Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/20

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/20

OR: Oregon tries Facebook to reconnect with inactive voters

oregonlive.com

The Oregon secretary of state is tapping the social media site's extensive reach to persuade inactive voters to update their registration in time for the November election. Richardson appears on a video targeted only at the 447,000 names on the state's inactive voters list.

FL: If you vote by mail in Florida, it’s 10 times more likely that ballot won’t count

miamiherald.com

A study of Florida’s past two presidential elections finds that mail ballots were 10 times more likely to be rejected than votes cast at early voting sites or on Election Day.

NY: Bitcoin miners flock to New York’s remote corners, but get chilly reception

nytimes.com

A New York region that once attracted heavy industry is coping with an influx of Bitcoin speculators, lured by an abundance of cheap electricity.  

MI: Medicaid expansion hangs in balance in Michigan governor race

detroitnews.com

Michigan’s next governor stands to play a substantial role in deciding the fate of Healthy Michigan, the popular Medicaid expansion program championed by term-limited Republican Gov. Rick Snyder that could end in coming years if looming costs trip a legislative kill switch.

WI: Wisconsin Elections Commission hires new staff aimed at increasing elections security

channel3000.com

With less than two months until the November election, the Wisconsin Elections Commission has hired several new staff members to help with election security.

DC: Collateral damage: caught between gun violence and aggressive policing in D.C.

wamu.org

Few police departments are better at finding illegal guns than the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department. But in the day-to-day battle to get guns off the street, residents in some majority-African-American neighborhoods say they are being caught in the crossfire between an ongoing epidemic of gun violence and aggressive police tactics.

VA: Virginia House GOP releases redistricting proposal 

richmond.com

Republican leaders in the Virginia House of Delegates unveiled their own redistricting plan, saying their proposed map is “race blind” and would fix racial gerrymandering without giving either party a significant political advantage. The General Assembly has six weeks to pass a new House electoral map after a federal court found lawmakers unconstitutionally prioritized race during the 2011 redistricting process.

CA, NM: California, New Mexico sue over Trump rollback of methane rules

thehill.com

The Democratic attorneys general of California and New Mexico sued the Trump administration to stop it from rolling back methane pollution standards for oil and natural gas drilling.

MT: Montana to require fracking fluid disclosure

billingsgazette.com

Public concerns about fracking fluids seeping into nearby water wells have been simmering for years. Now, Montana regulators are drafting rules requiring ingredient-level disclosure of fracking fluid chemicals.

CO: Colorado makes anti-smoking drugs available at pharmacies, without a prescription

coloradosun.com

People now can skip the doctor’s office and go straight to a pharmacy to get prescription medication to help them quit smoking. The new statewide prescription protocol is the second in Colorado, following approval last year for pharmacists to prescribe birth-control pills and patches.

AL: Alabama secretary of state sued for blocking constituents on Twitter

al.com

Three registered Alabama voters claim in a complaint filed on their behalf by the ACLU of Alabama that Republican Secretary of State John Merrill violated their First Amendment rights by blocking them from interacting with his official account.  

LA: Tougher laws on pipeline protests face test in Louisiana

wwno.org

After a high-profile campaign to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016, a number of states moved to make it harder to protest oil and gas projects. Now in Louisiana, the first felony arrests of protesters could be a test case of these tougher laws as opponents vow a legal challenge.

TN: Tennessee government school security app could be ready by December

wkrn.com

An app for reporting potential school security issues might be available in Tennessee by the holiday season. The app was one of the key proposals of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s school security working group last spring in the wake of the Parkland shooting. 

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