What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/19

US: States seek to reassure voters, tighten poll security

Facing unprecedented warnings of a "rigged" election from Donald Trump, state officials around the nation are rushing to reassure the public, and some are taking subtle steps to boost security at polling places because of the passions whipped up by the race.

PA: Faculty strike at 14 Pennsylvania state universities

Faculty at 14 Pennsylvania universities have gone on strike over proposed raises and health care contributions. More than 100,000 students are affected.

US: Regulators approve higher health premiums to strengthen ‘Obamacare’ insurers

Many state insurance regulators have approved premium increases higher than those requested by insurers, despite a national effort to keep rates for policies sold on Affordable Care Act exchanges from skyrocketing. Eight states — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Utah — approved increases of a percentage point or more.

WI: Wisconsin has the largest black-white graduation gap in the nation

New federal data show that almost 93 percent of white students in Wisconsin earn high school diplomas within four years, compared with just 64 percent of black students.

AZ: Arizona execution procedures face federal court review

A U.S. district judge will hear arguments about resuming executions in Arizona, where a 2014 lethal injection that took nearly two hours raised questions about the state's death chamber protocols and the chemicals it uses to kill inmates.

IN: Indiana election officials allege more voter fraud

Republican Secretary of State Connie Lawson said her office has found voter registration forms containing first names and birth dates different from what voters provided. She said she has handed those altered records over to the Indiana State Police for review.

ND: North Dakota’s tax collections up slightly in September

Revenue came in at about $106.9 million in September, up about $1.2 million above projections, which narrowed North Dakota’s two-year budget shortfall to $6.4 million.

GA: ACLU sues Georgia to reopen voter registration in storm-hit counties

The American Civil Liberties Union wants the state of Georgia to reopen registration for six days for residents of six counties where Hurricane Matthew forced evacuations and government closings.

NV: Nevada medical school wins preliminary accreditation, clearing way for first class

The accreditation decision eliminates one of the final barriers for the University of Nevada-Las Vegas’ new medical school to debut and allows admissions officials to move ahead with student recruitment for a charter class of students to start next year.

OK: Oklahoma corrections employees to get one-time stipend

The one-time stipend of $1,750 will come from $10.2 million the agency received in September as partial reimbursement for an overly large budget cut made when state revenue was coming in short. Most of Oklahoma’s corrections employees haven't seen a raise in a decade.

OH: Sharing photos of your ballot is illegal in Ohio, but don’t expect jail time

In Ohio, it’s a felony that carries jail time to post a selfie photo of you and your ballot online. But authorities say they won't be scouring Twitter for #ballotselfie posts next month to snag scofflaws.

Rural Arts Election Rules