The Obama administration gave conditional approval on Monday to health insurance marketplaces being set up by six states led by Democratic governors eager to carry out President Obama’s health care overhaul. The six are Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington.
OK, these states are now my favorites as the best in the U.S. They actually care about their citizens.
By the way, I’ve only lived in one of them but have had happy moments in each of them. I encourage everyone to visit and enjoy and also to stay away from states that are dragging their feet or not willing to participate in increased access to health care for all.
Black Friday Mic Check at Maryland Walmart (by videonation)
SO THERE’S THAT
The Campaign for 20 Million More is an effort spearheaded by Marriage Equality USA to bring together community organizations across the country to educate on the importance of marriage equality and support the four state coalitions this fall in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.
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Updated Nov 2, 2012 at 7:00PM EST
Note: States and counties are still making changes to Election Day information. Please check back frequently at http://www.866ourvote.org/pages/hurricane-sandy-election-changes,and if you encounter any problems voting call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
The in-person voter registration deadline has been extended from October 30 at 8:00pm to November 1 at 8:00pm. Polling locations without power may be moved, but the status of these polling locations will not be decided until November 5. Theoretically, power is not needed at polling locations because Connecticut uses optical scan voting machines that are run by batteries. Changes are expected for Election Day, Tuesday, November 6th.
Delaware does not offer early in-person voting or absentee voting without a valid excuse. The state’s registration deadline passed on October 13, 2012. No changes to voting in Delaware have been announced.
District of Columbia
Due to Hurricane Sandy, Early Voting was suspended for Monday, October 29th and Tuesday, October 30th. Early voting resumed October 31st with extended hours - closing at 9pm instead of 7pm as previously scheduled. Early voting began October 29th and concludes November 3rd.
Early voting hours have been extended so that all early voting centers will be open between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Wednesday, October 31, 2012, Thursday, November 1, 2012, and Friday, November 2, 2012. The deadline for submitting a request for an absentee ballot was extended to October 31st. Generators are being moved in to run polling sites without electricity. Election officials expect all polling sites to open on Election Day as scheduled. (http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-11-01/news/bs-md-early-vote-thursday-20121101_1_poll-workers-deputy-state-elections-administrator-provisional-ballot).
Massachusetts does not offer early voting, and only offers absentee ballots to voters with qualifying excuses. There are no changes due to Hurricane Sandy.
The application deadline for requesting a mail-in ballot in New Jersey was extended to those received by close of business on November 2. County Clerks and Election Offices are required to remain open from Friday November 2 through Monday November 5, at a minimum from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Voters may go to their County Clerk’s office to fill out and turn in absentee ballots on Election Day. Polling places that have power will open as planned, but alternate plans are being coordinated for those locations without power. Some polling places are being consolidated or set up in temporary shelters, and military vehicles are being outfitted to serve as temporary polling places. Voters can text 877877 to find out the location of their polling place. Polling locations on Election Day will be open 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Changes are expected for Election Day, Tuesday, November 6th.
Absentee ballots can be requested online and over the phone until Friday, November 2nd. Absentee ballots may be obtained in person until November 5th. All absentee ballots must be postmarked or submitted in person by Monday, November 5th. The state is allowing 13 days instead of 7 days from November 5th for ballots to be received. Board of Elections offices in the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn, are open between 10AM and 9PM. The Manhattan and Staten Island offices are closed, but Manhattan’s office has been relocated to the Manhattan Voting Machine Facility. Polling places may have to be relocated in certain areas, but efforts are being made to keep them as close to their original location as possible. Power is not needed at polling locations because New York uses optical scan voting machines that are run by batteries. Changes are expected for Election Day, Tuesday, November 6th. Updates, as well as the addresses of current Board of Elections offices, can be checked at http://www/vote/nyc.ny.us.
On Monday, Oct 29th early voting sites were closed in Currituck County. Dare County was closed on both October 29th and October 30th. Ocracoke Island in Hyde County closed on October 26th, and won’t open until ferry service returns. Early voting sites in Pamlico County closed an hour early on October 27th and were closed entirely on October 28th.
Ohio allows in-person early-voting and no-excuse vote by mail. Early Voting runs from October 2nd-November 5th. There was no change in voting due to the storm.
The deadline for voters to request absentee ballots (5:00 pm Tuesday, October 30th) will be extended by one day for each day that a county’s offices were closed. The deadline for county election offices to receive completed absentee ballots to be extended until 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5, on a county-by-county basis. Allegheny Co., PA has extended the deadline to accept completed absentee ballots to 8pm on Election Day.
Rhode Island does not offer in-person early voting or absentee voting without a qualifying excuse. No changes have been made due to Hurricane Sandy.
Tennessee allows early voting from October 17th through November 1st. No changes have been announced because of Hurricane Sandy.
Virginia suspended in-person absentee voting (excuse required) on October 29th. As of October 30, all but nine counties have reopened their early voting. For information about specific counties, please visit:http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/EmergencyClosings.html
West Virginia allows in-person early voting but does not allow absentee voting without a valid excuse. Early Voting hours are set by county and runs from October 24th-November 3rd. There were no statewide changes due to the storm.
Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, the Western Maryland Republican who faces a re-election battle this fall, has repeatedly filed incomplete and inaccurate campaign finance reports, and was fined $5,000 this year by the Federal Election Commission, records show.
A review of FEC data by the Baltimore Sun found that Bartlett has received 25 letters from the agency for incomplete reports since 2009 — more than any other current member of the House of Representatives.
|—||President Obama, representin’ marriage equality in Maryland on Tuesday (via bluestatebarbecue)|
Just this week, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law the first bill in the nation prohibiting employers from requiring or requesting employees or job applicants to disclose their user names or passwords or any other means of accessing personal internet sites as a condition of employment.
Todd Stave from Voice of Choice (previously covered here) says, “This flyer was put on the doors of the homes in my wife’s parents neighborhood. They are targeting me because I am the landlord to an abortion doctor. The people who made this piece of art felt that best way to convey their desire for me to terminate my lease with the doctor was to litter my in-laws’ neighborhood and attempt to embarrass them.”
You can see an image of the flyer at the link. I won’t display the garbage here.
Tumblr, I give you Martin O’Malley the Governor of Maryland
What a BAMF
— Maryland prosecutors on Tuesday dismissed murder charges against two out-of-state abortion doctors, citing conflicts in expert testimony.
Cecil County State’s Atty. Ellis Rollins announced the dismissal of all charges against Steven Brigham, 55, of Voorhees, N.J., and Nicola Riley, 46, of Salt Lake City.
They were charged under a Maryland law that allows prosecutors to pursue murder charges in the death of a viable fetus. The 2005 law had been used only for cases in which defendants were accused of assaulting or killing pregnant women, not to prosecute abortion doctors.
The investigation began in August 2010 after what authorities said was a botched procedure at Brigham’s clinic in Elkton, Md. Investigators found 35 late-term fetuses in a freezer, documents show.
~ LA Times
“We are a people of many different religions and many different faiths. The only way forward in a pluralistic society of diverse faiths such as ours is to have laws that protect and respect the freedom of all, equally.
That’s why we joined together — as clergy and faith-based leaders, as community activists and civil rights leaders, as volunteers, as legislators, and as citizens — and passed a bill that provides equal protection under the law for every individual, and the free exercise of religion without government interference.
The common thread running through our efforts together in Maryland is the thread of human dignity: the dignity of work, the dignity of faith, the dignity of family, the dignity of every individual, the dignity of a free people who, at the end of the day, all want the same thing for our children.” - Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley
A chance shake-up of Maryland House of Delegates seating assignments brought Republican Wade Kach face to face with gay couples who had come to make the case for a gay marriage law, and might have proved decisive in its final passage through the state’s General Assembly on Thursday.
"I saw with so many of the gay couples, they were so devoted to another. I saw so much love," he said. "When this hearing was over, I was a changed person in regard to this issue. I felt that I understood what same sex couples were looking for."
A week later, Kach voted for the gay marriage bill on the floor of the House of Delegates, one of only two Republicans to do so. Their support proved vital, as the bill squeaked through the 141-member chamber on a 72–67 vote. The bill’s passage through the Senate also was close – it passed 25-22 Thursday – and Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat and a strong supporter the law, is expected to sign it soon.