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  • Jul 01, 2019 12:47 PM
    Last: 3mo
    I think what I was saying in another thread works here as well. A good example is Nevada, which can go either way. You have a large Hispanic population paired with a large influx of Californians moving to the state in recent years. I could see it going completely blue instead of the gray. Then again you have a sizable population of Republican gun owners who live there as well.
  • Nov 21, 2019 12:10 PM
    Last: 3mo
    bryce28 Wrote:

    And for Mayor Pete, agree he seriously lacks support outside of predominately white primary voting states. But it is still very early in the bigger picture. If he wins Iowa and New Hampshire, all eyes will be on him for Nevada and especially South Carolina, but we won't really know until all that kicks off in Feb.

    I think he has a serious shot to take Iowa. In Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll he rose 16% in support, bringing him to 25%. With Warren, Biden and Sanders tying for second at 15%. I can see getting decent traction in New Hampsire as well. I have my doubts about South Carolina and Nevada. Plus, Nevada is definitely Kamala Harris' territory given the fact that many Southern Californians have moved there due to it having a cheaper housing market.
  • Oct 03, 2019 11:15 AM
    Last: 5mo
    bryce28 Wrote:

    Warren or Sanders would be better served if one of them dropped out and joined the other campaign as the VP ticket.

    I agree completely. They do make a good team. The first time I thought this was seeing them team up against the younger candidates in the debates.
  • Sep 26, 2019 04:52 PM
    Last: 5mo

    Mitch McConnell agreed to spend $250 million on election security for 2020. Yet, Pennsylvania will probably spend at least $125 million alone. And that's just to update their voting machines, leaving arguably some of their most vulnerable systems and databases untouched. The Senate might have approved the $250 million to go towards election security for the nation, but when you put that number up next to what Pennsylvania is spending just for themselves, it feels like a drop in the bucket.

    The money Pennsylvania is putting up will only address one vulnerability in an already creaky voting system, which is upgrading their voting machines. That's all well and good, but what about the vulnerabilities of the registration, and post election audits systems? Those are just as important, don't you think?

    Lawrence Norden, the director of the Election Reform Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University said that the state and local election officials are caught between replacing antiquated paperless voting machines or upgrading an outdated registration database.

    “Two hundred and fifty million dollars across over 8,000 election jurisdictions doesn’t come close to paying for these things in a single year, let alone for elections beyond 2020.”

    Congress allotted $380 million to the states in 2018, which has mostly gone to the 2020 election, but that will still leave a lot more to be done.

    Congress still has a chance to allot more money towards election security. The House approved $600 million, but the two chambers will still need to reach an agreement in a legislative conference this fall. Let's hope more effort goes into it.

    So what does the $125 million say for the rest of the country? If that will only upgrade outdated voting systems in one state alone, then congress will have to cough up the funds necessary to protect the integrity of our already fragile voting system. Or, states will have to foot the bill, which may leave some of the poorer states vulnerable.

    A firm move toward voting security should be bipartisan. It's in each party's interest. Especially after the last election.

  • Sep 06, 2019 12:27 PM
    Last: 4mo

    There's now $700 million of student loan forgiveness out there for those who are quick on the draw. Last I heard, it was a mere $100 million. If there is any indication of just how bad the student loan crisis is, then this increase should be it. Ah, but there is a catch, as always. So what do we know so far?

    The federal government currently has a student loan forgiveness program. Most borrowers who think they qualify are rejected - 99% actually. Congress then created an expanded program, and yet the majority are rejected. Now, $700 million sounds great in this new "expanded program", but there is a strict set of qualifications. Between May of 2018 and May of 2019, Congress only spent a whopping $27 million of the $700 million. There were 54,000 requests, and only 661 were filed.

    "Here's the important part that many of these applicants - including the 71% who were rejected for this reason - missed. To apply for this expanded student loan forgiveness program, you had to meet all the requirements for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, but you mistakenly enrolled in an ineligible repayment plan (such as the graduated or extended repayment plans). You with me?"

    So how do you get into this club?

    1. You must work for a qualifying public service employer in a qualifying public service role.

    "Typically, there are two types of employers: a) state, local and federal government; and b) 501(c)(3) non-profit."

    2. You must have what is considered direct, federal student loans.

    "The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program does not forgive private student loans - even if you work in public service."

    3. You must have applied in the past for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

    "This is critical. Do not skip this step. You must have applied for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and made some or all of your payments under a repayment plan that did not qualify. Then, you were rejected solely because you enrolled in an ineligible student loan repayment plan."

    4. You must have enrolled in a a federal repayment plan.

    "You also must be enrolled in an income-driven federal repayment plan, and make the majority of your payments under the plan. You can determine which student loan repayment plan works best for you with these student loan calculators."

    The kicker:

    What if you don't work in public service?

    While you could try for student loan forgiveness through an income-driven repayment plan, it may take 20 to 25 years to receive forgiveness and your student loans may be paid off by then. There's a more proactive approach.

    Student loan refinancing can lower your interest rate, which can save you substantial money in interest payments. With student loan refinance, you can combine your existing private student loans, federal student loans or both into a new, single student loan with a lower interest rate and one monthly payment. This student loan refinancing calculator shows you how much you can save.

    You won't have access to federal repayment plans and benefits, but many private student loan lenders now offer forbearance and deferral programs for economic hardship. The higher your student loan balance, the more you can potentially save.

    Ok, so the point I'm trying to make here, is to first show the hoops that are required to jump through in order to even be considered for the extended program. Call me a pessimist, but they are put in place so not just anyone can get help. I know $700 million isn't a lot compared to what many college grads are having to pay off into their 50's. Yes, I believe that there should be a selection process, but I don't think it should be so limited as this is. This type of loan only will help a certain sect within a sect of college grads, and overall, doesn't even come close to being a remedy to the bigger picture. Does anyone else agree?

  • Aug 14, 2019 07:54 PM
    Last: 6mo
    J.K.Logic Wrote:

    Nevada is also now one of the 15 states that are part of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. So we are inching closer to one person = one vote, regardless of state lines.

    Wouldn't that be nice? These states are getting a lot of push back from the opposition, namely the GOP. When either side opposes movements that give more power back to the popular vote, it only indicates to me how scared politicians are to actually let the American people decide for themselves.
  • Aug 14, 2019 07:54 PM
    Last: 6mo

    Between 2008 and 2017 over 450,000 Californians moved to Nevada, which made California the largest source of new residents to the swing state. One main cause is high rising housing prices, namely in the Bay Area and Southern California that has Cali transplants opting for cheaper prices in Reno and Las Vegas. So what kind of impact does this have on Nevada politics, especially pertaining to the coming presidential election?

    While not all of the former Californians are left-leaning or even vote for that matter, their exodus has certainly accelerated a move to left in the state. According to political strategists and observers, it has helped Democrats take control of state government for the first time in a generation, greasing the wheels for a number of progressive policies.

    "Already, the results have been palpable. In recent months, lawmakers raised the minimum wage, put in place higher green energy standards, guaranteed collective bargaining rights for state employees and enacted new gun control measures (some of which don’t go into effect until next year) — making the state a little more like its neighbor to the west."

    According to data from Nevada's Secretary of State, statewide party voter registration switched from a Republican advantage of 1,000 voters in 2004 to a Democratic Advantage of more than 70,000 in 2019. Yet, the fastest growing group is voters registered without party preference. This could mean a lot for a state that has voted Republican for the past six presidential elections.

    "Democrats swept all of the most crucial races in last year’s midterm elections, winning the governor’s office, both houses of the legislature, and their second U.S. Senate seat. They’re in control of all the levers of state government for the first time since 1992."

    The influx could be a big advantage for Democratic candidates in the 2020 Presidential Election, especially for California Senator Kamala Harris - who has put a lot of special focus on Nevada. Her campaign alone has visited Nevada 8 times, which is more than any other top contender in the race. It's definitely something to think about.

    Either way, the changing of Nevada's demographics will certainly ripple-out into 2020's key Democratic caucuses which is the third contest of the presidential primary campaign.

    I would definitely like to hear other opinions on this. I also wonder if there are any other states experiencing such a high amount of migration from other states. My money would be on Texas ... and California migrants, yet again.

  • Aug 07, 2019 06:14 PM
    Last: 4mo

    Heated debate as gone on over state laws which some consider to be ways to combat voting fraud, and others believe hamper the youth vote. This of course isn't new to voting in the United States. Limitations of student IDs, the restriction of polling locations on or near college campuses, and the classic gerrymandering have been called into question. What are considered to be the main battle ground states over these issues are Wisconsin, Florida and New Hampshire.

    Two years after the 2016 Presidential election, New Hampshire Republicans moved to pass a law requiring voters to comply with residency requirements such as getting a New Hampshire driver's license and vehicle registration. Voting rights advocates argue that such a law would weaken the electoral might of young voters, which is an increasingly left-leaning voting bloc.

    Yet proponents of the law argue that it was intended to combat fraud in the state. At the time NH was the only state that didn't require voters to be legal residents.

    “We have a group of people who say, ‘This is where I live, but don’t have to register my car here. I don’t have to get my license like everyone else in this room has to do,’ ” said Sharon Carson, a Republican senator from Londonderry, N.H., during debate on the measure. “And yet we allow them to vote here.”

    Opponents such as the ACLU claimed that such requirements were essentially a poll tax:

    "Residents who move to New Hampshire are required to switch over their driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations within 60 days. The penalty for not doing so can reach $1,000. The cost of a new license is $50 and vehicle registration can cost hundreds of dollars, depending on the car, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles."

    One of the reasons why New Hampshire is considered to be such a pivotal battleground over the youth vote is because of higher voting turnout rates for ages 18 to 29, and how that affects narrow electoral margins.

    The 2018 midterm elections saw a turn out rate for college-age students which was a little more than half that of voters overall. Such an upswing added two percentage points to the popular vote for Dems during the midterms. Ten Democratic seats were won by less than two points.

    "In 2016, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the state by fewer than 3,000 votes, or three-tenths of a percentage point. Democrat Maggie Hassan unseated Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) with a victory margin of just 1,017 votes."

    It was argued by state Republicans that college students from out of state had swayed the outcome.

    The new law hasn't been implemented yet due to lawsuits made by the opposition. Yet, if a repeal of the law is implemented, New Hampshire's governor has said he would veto it.

    Since the data cannot be ignored regarding the increasing electoral power of the youth vote, and how that affected elections in the past for New Hampshire, how could this impact such a swing state? Are there similar examples from other states we could look at to draw some conclusions?

  • Jul 23, 2019 09:36 AM
    Last: 6mo
    Agreed. I think it's a combination of a lot of things. Money is moved around a lot, and they don't want to cough up the millions of bucks to fix something they only use every so often. I also don't think it helped that the politician overseeing the project resigned for personal reasons.
  • Jul 23, 2019 09:36 AM
    Last: 6mo

    I don't know much about cyber security, but I do know something about public confidence in their government, as well the security of their voting systems. Iowa Secretary of State's office announced that they will be sticking with the 14 year old voter registration system for the time being. They said the new system would be off of the ground until after the next election.

    It looks like the old system will see yet another presidential election. The system was almost infiltrated by Russian hackers in the 2016 presidential election. Which was more than enough to raise eyebrows.

    It concerns me a great deal that out of all states, a swing state is sticking with what still could be a vulnerable voting system. This isn't the first time a swing state ran into controversy about their voting system. Anyone remember the "hanging chads" controversy in Florida?

    Most of all, I think it's asking for trouble. Since the 2016 election, there has been nothing but venom spat across the aisle about the legitimacy of the last election's results. I think this will only allow this same trouble to carry over into the 2020 election. Anyone else agree? Or would pushing a new system into action lead to unknown vulnerabilities in the next election?