Absentee Voter Applications Up By One Million Compared to 2016

Requests for absentee ballots are up by nearly one million compared to 2016, an increase of 350 percent, according to the Michigan Secretary of State.

Compared to this time in 2016 — 35 days before the primary election —the number of applications for absentee ballots is up by 945,605. Michigan has issued nearly 1,006,000 ballots compared to just 283,731 in 2016. More than 35,000 have already been returned, compared to the a little more than 23,800 four years ago.

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Lorain County Commission Candidate Sues to Overturn Primary Results, Saying Thousands of Republican Voters Were Disenfranchised

A Lorain County commission candidate who lost his race is suing to have the results from Dr. Amy Acton’s delayed primary election set aside, citing about 90 violations of state election law and the Ohio Constitution.

The candidate, Gerald W. Phillips, filed the election contest complaint in the Court of Common Pleas for Lorain County. 

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Trump Criticizes Federal Funding Over Michigan Decision to Mail Absentee Voting Applications

President Trump slammed Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Wednesday, calling her a “rouge” official and threatening to withhold federal funding.

Trump originally tweeted that Michigan was planning to send absentee ballots to all of its residents, adding that “this was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path,” according to Politico.

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Gov. Tim Walz Signs Six Bills, Skips Mail-in Election Bill

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed six bills into law on Tuesday on legislative topics ranging from health to underage marriage.

One law extends the funding used to increase testing capacity for the coronavirus pandemic, as well as ensure there are hospital beds and personal protective equipment. Another requires drug makers to provide a “detailed rationale to the state” for large price increases for drugs that cost $100 or more for a 30-day supply. A third prohibits marriage by residents in the state under age 18.

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Groups Sue to Expand Absentee Voting in Tennessee

Two legal organizations have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Tre Hargett in an effort to overturn Tennessee’s “unconstitutional” restrictions on absentee voting.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Campaign Legal Center. The two groups filed the complaint on behalf of several Tennessee organizations “whose many members are not eligible for vote by mail under current law.”

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Minnesota Secretary of State Says Statewide Vote by Mail Possible for 2020 Election 

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said his office is exploring a number of “pandemic election options,” including conducting the entire presidential election by mail-in ballots.

“The current public health crisis has been a serious test for all Minnesotans. It has also been a test for our democracy. I’ve heard from many Minnesotans who wonder how, or even if, we will vote in this high-stakes election year,” Simon said in a statement released last week.

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Whitmer Extends Canvassing Deadline for Michigan Primary

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the deadline to tally the votes from the Michigan primary by executive order on Wednesday due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

The canvassing deadline for the March 10 primary was originally March 24, according to a guideline from the state of Michigan. Whitmer’s order has pushed it back to April 24.

“I am grateful to Governor Whitmer for ensuring our democracy will remain robust during this public health crisis,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in a statement. “Providing more time to canvass the recent election will provide certainty for Michiganders that our elections are accurate and worth everyone participating in.”

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Scott Presler Talk on Voter Registration Earns Standing Ovation at Michigan’s Battle Cry 2020

Scott Presler

“I went from the dog house to the White House,” he shouted into it.

Presler is best known for his city clean ups across the country, including Baltimore, Chicago and San Francisco, but has rocketed to activism celebrity in recent months. He says he started his career as a dog walker — or in the “dog house” — before tweeting out that he was going to clean up Baltimore. He ultimately went viral, drawing in around 170 volunteers to pick up 12 tons of trash from the city.

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Ahead of ‘Super Tuesday,’ Tennessee Begins Early Voting Wednesday in the Presidential Primary

vote

  As part of “Super Tuesday,” Tennessee will begin early voting Wednesday, February 12 in the 2020 presidential preference primary. Super Tuesday refers to the single day that the highest number of U.S. states and territories hold a presidential primary or caucus during a presidential election year. In the 2020…

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Florida Officials, Congressional Delegation Demand FBI Disclose Election-Hack Details

by John Haughey   Russian hackers gained access to voter information files in Washington County, a sparsely populated Republican-dominated Panhandle county, where 77 percent of its 11,000 votes cast in the 2016 presidential election went to Donald Trump. The revelation was reported by The Washington Post Thursday night, citing two…

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Ohio Lawmakers Look into Strengthening State’s Election, Cybersecurity Efforts

by Steven Bittenbender   With election security frequently in the news, the Ohio House Transportation and Public Safety Committee took the opportunity recently to discuss a cybersecurity bill. The panel convened a hearing on Senate Bill 52, which deals with bolstering the state’s cybersecurity. A major part of the initiative…

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Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan Announces 2020 Candidacy, Pledges to Send Trump ‘Back to Mar-A-Lago’

In an appearance on The View, Ohio Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-17), announced Thursday his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election. The nine-term representative from Ohio’s 13th district (formerly 17th) pointed to the recent closure of the Lordstown Assembly Complex in his district as evidence that President Donald Trump is failing in…

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Following Multi-State Tour, Ohio Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan Mulls 2020 Run

Saturday evening, Ohio Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan made one of his last appearances in a multi-state blitz tour of early presidential primary states. When Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown decided not to run last month, most Ohioans thought that would be it for Ohio politicians entering the 2020 race. Yet Rep. Ryan, despite not announcing…

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Supreme Court Hears Gerrymandering Case That Could Extensively Redraw the Ohio Electoral Map

The United States Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments Tuesday on a pair of cases that could lead to the Ohio electoral map being completely redrawn. The two cases, Rucho v. Common Cause and Lamone v. Benisekm, could both set precedents that could supersede a similar Ohio case making its way to…

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Ohio Lawmakers Propose Protecting Elections with Civilian Cyber Militia

The Ohio State Senate’s Committee on Government Oversight and Reform took up a bill Wednesday with a unique solution to protect the ballot box in the next election. Senate Bill 52 (SB 52) will authorize the creation of the “Ohio Cyber Reserve,” a new division of the Ohio National Guard…

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Ohio Republicans Fight for Current Congressional Map

A week into a trial that will determine if the Ohio congressional districts will be redrawn before the 2020 presidential election,  Ohio Republicans have the opportunity to defend their map. Monday, attorneys representing the Ohio Republicans began calling witnesses to testify that the current congressional map of Ohio was made in…

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House Democrats Derail Rep. Green’s Attempt to Protect Free Speech By Voting Down His Amendment to Bill That Would Give Feds Control of Elections

House Democrats on Thursday voted down an amendment by U.S. Rep. Dr. Mark Green (R-TN-07) to protect free speech in House Resolution 1, which seeks to change campaign finance, election and lobbying laws. Tracking information on H.R.1 is here. “Free speech should be protected,” Green said in a hearing at…

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Sherrod Brown Makes Final Stop in Dignity of Work Tour

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown arrived in South Carolina Friday in the final planned stop on his three-month “Dignity of Work” tour. The official aim of the tour, which began in January, was to share “some of his ideas to make hard work pay off for everyone.” Unofficially, the tour has…

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Ohio State Democratic Legislator Introduces Bill to Move Presidential Primary From March to May

Ohio Democratic State Rep. Jack Cera (D-96) has introduced a bill that would permanently delay the Ohio presidential primary by two months, a move that could have major implications for Ohio. House Bill 101 (HB 101) would officially move the Ohio primary from March to “the first Tuesday after the first Monday in…

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Sherrod Brown Calls Howard Schultz a ‘Total Idiot’ After Announcing Independent Run

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is not mincing words when it comes to former Starbucks CEO, and 2020 independent candidate hopeful, Howard Schultz. Within 24 hours of launching his “Dignity of Work” tour, Brown told a group of voters that Schultz was a “total idiot.” Strangely, the Senator was not prompted,…

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Ten Laws That Spell Major Changes for Ohio in 2019

In terms of legislation, 2018 may be considered one of Ohio’s most impactful years in recent history. From the approval of the first medicinal marijuana dispensary to new abortion limitations, 2019 will see a dramatic change for many Ohioans. Compiled below are ten of the most significant changes coming to the…

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Stacey Abrams Voter Suppression Lawsuit Attacks Legislation She Sponsored

by Molly Prince   Defeated Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is suing the state of Georgia over alleged and widespread voter suppression, however, the lawsuit condemns legislation that Abrams herself helped pass. Fair Fight Action filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Fair…

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Abrams Admits She Can’t Win Georgia Governor’s Race

  Democrat Stacey Abrams ended her challenge to Republican Brian Kemp in the Georgia governor’s race on Friday but pledged to fight the former secretary of state’s “gross mismanagement” of the elections with a federal lawsuit. Speaking defiantly to a news conference, Abrams said her actions did not constitute a…

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No ‘Green Wave’ This Election as Voters Reject Climate Change Ballot Measures

by Michael Bastasch   Not only did a Democratic “blue wave” fail to materialize on Tuesday night, the “green wave” of major global warming and energy-related ballot measures largely failed to get voter approval as well. Voters in Arizona, Colorado and Washington rejected measures aimed at fighting global warming, despite…

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Can’t We All Just Get Along? Republican Candidates Sling Mud Before Election

Randy Boyd, Diane Black, Beth Harwell, Bill Lee

On Monday’s edition on The Gill Report – broadcast on Knoxville’s 92.3 FM WETR – Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill discussed the unscrupulous battle between Republican nominees for Governor elections August 2nd in Tennessee and the support that the winning candidate may or may not receive from members of their…

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Final Push Begins to Defeat $9 Billion Nashville Transit Plan as Voters Go to the Polls Today

skeptical transit plan man

NoTax4Tracks, a PAC that seeks alternatives to Metro Nashville’s $9 billion light rail plan, is making a final push to defeat the measure on today’s ballot. “From the beginning we knew that this transit plan had problems. We’ve been around government long enough to know that when you hide the price…

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Dr. Rolando Toyos Drops Out Of GOP Senate Primary

Dr. Rolando Toyos dropped out of the Tennessee Republican primary for U.S. Senate. The Tennessee GOP made the announcement Wednesday night. State party Chairman Scott Golden said, “I appreciate Dr. Toyos’ decision to suspend his campaign and look forward to working with him to support Republican candidates in the November…

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A Peruvian National Who Illegally Registered to Vote Through Illinois DMV Seeks to Overturn Deportation Order

A Peruvian immigrant named Margarita Del Pilar Fitzpatrick walked into a driver’s license office in Illinois and left as a registered voter — after a clerk told her that it was up to her whether or not to register. That decision led to Fitzpatrick’s eventual deportation, which she now hopes…

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