President Obama's Re-election kick-off speech at Ohio State University on May 5th.
For those who missed it, watch President Obama's speech in Owasatomie, Kansas regarding his approach to rebuilding the economy.
Welcome to the Shore Democrats-an organization where we learn together about issues that affect our community, support Democratic candidates and share our time and talent with others through community service.
Our monthly luncheons feature both political and community activist speakers who keep us informed about our government at the county and state levels and about environmental and other issues that impact the quality of life here in Eastern Sussex County.
President’s Column by Cheryl Fruchtman Elections Matter
IT TOOK ALMOST A YEAR, but a bill to allow same-day registration for Delawareans who want to vote passed the state House of Representatives 24–15 on April 3. Now it will move on to the Senate for consideration. “Same-day registration is one of the most effective ways to increase participation in our democracy,” said Apryl Walker, who encouraged public support through a MoveOn online petition. “States that allow SDR consistently lead the nation in voter turnout, which on average is between 10 and 12 percentage points higher there than in non-SDR states. The top five states in voter turnout during the 2012 general election were ALL same-day registration states. Delaware ranked well below these top performers.” Same-day registration has the potential to increase voter participation in Delaware, especially among voters of color, young voters, and voters who move either into or within the state and need to reregister.
This is just one election-law change that Delaware needs to make to keep up with the rest of the country. The First State is way behind other states, for example, when it comes to facilitating early voting. That change alone would give all voters more flexibility as to when they vote and thus further encourage turnout.
A few changes could be coming in regulations governing elections and their financing. On the same day that the House moved to strengthen voting rights, Governor Jack Markell and several Democrats in the General Assembly announced a package of legislative proposals to bring more transparency to our elections and create a more effective process to investigate wrongdoing. One bill would consolidate the three existing county boards of election into a single state board and establish an elections counsel to investigate violations. Other bills would heighten disclosure requirements for campaign contributions, protect whistleblowers who report violations, establish June 30 as an additional mandatory reporting period for campaign committees, clarify attribution of contributions
from joint bank accounts, and allow campaigns to return contributions made above legal limits.
“We had a lot of recommendations and ideas come forward in recent months from different sources,” said House Speaker Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf (D-Rehoboth Beach). “While it would have been easy to file bills in piecemeal fashion, we felt it was better to build consensus between both chambers and the governorʼs office to put forth a package of bills that addresses a variety of areas. Crafting good, meaningful legislation is not a race; itʼs about doing it well and getting it right. We feel that that is what we are presenting today.
”A separate Election Law Task Force, formed under legislation enacted last June, has considered changing the state’s long-criticized primary election date—just seven short weeks before the general election—but ultimately declined to recommend this important change. If the same-day registration bill passes the Senate, as seems likely, it will take effect October 31, four days before election day. Stay tuned to see what else happens on this topic in election year 2014.