Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/2

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/2

US: ‘Fired up’ voters in 18 states outpace 2014 early ballot counts

nytimes.com

More Americans are taking advantage of absentee and early voting this year, with 28 million ballots already cast nationwide and four days of the campaign still to go. In 18 states and Washington, D.C., advance vote counts have already surpassed those of the last midterm elections.

ND: Judge denies tribe's request for emergency relief from North Dakota voter ID law

bismarcktribune.com

A federal judge denied a motion seeking relief from North Dakota’s voter identification law for Native American voters, saying it would cause more confusion less than a week before the election, but said the allegations in a lawsuit from the Spirit Lake Tribe give him “great cause for concern.” 

OR: Oregon voters to decide fate of sanctuary law

npr.org

Oregon's 1987 sanctuary law, which limits local and state police from enforcing federal immigration policies, is one of the oldest in the country. Now, voters in Oregon are casting ballots on Measure 105, which could repeal the law. A recent poll in Oregon found neither side of the sanctuary law repeal had a majority — and 20 percent of voters were undecided.

NJ: New Jersey's gas pipes spring 10K leaks a year; danger growing

northjersey.com

In the past 20 years, explosions along New Jersey's labyrinthine network of natural-gas pipelines have killed five people, injured 34 and caused more than $48 million in property damage, according to federal data. As the state's network ages, the number of explosions resulting in death or injury is increasing.

MI: State forms team to address Michigan funeral home problems

apnews.com

Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has formed a team of multiple agencies to address allegations of improper body disposal, prepaid funeral violations and other complaints involving funeral homes across the state. Police are investigating one closed Detroit funeral home after 10 mummified fetuses and a full-term infant were found hidden in a ceiling. 

NC: Some North Carolina voters say the machines changed their choices

newsobserver.com

Two out of five North Carolina voters live in areas that use touch-screen voting machines. And some people have reported during early voting this year that those machines are changing their votes. Officials said it was "a very small number of voters."

TX: Texas machines that switched votes use 2002 technology in 2018

texastribune.org

Many Texas counties purchased their current electronic voting machines about 15 years ago. The manufacturer says that's important context as to why some voters have faced issues voting a straight-ticket ballot.

MD: University of Maryland's accreditation under review after football player's death

baltimoresun.com

The accreditation of the University of Maryland, College Park, is under review in the wake of the death of football player Jordan McNair. If the university lost its accreditation, its students would no longer be eligible for federal financial aid.

IL: Chicago finds nearly 1 in 5 homes with water meters have lead

chicagotribune.com

Tests on a sampling of homes with water meters showed nearly 1 in 5 had elevated levels of brain-damaging lead in their tap water, information Chicago’s water commissioner said he has known about since June.

MO: Election board mistakenly tells some Missouri voters they can't vote

stltoday.com

Election officials in St. Louis County said they mistakenly sent letters to 600 voters telling them they are ineligible to vote Nov. 6. It took a call from a reporter for the board to start notifying voters of the mistake.

CA: California goes all-in on voter access

sacbee.com

In California, you can register to vote online. You can request a mail ballot without providing a reason. And if your ballot is postmarked by Election Day, it can arrive up to three days late and still count.

VT: Vermont physicians’ group opposes legal medical marijuana market

vtdigger.org

The Vermont Medical Society says that expanding marijuana would harm infants and youth, increase traffic fatalities and hinder workplace productivity. The society, which represents about 2,000 physicians and physician assistants, said it would oppose the creation of a system for commercial marijuana sales in meetings with lawmakers and the governor.

NM: New Mexico churches expanding migrant shelters

apnews.com

A network of churches in southern New Mexico is seeking to expand the number of temporary shelters for migrants amid an expected jump in demand.

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