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Casting Ballots: An App to Make Your Vote Count

16 states have restrictive new voting laws that could disenfranchise millions. Here's a tech fix to untangle that web.

Judges last week stopped a Texas voter-ID law that would have required voters to present a photo identification at the polls—but not just any photo identification—college student IDs would not have been accepted, but concealed weapons permits would have sufficed. While this would have been the most draconian regulation limiting access on election day, many other states have passed laws in the past year that could reshape voting patterns.


According to NYU's Brennan Center for Justice, 34 states introduced voter ID laws since the beginning of 2011 and

16 states have passed restrictive voting laws that have the potential to impact the 2012 election (Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia). These states account for 214 electoral votes, or nearly 79 percent of the total needed to win the presidency.

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Voter registration is also more difficult this time around.

At least 16 states introduced bills to end highly popular Election Day and same-day voter registration, limit voter registration mobilization efforts, and reduce other registration opportunities. Florida, Illinois and Texas passed laws restricting voter registration drives, and Florida and Wisconsin passed laws making it more difficult for people who move to stay registered and vote. Ohio ended its weeklong period of same-day voter registration.

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The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Rock the Vote and lots of other protectors of voting rights collaborated on the Election Protection App, a useful digital tool to untangle the growing bureaucratic web between you and the ballot box. Use the app to help verify your voter registration status or help you register, find your polling place as well as whatever new regulations may affect your ability to vote. Use it as an old fashioned organizing tool, suggested Lawyers Committee's Eric Marshall to Mother Jones:

I download it and I check my info, and then there's no reason I can’t then go to my grandmother and get her info," he says, "or go to church and say, 'Hey, do you know your rights on election day? Let's look up your registration status.'

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Youth Radio reporters covering the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this week asked young delegates why voting matters to them.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-cN3Gojbm8

In an election cycle when traditionally marginalized voters are bound to hit new roadblocks, tech fixes like the Election Protection App are becoming increasingly valuable.

Image (cc) Flickr user Theresa Thompson

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

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via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

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Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.

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Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

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