Saturday, December 3, 2022

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Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

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The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.

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The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

ME Lawmakers Spotlight Need to Protect Election Workers

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Wednesday, April 6, 2022   

The Maine Legislature passed a bill on Tuesday to strengthen protections in the law for election workers and volunteers.

In a recent survey of almost 600 election officials nationwide, one in six respondents said they'd been threatened personally, with more than half of those threats not reported to law enforcement.

State Rep. Bruce White, D-Waterville, who introduced the bill, said in addition to making interfering with an election worker a Class D misdemeanor, the bill would add a reporting procedure to document threats.

"Across the nation - really, since November of 2020 - there have been an alarming number of death threats and violence made against election workers and officials, including right here in our own state of Maine."

The bill now goes to Gov. Janet Mills' desk for a signature. One in five election officials in the poll said they are "somewhat or very unlikely" to remain in their positions, with one-third saying a key factor is "too many political leaders attacking a system that they know is fair and honest."

White added that the bill is aimed at not only protecting workers, but protecting democracy and free and fair elections. He noted that if there aren't enough workers and volunteers, polling places become disorganized and lines can get long.

"We really want to provide adequate protections, so that all of us have that right to cast our ballot on Election Day," he said. "We want the process to go smooth, and are thankful for all the workers out there, too."

Maine is actively recruiting poll workers for the next election, the June 14 primary. To sign up, Mainers are urged to contact their local town office or city hall and speak with the municipal clerk. Maine also is set to get roughly $1 million for improvements to election security and technology from the federal budget bill, which allocated $75 million nationwide in the face of increasing cyberthreats.

Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.


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