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    ‘New Hampshire’

    News Round-Up: Thursday, February 20, 2014

    Thursday, February 20th, 2014

    Ukrainian protest deaths climb to 100; DC to push voting rights for congressional representatives; and the death penalty could be the end result for a child kidnapper and murderer. Meanwhile, Leonardo DiCaprio talks about marriage; celebrities duke it out by playing charades; and Lorde talks about her fashion icons.

    - Veronica + Maura


    Truce crumbles amid gunfire in Ukraine; protesters claim 100 dead: http://rtvote.com/1glfTaw
    The truce reached between Ukrainian protesters and their government has fallen apart after another 100 protesters were killed on Thursday. Another 500 were injured. The government has not released its casualty figures, but reports state that 25 police officers have been injured. A doctor who had volunteered to help the wounded protesters believes that the government has been using snipers to target protesters. Ukrainian athletes at the Sochi Olympics wore black bands and held a moment of silence to mourn the fallen.

    DC to push voting rights support in New Hampshire: http://rtvote.com/1eaLppd
    Washington DC councilmember David Catania will travel to New Hampshire to plead his case before a committee from the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Catania plans to get New Hampshire congressmen and women to support voting rights for DC congressional representatives. This would give full congressional representation to the district. The executive director of DC Vote will also testify.

    Homeland Security alerts airlines to possible shoe-bomb threat: http://rtvote.com/MeFqsA
    Homeland Security officials believe that there is a credible threat to passenger jet attacks through use of shoe-bombs. Airlines will now pay even closer attention to shoes of passengers, including “explosive trace detection swabs” to check for explosive material, particularly on flights headed to the United States. Although there is no specific attack planned, nor are the threats particular to any country or airline, Homeland Security believes that there is enough of a threat that travelers should be warned of extra screenings.

    Suspect in killing of MO girl could face death penalty: http://rtvote.com/1oWnpPp
    45-year-old middle school employee Craig Michael Wood has been accused with kidnapping, armed criminal action, and murdering 10-year-old Hailey Owens. Wood was tracked by the help of witnesses and brought to police for questioning. After obtaining a search warrant, authorities found Owens’s body at Wood’s home. Wood may face the death penalty at his trial.

    2 Americans found dead on “Captain Phillips” ship: http://rtvote.com/OeDIt4
    American security officers Mark Kennedy and Jeffrey Reynolds have been found dead on the Maersk Alabama container ship. Both men worked for a Virginia-based security firm. The cause of death for both men is unknown at this time, and a police investigation is ongoing. The Maersk Alabama gained notoriety after being targeted by Somali pirates in 2009; the movie Captain Phillips is named after it.


    That 70s Show star is a dad! http://rtvote.com/OeFMBj

    Celebrity charades showdown on The Tonight Show: http://rtvote.com/1fCrws9

    It’s here! See the Bonnaroo 2014 music festival lineup: http://rtvote.com/1gloSsm

    Leonardo DiCaprio talks marriage: http://rtvote.com/1glpmOZ

    Who are Lorde’s fashion icons? http://rtvote.com/1mehym2

    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

    News Round-Up: December 3, 2013

    Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

    A former medical technician is sentenced to 39 years for causing a multistate outbreak of hepatitis C; an American, who has been imprisoned in Cuba for the past four years, pleads for rescue; and Seattle Seahawks fans cause (another) earthquake. Meanwhile, Paul Walker’s private vigil was a beautiful show of love and support, and Dylan Sprouse makes some pretty awesome (and wise) statements to counter Joe Jonas’ whining over Disney and fame.

    -Sandy + Maura



    Ex-hospital worker gets 39 years for causing hepatitis C outbreak,http://rtvote.com/1c9aGiI
    A former New Hampshire medical technician was convicted for causing a multistate outbreak of hepatitis C last year. David Kwiatkowski began working at the Exeter Hospital ten months after he was diagnosed with hepatitis C. He injected himself with stolen syringes of the painkiller fentanyl from patients scheduled for surgery, tainting them with his blood, and then he filled them with saline and replaced the syringes for use in medical procedures. Thirty people were diagnosed with the potentially fatal virus because of Kwiatkowski.

    Obama to launch new health care law campaignhttp://rtvote.com/1jh0cVh
    The Affordable Care Act has come under a lot of political pressure since its rollout in October. In the coming weeks, the Obama administration will highlight what they call successful aspects of the law. They plan on educating the public on Obamacare by emphasizing a different benefit each day until the December 23rdenrollment deadline for January 1st coverage.

    Prisoner in Cuba appeals to Obamahttp://rtvote.com/1cjmQJj
    Alan Gross, 64, is an American who has been imprisoned in Cuba for the past four years. He was a subcontractor within the U.S. Agency for International Development, who was arrested for trying to set up Internet access, which would have bypassed local restrictions, for Cuba’s small Jewish community. The Associated Press reported that Cuba considers USAID’s programs illegal attempts by the U.S. to undermine their government. Gross, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison, feels like the U.S. government has forgotten and abandoned him.

    Couple fined for negative online reviewhttp://rtvote.com/187UthU
    In 2008, John Palmer bought Christmas gifts for his wife off of a site called KlearGear.com. When the purchases never arrived, his wife, Jen Palmer, posted a negative review of the site on ripoffreport.com. More than three years later, KlearGear.com fined the couple $3,500 for allegedly violating its terms of use contract, which prohibits the customer from taking any negative action against KlearGear.com. The site reported the couple’s unpaid fine to a collections agency, and their credit score took a huge hit. The Palmers are fighting back and seeking justice. Legal experts warn that more companies are using this type of language in the fine print as protection.

    Seattle Seahawks fans caused an ‘earthquake’ on Monday night,http://rtvote.com/18eMxtd
    Fans inside CenturyLink Field got so excited over Michael Bennett’s 22-yard fumble return for a touchdown Monday night that their jumping registered a magnitude 1 or 2 earthquake. And this isn’t the first time. The first seismic outburst caused by fans in CenturyLink Field was in 2011 when Marshawn Lynch made a legendary touchdown run that clinched a playoff win for the Seahawks over the Saints.



    Natalie Portman: Chris Hemsworth’s Wife Elsa Pataky Grabbed a Wig and Stood in for Me in Thor: The Dark World Love Scene, http://rtvote.com/1jhaTac

    Paul Walker’s Private Vigil: Vin Diesel Addresses Fans, Family Members Pay Respects at Crash Site, http://rtvote.com/IJK9lk

    Dylan Sprouse Calls Joe Jonas’ Disney Grievances B.S.: He “Fell for the Allure of Fame,” http://rtvote.com/1cjuT8V

    Elan Gale Hoax: Bachelor Producer Admits He Faked Thanksgiving Airplane Travel Feud, http://rtvote.com/IEwrzo


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

    A Voice Crying Out in the Wilderness: John Lynch Defies the Legislature

    Friday, June 22nd, 2012

    New Hampshire Democratic Governor John Lynch made sure that New Hampshire did not join the ever-expanding list of states that require photo ID at the polls yesterday by vetoing the bill that the New Hampshire Legislature put in front of him because he believes it to be too “restrictive”.
    “The right to vote is a fundamental right that is guaranteed to all citizens of [New Hampshire] under the United States and New Hampshire Constitutions,” he said. “Our election laws must be designed to encourage and facilitate voting by all eligible voters in New Hampshire.”
    The bill would have required New Hampshire voters to show an ID at the polls beginning this November. A student ID would have been acceptable this election cycle, but not for any cycle in the future. After 2012, only IDs such as a driver’s license or passport would be acceptable.
    This veto comes on the heels of another veto from the Governor, which struck down a bill that would change the definition of domicile for the state, effectively requiring people to register a car and apply for a New Hampshire driver’s license in order do be considered a resident of the state.
    Both of these bills were proposed as a means to limit the student vote of New Hampshire. In a state with such a small population, the vote from places such as Dartmouth College and the University of New Hampshire, as well as the Granite State’s numerous other colleges, can really impact the outcome of an election.
    Lynch would have supported the legislation if it did not unfairly restrict the youth and elderly vote of New Hampshire. Even in the face of a large majority of the New Hampshire Legislature, a majority large enough to potentially override his veto, he stood strong in his opposition of the bill. As a New Hampshire college student who hopes to cast his vote in Hanover this November, figures like John Lynch are important. It is people like Lynch who make a difference for young voters, especially in the face of attempts to limit their political power in such a politically important state such as New Hampshire.
    That being said, it is possible that this veto will be overridden. If that is the case, the whole electoral system in New Hampshire will be impacted. Most of a demographic will be entirely wiped out, drastically changing the voter makeup of the state. As this saga continues to unfold, keep an eye on the Granite State to see whether its voting system crumbles away like the Old Man of the Mountain or continues to stand strong like Mount Washington.

    Blaze Joel

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

    ID Or Don’t Vote? New Hampshire Continues to make it Hard on College Students

    Thursday, June 21st, 2012

    I live in Indiana, but only during my off-terms and vacations. The other nine-plus months of the year, I live in a dorm room in Hanover, NH. As a politically involved student at Dartmouth College, I am more in tune with New Hampshire politics than Indiana politics. Yes, New Hampshire is more of a swing state than Indiana and carries the power that comes with being the first primary in the nation, but I want to vote in New Hampshire because it is where I feel the most politically connected.
    The New Hampshire government has consistently tried to pass bills that would directly or indirectly hinder college students from voting since the Republicans gained control of both the House and the Senate. These have included bills that would change the requirements of domicile and, most recently, a bill that would require voters to show photo identification when arriving at the polls, something that was never a prerequisite to voting in the past. For the 2012 election cycle, student IDs would be allowed, but they would not be for future elections. Since most students, especially at a school like Dartmouth, come from outside of the Granite State, their forms of identification (such as their drivers’ licenses) tie them to another state. Therefore, my Indiana driver’s license would prevent me from voting in New Hampshire because I do not have an ID that ties me to New Hampshire other than my student ID.
    While the bill does address the problem of limiting and eventually eliminating voter fraud, the cost of potentially barring a large portion of the college-aged population from voting far outweighs the potential good that this bill could bring. The impetus for this bill is the fact that activist groups in New Hampshire, during the last election cycle, were able to vote using the names of deceased persons. Due to a lack of photo ID confirmation, this fraud was much easier to accomplish. Despite the laudable beginnings of this bill, it obviously fits into the same category as other bills that can negatively impact the political involvement of college student voters in the state.
    Whenever people’s voting rights are limited, it is illegal, as per the 15th Amendment. That is what this New Hampshire law is trying to do with college students. Democratic Governor John Lynch has threatened to veto the bill when he is presented with it. This announcement comes on the heels the governor’s recent veto of the bill that would change the domicile requirements, but the large margin of passage in the Legislature could override a veto if it were to happen.
    It seems as if the ongoing saga of voting in New Hampshire may have one more chapter in it yet, waiting to be written.

    Blaze Joel

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

    War on Voting: Week(s) End Update

    Friday, August 12th, 2011

    It has been a while since we surveyed the battlefield in the war on voting, so here are some odds and ends from the states. I’m doing this alphabetically, I hope:

    Kansas: Earlier this year, Kansas enacted new photo ID and proof of citizenship requirements for voting. Under the new law, these requirements would go into effect in 2013. Not good enough, says Secretary of State Kris Kobach. He wants to get those bad boys implemented for the 2012 elections – an idea rejected by the state Senate when it decided to go with the 2013 implementation. Kobach may try to do it anyway. Good luck with that.

    Maine: This week, the Protect Maine Votes coalition submitted more than 68,000 signatures to halt the elimination of Election Day registration by placing a People’s Veto on the ballot in November. Earlier this year, the Maine legislature overturned a 38-year old practice that nearly 70,000 people used to register and cast their ballots during the last two elections. The good news: Maine voters – not self-interested politicians – will get to decide whether we will continue to be able to register to vote at the polls.

    For more information on the campaign to protect Election Day registration, go to www.ProtectMaineVotes.com.

    New Hampshire: It looks like the state legislature is going to try to override the Governor’s veto of the strict photo ID legislation in early September. Nine state Senators will need to vote to uphold the Governor’s veto; right now there are only seven or eight votes to sustain the veto. We’ll see what happens.

    North Carolina: The state House failed to override the Governor’s veto last month, but the legislative leadership is still holding out the possibility that they will try again at a later date.

    The latest twist in the state is that nine people are being prosecuted for double voting in the 2008 election. To that I say, “GOOD! Fraudulent voting is ILLEGAL and should be punished.”

    Of course, proponents of photo ID have jumped on this. As the Raleigh News & Observer wrote, the state Republican Party sent out an “I-told-you-so news release,” which said: “The reason why Republicans have fought to promote proper voter-identification laws is to prevent fraud like this from happening.”

    The problem, as the article points out: “None of the cases would have been prevented if the voters had been required to show photo identification…” Exactly right. Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby, the man prosecuting the double voters, noted: “I don’t think voter ID had anything to do with this – just people voting twice, not using another person’s name or dead Aunt Betty.”

    Read the whole story here.

    Ohio: Voting rights organizations, lead by former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, are taking steps to put the new election “reform” bill on the ballot in 2012 so voters can decide if they want to implement the law. Highlights of the bill: shortens the early voting period, eliminates the “golden week” when voters could go to the polls to register and vote at the same time, and eliminates the requirement that poll workers tell you if you are in the wrong polling place. (We’ve written about its non-awesomeness here.)

    What’s cool about this approach is that if enough signatures are collected to put a referendum on the ballot, the law itself cannot be implemented until after the 2012 elections.

    Tennessee: The state government is trying to help people get photo IDs before the new law kicks into effect in 2012. That’s nice. Read about it here.

    Texas: The Texas Tribune did a short write-up about how the new Texas law, which still needs to be cleared by the Department of Justice under the Voting Rights Act, compares with other states’ laws. Conclusion: it is one of the strictest. You can read the primer here.

    Wisconsin: Some potentially good news on the photo ID front on Wisconsin campuses. You may recall that the new photo ID law in the Badger State allows for student IDs to be used at the polls provided they have a photo, a signature and expire every two years. Of course, no student ID at any college or university in the state met those requirements. Now word is coming out that several schools are working to solve the problem by making changes to student IDs.

    We pick up the story in Platteville:

    Students at University of Wisconsin-Platteville might see these changes this fall. Officials said that they’ve remade the identification cards.

    “We had to come up with a different way to look at a different ID card or something to modify our ID card,” said Jim Mueller, of UW-Platteville auxiliary services.

    The current IDs at Platteville only have a photo and no expiration date. Instead of changing all the IDs, the school will create a special card for voting.

    “If we change it to our whole student ID card, there would be 8,000 cards we’d have to issue immediately. Then, about every year because of the expiration date, it would be about 2,000 every year, Mueller said.

    Instead of the 2,000 some out-of-state students could get a voter ID card and the rest could use their state driver’s license.

    “We just want to make sure that our students can vote, and to make it as easy for them as possible so they can be part of the democratic process,” Mueller said.

    The story also notes that UW-Lacrosse is considering a similar plan of issuing “voting IDs” to out-of-state students and UW-Madison is looking at changing the actual student ID to be compliant.

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