Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Texas lawmakers consider legislation to prevent cities from self-governance, Connecticut considers policy options to alleviate an eviction crisis, and Ohio residents await community water systems.


Gov. Ron DeSantis breaks his silence on Trump's potential indictment and attacks Manhattan prosecutors, President Biden vetoes his first bill to protect socially conscious retirement investing, and the Supreme Court hears a case on Native American water rights.


The 41st state has opted into Medicaid which could be a lifeline for rural hospitals in North Carolina, homelessness barely rose in the past two years but the work required to hold the numbers increased, and destruction of the "Sagebrush Sea" from Oregon to Wyoming is putting protection efforts for an itty-bitty bunny on the map.

WI Election Officials Reject New Absentee-Voting Rules


Thursday, July 14, 2022   

Wisconsin's election officials are trying to determine how a recent ruling from the Wisconsin Supreme Court outlawing absentee-ballot drop boxes will impact absentee voting in next month's primary elections.

The state's six-person bipartisan elections commission this week failed to agree on new guidance for clerks to help them apply the ruling.

Bob Spindell, a Republican Wisconsin Elections Commissioner, said in the group's meeting Tuesday the commission's failure to agree on the guidance would essentially leave local officials to figure it out themselves.

"We have a responsibility, as the Wisconsin Elections Commission, to give some guidance on this important decision that came down," Spindell contended. "I think we should at least give some minimal guidance to the 1,850 municipal clerks out there."

Providing election guidance to county and municipal clerks is one of the elections commission's basic functions. But in this case, the commission's three Democrats argued the proposed rules were overreaching, and could potentially generate more lawsuits.

The policies included a new rule mandating the elector themselves mail or return their ballot, not a family member or unapproved second party. While the issue was at hand in the court case outlawing drop boxes, the state's high court did not specifically weigh in on that part of the challenge.

Ann Jacobs, a Democratic Wisconsin Elections Commissioner, believes the proposed policy changes are unnecessary.

"I don't think it provides guidance," Jacobs asserted. "I think it provides our own interpretation of something that clerks have an independent responsibility to interpret."

The proposed guidelines would have established new voter ID requirements for absentee ballots. Democrats and voting-rights groups have protested the court's decision to ban drop boxes, contending it will make it more difficult for those with disabilities and the elderly to cast absentee ballots.

Ballots still can be returned by mail or to a clerk's office, and Wisconsin's primary election is August 9.

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

get more stories like this via email
Clear-cutting a forest can leave behind a scarred landscape, as seen in this 2019 photo from an area linked to the Enviva Northampton wood pellet plant in Garysburg, North Carolina. (Dogwood Alliance)


Climate-change groups are calling attention to the environmental destruction linked to the wood pellet industry - even as California is considering a …

Social Issues

Many Nebraskans know how crucial a family caregiver is to one of their family members. Now AARP research has put a dollar value on that unpaid care - …

Social Issues

South Dakota is home to one of the nation's largest American Indian reservations, and the area is part of a movement among tribal nations to take …

According to a report from the Appalachian Citizens Law Center, the black lung benefit rate for a miner with no dependents is now 738-dollars a month. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

As the cost of food, medicine and rent continues to climb, new data shows the benefits miners receive are now 40% less than what they received in 1969…


With the cost of farmland up by more than 8% percent in North Carolina, the state's Black farmers are struggling to purchase additional acreage or …

Garrett Betts inspects his 275-gallon tank and trailer setup. Before Garrett built the trailer, he was hauling water with the tank in the bed of his truck.(Photo by Zachary Shephard)


By Zachary Shepherd and Kelsey Paulus for Kent State News Lab.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Co…

Social Issues

Republican-sponsored bills and amendments in the Legislature would eliminate the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth. More than 1.5-million …


The annual cleaning of acequias in northern New Mexico gets underway in earnest next week, just as a filmmaker debuts a documentary about their past…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021