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    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

    Protests in Ukraine reach a new peak; Confederate flag-bearing license plates cause controversy; bald Barbie dolls cheer cancer patients; soldiers posing around an empty casket spark outrage; and an Arkansas teen is dead after a simple prank goes wrong. Meanwhile, a Gossip Girl star has a secret wedding; a pop music diva might be engaged; one of the hosts of The Voice calls it quits; and Harry Styles makes a “guest appearance” on The Tonight Show. 

    - Veronica + Maura


    After 25 die, Ukrainian protesters dig in: http://rtvote.com/1fgElvD
    25 people died Tuesday after political protests turned violent in Kiev, Ukraine. Today, the protesters are willing to continue to fight against their government. Protests began in November 2013 when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych declined to trade with the European Union and chose Russia instead. The situation became more grave when the Ukrainian government passed a law prohibiting protesting, driving more people to protest violently. Western leaders are prepared to impose sanctions on the Ukrainian government until the violence ceases.

    Confederate flag to appear on new Ga. car plates: http://rtvote.com/1fyTPrt
    Officials in Georgia have allowed a specialty license plate that includes the Confederate flag, causing conflict between those who view the flag as a symbol of racial oppression and by those who view the flag as a symbol of their Southern heritage. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said he was surprised by the new plates and said, “I had no information in advance about it.” North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi are the only three states that joined the Confederacy that have specialty plates containing the Confederate flag.

    Bald Barbie cheers up cancer patients, families: http://rtvote.com/1fdAOzI
    Valerie Paul’s best friend’s cancer inspired her to make bald Barbie dolls for girls and women fighting cancer. She gained national attention when 13 year-old Talia Joy Castellano, a young girl with terminal cancer who became a viral sensation, received one of the bald Barbie dolls and was on Ellen. So far, she and her business partner Wanda Shultz have handed out over 300 Barbie’s and 75 baby dolls and send them to whoever requests one.

    Soldiers posing around empty casket spark rage: http://rtvote.com/1cZUYrf
    A group photo showing around twelve soldiers making non-serious faces and motions around an empty, flag-draped casket has sparked outrage amongst the public. The Wisconsin National Guard has suspended the woman responsible for posting the photo on Instagram and captioning it with this: “We put the FUN in funeral—your fearless honor guard from various states.” People across the country have found the photo incredibly disrespectful, especially those who lost loved ones in war.

    Prank turns deadly for Arkansas teen: http://rtvote.com/1blH1J0
    15-year-old Adrian Broadway from Little Rock, Arkansas, was shot in the head and killed on Saturday after a prank went horribly wrong. Broadway and a few friends went to a house to pull a “retaliation prank” on another teen who had pulled a prank on them previously. After peppering a vehicle parked at the house with toilet paper, eggs, and mayonnaise, a man came out of the house and opened fire, killing Broadway and injuring another. The shooter, 48-year-old Willie Noble, has been charged with first-degree murder, committing a terroristic act, and aggravated assault. 


    Secret wedding bells for this Gossip Girl star: http://rtvote.com/1ghC8y4

    See Simon Cowell’s newborn: http://rtvote.com/1gFZwH

    Harry Styles on The Tonight Show… kind of: http://rtvote.com/Oa45QP

    CeeLo Green quits The Voice: http://rtvote.com/1c2P2h4

    Is Katy Perry engaged? http://rtvote.com/1gVDmRB


    Veronica Barger
    Bio: Veronica is currently studying communications, law, economics, and government at American University in Washington, DC. Originally from New Jersey, she has held an interest in politics since the 2008 presidential election. Being a newly registered voter, she understands how important it is for young people to register to vote and have their voices heard. She looks to spread that message with Rock the Vote.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    War on Voting: Two Victories This Week

    Friday, April 1st, 2011

    Two glimmers of hope in the war on voting to report. Legislators in both Arkansas and Iowa rejected restrictive photo ID measures this week. (They join Colorado, Hawaii, Mississippi, and New Mexico as the states where laws to make it harder to vote have been stopped this year.)

    The Iowa victory was particularly important because all of Iowa’s county auditors – the people who actually run elections in the state – came out against the bill, saying photo ID requirements were unnecessary, costly, and flawed. Among the auditors, there are 60 Republicans, 38 Democrats and one independent. I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but “Go auditors!”

    A recent article highlighted Jasper County and 49 other counties that have systems to ensure integrity and guarantee voters are who they say they are without resorting to disenfranchising methods like only accepting state-issued photo ID:

    Jasper County began using laptop computers equipped with the Precinct Atlas Program to check voters at the polls. Forty-nine other counties in Iowa also use the program. Precinct Atlas contains all of the vital information about voters registered in Jasper County to verify their true identity. Poll workers are provided with the voter’s birth date, address, telephone number, the last four digits of their Social Security number, a driver’s license number, and whether that person is a convicted felon.

    If a voter shows up at the wrong polling place to vote, the program prints out a label with the address of the voter’s correct precinct and polling place.

    “With this information, it would be extremely difficult for a person to pass themselves off as someone else to vote,” [Jasper County Auditor Dennis] Parrott said.

    For those of us who are interested in modernizing and improving the system, these Iowa counties look like a good model.

    In the meantime, we still have to fight back against those who are trying to turn back the clock. As we like to say here at HQ, “in America, we Rock the vote, we don’t block the vote” . . . so sign up to fight back in the war on voting here.

    Thomas Bates
    Bio: Thomas is Rock the Vote's Vice President of Civic Engagement.
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    Election results pour in

    Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

    Hey Rockers,

    Here are some updates on the races that have already been called so far and ones to watch tonight and into tomorrow:

    Republican Rubio wins Senate race in Florida: http://bit.ly/9iqcp0

    Republican Rob Portman wins Senate race in Ohio: http://bit.ly/b8Okjn

    Governor’s race in Ohio still very close, too early to call, check dispatch.com for live updates.

    Republican Richard Burr wins Senate race in North Carolina: http://bit.ly/d7hxUz

    Philly.com shows Republican Tom Corbett ahead of Democrat Dan Onorato in PA governor’s race, 52% to 48%, with about 55% of precincts reporting and Democrat Joe Sestak ahead of Republican Pat Toomey in PA senate race 52% to 48%with about 55% of precincts reporting. Check here for live updates.

    Democrat Joe Manchin wins Senate race in West Virginia: http://aol.it/djhwxI

    Democrat Richard Blumenthal wins Connecticut Senate race over Republican Linda McMahon: http://bit.ly/btOoIn

    Tea Party Notches First Big Victory With Rand Paul: http://nyti.ms/9tUJBN

    Democrat Chris Coons wins early in Delaware over Christine O’Donnell: http://bit.ly/bRJgDj

    Democrat John Lynch wins New Hampshire Governor’s race for unprecedented fourth term: http://lat.ms/9G3pzL

    Republican Dan Coats wins in Indiana Senate race: http://bit.ly/c7UK5V

    The Chicago Tribune (chicagotribune.com) shows Giannoulias (D) winning over Kirk (R) 54% to 41% with 36% of precincts reporting.

    Republican John Boozman wins in Arkansas Senate race against Democrat Blanche Lincoln: http://bit.ly/dfsnUW

    Tom Yarnell
    Bio: Tom is a former Rock the Vote communications team member who now works for an intellectual property law firm in DC. He loves sports and coming back to blog for RTV!
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    Arkansas Sec of State Goes Mobile

    Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

    Voter registration deadlines are coming up very soon for Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Oregon, West Virginia and Arkansas. Are you registered to vote? Are you sure? Well, Arkansas just announced a mobile site that lets you check your voter registration from your phone. From your mobile phone go to the site: http://www.sos.ar.gov/m enter your name and your birthday. The site tells you if you’re registered.

    Here’s a suggested use: Voter registration in Arkansas closes on Monday, April 19. From now until then, if you live in Arkansas and/or know people who do, ask them if they are registered to vote. If they are unsure, take out your smart phone and check. If it turns out that they are not registered to vote or they’ve moved since the last time they’ve registered. Send them to Rock the Vote’s online voter registration tool. It’s easy and takes a few minutes. Click here for the link.

    Way to go Arkansas, we’re impressed with the mobile tool!


    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com