You should’ve seen this coming: College students face new voting restrictions #TellUsSanFrancisco #TellUsUSANewsNetwork

By Jack Fitzpatrick, News21/Tell Us USA

SAN FRANCISCO (Tell Us USA) – Morehouse College students can use their ID cards to buy food and school supplies, use computer labs and get books from the library, but they can’t use ID from the historic Atlanta school to vote. A few miles away, Georgia State University students use their ID in the same way, but their cards allow them to vote.

Across the country, college students are facing new questions about their voting rights. In some states, communities are debating whether students can vote as state residents or vote absentee from their hometowns. In others, legislators have debated whether student IDs can be used at the polls.

In Georgia, the debate started with the state’s voter ID law, which accepts student IDs from state colleges but not private institutions such as Morehouse.

College students, who led a record turnout among 18- to 24-year-old voters in 2008, could play a major role in this November’s elections, but their impact could be blunted by states’ voter ID requirements.

In Georgia, for example, legislators have rejected student IDs from private schools, saying the lack of uniformity among school IDs would be a burden for poll workers. There are 198 accredited postsecondary schools in Georgia, including beauty academies and music institutes, according to the National Center of Education Statistics.

Even many ID cards from public colleges are rejected under some state laws, because the cards do not include addresses, issuance and expiration dates.

In Wisconsin, some colleges paid for new, state-acceptable student IDs while others charged students for new IDs.

Groups that advocate on behalf of young voters say restrictions against school IDs could drive down student turnout.

“They’re another one of these suppression laws that affects disabled, older and younger voters on equal levels, but the older population is in the habit of voting,” said Sarah Stern, a spokeswoman for national advocacy group the League of Young Voters.

Georgia state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan, a Democrat, has introduced three bills since 2008 to accept IDs from all accredited schools, rather than just public schools. All three bills failed.

Morgan got the idea in 2008 from one of her office interns. Aubrey Patterson, who also worked as a poll worker in Chatham County, told Morgan that in the 2008 elections, he saw private college and university students told that they could not use their school IDs at the polls.

“There was a lot of frustration from students attending private schools,” said Patterson, a Morehouse alumnus who is now a graduate student at Georgia State.

Accepting student IDs makes voting more convenient, Patterson said, because many students don’t have driver’s licenses and don’t have a reason to carry another form of ID.

“Some students don’t carry around too much money and stuff like that,” Patterson said. “The card is almost like an ATM.”

Jared Thomas, spokesman for Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, said Kemp supported Morgan’s bill and worked with her on it.

Thomas said he didn’t believe Morgan’s bill would be difficult for the secretary of state’s office to implement, and that they would support similar bills in the future. Thomas said he thought the law was clear about its ID requirements, even without adding private school IDs.

“It’s very clear right now that if you’re at UGA (the University of Georgia), it’s a state-issued ID, and if you’re at Emory (University) or Mercer (University), it’s private and would not count by any stretch as state-issued ID,” Thomas said.

On a national scale, voter ID laws could have a significant impact on student voters in the November elections. Stern said college students were one of the demographics targeted by voter ID laws because students are likely to vote for Democrats.

“It definitely will affect turnout,” Stern said. “And people know that. It’s a concerted, partisan strategy.”

President Barack Obama won two-thirds of the vote among 18- to 24-year-olds in 2008, according to exit polls. That was the only age group to significantly increase turnout over 2004.

Mahen Gunaratna, an Obama campaign spokesman, said the campaign was making young voters a priority again this year and that voter ID laws worked against turnout.

Arizona state Rep. Martin Quezada, an Obama campaign surrogate, said young voters were just as important now as they were four years ago.

“The youth vote is critical after the 2008 election,” he said. “It’s a different group of 18- to 24-year-olds now, but they have the same reasons to be excited.”

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s campaign did not respond to requests for an interview. Regardless of whether student IDs are accepted, voter ID laws might put young voters at a disadvantage.

A 2005 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute study found that white, black and Hispanic 18- to 24-year-olds in the state were less likely to have a driver’s license than the general voting population. The study found that 78 percent of black men in Wisconsin in that age group did not have a valid driver’s license.

Despite the obstacles they present, voter ID laws haven’t received much opposition from students. A poll by the nonprofit Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, which advocates on behalf of environmental and social issues, found that most Minnesota college students support that state’s proposed voter ID amendment, even though the majority of them do not have the necessary identification.

Some states, such as Georgia and Indiana, accept student IDs from public schools because they are issued by the government. Others, such as Kansas, accept student IDs from all accredited schools. And some, like Wisconsin, might exclude many public and private universities by requiring dates when the cards were issued and when they expire. The University of Wisconsin system, with more than 181,000 students enrolled, did not include that information on student IDs when the bill passed.

Wisconsin’s voter ID law has been blocked twice in court, but the state would have some of the strictest ID requirements in the country if injunctions are lifted.

After the law was passed, the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire provided new, optional student IDs including the necessary information. To offset the cost of the new IDs, the university will charge $2 for each, a cost that Democratic state Rep. Gary Hebl calls unconstitutional.

“It’s a poll tax, obviously,” Hebl said. “The purpose of the card is to vote with it.”

And Hebl said the low cost of the IDs didn’t make a difference.
“To charge people to vote is unconstitutional,” he said. “If it costs a nickel, it’s unconstitutional; $2 could be the difference between buying a loaf of bread or voting.”

Paydon Miller, president of the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire Student Democrats, said that although the cost for the new student IDs is low, it is wrong to make students “jump through hoops.”

“We are placing a burden on the student body that doesn’t exist for other people,” Miller said.

In Texas, student IDs might be rejected at the polls while gun permits are accepted, depending on a lawsuit over the state’s voter ID law. Texas’ law passed the legislature but has been blocked by the Department of Justice. If the state wins against the Justice Department, no student IDs from public or private schools would be accepted at the polls.

Natalie Butler, a 2012 graduate and former student government president of the University of Texas–Austin, said the law would have a negative effect on students. She is particularly worried about local elections in Austin, where student turnout rates already are low.

“If we’re going to make it even harder for students to impact city politics, that’s a huge problem,” she said.

In addition to restrictions on using school IDs, students face challenges based on residency. Out-of-state students must choose which state they want to vote in — their home state, where they may have to file an absentee ballot, or at school, where they face scrutiny from local residents.

In New Hampshire, Republican state Rep. Gregory Sorg tried last year to bar college students from voting in the state unless they lived there before enrolling. And state House Speaker William O’Brien, a Republican, received national attention when he mentioned voting restrictions that would affect students, such as same-day voter registration, and then attacked how he presumed students would vote.

“Voting as a liberal, that’s what kids do,” he was recorded saying at a New Hampshire Tea Party event. “They lack the life experience and they just vote their feelings.”

Sorg’s bill, which did not pass, included provisions that would have let students prove their state residence if they really planned to stay there, but Sorg said most college students live on an isolated campus and have no community ties.

“It distorts the way a community is run,” Sorg said. “Transients could descend on a community and take it over.”

In Maine, state Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster accused 206 out-of-state college students of committing voter fraud. That prompted Secretary of State Charlie Summers to investigate.

Summers, also a Republican, found no cases of voter fraud or double voting, but he mailed letters to all the students, asking them to either cancel their registration in Maine or apply for a state driver’s licenses.

Despite these challenges to out-of-state students, Stern said the League of Young Voters encourages college students to vote in the state where they go to school because the process of receiving an absentee ballot is so complicated.

“The likelihood of students registering at their parent’s house and then correctly filling out the application for an absentee ballot is low,” Stern said.

Lizzie Chen, Alia Conley, Emily Nohr and Alex Remington of News21 contributed to this article.

Jack Fitzpatrick was a Hearst Foundations Fellow this summer for News21.



Golden Girl Still Glowing at Olympic Homecoming #Olympics #OlympicWinners #TellUsUSANewsNetwork

Olympic gold medalist swimmer Allison reacts to the adoring hometown crown in Canton, MI. (Dan Brenner/

By Raymond Rolak/Sports Editor-Tell Us Detroit

CANTON TOWNSHIP– When swimmer Allison Schmitt stopped home after her 2012 London Olympic experience she exclaimed, “I haven’t been home since December.”

Schmitt went on to say in front of an energized and overflowing audience in Heritage Park, “To be able to relax and share this with my family and supporters is great. Being here is amazing. I’m just so glad to be home.”

As the crowd listened attentively, she also singled out some of her teachers from both elementary and high school. She tried to acknowledge as many of her classmates from the 2008 Canton High School year as she could see. There were so many people. All in all, Allison was besieged.

The five time medal winner stopped home for three days before heading to Athens, Georgia for school obligations later in the week. She was peppered with questions regarding London, Michael Phelps, the Olympic pool and her Olympic routine in London.

Swimming was front and center during broadcast coverage at these 2012 London Olympic Games. The 22-year-old swimmer had become a familiar face nationally with all her NBC prime television time.

At this event, her patience and grace were a compliment to Coach Jack Bauerle’s varsity swimming program at Georgia. Schmitt is working toward a degree in psychology. Later she signed autographs, posed for photos and always displayed her ever-present smile.

“I’m definitely thinking about Rio,” Schmitt said. “I am planning to do four more years, I had a great Olympics this past time, it was a lot of fun and I want to repeat it. So I am definitely looking forward to Rio in 2016.”
Schmitt finished her address to the crowd with, “I have one more day with my family. I’m expecting to go back (Athens) and be the same exact person. I don’t know if I will be, I don’t know if people will look at me different. But I’m the same person – if I came back with no medals or if I came back with five medals – I’m still the same person and I hope people treat me the same.”

Earlier, she appeared at the Summit-on-the-Park recreation building with her family for a photo opportunity. “It’s something I want to share with everyone,” she said sitting between her parents Gail and Ralph Schmitt. “Every person that’s helped me get to where I am today, just being able to share my success with other people means a lot to me.”

Later the Canton Township community presented her with a personalized embroidered Olympic flag and a proclamation from the township supervisor.



Fash Bash holds extravagant evening at the @DIADetroit #FashBash12 #TellUsDetroit #TellUsUSANewsNetwork story by @AngelinaCzar

Cheryl & Rachel, 2 body art models pose with Tell Us Detroit reporter Angelina Czarnecki at the 2012 DIA Fash Bash. The artwork was done by Andrea O’Donnell. (Photo by Scott Sullivan/Tell Us Detroit)

By Angelina Czarnecki/Tell Us Detroit

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) – The Detroit Institute of Arts was filled with the latest couture and the “who’s who’ in the city during Fash Bash the fashion event of the summer. Due to weather conditions the event was brought indoors, but what better place to experience great fashion and art than the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The Founders Junior Council (FJC), a young professionals auxiliary of the Detroit Institute of Arts, presented the event and has outdone themselves each year. During the early years this glamorous event was not held at the DIA, Nicole Eisenberg DIA Board of Directors member, spoke with us about the event and location.

“We’ve brought it back to the Detroit Institute of Arts, and it was the most important place we could have it right here in our city” Nicole Eisenberg.

For the evening guest were dazzled with featured show “Art of Fashion” Neiman Marcus’s signature show in the DIA’s Great Hall. Those who purchased the “Fashionably Late” tickets enjoyed the runway show through a live stream in the DIA. Guest strolled from various rooms enjoying fashion , music and the body art put on display. Models painted in full body art strutted their stuff off the runway as well.

“The growth of Detroit and the creative edge that Detroit is getting has helped my art grow as the city has” Andrea O’Donnell, body art makeup artist.

During the end of the night attendees enjoyed the post- show Paparazzi Party and after glow celebration. Spotting the next Fall fashion trend could have been seen both on and off the runway, as guest were dressed in high fashion attire.

The Founders Junior Council are committed to inspiring new generations of art lovers to show their support for the DIA. More information for being a member may be found at


African World Festival @AWFDetroit1 in new location at @TheWrightMuseum #AWF30Detroit #TellUsUSANewsNetwork story by @AngelinaCzar

By Angelina Czarnecki/Tell Us Detroit

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) – The African World Festival will be celebrating it’s 30th year at the Charles H.
Wright Museum of African American History. The festival will kick off Friday, August 17 at noon and will be free to the public. During the festival the museum will have extended hours and feature many exhibits free to the public.

Beginning this week through the festival weekend traveling exhibit, The King Center Imaging Project, from The King Center in Atlanta will be displayed in the museum’s Ford Freedom Rotunda. Digitized archives of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., all courtesy of JP Morgan Chase are set to entertain the crowds as well.

Outdoor stages and more than 100 marketplace vendors will be on the outdoor festival grounds. The new location at the Charles H. Wright Museum has the advantage of a culturally thriving area and institutions Wayne State University, Midtown Detroit Inc. and the Scarab Club are cooperating in welcoming the new event in its new location

Visit the festival website at , or call the festival office at 313-494-5824 for more


@KidneyMI Kidney Foundation of Michigan holds 6th Annual Cool Blue Monday #CoolBlueMonday #NationalKidneyFoundation #TellUsDetroit

By Mary E. Moore/Tell Us Detroit

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) – The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan-Detroit Branch Office held its signature fundraising event at the MGM Grand Hotel on August 13, 2012. The theme of ‘Cool Blue Monday’ is unique because it draws people together on a day that usually is reserved for the cool down from the
weekend. This did not deter supporters who came with enthusiasm because their contributions were being donated to the Foundation that helps more people across Michigan than any other organization.

It is alarming to know that on June 1, 2012, there were more than 2,400 people waiting for a lifesaving kidney
transplant. Even more starling is that ‘more than 900,000 Michigan adults (20+) have chronic kidney disease.’ The excitement and commitment of the Detroit Branch is evident as it strives to offer programs of awareness and

The strolling buffet, live entertainment and auctions were being held to entice supporters to bid generously. The silent auctions were especially exciting because of the quality of items ranging from golf sets, handcrafted
jewelry and paintings, luggage, and spa services, and many other items. Getting something in addition to knowing that the dollars are being used for countless services to those in need makes one burst with pride and appreciation.

It is with great pride that we offer our congratulations to all the volunteers and sponsors who keep this vital organization moving with education and services. Looking ahead: Saturday, December 1, 2012 is the date for the
black tie Kidney Ball. Fun is promised as well as knowing that the proceeds go toward helping many people.

Another congrats! Team @usabasketball Wins Gold Medals in Basketball #SummerOlympics #TellUsUSANewsNetwork

By Raymond Rolak/Tell Us USA Sports Editor

LONDON (Tell Us USA) – The USA Basketball program sparkled at the 2012 London Olympics, first with the gold medal victory of the women’s team, which routed France 86-50. It was the fifth consecutive gold medal for the American women.

Secondly, the men’s team brought an encore gold over Spain 107-100. Spain played with a stubborn and very capable resolve. The score did not indicate how strong Spain’s effort was. Even though USA had the edge 83-82 at the start of the fourth quarter they were pushed to the brink.

The final few minutes were dramatic. With 3:20 left and USA leading 97-91, Carmelo Anthony had to leave the game with an ankle twist. Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kevin Lowe and Chris Paul were the finishers for Team USA. Spain still had the height advantage on the floor. A critical defensive lapse by Spain allowed James to drive the basket for two. James followed with a three on the next USA possession. Spain’s Marc Gasol put a vicious pick on Paul. Rudy Fernandez fouled out for Spain and that started the real end for any chance of Spanish gold.

After a driving layup by Paul with 51 seconds remaining, Coach Mike Krzyzewski showed some theatrics that we don’t typically get to see from the legendary coach. It was 104-93 as “Coach K” was jumping for joy near the bench and as he substituted during the last minute. It was a team victory and everyone participated. Krzyzewski wanted to emphasize that. With 12 seconds left it was 106-100. James Harden missed a USA free throw but made the second. Spain came down the court quickly for a three attempt. It missed and Anthony Davis grabbed the final rebound.

It was a compelling and dramatic final game. Durant led all scorers with 30 points. Earlier, Russia beat Argentina 81-77 for the bronze medal.

“Coach K” said after, “We beat a great team. My guys cooperated, everyone told me that they would do whatever was needed. Come off the bench, play defense, the cooperation was tremendous.” The victory was dictated by the USA defense and the ability to lock-down the Spanish drives inside.

Krzyzewski had said earlier that this was his last Olympics. Another Chicago native son, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, who hired Krzyzewski in 2005, isn’t going to let him leave the program so easily. Colangelo plans to take another shot at persuading Krzyzewski to stay for one more attempt and coach the Rio, Brazil Olympic Games in 2016. “He’s said this is it and I’ll respect his choice,” Colangelo said in London. “But knowing me as I know me, I’ll have that conversation and we’ll see.”

With the win, Krzyzewski joins Henry Iba (1964 and 1968) as the only U.S. coaches to lead teams to consecutive Olympic gold medals.


Women of Faith Show Support for DPS Students #DPS #Detroit #TellUsDetroit

Rosemary Moore, 1st Lady of Greater Southern Baptist Church signs a large poster-size first-ever public pledge to be present on opening day of school and invest in long term partnerships with local schools. (Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us Detroit)

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) – More than two dozen Ministers’ Wives joined together Saturday morning to sign a first-ever pledge to support DPS schools on the First Day of Teaching and Learning, and invest in long-term partnerships with schools. A breakfast was held at Detroit International Academy to earmark the-is important event.

Each of the attending guest signed a large poster-size first-ever public pledge to be present on opening day of school and invest in long term partnerships with local schools. The pledge was signed following at Detroit International Academy, DPS’ and Michigan’s only all-girls public K-12 school. Another example of the women’s group commitment to stay involved in the 2012 Enrollment and Successful Opening of Schools Campaign.

Saturday’s event is the first public kickoff of Detroit Public Schools’ month-long campaign, which includes hundreds of school-based events showcasing programs and community partners, an intensive neighborhood by neighborhood grassroots campaign, a week packed with popular citywide events including the annual Woodward Ave. Back-to-School parade, and brand new partnerships with faith-based organizations.

The campaign lasts now through the first day of school on September 4. Go to


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