Votes still being counted in race for governor, senate and ag commissioner

The Fort Myers News-Press – excerpt (includes video)

Floridians woke up Friday morning still not knowing who their next governor, senator or agriculture commissioner is, come January.

With votes still being tallied, as of Friday morning, the governor’s race got even closer, a .44 percent difference, with Republican Ron DeSantis leading, 4,072,796 votes, to Democrat Andrew Gillum’s 4,036,585. That’s just 36,211 between them.

The margin between North Fort Myers real estate appraiser Matt Caldwell and Fort Lauderdale attorney Nikki Fried continued to shift in Fried’s favor… (more)

Did the Red Tide play a negative role in the race for change in the sunshine state? Did the students and youth vote count or is it just a matter of a shift in priorities in the state that needs respite from bad news?

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The Arizona, Florida, and Georgia election recounts, explained

By : vox – excerpt

As vote counting continues from Tuesday’s midterm elections and three states have a handful of elections with razor-thin margins, the fight has become about whether all the votes should be counted.

The races for Arizona’s US Senate seat, Florida’s US Senate seat and governor, and Georgia’s governor are all extremely close — close enough that under some state laws, a recount is warranted… (more)

In Georgia, Kemp Claims Victory, But Won’t Oversee Potential Recount

NPR – excerpt

“Stacey Abrams can’t accept the fact that Georgians rejected her radical agenda at the ballot box, so now she’s desperately trying to steal this election in the courtroom,” said Ryan Mahoney, the campaign’s communications director, in the statement… (more)

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In Historic Move, Florida Approves Automatically Restoring Voting Rights To Felons

By Sam Levine : huffingtonpost – excerpt

The move, reversing a Jim Crow-era policy, is one of the most significant expansions of the franchise in modern times…

Floridians approved a constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights to people with felony convictions once they complete their sentences, a historic move expanding the right to vote to about 1.4 million people and reverses a state policy rooted in the Jim Crow South.

The move is one of the most dramatic expansions of the franchise in modern times.

Florida is one of four states that permanently prevents people with felonies from voting, even if they’ve completed their sentence, probation and parole. The 1.4 million people in the state who have been disenfranchised by that policy represent an estimated 10 percent of Florida’s voting population and a quarter of the total disenfranchised population in the United States. More than 1 in 5 African-Americans in the state are disenfranchised because of the policy, according to an estimate from The Sentencing Project. The only way people can get the right to vote back is if the governor decides to grant it to them through a process that takes years.

People convicted of murder and sexual offenses are exempt from the amendment and won’t have their rights automatically restored…(more)

A silver lining on the election results in Florida. Hope the Governor solves Florida’s “red” tide this year.

Scientists may have found the key ingredient for a universal flu vaccine, and it comes from llamas

By By Melissa Healy : latimes – excerpt

Along with soulful eyes, endearingly long necks and warm fuzzy coats, llamas have a far less appreciated feature: They make an array of immune system antibodies so tiny they can fit into crevices on the surface of an invading virus.

That feat could one day protect humans from entire families of flu viruses that bedevil scientists with their unpredictable and shape-shifting ways.

All, potentially, with a once-a-year puff up the nose.

In a study in Friday’s edition of the journal Science, a team from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla and their international colleagues have taken a major step toward the long-sought goal of developing a universal vaccine against influenza…(more)

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Five countries hold 70% of world’s last wildernesses, map reveals

By Lisa Cox : theguardian – excerpt (includes map)

First map of Earth’s intact ecosystems shows just five nations are responsible for most of them – but it will require global action to protect them…

The UQ and WCS study, published in the journal Nature, identifies Australia, the US, Brazil, Russia and Canada as the five countries that hold the vast majority of the world’s remaining wilderness… (more)

Tenderloin residents march to City Hall to vote

By Sarah Ravani : mysanantonio – excerpt

Melanie DeMore started clapping her hands as nearly two dozen people formed a circle around her Saturday at Father Alfred E. Boeddeker Park in San Francisco’s Tenderloin.

Then DeMore began singing, “This Little Light of Mine,” with one small change in the lyrics:

“In the Tenderloin, I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine,” she belted as the others joined in.

The gathering at the park, hosted by Skywatchers and GLIDE’s Leadership Academy, was the kickoff for a march down to City Hall with Tenderloin residents who would be casting their votes for the Nov. 6 election.

“Everybody here’s got a place at the table,” DeMore said, the choral director at Skywatchers, a program that connects Tenderloin residents living in single-room occupancies with professional artists to create art.

This event was the first time that “we are going as a community to vote,” said Clara Pinsky, the Skywatchers program director… (more)

This story about a neighborhood action in San Francisco, California is running in San Antonio. Texas as an example of a neighborhood getting out the vote by going as a group. Doesn’t happen very often, but it could be a good way to stop intimidation where that is a problem.

Restoring Localism

by Joel Kotkin : newgeography – excerpt

Americans are increasingly prisoners of ideology, and our society is paying the price. We are divided along partisan lines to an extent that some are calling it a “soft civil war.” In the end, this benefits only ideological warriors and their funders.

One key source of this deepening division is the relentless centralization that has overtaken both our economy and our politics. Leaders of both parties have sat by while the forces of capital and government have centralized power and authority in ever fewer hands. When the federal executive branch changes hands, it’s not a political shift in the constitutional order but something closer to the kind of regime change associated with unstable countries. Increasingly, progressives favor ever more government control over people’s lives while conservatives see no limits to the power of the market.

Fortunately, there is a way out of this dilemma: a shift to local control. In a country that is ever more diverse culturally, racially, and economically, the best option is, within limits, to allow localities to determine their own fate, congruent with their own values and aspirations… (more)

The Next Harmful Move Against H-1B Visas

By Stuart Anderson : forbes – excerpt

Left to their own preferences, it seems Trump Administration officials would not allow any H-1B visa holders to work in the United States. For the past two years, every administration measure on high-skilled immigration has made life more difficult for high-skilled foreign nationals and their employers – and there is more to come.

As part of its regulatory agenda, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has pledged to enact a new rule that has gone largely unnoticed. The rule would limit who would qualify for an H-1B visa and also restrict which companies would be eligible for an H-1B based on the “employer-employee relationship.” This matters because an H-1B visa is typically the only practical way for an international student or a high-skilled foreign national to work long-term in the United States.

While the regulation has not been issued yet by DHS, it has been given a title: “Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program.”… (more)