Oregon's governor just did a thing that could change everything for voters if other states copy it.

Just because it's been a confusing headache in the past doesn't mean it has to stay that way. At least according to visionary Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

Low voter turnout is a big problem.

Across the U.S., only 36.4% of eligible people voted in 2014.


That is the lowest number seen since WWII.

Some people are cool with that. They like it when only super-engaged people vote because it cements their interests instead of what's good for the broader public.

But those who want to see democracy work for ALL of us recognize that the key to a truly representative government is getting as many citizens as possible to participate.

Being able to vote is KIND OF A BIG DEAL!

Back in 2013, Oregon's then-secretary of state, Kate Brown, introduced what some deemed a radical bill to make registering to vote super easy. Here's the gist of it:

Instead of having to register yourself BEFORE the day of voting — thereby reducing the likelihood of people doing it — you're just automatically registered to vote in Oregon when you get a driver's license or ID.

So now in Oregon, instead of having to schlep to a registration site to opt in, you're automatically in the in-club. Which sure beats waiting in line!

Not to mention the unreasonable burden separate registration puts on the elderly and the disabled.

Such a simple reversal changes the game.

Fast-forward two years. That secretary of state is now Oregon's GOVERNOR. The bill passed the House and Senate and came across her desk for her official sign-off. Which, of course, she DID.

Oregon is now the first state to implement Awesome Automatic Voter Registration (just a branding suggestion I have), but Minnesota almost did in 2009 before then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed it. Let's all chant a little chant that Minnesota revisits it now, and that this begins a wave of automatic registration in every state.

Could automatic voter registration, if used across the U.S., create a chart that looks more like this in 2018?


Democracy works best when more people get in the game.

Go, Oregon!

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Alie Ward

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The retailer has since removed the dinnerware from their concept shop, Story, after facing social media backlash for the "toxic message" they were sending.

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In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

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