On Dec. 12, 2023, the Grinch revealed itself in Great Falls, Montana. I saw the mean-spirited character manifested in citizens of Cascade County.
Cascade County Commission held their bimonthly meeting at the Expo Park in anticipation of large public attendance. Commissioner Joe Briggs brought forth a resolution to remove election duties from the clerk and recorder. This resolution has been talked about for several years.
Public comments were heard from more than 100 people, with many more in attendance to witness the spectacle of vile and spiteful testimony. This went on for seven long and excruciating hours.
As I sat in the audience listening to the public comments, I was so ashamed of the behavior of those speaking in opposition to the resolution. These are my neighbors who used threats, yelled, and told outright lies. Biblical quotes were thrown out over and over to attack commissioners Briggs and Jim Larson. Two pastors in our community spewed hateful words. Not once did I hear these so-called church-attending people speak to the call to love thy neighbor as thyself. It was like watching schoolyard bullies and toddler temper tantrums. Never in the 62 years that I have lived in Great Falls have I ever experienced anything like the hateful actions and words that I saw that day. I fought back tears of sadness that day for my community.
Retired U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson has died, her family said Sunday on social media. She was 88.
A towering Dallas political figure once a nurse, state legislator and congresswoman Johnson was the dean of the Texas Congressional delegation before retiring from office in 2022. She proved effective at her work due to her long tenure serving in the U.S. House nearly 30 years at the time of her passing and a pragmatist streak that made her open to working with Republicans.
"I am heartbroken to share the news that my mother, Eddie Bernice Johnson, has passed away," Johnson's son, Kirk Johnson, wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday. "She was a remarkable and loving mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and great grandmother, as well as a trailblazer and public servant. While we mourn the loss of an extraordinary woman, we celebrate her life and legacy."
Born in Waco on Dec. 3, 1935, Johnson became one of the most powerful Texas Democrats in recent memory to serve on Capitol Hill. She was the lone Texas-based committee chair in either chamber when she became the chair of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
The Rev. Timothy McDonald, pastor at First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta, remembers being approached in a grocery store parking lot ahead of the fall 2022 elections.
The two people who walked up to him were working for Fair Fight and New Georgia Project, voter advocacy groups founded by Stacey Abrams that had helped significantly increase turnout among Black voters in the state.
It was that kind of excitement that was out there, McDonald said about get-out-the-vote efforts in Georgia.
Over the past decade, an increasing number of voter registration and education groups have worked in Georgia to increase participation by minority voters.
Groups such as Georgia Stand Up, ProGeorgia and the ones McDonald encountered set up voter registration tables and voter drives in communities across the state, went door-to-door to register people, organized rallies and hosted events with food trucks, music and dancing.
Seven of the 15 spots on the Texas State Board of Education, the states primary means for setting policies and standards for the public school system, are set to appear on the general election ballot in November 2024 but not before key spots are determined during the primary election.
In North Texas, Districts 11 (Fort Worth) and 12 (Fairview) will see Republican incumbent members Pat Hardy and Pam Little challenged in the primary election in March. They both are expected to be joined by Democratic opponents on the ballot, as well.
The District 10 primary election, a seat associated with Florence, north of Austin, will also see primary competition coming up the Republican incumbent, Tom Maynard.
The SBOE recently saw a shakeup at the top with Gov. Greg Abbott-appointed District 15 Member Aaron Kinsey as chair early this month, replacing District 9 Member Keven Ellis, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
OMAHA, Neb. Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana are continuing their push to get both their petitions on the November 2024 ballot.
One petition allows the recommendation for medical cannabis treatment from a doctor. The other is how a qualified patient would access their medicine.
Volunteer Molly Scott was gathering signatures for the group on Saturday.
"Patients that need cannabis for seizure disorders or pain or whatever their condition is, they deserve to have the right to have safe, regulated, clean cannabis," Scott said.
London CNN If 2023 was the year British politics got stuck in traffic, 2024 should be the year it gets moving again.
At some point in the next 12 months, it is expected that the United Kingdom will hold an election some would argue is long overdue.
Not constitutionally overdue: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is not obliged to call an election until 17 December 2024, exactly five years since the last one took place.
Overdue in the sense that the incumbent Conservative governments mandate won in 2019 on Boris Johnsons optimistic, pre-Covid, post-Brexit platform belongs to a different decade.
Hundreds of election workers in Washington states second-largest county were busy opening mail-in ballots earlier this month when one of them came across a plain white envelope. As she cut it open, white powder leaked out.
She carefully took off her gloves, put them down, backed away and called her supervisor. Workers evacuated the building and waited for the Tacoma Fire Department to arrive. While first responders tested the substance, Democratic and Republican observers gathered at the emergency management center looking at security feeds of the election office to ensure there wasnt any ballot tampering.
Pierce County Auditor Linda Farmer, the nonpartisan election official for the metropolitan area south of Seattle, said she felt lucky no one got hurt.
Weve got a really strong, resilient workforce, she said, choking up in an interview with Stateline. Nobody left. They were a little shaken up, understandably unsure of what was going on. But everybody marched right into that building, and said, Oh, heck no, you are not disrupting the democratic process.
Taiwan: The China factor
The first major election in 2024 could also be the one that matters most for the rest of the world. Taiwan will choose its next president on January 13, against the backdrop of growing tensions between the U.S. and China.
Russia: An even more powerful Putin?
The Kremlins spokesman isnt always the most reliable source, but at least one comment he made last month seemed credible.
India: Modi rides a wave
The results of Indias national elections, likely to be held around May, also look like a foregone conclusionbut for a different reason: the countrys leader, Narendra Modi, after almost 10 years in power, still ranks as Indias most popular politician.
South Africa: Making history?
South Africas 2024 elections could be one for the history books. With opinion polls showing South Africans increasingly dissatisfied with what they see as an ineffective and corrupt political system, the vote may see the ouster of the African National Congressthe party of Nelson Mandelafor the first time since 1994, when South Africa held its first post-apartheid polls.
Mexico: A woman will rule
In Mexico, one outcome is clear: the country will elect its first female leader. Women in Mexico only received full voting rights in the 1950sand in the 2024 presidential elections, the countrys two leading political parties are fielding female candidates.
A bipartisan group of Arizona politicos are mounting a well-funded effort theyve dubbed Make Elections Fair Arizona, which aims to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would require the state to host one nonpartisan primary for all voters.
Idahoans for Open Primaries is well on its way to getting a measure on the November ballot in the state. According to organizers, the groups volunteers have gathered 50,000 signatures to date. They need signatures from nearly 63,000 registered Idaho voters and signatures from at least 6% of voters in 18 of Idahos 35 legislative districts to qualify for the ballot. To meet that goal, the group plans to gather 100,000 signatures before the May deadline.
In 2023, Pennsylvania lawmakers advanced two bills that would allow independent voters to cast ballots in partisan primaries in the state, where nearly 1 million voters are unaffiliated with any political party and cannot currently vote in any partisan primaries.
Advocates in Oregon are gathering signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the 2024 ballot. If approved, the amendment would require the state to use nonpartisan primaries in nearly all elections. Presidential primaries would keep their partisan nominating process. Currently, unaffiliated voters cannot vote in a partisan primary in Oregon.
Nevada voters in 2022 took their first votes to approve a constitutional amendment that would open the states primaries. Currently, only voters affiliated with a political party can cast a ballot in the primary, a system that excludes the states more than 627,000 active nonpartisan voters.
Meanwhile, Ohio lawmakers are considering two proposals that would make their primaries more restrictive, forcing voters to register with a party as far in advance as the year before the election.
Karachi: Pakistan's election body has rejected former Prime Minister Imran Khan's nomination to contest the 2024 national elections in two constituencies, officials and his party's media team said on Saturday.
The 71-year-old former cricket star has been embroiled in a tangle of political and legal battles since he was ousted as prime minister in April 2022. He has not been seen in public since he was jailed for three years in August for unlawfully selling state gifts while in office from 2018 to 2022.
Imran Khan has been disqualified from contesting the national elections scheduled for Feb. 8 because of the corruption conviction, but he nevertheless filed nomination papers for the elections on Friday, his media team said.
In a list of rejected candidates from Lahore, the Election Commission of Pakistan said Imran Khan's nomination was rejected because he was not a registered voter of the constituency and because he is "convicted by the court of law and has been disqualified".
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