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February 2011

We recently came across this article that promotes youth involvement in the voting and the local government. It's great to see such a great program in place. Begin Original Article: Local high school seniors will get a taste of real-world politics and government soon with the annual Senior Student Government Day. Interested seniors at Murray High School and Calloway County High School will be given the opportunity to job-shadow local city and county officials - but they’ll have to earn the right, just like the officials themselves. Seniors will throw their hats into the ring and be elected into “office” by their fellow classmates, using the same voting machines as are used in local elections. The program is sponsored by the Murray Lions Club, with cooperation and assistance by the Murray State University Student Government Association, City of Murray, Calloway County Government, CCHS and MHS. According to a release provided by Terri Long, Senior Student Government Day coordinator, the aim of the program is to “provide a real-life voting experience for high school seniors, acquaint them with city and county governments and encourage them to become active members in the government processes or in helping their community through community service.” The process begins on Tuesday, Feb. 8, for MHS and Thursday, Feb. 10, for CCHS, when voting machines provided by Ray Coursey Jr., County Clerk, are set up in the school. Job options include everything from county Judge-Executive or Magistrate to city Mayor or Police Chief. Schools take a rotation of whether their students run for city or county office and this year MHS will run for city positions and CCHS will run for county positions. Next year, they will switch, something Long said is done to help show students a broad range

Electionline.org recently published their annual list of events, people of interest and trends that have either started or ended during 2010. This is an interesting summary of this year’s events. Begin Original Article: “The List” 2011 You’ve waited all year for it, so without further ado, here is electionlineWeekly’s annual list of what’s in and what’s out in election administration. Happy New Year from all of us at Pew Center on the States’ Election Initiatives. OUT: Lever voting machines in New York IN: Optical scan voting machines (finally) OUT: Secretaries of State, Charlie Daniels (Ark.), Bernie Beuscher (Colo.), Susan Bysiewicz (Conn.), Todd Rokita (Ind.), Michael Mauro (Iowa), Chris Briggs (Kansas), Terri Lynn Land (Mich.), Mary Herrera (N.M.), Jennifer Brunner (Ohio), Chris Nelson (S.D.), and Deb Markowitz (Vt.) IN: Secretaries of State; Mark Martin (Ark.), Scott Gessler (Colo.), Denise Merrill (Conn.), Charlie White (Ind.), Matt Schultz (Iowa), Kris Kobach (Kansas), Ruth Johnson (Mich.), Dianna Duran (N.M.), Jon Husted (Ohio), Jason Gant (S.D.) and Jim Condos (Vt.) OUT: Instant-runoff voting in Aspen, Colo. IN: Instant-runoff voting in Berkeley, Oakland and San Leandro OUT: Voter ID legislation in the 2009 Texas Legislature IN: Pre-filed voter ID legislation in the 2011 Texas Legislature OUT: Non-citizen voting in Portland, Maine IN: Thinking about non-citizen voting in Hyattsville, Md. and Brookline, Mass. OUT: Kat Zambon, associate Pew Election Initiatives IN: Kat Zambon, senior communications officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science OUT: Action on federal military and overseas voting legislation IN: Action on state military and overseas voting legislation OUT: Fighting about the constitutionality of photo ID IN: Fighting about the cost of making required IDs free to all OUT: Election reform as a political issue IN: Election administration as a fiscal issue OUT: EAC Commissioner Gracia Hillman IN: Questions about the EAC's future? OUT: “Will it increase turnout”? IN: “Can we afford it?” OUT: Convenience IN: Cost-Effectiveness OUT: Election Night as the end of the campaign IN: Election Night as the start of the count OUT: Stray marks as evidence of voter intent IN: Stray spelling as evidence of voter intent