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Ohio Republicans want voters to pay to get special ID cards

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Ohio House Republicans are pushing a bill that would require some prospective voters to pay for a special ID card — a statute that would run afoul of court rulings against “poll taxes,” Think Progress reported.

House Bill 189 would require voters who can not provide a driver’s license, passport or military ID to obtain a state-issued card costing $8.50. The card would be free for voters who are making less than $11,770 a year, placing them under federal poverty guidelines.

The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Andrew Brenner, said the bill was needed to ensure “that it is one person, one vote and they are in fact residents and citizens of the United States.”

But according to MSNBC, the bill threatens to impact 930,000 Ohioans who would otherwise be eligible to vote, including a heavy amount of residents of color, low-income residents and college students.

A 2012 report from the advocacy group Policy Matters Ohio stated that one in four black Ohioans — about 260,000 residents — currently lack photo identification, as do 290,000 senior residents.

Data suggests that, despite Brenner’s remarks, voter fraud is virtually non-existent in the state; as the Columbus Dispatch reported in 2013, state officials determined that 0.002397 percent of votes cast in the 2012 election were fraudulent.

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The measure immediately came under criticism from both the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and Democratic state Rep. Alicia Reese, who called HB 189 “part of a larger coordinated movement to suppress the vote in Ohio and beyond.”

Brenner’s bill is the latest in a series of attempts by state Republicans to limit voting rights, which led to legal battles between the GOP and Democrats during President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. The Dispatch reported in March that Republicans are also attempting to require out-of-state college students from obtaining a special ID in order to vote.

As Think Progress reported, the measure appears to run counter to the 1966 Supreme Court ruling barring states from using “the affluence of the voter or payment of any fee [as] an electoral standard.” More recently, the high court ruled in 2008 that, while Indiana had the right to implement a voter ID law, that it could not be used in conjunction with a fee.

[h/t Wonkette]

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Joe Biden promises to answer questions about his son’s overseas business dealings — after he’s elected

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Joe Biden refused to answer questions about his son's overseas business dealings.

The Democratic presidential frontrunner has been criticized for conducting diplomatic work as vice president in countries were his son, Hunter Biden, was engaged in business, but he refused at two campaign stops Monday to take questions about the controversy, reported ABC News.

Instead, his campaign promised that Biden would issue an executive order "on his first day in office" to "address conflicts of interest of any kind."

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‘Come heavily armed’: Oregon GOP lawmaker threatens state troopers over dispute with Dem governor

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On Wednesday, The Oregonian reported that GOP state Sen. Brian Boquist threatened to kill state troopers if they try to keep him in the Senate chamber to debate climate change legislation.

"I'm quotable, so here's the quote. This is what I told the [police] superintendent," said Boquist to reporters outside the Senate chamber. "Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I'm not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It's just that simple."

Democratic Gov. Kate Brown has made passing a climate change bill one of her top priorities. While Democrats control Oregon's legislature, Senate Republicans have enough votes to block legislation by walking out and denying a quorum — which they have done to stonewall this legislation.

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Nightmare scenario: Trump could lose by 5 million votes — but still win re-election by one electoral vote

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President Donald Trump could potentially win re-election next year by a single electoral vote.

In that nightmare scenario for Democrats, the president could lose the popular vote -- again -- but still narrowly eke out an electoral win by holding onto four states he carried in 2016, reported Axios.

Even if Democrats flip Michigan and Pennsylvania, increase their vote totals in California and come close to winning Texas -- which could give them 5 million more votes than Trump -- their candidate could still lose if Trump narrowly wins Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

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