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Supreme Court: Exercise your right to vote or you may lose it

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If you’re a flakey or uncommunicative voter, you won’t be a voter at all according to a Ohio election law that was just upheld in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 5-4 decision allows state officials to remove voters from the polls if they have not voted for two consecutive elections and/or have not responded to notices from election officials.

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The judges ruled that it is not a violation of federal law to purge voter systems of dormant voters.

According to The Dispatch, this legislation was created in 1993 as sort of a housekeeping device to determine if voters had left the state.

If a voter doesn’t cast a ballot for two consecutive elections, he or she receives a notice from their county board of elections to verify their address.

If that correspondence goes without reply, the voter will be sent several more notice including absentee ballots and a change of address card.

If the voter does not reply to any of the notices and does not vote in a six-year period, their name will be purged from the list of eligible voters.

He or she can reregister to vote to regain eligibility, reports The Dispatch. 

The ACLU of Ohio tweeted about today’s ruling saying, “This is a major blow to democracy.”

Senator Sherrod Brown’s reaction echoed that of the ACLU of Ohio, saying “Ohio should be working to make voting easier, not harder. Instead, today’s decision empowers Ohio to further strip away the right to vote for thousands of Ohioans”

Read more Twitter reactions here.

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Govt & Politics

Daily double: New legislation calls for huge minimum wage hike

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If new legislation passes, Ohio’s minimum wage could nearly double in the next several years. Two Democratic senators are working to increase hourly pay from $8.55 to $15.

State Senators Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) and Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) introduced the legislation Wednesday, reports 10TV.

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The new legislation stipulates a $12 minimum per hour beginning in January 2020 and a $1 yearly increase until 2023 to keep up with inflation.

“We have an obligation to make life better for the people in our state and that includes providing living wages,” said Sen. Thomas, per 10TV. “This increase to the minimum wage will help workers and their families have a better life. And when people have more money, it also benefits the local economy from increased spending in the community.”

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“Speaks to Columbus values,” Council shows support for immigrants in sanctuary

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At Monday night’s City Council meeting, a resolution was passed in support of two women living in sanctuary here in Columbus.

Edith Espinal has been living in sanctuary at Columbus Mennonite Church for over a year. Miriam Vargas has been living in sanctuary at First English Lutheran Church for over seven months. Both women are waiting to become legal residents of the U.S.

NBC4i reports the resolution based by council is not legally binding, but is an on-the-record show of support by the city.

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“While this resolution doesn’t change federal law, it speaks to Columbus’ values,” wrote City Council President Shannon Hardin on Twitter.

Neither Espinal nor Vargas were in attendance last night due to fear of being detained.

“It’s no secret that our immigration system is broken,” said council member Elizabeth Brown, per NBC4i. “Unfortunately Miriam and Edith are at its mercy.”

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Republicans propose “Heartbeat Bill” in both Ohio House, Senate

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The very controversial “Heartbeat Bill” that would outlaw abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat has been proposed in both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate.

Republican lawmakers in both champers of Legislation introduced the abortion bill this week.

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If approved, it would be among the most restrictive abortion measures in the country, reports 10TV. A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, which is early enough that many women may not even know they’re pregnant.

Former Gov. John Kasich voted down the bill twice, saying it would lead to costly and lengthy court battles that would ultimately result it in begin found unconstitutional. However, Gov. Mike DeWine has pledged to sign it.

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