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1  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hillary Clinton Calls For Automatic, Universal Voter Registration on: June 04, 2015, 06:54:57 pm
A great idea. Reporting turnout based on registered voters instead of eligible voters has long been a way to obscure the percentage not voting: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/05/06/proof-that-voter-turnout-in-the-u-s-is-embarrassing/

2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: VT-Gov: Scott considering on: June 04, 2015, 06:01:22 pm
Relevant to turnout: Vermont just passed same-day voter registration although it looks like it won't go into effect until after the 2016 elections.


Jun 2, 2015

With the stroke of the governor’s pen on Monday, Vermont became the 14th state to allow same-day voter registration. Proponents say the measure will help improve low turnout rates in Vermont elections. Critics though say it could make it easier to sabotage the democratic process.

Shumlin signed the legislation at a City Hall ceremony in Montpelier. He lamented woeful turnout in the last election cycle, when fewer than 45 percent of registered voters cast ballots.

“The numbers all show that with same day voter registration, voter participation goes up from anywhere between 7 and 14 percent,” Shumlin said.

The new law applies to all elections, including ones held on Town Meeting Day, and it won’t go into effect until after the 2016 presidential elections.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: OR: Gov. Brown signs automatic voter registration bill on: March 16, 2015, 11:56:24 pm
What happened to Kitzhaber?

He resigned last month amid all the issues with his fiancee's consulting work. Oregon has no lieutenant-governor so the Secretary of State (Kate Brown) was in line to become governor. A special election will be held in Nov 2016 for the remainder of the gubernatorial term elected in 2014.

Brown appointed her replacement this month with the appointee already announcing they don't plan to run for reelection in 2016. There's also some talk of other Democratic officials considering running for Governor so the primaries might be interesting.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: OR: Gov. Brown signs automatic voter registration bill on: March 16, 2015, 11:06:55 pm

They should permanently switch Oregon from the mid-term cycle to the presidential cycle while they're at it; the other statewide offices (SoS, Treasurer, AG) already are. Next year's special gubernatorial election is probably going to have ~30% more votes than 2014's.
5  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / California v. New York; which state would you rather live in? on: March 14, 2015, 12:37:04 pm
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cannabis '15: The Long Wait Until 2016 on: March 14, 2015, 12:21:01 pm
Nevada's legalization initiative is officially on the ballot next year: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2015/03/14/first-marijuana-legalization-ballot-measure-set-for-2016-advocates-say/

March 14, 2015

Hoping to build on consecutive electoral victories, advocates say they have secured the first state marijuana legalization ballot measure for 2016.

Nevada state lawmakers had until Saturday to take action on the ballot measure, which would legalize marijuana for recreational use, but adjourned on Friday without voting on it, the Marijuana Policy Project notes in a statement. As a result, the initiative, for which the group collected nearly twice the necessary signatures, is destined for the 2016 ballot, they say.

The group was behind the successful legalization ballot measures in Colorado in 2012 and Alaska in 2014. Other groups helped successfully pass legalization in Washington in 2012 and Oregon in 2014. Those four state laws were approved by voters, but MPP is now targeting both ballots and legislatures to spread similar measures.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Los Angeles votes to move its election dates to even-numbered years on: March 08, 2015, 09:39:04 pm
Good find, thanks!

Touted as a way to increase voter turnout, the measures align Los Angeles City Council elections with presidential elections beginning in 2020 and mayoral and citywide elections with gubernatorial elections starting in 2022.
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Los Angeles votes to move its election dates to even-numbered years on: March 08, 2015, 09:29:11 pm
March 3, 2015

Los Angeles voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved two measures to change city election dates.

Voters will now cast ballots in mayoral, council district, and school board races in even-numbered years, rather than odd-numbered years. The change consolidates city elections with federal and state elections.

Amid dwindling voter participation in Los Angeles city elections, the Los Angeles City Council voted last year to put Charter Amendments 1 and 2 before voters. Turnout was just 23 percent in the 2013 Los Angeles mayoral election, which led City Council President Herb Wesson and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to form a special committee to look at boosting political engagement.

Read more at http://www.dailynews.com/government-and-politics/20150303/election-2015-voters-back-measures-to-change-los-angeles-election-dates

A lot of the articles aren't clear on when but I think the new dates coincide with the presidential cycle rather than the mid-term cycle: http://www.latimes.com/local/cityhall/la-me-city-voting-20150116-story.html

Charter Amendments 1 and 2 would consolidate city and school board contests with state and federal elections starting in 2020.

Recent studies have shown that declining turnout is a problem not only in Los Angeles but across the country. Turnout for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's election in 2013 was a record low 24%. In one study of California city elections by researchers at UC Berkeley, average turnout was 26% in odd-numbered years.

Anzia said 88% of states still hold some or all of their municipal elections, and 77% of school board elections, in off-cycle years, a vestige of the Progressive reform movement of the early 20th century.
9  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Chocolate poll on: March 05, 2015, 07:09:49 pm


White chocolate is not chocolate in the strict sense as it does not contain cocoa solids, the primary nutritional constituent of chocolate liquor.[1]

Eh, interesting... Well, it tastes closer to milk than dark to me. Voted milk in the poll; dark is too bitter.
10  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Chocolate poll on: March 05, 2015, 06:53:52 pm
Isn't white chocolate milk chocolate?
11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Oregon legislature passes automatic voter registration on: March 05, 2015, 04:23:10 pm
It officially passed; the state senate just voted 17-13 to approve the bill.


March 05, 2015

A sweeping voter registration bill that could add another 300,000 to Oregon's voting rolls won final passage in the Oregon Senate on Thursday on a 17-13 vote and heads to Gov. Kate Brown for her promised signature.

The so-called "New Motor Voter Bill" was promoted by Brown when she was secretary of state as a way to remove many of the barriers to voting, particularly for younger and poorer Oregonians who tend to move more often.

Republicans, however, charged that using drivers' license data to automatically register voters raised worries about ID theft and undermined the privacy of Oregonians. House Bill 2177 passed both chambers without a single Republican vote. The only Democrat to vote no was Sen. Betsy Johnson of Scappoose, who had cast the deciding vote against a similar measure that died in the 2013 session.
12  General Politics / Political Debate / What exemptions should exist for school vaccination requirements? on: February 28, 2015, 05:44:30 am
Currently only two states in the US (Mississippi and West Virginia) do not have religious or personal belief exemptions for school vaccination requirements: http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/school-immunization-exemption-state-laws.aspx

All 50 states have legislation requiring specified vaccines for students.  Although exemptions vary from state to state, all school immunization laws grant exemptions to children for medical reasons. Almost all states grant religious exemptions for people who have religious beliefs against immunizations. Twenty states allow philosophical exemptions for those who object to immunizations because of personal, moral or other beliefs.

13  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What color is this dress? on: February 27, 2015, 07:42:26 pm

The original image is in the middle. At left, white-balanced as if the dress is white-gold. At right, white-balanced to blue-black.

How can anyone think the dress on the right would look like the one in the middle under a shadow? Blue and black would get lighter in the shade? There may be a blue and black dress for sale and pictures of that but OP's image is clearly white and gold.

The whole thing is probably a marketing campaign.
14  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / What is your favorite climate to live in? on: February 20, 2015, 08:29:51 pm
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Oregon legislature passes automatic voter registration on: February 20, 2015, 06:03:53 pm
Feb. 20, 2015

SALEM — After a lengthy debate, the Oregon House today approved a bill to create an automatic voter registration system, a potential national first. House Bill 2177 passed 35-24, on a party-line vote, with Democrats supportive and Republicans opposed.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

Democrats painted the policy, which would use driving license records to automatically sign up voters, as a way to increase access to elections.

Under the bill, the Secretary of State’s office would receive records from the state Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division in order to find and register all eligible voters among those who have applied for or renewed a driver’s license. Those individuals would be notified and given three weeks to opt out or to pick a party affiliation before they simply are registered as unaffiliated voters.

No other state has yet adopted an automatic voter registration system, although North Dakota doesn’t require voters to register at all. Unlike Oregon, a dozen states do allow voters to register on Election Day, however.

The state would to use driving records going back to 2013. It’s estimated that the change immediately would add 300,000 individuals to the 2.2 million Oregonians on voter rolls now — a number that gradually would rise as more unregistered Oregonians sign up or renew their licenses. A total of 800,000 eligible Oregonians are not registered to vote.

Read more at http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/32792693-75/oregon-house-approves-automatic-voter-registration.html.csp


Automatic voter registration passed the state house in 2013 but failed 15-15 in the then 16D-14R state senate when a Democratic state senator voted with Republicans against the bill. That state senator is still in office but the state senate is now 18D-12R after the 2014 elections so the bill's chances look pretty good. The new Governor has already announced support for it as she was the one pushing for it as Secretary of State.

Considering that Oregon is about 1.2% of the national population, a rough estimate is that this change (using DMV data to automatically register voters) would add 24 to 40 million new voters to the registration system if it was adopted nationwide.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Just when I thought Cuomo couldn't stoop any lower... on: January 28, 2015, 02:40:55 am
He could be NY-Gov for quite a while since New York doesn't have term limits.

Given a very lousy candidate like Zephyr Teachout got 34%, I doubt it. He may fall at the first serious challenge.

Maybe. There's also the possibility he gets the legislature to adopt the top-two primary or something before 2018. Wouldn't put it past them.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Just when I thought Cuomo couldn't stoop any lower... on: January 28, 2015, 02:22:25 am
He could be NY-Gov for quite a while since New York doesn't have term limits.
18  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: So how has Obama's court-packing advanced since the elections? on: January 28, 2015, 02:11:11 am
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Senate GOP Might Nix Filibuster For SCOTUS Nominees on: January 26, 2015, 07:20:11 pm
January 24, 2015

In a big unexpected twist in the new Congress, Senate Republicans are reportedly crafting a plan to do away with the 60-vote filibuster for Supreme Court justice nominees.

Politico reported Friday evening that the plan, though in its early stages, was being led by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO).

“What we would like to do is adopt by rule the way the Senate has always operated,” Alexander told Politico. “The history of the Senate has been up-or-down votes, as I call them, at 51.”

The proposal, which might require a two-thirds vote to take effect, has not yet been circulated widely among the GOP caucus.

But that it is even being considered is surprising after Senate Republicans decried last year, while they were still in the minority, the decision by Senate Democrats to do away with the 60-vote filibuster for administrative and judicial nominees -- with the important exception of Supreme Court candidates.

Read more at http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/gop-senate-filibuster-supreme-court
20  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Maps. All the maps. on: January 17, 2015, 08:40:10 pm

Full resolution
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Holder limits seized-asset sharing that split billions with local, state police on: January 17, 2015, 03:12:46 pm
January 16, 2015

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday barred local and state police from using federal law to seize cash, cars and other property without warrants or criminal charges.

Holder’s action represents the most sweeping check on police power to confiscate personal property since the seizures began three decades ago as part of the war on drugs.

Since 2008, thousands of local and state police agencies have made more than 55,000 seizures of cash and property worth $3 billion under a civil asset forfeiture program at the Justice Department called Equitable Sharing.

The program has enabled local and state police to make seizures and then have them “adopted” by federal agencies, which share in the proceeds. It allowed police departments and drug task forces to keep up to 80 percent of the proceeds of adopted seizures, with the rest going to federal agencies.

While police can continue to make seizures under their own state laws, Equitable Sharing was easy to use and required most of the proceeds from the seizures to go to local and state police agencies. Some states have higher standards of proof for forfeitures and some require seized proceeds to go into the general fund.

Read more at http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/holder-ends-seized-asset-sharing-process-that-split-billions-with-local-state-police/2015/01/16/0e7ca058-99d4-11e4-bcfb-059ec7a93ddc_story.html
22  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / What do you call a computer that's functionally both a laptop and a tablet? on: January 12, 2015, 01:30:54 am
Computers in question
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / 2015 state ballot measures on: January 09, 2015, 10:49:39 pm

Two statewide ballot measures are certified for spots on two statewide ballots for 2015. If this year is similar to previous odd-numbered-years, it will feature roughly three dozen statewide ballot questions in a handful of states.
24  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Opinion of 2014 on: December 31, 2014, 12:37:46 am
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Nigeria General Election - February 14, 2015 on: December 14, 2014, 02:47:14 am

According to the United Nations, Nigeria has been undergoing explosive population growth and has one of the highest growth and fertility rates in the world. By their projections, Nigeria is one of eight countries expected to account collectively for half of the world's total population increase from 2005–2050.[116] By 2100 the UN estimates that the Nigerian population will be between 505 million and 1.03 billion people (middle estimate: 730 million).[117] In 1950, Nigeria had only 33 million people.[118]

And I thought Pakistan and Indonesia were growing fast. Wow.
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