WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by German Lopez 11.05.2012
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

Today is the last day of in-person early voting. Find your correct polling booth here. Check out CityBeat’s endorsements here. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is under fire for alleged voter suppression once again. In response to recent court rulings on provisional ballots, Husted sent out a directive on Nov. 2 that shifts the burden of proper identification during the provisional ballot process from poll workers to voters. The directive may not even be legal, according to a lawsuit quickly filed by voters’ rights activists in response to the new rule: “Ohio Rev. Code § 3505.181(B)(6) provides that, once a voter casting a provisional ballot proffers identification, ‘the appropriate local election official shall record the type of identification provided, the social security number information, the fact that the affirmation was executed, or the fact that the individual declined to execute such an affirmation and include that information with the transmission of the ballot.’” President Barack Obama was at the University of Cincinnati yesterday to make a closing argument to Ohioans. In his speech, Obama compared his own ideas and policies to those of Bill Clinton, while comparing Mitt Romney’s ideas and policies to those of George W. Bush. With just two days of voting left, all eyes are on Ohio as it could play the decisive role in the presidential election. In aggregate polling, Obama is up 2.9 points in Ohio and 0.4 points nationally. FiveThirtyEight, The New York Times’ election forecast model, has Obama at an 86.8 percent chance to win Ohio and an 86.3 percent chance to win the election. Early voters packed polling places around the state yesterday. The line around the Hamilton County Board of Elections wrapped around the entire building for much of the day. Butler County had a lot of early voters as well. Early voting was only available to all Ohioans yesterday thanks to a lawsuit from Obama and Democrats, which opened up in-person early voting during the weekend and Monday before Election Day despite strong opposition from state Republicans. Election Day may be tomorrow, but the entire process may not be finished at the end of the day. In 2008, Ohio took weeks to count the last 490,852 ballots. Slate reenacted the entire presidential campaign, from finding the Republican nominee to today, through video games. The groundwork is already being laid out for an amendment legalizing same-sex marriage in Ohio, which could be on the ballot as soon as November 2013. Some in northeast Ohio are still without power due to Hurricane Sandy’s fallout. Most people affected are in Cleveland and surrounding suburbs. Ohio gas prices are dropping. Early results from air quality tests show no signs of pollution near shale gas drilling wells. But the results are early, and more tests are ongoing. CityBeat wrote in-depth about fracking and concerns surrounding the process here. The deadline for Ohio’s exotic animal registration is today. The new requirement came about after an Ohio man released 50 exotic animals, including some dangerous predators, shortly before committing suicide in 2011.A lonely Asian elephant learned how to speak some Korean, and scientists want to know how and why.
 
 
by German Lopez 10.31.2012
Posted In: News, 2012 Election, Anna Louise Inn, Voting at 08:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is asking for an emergency stay on a recent court order on voting. The order lets voters vote in any polling place as long as they’re in the correct county. In his 22-page motion, Husted expressed concerns the “unwarranted, last-minute litigation” could cause “ongoing harm and confusion.” He also stated concerns that if the ruling stands, Ohioans will soon be able to vote from anywhere in the state, regardless of assigned polling places and counties. The Anna Louise Inn and Western & Southern met in court for what could be the final time yesterday. In front of the Ohio First District Court of Appeals, both sides reiterated their past arguments. The Anna Louise Inn said it should be classified as “transitional housing,” not a “special assistance shelter”; and W&S argued to the contrary. A final decision is expected in 30 to 45 days.President Barack Obama canceled today’s visit to Cincinnati to monitor Hurricane Sandy storm relief. Both Mitt Romney and Obama have been heavily campaigning in Ohio, which could play a pivotal role in the presidential election. Obama will return to the campaign trail Friday. Meanwhile, a new Romney ad running in Ohio was given a “Pants on Fire” rating from Politifact. The ad claimed Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China” at the cost of American jobs, which PolitiFact said is throwing “reality in reverse.” In aggregate polling, Obama leads Romney in Ohio by 2.4 points. Romney is up 0.8 points nationally. FiveThirtyEight, the New York Times' election forecast model, now gives Obama a 77.6 percent chance of winning Ohio and a 77.4 percent chance of winning the election. Supporters of Issue 4 held a press event yesterday. If Issue 4 passes, City Council will have four-year terms, up from two. The reform seeks to allow City Council to focus less on campaigning and more on long-term policy. Opponents say it will make council members unaccountable. An anti-Obama memo circulated by the CEO of Cincinnati-based Cintas Corp. is getting some criticism from Democrats. The memo took issue with Obamacare, possible tax hikes and “over-regulation,” but it does not specifically endorse any candidate. Caleb Faux, executive director of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, says the memo is coercive: “I think that it’s disgraceful that any employer would use the power implicit in the employer-employee relationship to coerce people while they are making their voting decisions.” Build Our New Bridge Now has already raised $2 million. The coalition will market and lobby to get a new Brent Spence Bridge built between Cincinnati and Kentucky.  A University of Cincinnati study found green roofs may require some special plants. The news could shift some ideas in the green movement, which is currently pushing green roofs as a way to improve urban water infrastructure. Cincinnati’s City Council and Metropolitan Sewer District have some plans for utilizing green infrastructure.  Xavier reversed its decision to not pay for birth control in its employee health plans. The decision comes largely due to Obamacare's requirement most employers pay for contraception without a copay. Rev. Michael Graham, Xavier's president, criticized Obamacare’s requirement in an email to Business Courier: “Religious institutions have never been asked to violate their consciences in this profound a manner.”The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency will be holding a public hearing on Nov. 13 to accept comments on a draft hazardous waste permit renewal for Spring Grove Resource Recovery, a Cincinnati-based company.Josh Mandel is touting his alternative to Obamacare. His plan pushes tax benefits, transparency, tort reform, health savings accounts and allowing health insurance to be purchased across state lines. However, one study by Georgetown University found insurance companies may not want to sell across state lines, and a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study found tort reform would only bring down total national health care spending by about 0.5 percent. The CBO also found repealing Obamacare would actually increase the federal deficit by $109 billion. In aggregate polling, Mandel is currently losing to Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown by 5.3 points. State Republicans introduced a bill reforming Ohio’s municipal income tax code. The bill got praise from business interests, but a statewide group representing local communities doesn’t seem too happy. Ohio school leaders are asking the state to not regulate the use of seclusion rooms. The rooms are small rooms that are typically intended to restrain violent or out-of-control students, but an investigation by StateImpact Ohio and The Columbus Dispatch found the rooms were often used to punish students and for the convenience of school staff. The Ohio Department of Education announced a $13 million Early Literacy and Reading Readiness competitive grant. The program seeks to help students boost reading skills before the end of the third grade. Ohio victims of Hurricane Sandy could be eligible for reduced interest rates through the state’s Renew and Rebuild programs. If you have a disturbing lack of faith in humanity, wait until you read this next sentence: Star Wars 7, 8 and 9 announced.How to protect Earth from asteroids: paintballs.
 
 
by German Lopez 10.31.2012
Posted In: 2012 Election, Voting, News at 04:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Officials Might Have Mistakenly Rejected Ballots

State data glitch causes late delivery of 33,000 updated registration records

An error in how voters update their address online caused updated registration records to be delivered late to Ohio’s election officials. With about a week left in Ohio’s voting process, the late delivery might have caused the Hamilton County Board of Elections to mistakenly reject some eligible voters because officials did not have the voters’ current addresses. Amy Searcy, director of elections at the board, says it’s unclear how many registered voters were affected, but 2,129 updated registration records were sent from Ohio Secretary of State John Husted’s office. She says the number could end up varying since some of the records are duplicates. Across the state, an unknown number of ballots were mistakenly rejected as 33,000 registration records were sent late on Monday and Tuesday. Cleveland's The Plain Dealer reported 71 voters were mistakenly rejected in Cuyahoga County. Matt McClellan, Husted’s spokesperson, said Husted’s offices were previously unaware of the data, which is why it wasn’t requested before the glitch was detected by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).  The glitch caused the BMV to not properly send online address changes to Husted’s office, says Joe Andrews, communications director at the Ohio Department of Public Safety, which oversees the BMV. He added, “As soon as we discovered it, we fixed it. And I think that, in cooperation with the secretary of state’s office, the problem has been remedied.” In a directive detailing the delay, Husted touted the benefits of the catch. “While the timing is unfortunate, we are extremely pleased that the data from this new system can be sent electronically and will require minimal data entry,” he wrote. “Additionally, the new system has the potential to help reduce provisional ballots significantly.” Outdated registration records are one of the major reasons voters cast provisional ballots, which are ballots given to voters whose eligibility is unclear. In 2008, nearly 205,000 provisional ballots were cast and about 40,000 — about 20 percent — were rejected for varying reasons. Recently, a federal judge blocked an Ohio law that led to 14,000 of those rejections. Husted followed up that ruling with an appeal and a request for an emergency stay.Tim Burke, chairman of the county Board of Elections and county Democratic Party, expressed mixed feelings about the caught error.“Obviously, you hate like hell to have the secretary of state’s office, which had promised to have a very efficient election, popping something like that on us seven days out,” he says. “Having said that, I’m glad at least once they recognized that these names are out there they moved to get them to us so that we can do our best to ensure that these folks are not disenfranchised because of some administrative glitch.”He says the board will contact any mistakenly rejected voters.
 
 

Seven Weeks Later, High Court Upholds Three Early Voting Days

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 16 declined to take up Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s early voting appeal, meaning Ohio must allow all voters to vote on the weekend and Monday before Election Day — a right previously reserved for military personnel and their families. The decision came slightly more than seven weeks after the initial Aug. 31 decision by a lower court that extended the three voting days to all Ohioans.   
by German Lopez 10.16.2012
Posted In: 2012 Election, Voting, News, Courts at 11:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Supreme Court Rejects Husted's Early Voting Appeal

Voting on weekend and Monday before Election Day must include all Ohioans

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will not take up Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted's early voting appeal. With the decision, Ohio must allow all voters to vote on the weekend and Monday before Election Day — a right previously reserved for military personnel and their families.The news comes just a week after Husted promised to appeal a ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which said if early voting will take place on the three days before Election Day, boards of elections must make sure all Ohioans can use the opportunity.However, some ambiguity is left in the process as different county boards of elections decide on voting hours. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said it's up to Husted and individual county boards when and even if Ohioans will vote on the three days. If there is a tie vote in the county boards, Husted will be the tie breaker.When he announced his intention to appeal the appeals court ruling, Husted said in a statement that he will ensure Ohio has uniform early voting rules and hours no matter the outcome of the appeal: “While I will be asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Ohio law through the appeals process, the last thing I want to see is a non-uniform system where voters will be treated differently in all 88 counties. Since some boards of elections have already started to take action on hours of operation for the three days before Election Day, I am going to take time to consult with all 88 counties before crafting a directive to set uniform hours should the state not be successful upon appeal.”UPDATE (1:30 P.M.): Husted sent out a directive to county boards of elections enforcing uniform voting hours for the three days before Election Day. On Saturday, booths will be open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. On Monday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
 
 
by German Lopez 10.10.2012
 
 
jon_husted_518045c

Morning News and Stuff

In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your nearest polling booth here. More than 1.1 million Ohioans have requested absentee ballots.   Secretary of State Jon Husted appealed an early voting ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ruling by the appeals court said all Ohioans must be allowed to vote on the three days before Election Day. Previously, only military personnel and their families were allowed. The appeals court ruling also passed the final decision on whether voting should be allowed during those three days to the county boards of elections and Husted. Husted also sent out a directive Thursday telling board of elections employees that they can only notify absentee voters about mistakes on their ballots through first-class mail. Previously, email and phone notifications were allowed. Rev. Jesse Jackson was in Cincinnati yesterday in part to criticize Husted and other Republicans. Jackson accused Ohio’s state government of engaging in voter suppression. The reverend’s claims have some merit. In moments of perhaps too much honesty, Republican aides have cited racial politics as a reason for opposing the expansion of in-person early voting. In an email to The Columbus Dispatch published on Aug. 19, Doug Preisse, close adviser to Gov. John Kasich, said, “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine.”In a new video, Josh Mandel, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, dodged answering a question about whether he would support the auto bailout for five straight minutes. More preliminary data for Ohio’s schools and school districts will be released next week. The data gives insight into how Ohio’s education system is holding up. The Ohio Board of Education also promised to pursue the state auditor’s recommendation of making the student information database in-house, which Auditor Dave Yost says could save $430,000 a year. “We are holding our own feet to the fire,” promised Bob McDonald, CEO of Procter & Gamble, at P&G’s annual meeting. The Cincinnati-based company had a rocky year, and the harsh questions at the meeting reflected the troubles. McDonald promises he has a plan for growth. In response to last week’s Taser report, local police departments haven’t done much. President Barack Obama and opponent Mitt Romney were in Ohio yesterday. Obama drew significant crowds at Ohio State University, while Romney drew a new chant of “four more weeks.” Ohio is considered a must-win for Romney, but Obama is currently up by 0.8 points in the state. A new report from the left-leaning Urban Institute says Obamacare will lower health care costs for small businesses and have minimal impact on large businesses. But another report says Obamacare will raise costs for mid-size businesses.  A new ad shows that the presidential election has probably jumped the shark:  
 
 

Husted to Appeal Early Vote Ruling to Supreme Court

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has appealed to the nation’s highest court a ruling that expands in-person voting during the three days prior to Election Day.    

Jesse Jackson Rails Against Voter Suppression in Cincinnati

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Speaking to about 60 people at the Rockdale Baptist Church in Avondale, the Rev. Jesse Jackson talked about the many “schemes” used to disenfranchise voters while encouraging Cincinnatians to register to vote and take advantage of Ohio’s early voting days.    

Cincinnati vs. The World 10.10.2012

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The nurse who was the famous receiver of the lip-locking depicted in the iconic 1945 “Kissing Sailor” photo from Times Square symbolically marking the end of WWII attests she was actually manhandled against her will by the sailor, who was a complete stranger; by modern standards, that’s an instance of sexual assault that’s been glorified. WORLD -2    

Worst Week Ever!: Oct. 3-9

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 10, 2012
MONDAY OCT. 8: Pizza Hut will give an audience member at next week’s presidential debate at Hofstra University free pizza for life if they exploit the town hall format of it and ask one of the candidates if they prefer sausage or pepperoni as a topping during the debate.  

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