fresh voices from the front lines of change







More U.S. Cities Celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day

Across the US, more cities ditch Columbus Day to honor those who really discovered America. CNN: "By now, you probably know Christopher Columbus didn't discover America. He wasn't even the first European to do it. Somehow, the 15th-century Italian explorer still got his own national holiday. But more cities and states are scrapping Columbus Day to honor the people who were here first -- and who suffered greatly after Columbus' arrival. Just this year, at least a dozen US cities -- including San Francisco and Cincinnati -- decided to stop observing Columbus Day and will instead celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday. 'This issue is a lot like the Confederate flag for southerners. As an Italian-American it feels good that there is an official holiday that is nominally about us. We are proud of our heritage. Yet the specifics of this holiday run so deep into human suffering that we need to shift our pride elsewhere.' Dozens of other cities and entire states, including Minnesota, Alaska, Vermont and Oregon, have also replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. Hawaii celebrates Discoverers' Day on the second Monday of October. And South Dakota celebrates Native American Day."

Taylor Swift Endorses Democrats

Famously apolitical star slams TN Republican, endorses Democrats. WaPo: "In a stunning turnaround from her refusal to discuss anything related to politics, Taylor Swift revealed whom she’s voting for in the 2018 midterms The pop megastar, who just wrapped up a 40-date stadium tour across the country, posted a long Instagram caption Sunday night. In it, Swift, who is registered to vote in Tennessee, gave a detailed explanation about why she’s voting for Democrats Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for the House. Swift also slammed Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), writing, 'Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me.' 'In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now,' Swift wrote to her 112 million Instagram followers. 'I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country.'"

GOP Fears Blue Wave In Once-Safe Districts

Republicans fear Democratic 'blue wave' spreading to once-safe districts. Reuters: "The last time U.S. congressional elections were held in this central Virginia district, Meg Sneed voted for the Republican incumbent, Representative Dave Brat. Her friend, Cheryll Lesser, did not vote at all. Last week, the two women sat in the second row at a campaign event in a martial arts’ studio listening to the Democrat running against Brat, Abigail Spanberger. They nodded in agreement with much of what she had to say. But the real reason they were there was basic: Donald Trump. They don’t like the president, and they weren’t about to vote for anyone, like Brat, who supports him. 'More than the policy, it’s the animosity he is fostering within the country,' Sneed said of Trump. Voters such as Sneed and Lesser are a significant reason why Democrats now believe that in the Nov. 6 congressional midterm elections, the party can win more than the 23 seats they need to seize control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Some predict Democrats could take as many as 40 seats by flipping districts like Brat’s in Virginia. Earlier this year, Brat’s seat was considered safe. But if a so-called “blue wave” materializes, it would roll through a district like his, which includes pockets of suburban voters who increasingly have been turning away from Republicans. 'Republicans are playing defense in more and more places,' said Doug Heye, a former official at the Republican National Committee. 'The Democrats’ map continues to get bigger. The Republicans’ map continues to get smaller. That’s a real problem.'"

TX Invalidates Online Voter Registrations

Thousands of online voter registration applications are invalid, Texas officials say. Austin American-Statesman: "More than 2,000 applications to register to vote in Texas submitted through an online service are invalid, state officials said. Travis County officials, however, said they will accept such applications. Texas does not allow online registration, but, a website run by a California-based nonprofit, seemed to have found a loophole by allowing voters to fill out an online application and attach a photo of their signature, which the service then faxed and mailed to elections administrators. State law allows residents to send their registration application by fax if they follow it up with a copy by mail to the county registrar within four business days. Secretary of State Rolando Pablos’ office told the company early this week that it does not consider such registrations valid because they don’t contain original signatures and instructed county officials to issue notices to applicants saying their forms were incomplete. Though site administrators disagree, to avoid further complication, they stopped processing Texas applications that way and are now instructing users to print and mail their forms. 'We remind all eligible Texas voters that online voter registration is not available in the state of Texas,' Pablos’ office said in a statement released Wednesday. 'Any website that misleadingly claims to assist voters in registering to vote online by simply submitting a digital signature is not authorized to do so.' Pablos urged voters to check their registration status and find more information about how to register at Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant, the county’s voter registrar, however, said he consulted with the county attorney’s office, which advised him that copies of voter registration forms are acceptable under state law. The statue that allows registrations by fax calls for a copy to be sent by mail, not an original, he said. He said his office has received a little under 800 applications through"

How To Register To Vote: State By State

How to register to vote: deadlines for each state. NYT:" Election Day is Nov. 6, but voter registration deadlines in many states are well before that. So far, no deadlines have passed, though many are close. Here’s a list of each state’s voter registration deadline. The mail deadlines are when the applications should be postmarked, unless stated otherwise. Some states allow you to register through Election Day, but may have special requirements to do so. Registered already? Here is a list of states that allow early voting."

What You Need To Know To Vote

A voter’s guide to registering for the 2018 election — beat the deadline!. Common Dreams: "You can’t vote without registering — and it’s easier than you might think. A Voter’s Guide to the 2018 Election, written by Steven Rosenfeld, senior writing fellow of Voting Booth, is intended to help new voters, infrequent voters and veteran voters have a better idea of what they must do to be able to vote and have their vote counted. The following is an excerpt from the guide, available in full here. Every state except North Dakota requires residents to register to vote. This can be done in three-quarters of the states by going online, or by paper applications mailed in or filed in person To vote in national and state elections in America, you have to be a citizen, age 18 or older, and register with your state before its deadline.

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Georgia Voters Must Check TODAY If They Have Been Purged From Voting Rolls. Miles Mogulescu: "RED ALERT! Georgia has purged nearly ten percent of its registered voters – nearly 750,000 people - from the voting rolls without their ever knowing. Now these voters have just one more day to reregister. If you are a Georgia voter, or know someone who is, tell them to check here today to revalidate their vote, while's there still time."

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