Top Indiana election official stresses the importance of voting

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — This is the most important election in our lifetime.That phrase is often deployed by candidates near an election, and it’s become a cliché for those who follow political campaigns. It’s easy to mock it as hyperbole, yet there is a lot of truth in that statement. In many ways, every election is the most important in our lifetime, because free and fair elections are the lifeblood of our form of government. The strength of the republic draws on citizen input, and there is no petition, protest, or opinion that carries more weight than the ballot box.In the 2016 presidential election, 58% of registered voters cast a ballot. Midterm elections see a decrease from that – in 2014, 30% of registered voters cast a ballot in the fall. And primaries can see even fewer voters engaged: 13% of Indiana voters participated in the 2014 primary election, where general election candidates were selected.Thankfully, the solution is an easy one. Indiana offers online voter registration through, a comprehensive website where Hoosiers can not only register to vote, but can check their polling place, look at a mock ballot, and see early voting options for their county. This year, my office created the option of texting to register – a smartphone user can text the word ‘Indiana’ to 2VOTE (28683), and they will receive instructions on how to register from their phone. These tools make it quick and easy to register to vote and can save citizens a trip to the county clerk’s office.Once registered, voters can also vote early the month leading up to Election Day. Early voting begins April 10, and voters can visit their county clerk’s office to cast a ballot, or request an absentee ballot if they cannot vote in-person on Election Day.These initiatives make voting easier, but some Hoosiers still choose to stay home on Election Day, believing their vote doesn’t count. That couldn’t be further from the truth. One of my favorite stories from Indiana history illustrates this point.While in the fields on Election Day in 1836, Henry Shoemaker remembered he had to go vote to fulfill a promise he made to Madison Marsh, a candidate for state representative. Just as the polls were closing, Henry cast his ballot for Mr. Marsh.Marsh won by one vote, and after a lengthy recount it was determined that Shoemaker’s ballot was that tiebreaking vote. At that time, U.S. Senators were selected by the state General Assembly rather than the popular vote. When the votes were tallied for Indiana’s next U.S. senator, Edward Hannegan won by a single vote – and that vote had been cast by State Representative Madison Marsh.Just a few years later, now in Washington, D.C., Congress debated the option of military conflict with Mexico. Senator Edward Hannegan of Indiana cast the deciding vote to engage in that military conflict. In the years that followed, the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California and parts of Colorado were added as U.S. territories. The most dramatic expansion of our borders since the Louisiana Purchase started when one Hoosier farmhand cast his ballot at his local polling place.Now admittedly, this is a dramatic illustration, but we ought to take it seriously. Every election cycle we hear Americans give their excuse for not going to the polls: inconvenience, lack of competition, apathy brought on by negative campaigning, and so on. But then I think back to when I saw Iraqi citizens lined up for hours to cast ballots and dip their finger in purple ink.I encourage all Hoosiers to exercise their constitutional right and engage in civic life by voting this year. Take advantage of the options available to you, and do your part to hold our government accountable. After all, it is a government of, for, and by the people, and things don’t work properly unless we are informed and engaged.The 2018 Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, May 8th, 2018. Polls are open from 6:00am to 6:00pm. Registration for the primary closes on April 9th, 2018. All registrations must be received and processed by the county clerk’s office before that time. Voters can check their registration status, register to vote, view early voting options, and look up their polling place by visiting,Connie LawsonIndiana Secretary of Statelast_img read more

Fleishman expects tough road through Big Ten Championship

first_imgFriday, the Wisconsin women’s tennis team will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to open up Big Ten Championship play against Ohio State.The Badgers will bring a three-match conference winning streak with them, providing the team with some much-needed momentum against a very difficult opponent in the fourth-seeded Buckeyes, a group that bested the Badgers 5-2 less than two weeks ago in Columbus.At his Monday press conference, head coach Brian Fleishman discussed the importance of feeding off the winning streak, as well as the resiliency his team has shown throughout the course of the season.“The players have done an extremely good job this year of sticking out some tough losses, not losing confidence and gaining more confidence as the season went on,” Fleishman said. “I think with the two wins this past weekend, we have a huge momentum swing going our way and I think we’ll compete extremely well against Ohio State.”Unfortunately for the Badgers, they might face the Buckeyes without freshman standout and No. 1 singles player Jenny Hois, as she recently suffered an injury that has kept her out of the lineup.If she can play, however, the talented freshman will provide important depth to the starting lineup. Fleishman said if Hois is healthy, she will be the Badgers’ top singles player.“The doctors are telling us between now and Friday,” Fleishman said of Hois’ status. “I mean, there is a chance, but we’ll just have to see how it goes. With that being said, we went through matches this past weekend without her. It says a lot about the girls that did go out there and play. If Jenny’s there, we’re that much better. If she’s not there, I think we can still do the job.”In some sports, it isn’t as common to see a freshman contribute at the level Hois has so far this season. However, when Fleishman recruited Hois, he knew what type of impact she could have on the team.“I think in tennis you can actually bring in a freshman and they can be a program-changer,” Fleishman said. “That’s sort of the secret to our success this year: When we did have good wins we had two freshman that came in, Nicky Stracar from N.Y., and Jenny Hois from Downers Grove, Ill., did a fantastic job this year not really having that freshman aura about them. They played like upperclassmen.”The last time Wisconsin faced Ohio State, according to Fleishman, the Badgers took the early doubles point by bringing a lot of energy to the match. But when singles play began, the young team had a difficult time carrying over the energy and the momentum that should have gone with it.“Their home courts, their crowd, we let it get to us,” Fleishman said. “We did learn from this past weekend that energy is everything, and the girls brought it. They knew they had to step up because their No. 1 player was out and they did a great job of doing that both days back-to-back. I think now they know they have that extra bit of confidence that they can beat Ohio State.”If the Badgers can get past the Buckeyes, they will face either No. 1-seeded Michigan or the winner of No. 8 Minnesota and No. 9 Iowa.Michigan is ranked No. 10 in the country and beat Northwestern last weekend to collect the Big Ten regular season championship and the subsequent automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.Fleishman recognizes the tough road the Badgers have in front of them.“It’s not like basketball and football where they take a certain amount of teams,” Fleishman said. “You have to earn your way in and for us to make the NCAA tournament this year, we’re going to have to beat Ohio State and then have to beat Michigan. That’s it … It’s going to be a tough task, especially playing on their home courts, but it’s graduation weekend, so you never know, a lot of distractions there.”Saying goodbye to SeyferthLast weekend marked the last regular season match senior Jessica Seyferth would play for the Wisconsin women’s tennis team. Seyferth didn’t win her last match, but according to Fleishman, even on senior day, the team’s win remained the most important result of the afternoon to Seyferth.“She’s there for the team,” Fleishman said. “She’s more excited about the team win than the individual win. Of course, it was sad for her not to get a win on her senior day, but if you ask her, it’s all about the team and to have somebody like that that just goes out and battles in practice and on game day consistently, it’s going to be hard to replace.”last_img read more

Edin Dzeko congratulated the Chinese New Year (VIDEO)

first_imgCaptain of the National football team of BiH, Edin Dzeko, took part in the new advertising campaign of Roma, and he first studied the Chinese language and then congratulated the Chinese New Year.Dzeko congratulated the Chinese New Year together with his team mates. Take a look at their congratulatory message in the video.Roma will play the guest match of 25th round of the Italian Serie A on Saturday with Udinese.(Source: