A voting proposal, Ohio’s facial recognition tech using drivers license photos, and farmers

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    Catching Our Eye:

    The Forecast. FiveThirtyEight’s primary election forecaster is now giving Bernie Sanders 1 in 2 odds of winning more than half of pledged delegates for the nomination. In second place is no one.

    Voting initiative. The Toledo Blade’s Jim Provance is reporting, “Proposed voting constitutional amendment to move forward.

    “An effort to use the state constitution to make significant changes in how Ohioans vote cleared a major hurdle Thursday toward its goal of putting the question to voters in November.

    “Attorney General Dave Yost signed off on language that would be shown to potential petition-signers, certifying that it fairly and accurately summarizes what the proposed Secure and Fair Elections Amendment would do. The attorney general had rejected the language on first pass, forcing the effort led by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio to rework and resubmit the language.

    “If the group succeeds in gathering at least 442,958 valid signatures of registered voters by July 1, voters would be asked on Nov. 3 to eliminate the current 30-day, pre-election deadline to register so that eligible Ohioans could do so right up to Election Day and then immediately cast a ballot.”
    Face/Off. Columbus Dispatch’s Randy Ludlow is reporting, “Millions of updated driver’s license photos to fill Ohio’s facial-recognition system.

    “About 8.8 million licensed Ohio drivers and state ID holders will have their photos uploaded to a state database used by law enforcement officers and federal immigration officials.

    “Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Gov. Mike DeWine plan to fill the state’s facial-recognition system with both updated and new photos.

    “A task force formed by Yost recommended the step Thursday while advising him on using the facial-recognition system as an effective law enforcement tool while protecting Ohioans’ privacy and civil liberties.”
    Ag Day. The Steubenville Herald-Star is reporting from staff, “Local farm bureau representatives meet with lawmakers during annual Ag Day.

    “Hundreds of Ohio Farm Bureau members, including representatives from Jefferson County, met one-on-one with state senators and representatives during the Ohio Farm Bureau’s annual Ag Day at the Statehouse on Wednesday.

    “Ohio Farm Bureau priority issues including water quality, the farm economy, energy and the development of young and beginning farmers were discussed, along with several other community issues.

    “Attendees also took part in a fireside chat, as Adam Sharp, executive vice president of the state Farm Bureau, sat down with Gov. Mike DeWine and Dorothy Pelanda, director of the state Department of Agriculture, to discuss the H2Ohio initiative, trade and farm stress, among other topics.”

    David C. DeWitt
    David C. DeWitt is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience covering Ohio politics and policy. He has worked for the National Journal, The New York Observer, The Athens NEWS and Plunderbund.com covering topics such as education, health care, crime and courts, poverty, government, business, labor, energy, environment and social issues. His work has also appeared in Government Executive, the Columbus Dispatch, Girlfriends magazine, Bleacher Report and the Ashtabula Star Beacon, among others.