The FCC has been holding a series of workshops in an effort to collect information that will be useful in the creation of a National BroadbandPlan. On September 1st, state and local telecommunications officialsparticipated in a workshop entitled State and Local Governments: Toolkits and Best Practices,at which the FCC aimed to learn from the experiences of state and localgovernments that have proactively addressed broadband deployment andadoption issues in their communities.
Just at the end of the legislative session, North Carolina lawmakers passed a bi-partisan bill that will allow 16 and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote [H 908].
This will facilitate youth registration at two highly convenient
locations — in school and at the motor vehicles department when
applying for a driver's license. Currently, the majority of voters
register when conducting business at motor vehicle departments, and
this change will extend that option to younger people as well. And in
doing so it will link in young peoples' minds the rite of passage of
getting a driver's license with that of registering to vote.
Perhaps the most impressive recent success story in expanding political
participation has been the dramatic turnaround in public agency voter
registrations in some states. With the prodding of Demos, Project Vote, and others under the umbrella of the NVRA Project,
several states have reinvigorated compliance with this federal law that
requires that certain state agencies offer voter registration to the
individuals they serve. The most well known agencies are motor vehicle
departments, but public assistance agencies are also included and it is
they that can have the greatest impact on bringing low-income and
marginalized citizens into the political process.
When a coal company spent $3 million to help elect the Chief Justice of the West Virginia
Supreme Court and that Chief Justice turned around and overturned a $50
million jury judgment against the company, many commentators thought it
stunk of corruption and that the judge should have recused himself from