Yesterday, the Colorado state legislature approved a bill that will expand voter rights in the state. The bill would provide every voter a mail-in ballot, allow same-day voter registration, create a statewide voter database, and replace assigned precincts with general "voter centers."
The bill which passed in the state Senate with a vote of 20 to 15 and in the state House with a vote 36 to 26, received no votes from Republican lawmakers in either chamber. The bill, called the "Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act," was drafted with help from the bi-partisan Colorado County Clerk Association, which supports it. The Conservatives argued that the bill would allow voter fraud, and a ploy to get more Democratic votes. Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler (R) called the bill a "partisan power play."
State Senator Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) argued in the Senate, "It's a technical bill that was written by the county clerks...They're the ones who know, and they're the ones who are going to be held accountable every day when people come in to register and vote in county elections. I trust that."
Now, the bill will go back to the House to approve minor changes made by the Senate. If the changes are approved, the bill will be sent to Governor John Hickenlooper.
Media Resources: Denver Post 5/2/2013; KDVR 5/2/2013; San Francisco Chronicle 5/2/2013; ThinkProgress 5/2/2013
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .