WV Voter Registration Hits Record Levels

In the mountain state of West Virginia, the close primary battle has brought out new voters of all stripes.  Voter registration in the state has reached record levels, according to the Huntington Herald-Dispatch:

The number of registered voters eligible to cast ballots in the May 13 primary election have increased between 3 and 5 percent in Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln, Mason and Putnam counties since the 2006 general election.

Statewide, more than 1.18 million voters are registered, a 4 percent increase from November 2006, according to the Secretary of State's office.

The greatest part of that increase is to be found among registered independents, who are permitted to vote in the Democratic primary.  West Virginia voter registration rolls show 22,000 new registered unaffiliated voters since 2006.  There are also 16,000 new registered Democrats in the state, compared to just 4,800 new registered members of the state's moribund Republican party.  The small, progressive Mountain Party also gained some membership.

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Bill Clinton in SE Ohio [Portsmouth]

Bill Clinton made an extended swing through southeast Ohio yesterday, stumping for Hillary in Chillicothe, Portsmouth, and Athens, Ohio.  techfidel posted a great diary full of pictures from President Clinton's campaign stop in Chillicothe, which you can revisit right here.  

Guess what?  There's more!

President Clinton went on to Portsmouth, Ohio - an old industrial city at the confluence of the Ohio, Scioto, and Little Scioto Rivers, and the mouth of the old Ohio and Erie Canal - where he received a warm welcome.  (Bonus Portsmouth trivia?  It was home to the Portsmouth Spartans, an early NFL franchise that moved to Detroit and became the Detroit Lions in the 1930s! Extra bonus Portsmouth trivia?  It's Ted Strickland's hometown.) President Clinton spoke to an enthusiatic, capacity crowd at Shawnee State University.  You can see local news coverage of the visit as well as a complete video of President Clinton's full speech from WSAZ television.

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Thousands flock to hear Bill Clinton in rural Ohio

Thousands of people turned out to hear Bill Clinton speak in Marietta, Ohio Sunday night, the final stop in his Sunday tour of Ohio's rustbelt.  Marietta is a small city - according to the 2000 census, the population is under 15,000 - situated in the mid-Ohio valley, not far up and across the river from Parkersburg, West Virginia - which - at 30,000 and falling - is not much bigger.  

Sunday night is reserved for church services for many.  Nevertheless, at least 2000 people showed up for a Solutions for America rally with Bill Clinton. More were turned away, or diverted into another setting where they could hear - but not see - President Clinton.  According to one local news report, when President Clinton asked how many people knew someone without health care, everyone in the auditorium raised a hand.

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How I Spent Super Tuesday

I'm a new poster on mydd, but I've lurked since 2004.  (Strictly off and on - if I'm a political junkie, I'm a fair weather political junkie.)  

This isn't a story about my voting experience, or the caucus I attended.  It's not a tale of slogging through wind/rain/snow/tornadoes to volunteer for my preferred candidate.  I don't live in a Super Tuesday state.  (Well - there was some Super Tuesday news from my home, but it was the least democratic of any of the contests held anywhere at home or abroad in either party on February 5.  Perhaps that's enough to guess where I am?)

So I didn't vote.  I didn't volunteer.  Instead, running late, I left the office around 5:45 p.m. and headed to the public library where I spent the next three hours preparing tax returns for people who make less than $40,000 per year.  There were six volunteers there last night.  I'm not sure how many returns we prepared - maybe 18, maybe 20? - as there are always people whom we can't help, or can't help just then.  (Consider the woman - an immigrant - whose husband has his return prepared at H&R Block, where they tell him to file married filing separately in order to maximize his itemized deductions and sell him tax preparation services and a refund-anticipation loan, without ensuring that he understands that this has consequences for his wife, too.  She's going to come back next week, with a copy of her husband's return, so that we can figure out how much he's 'saving' with that option, and compare it to how much it will cost her.  How's that for "people" on your "side"?)

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