States Move to Create Culture of Voter Engagement through Preregistration

By Erin Ferns

The rising levels of voter participation among the nation's youth continue to be challenged by the current voter registration system, perpetuating the difficulty of fostering lifelong voters. Some states are proposing to take this challenge into their own hands by making voter registration accessible to citizens as young as 16. Already widely accessible at schools and departments of motor vehicles, the move would allow future voters in some states to automatically be enrolled on the voter rolls on their 18th birthdays, a change that advocates say could "close the registry gap between young voters and the rest of the population."

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Measures to Expand and Balance U.S. Electorate Gain Traction in State Legislatures

by Erin Ferns and Donald Wine II

For the past few years, there has been a push by voting rights advocates to expand and balance the electorate in the United States.  Finally, measures to help enfranchise some of the nation's least represented Americans are moving forward in several states. This past week, five states advanced bills to restore the voting rights of citizens convicted of felonies, while four states moved bills designed to facilitate voter participation among young citizens. This trend in election reform is a step in the right direction, which more states should take notice of and consider in the near future.

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HI-Sen: Inouye Not Particularly Vulnerable

On November 4, Hawaii gave it's native son Barack Obama a greater share of the vote -- 72 percent -- than any other state in the nation. Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that Dan Inouye, who has represented Hawaii in the House or the Senate for the entirety of its time as a state, is looking fairly strong in his 2010 reelection bid, even against popular Republican Governor Linda Lingle.

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 12/15-17. Likely voters. MoE 4% (No trend lines)

Dan Inouye (D): 53 percent
Linda Lingle (R): 42 percent

Hawaiians give Lingle fairly good marks, with 53 percent of voters rating her favorably and 42 percent rating her unfavorably. But that isn't enough to enable her to knock off Inouye, whose lowest reelection showing was 57.3 percent in 1992, and who other than that has never received less than 69 percent of the vote in a Senate election. Inouye's strength, then, isn't too much of a surprise -- though the fact that Lingle isn't polling within 10 points of Inouye is at least slightly unexpected.

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Birth Certificate Will Not Show Virgin Birth!!

cross-posted at clintonistasforobama


This would be hilarious if it were not so sad. Hillary supporters have joined the GOP-backed madness swirling around Barack Obama's birth certificate. In their zeal to defeat Barack Obama Hillary supporters have become the latest dupes in a GOP rumor mill discrediting Barack Obama's birthplace--thus making him ineligible to be President.

According to the Online Journal, GOP dirty tricks operatives visited Kenya to dig up any useful "dirt" on Barack Obama, Jr., and his late Kenyan father Barack Obama, Sr. And now they say there is a "smoking gun." About Obama's birth certificate.

Oooooooh.  Sounds ominous doesn't it??

Get a grip folks! What they found is a birth certificate from the Kenyan city of Mombasa registering the birth of Barack Obama, Jr., on August 4, 1961. However, the registration is a common practice in African countries whose citizens abroad have families with foreign nationals.

Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to his Ann Dunham of Wichita, Kansas, and Barack Obama, Sr., of Nyangoma-Kogelo, Kenya. Obama's parents were enrolled at the University of Hawaii. They divorced when Barack Obama was two years old.

Is it possible the GOP hopes  to make the claim that Senator Obama is not eligible to become President of the United States because he was born in a foreign country, or, at the very least, plant the seed in the voters' minds that Obama is a foreigner even if the charge is false?

Of course, it is possible. And the fact that the state of Hawaii does not open birth records to the public has only fueled it. But what seems most deplorable to me is that in this latest effort to smear the presumptive Democratic Party nominee  Hillary supporters are latching onto an obvious Republican smear.

Here's a little snarky take on the whole deal:

Top Ten Reasons Obama Won't Release His Birth Certificate

10. Despite the claims of his supporters, it was not technically a virgin birth.

9. Full name is Ayatollah Mubarack Hussein Obama-Khomeni bin Laden.

8. Actual birth date would reveal he's a Virgo, and those people are %#&*@! CRAZY.

7. Accidentally shredded it while going through his Rezko mortgage records.

6. Doesn't want NARAL to find out that his mom was pro-life.

5. Religion listed as "Muslim. Er, I mean Christian, yeah, that's the ticket! Christian!"

4. "You show the reporters the birth certificate, then they want to see the baby pictures, and after oohing and aahing for an hour, you're inviting them to stay for dinner, and... look, I've got a lot of stuff I need to get done, okay?"

3. Instead of being born at Leahi-Kai or Maluhia hospital, his mom picked Kokua Kalihi, and that place is just so ghetto.

2. His real father? Little Richard.

1. Can't he just eat his waffle? printer_3349.shtml/ ten-reasons-obama-wont-release-his-birth -certificate.aspx

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Clinton Coalition Crumbling ...

I wrote this for today's Beyond Chron.

Barack Obama's 17-point victory last night in Wisconsin was not just his ninth consecutive (and overwhelming) win since Super Tuesday.  The big news was how far he cut into Hillary Clinton's base - beating her among working-class voters, winning middle-age voters decisively, and almost tying her among white women.  Clinton still holds an edge among seniors, but there's evidence that she's losing support from Latinos  - which could prove fatal in the Texas primary on March 4th.  Clinton's decision to go negative backfired, raising serious questions about how she could stage a comeback at this point.  And like last week before the Potomac Primary, the Democratic race had a last-minute "scandal" that was supposed to give Clinton a surge - only to not materialize.  That's because voters have already made up their minds.

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