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In Some Red States, Partisan Officials Blocking Mail Ballots

This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Across America, election officials responsible for the details of running elections have a clear idea of what is needed to shift to mostly mail-in voting in upcoming spring, summer and fall elections to protect voters from the coronavirus. But pockets of conservatives are resisting their advice.

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Ohio Man Protested Virus As ‘Political Ploy’ — Until It Killed Him

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

In Ohio, conservative Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has been lambasted by far-right groups for issuing a stay-at-home order in his state and promoting social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. One of DeWine's critics was 60-year-old John W. McDaniel, who dismissed COVID-19 as a "political ploy" and angrily railed against the Ohio governor.

But sadly, McDaniel has since died from the very thing he didn't take seriously.

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New Voting Rights Battles Erupting In Key Swing States

This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

When the 2020 election season resumes in Ohio on April 28 and continues in nearly half of the states through July, Americans will see if new voting regimens instituted in response to the pandemic will help voters or preview state-by-state partisan battles over voter turnout.

Already there are troubling signs that the past decade's voter suppression battles will continue and accelerate in battleground states. Wisconsin's April 7 primary, the month's only presidential contest that was not postponed by the pandemic, is exhibit A. However, as 24 states and territories will hold primaries and caucuses in coming weeks, and other elections this summer, Republicans in some states are already tilting the rules and means of voting to favor their base in the fall.

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Dayton Mayor On 24-Hour Security After Threats From Trump Backers

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Dayton, Ohio Mayor Nan Whaley has been assigned a security detail after President Donald Trump turned his ire on the grieving local leader in the wake of a massacre in her city earlier this month that killed nine.

“Get the hell out of this country you disrespectful trash,” reads one message Whaley received, according to the Dayton Daily News. “Treason is death.”

Others “[contained] extremely abusive language and expletive-laced insults,” the paper reported.

Trump and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) visited Dayton on August 7, after a gunman opened fire at the popular downtown Oregon Historic District early Saturday morning on August 4. During a press conference following the president’s visit, Brown and Whaley said they had urged Trump to push gun legislation, including background checks, in the wake of the shooting.

Inexplicably, Trump later took to Twitter to claim the pair “misrepresented” his reception at the hospital, despite Brown and Whaley both acknowledging that victims and first responders were grateful for the president’s visit. In an interview with CNN, Whaley said she was “at a loss” for why Trump was angered by their statements.

“I respected the president and the office of the president” she later told the Dayton Daily News. “But I strongly want him to do something and the people of Dayton want him to do something, and so it’s my job to say that.”

As the Dayton Daily News reports, the decision to give Whaley around-the-clock security detail came from city law director Barbara Doseck and city commission office director Ariel Walker. It has since been “scaled back,” according to the report, but a police spokesman declined to “reveal what type of security has been or will be provided.”

As for Whaley, she said the detail is “the most extensive security I’ve ever had.”

“They are here for my safety, and if they think it’s important, then I think it’s important,” she told the newspaper.