but it’s impossible to see them all at once

Now I Know: The Problem With Anonymous Lottery Winners and The Cat’s Meow, Instrumentalized

Fabulous German words with no English equivalent

MUSIC

Take the A Train – Roy Clark And Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown; Roy Clark, country guitar virtuoso, ‘Hee Haw’ star, dies at 85

Above The Law – The O’Jays

BE A DJ: Kathy Buckley – 10/30/18 (WDST, Woodstock, NY)

Snippets of Hey Red! B/W We’re Not Going Steady – Herb London on Buzz Records; London, Conservative Thought Leader and occasional political candidate in New York State, died at 79. (HT to Dustbury)

Solid Rock is now a cultural part of Australian music history

Alexander Borodin’s String Quartet No 1, performed by the Moscow String Quartet

Recording of a warning chime recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra – In all, Lincoln commissioned six different non-critical warning chimes from the orchestra, covering 25 vehicle functions

Careless Whisper – Train, ft. Kenny G

Happiness is just around the bend – Brian Auger

Anything You Can Do – Voctave

9,999,999 Tears – Dickie Lee

Alice Cooper in a Dodge commercial

votingrightsact_0It’s Election Day in the United States. One of the things that needs explaining to the ABC Wednesday folks from outside the US is that each state gets to set the rules for voting; the window for registering, what is required for registering, the hours the polls are open, et al.

Someone noted on Facebook that Oregon provides automatic voter registration unless the person opts out. The story was from 2015, but there were recent comments suggesting that this method should be in the US Constitution.

Of course, changing the Constitution is difficult. Still, many of the amendments after the first ten, the Bill of Rights, are about voting. #15 allowed blacks to vote, at least theoretically. #19 provided women’s suffrage. #24 prohibited a poll tax. #26 permitted 18-year-olds to vote. And there are others.

A guy named Frank S. Robinson is no relation to the baseball Hall of Famer, as far as I know. He says he was “a devoted conservative Republican for 53 years,” but feels “today’s Republican party must be exterminated (electorally).” He explains this all in about 1000 words on Facebook. I’m going to quote just a part of the stuff related to elections.

“Republicans have… become masters of vote suppression, imposing ID requirements, reducing early voting, closing polling stations, and purging voter rolls, all cunningly targeted against non-white, elderly, and poorer voters likely to back Democrats. Stopping them from voting.

“For example, North Dakota has passed a law requiring a street address for voting. Indian reservations — guess what? — don’t have street addresses. This will probably mean defeat for Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp.

“Meantime, such vile voter disenfranchisement tactics may well have made the difference in three key states Trump narrowly won in 2016, giving him the presidency. (And they have the chutzpah to talk about ‘election fraud.’)

“Democratic governors can veto Republican gerrymandering and vote suppression schemes. One noteworthy governor’s race is Georgia’s where Stacey Abrams, a black woman with a tremendous background of accomplishment, faces a cringeworthy Trump sycophant flaunting his almost sexual love for guns.

“He’s also the Georgia secretary of state overseeing the election (refusing to recuse himself) and trying to keep as many blacks from voting as possible. He’s canceled more than a million voter registrations, including 50,000 new ones — mostly by blacks. To steal the election.

“‘Disenfranchisement’ was an overused buzzword some years back. But now it’s a huge reality, with the Supreme Court having eviscerated the 1965 Voting Rights Act; it even upheld North Dakota’s atrocity.”

I’ve complained about most of these tactics in the past, but it’s nice to read them all in one place. If you’re in the US and CAN vote, do it!

For ABC Wednesday

In the last election, there were over 224 million American citizens over the age of 18 in the United States, and yet only around 157 million were registered to vote. Even fewer actually voted.

Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey and a current ABC News commentator noted on This Week on a recent Sunday morning: “2017 in New Jersey, the lowest voter turnout for governor in the state’s history. It was 36 percent turnout for a statewide gubernatorial race in New Jersey. To just give you an example, eight years earlier, when I was elected the first time, it was 48 percent. It’s a big, big change.” It may have been 38.5% in 2017, but point taken.

Each state determines how it will run its elections in terms of hours of voting, deadlines for registering. So the ability to stifle the process is quite varied.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction in its lawsuit against the Georgia Secretary of State that seeks to remedy an unlawful racial gerrymander. “The lawsuit concerns Atlanta metro area Georgia House of Representatives Districts that were redrawn in 2015 for the sole purpose of helping white incumbents get reelected.”

New Yorkers face unreasonably early registration deadlines, no option for early voting, severe restrictions on absentee voting and long lines at the polls. The state’s user-unfriendly voting laws caused such dismal voter registration and turn-out rates in the last presidential election that New York had the eighth worst turn-out in the country.

There are far too many other examples to list here.

One activist group recommends that Congress must take thesee steps to secure our elections:

Audit elections to verify that ballots are counted and reported correctly
Require paper ballots (or, at least, paper receipts for electronic ballots)
Enact national vote-by-mail
Develop a national response to foreign attacks on our election systems

For ABC Wednesday

As someone who has used an absentee ballot for the school district vote, I was intrigued and disappointed by this from the Albany school district:

“Voters wishing to cast absentee ballots in the City School District of Albany’s May 15 budget vote and Board of Education elections will receive two separate absentee ballots — one from the school district for the budget and related propositions, and one from the Albany County Board of Elections for the board candidates.

“The state moved the district’s board elections from November to May last summer to align Albany with the vast majority of public school districts statewide, which annually hold their board elections and budget vote together on the third Tuesday in May.” This, I thought, was a very good thing, and long overdue.

“The state legislation as it is currently written requires the county to be responsible for the board elections, as it has been traditionally when school board members were elected in November in conjunction with the general election. The district is responsible for the budget vote and related propositions as in past years.

Please note that each absentee ballot must be returned separately to the organization responsible.

“…The absentee ballot for the school budget vote and related propositions… will contain the following propositions:
Proposition #1 — 2018-19 school budget vote
Proposition #2 — Proposal to establish a Capital Reserve Fund
Proposition #3 — 2018-19 Albany Public Library budget vote (this item is unrelated to the school district)”

Incidentally, the League of Women Voters of Albany County has announced a Candidate Forum for the Albany School board election on May 14 at 7 p.m. at Myers Middle School, 100 Elbel off Whitehall Road. It is cosponsored by CANA, Citizen Action NY and the NAACP. Nell Stokes is the moderator.

I hope that there can be a legislative fix for the voting glitch before the balloting in May 2019. The turnout for these important votes are notoriously low, and I’m in favor of things that will make the franchise easier.
Albany County Board of Elections will deal with “absentee ballots for the board elections. Four candidates are vying for three open seats on the school board.”

Meet school board candidates Damarise Alexander-Mann, Ellen Roach, and Tabetha Wilson Monday, April 9 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at 32 Colonial Avenue, Albany. Your presence is welcome.
Please note that the school board election has been moved to May, to match when Albanians vote on the school budget, finally bringing the city in sync with the rest of the state.

There are three seats open: two full four-year terms and one partial one-year term, resulting from Kenny Bruce’s resignation in 2017. Tabetha Wilson, whom the board appointed last year to fill that vacancy, is running. Ellen Roach is running for re-election. President

Sue Adler is not running for re-election.

The Albany school budget vote, Board of Education elections, and Albany Public Library budget vote will take place May 15. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at these locations, which may be different from those for the general election.

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