Dems in Key House Races Fear Loss of Critical Student Votes With College Campuses Empty

In a COVID-less world, Dylan Taylor would be in East Lansing now, spending his free time at a table outside the dorms at Michigan State University beckoning fellow Spartans to register to vote. Instead, the 19-year-old treasurer of the MSU Young Democrats is stuck living with his parents in the Detroit suburb of Madison Heights, attending classes via Zoom and trying to replicate election-year campus activism remotely with concepts like “Friend Banking.” “You text people you know and ask them, ‘Are you registered to vote?'” he says. “It is a skewed sample. Everyone says, ‘I’m already registered.’ And then I’m done. It is a lot less effective than being on campus.”

a group of people sitting at a park: Sparsely populated college campuses due to COVID limitations on in-person learning could prove problematic for some Democratic Congressional candidates who rely on student votes and campaign volunteers to help them get elected.

© Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images
Sparsely populated college campuses due to COVID limitations on in-person learning could prove problematic for some Democratic Congressional candidates who rely on student votes and campaign volunteers to help them get elected.

For Democrats in tough House races across the nation who were counting on students from nearby colleges to work as campaign volunteers and to vote, not having Dylan and people like him on campus is a looming political problem. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, nearly half of American college and universities are offering entirely or mostly virtual classes this fall according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, thereby scattering millions of students who might have been cajoled into voting for the first time and then motivated to support Democrats through peer pressure and appearances from big-name campaign surrogates. Polls consistently show college students skew Democratic by a 70-30 percent margin—the exact percentage, in fact, who said they planned to vote for Joe Biden in a poll of 4,000 students enrolled in four-year colleges by the Knight Foundation this August. So the absence of on-campus organizing is widely seen as an advantage for Republicans.

“That’s a really big deal for my

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Pelosi preparing for House to decide presidency if neither Trump or Biden win electoral college: report

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick ‘threatens’ Affordable Care Act Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election Will Democrats attempt to pack the Supreme Court again? MORE (D-Calif.) is reportedly preparing lawmakers for the possibility of an Electoral College tie forcing the House to decide the election, according to a Politico report published Sunday.

Such a scenario would involve each of the 50 state delegations in the House having just one vote in the process, Pelosi reportedly warned House Democrats in a letter Sunday, and would force Democrats to shift their strategy ahead of November.

“The Constitution says that a candidate must receive a majority of the state delegations to win,” the House leader wrote, according to Politico. “We must achieve that majority of delegations or keep the Republicans from doing so.”

A tie in the Electoral College could result from a number of scenarios, including neither candidate reaching 270 electoral votes due to voting totals or as the result of so-called “faithless” electors, or electors who do not vote for the candidate who is victorious in their state.

An elector hasn’t voted for the candidate to come in second place in their state since 1968, according to 270 To Win, but in 2016 several electors refused to cast their votes at all, an unusually high number.

Republicans currently hold overall control of 26 state delegations, compared to 23 for Democrats. Pennsylvania’s delegation is split evenly. Both of those numbers could change wildly in November, however, as all 435 voting members of the House are up for reelection.

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Male Connecticut College student charged with voyeurism in connection with incident in dorm bathroom, police say

A Connecticut College student was arrested Saturday night and charged with voyeurism after an incident in a dorm bathroom, police said Monday.

Nicholas Spellman, 19, was charged with voyeurism and disorderly conduct after police seized multiple electronic devices, New London police Capt. Brian Wright said.

Police were called to the dorm a few minutes after 10 p.m. Saturday after a reported incident in the bathroom, but police did not release further details Monday. 

Spellman, who is from Wilbraham, Mass., was released on bond and is scheduled to appear Nov. 20 in Superior Court in New London.

Police have asked anyone who has reason to believe they were a victim of of this type of crime or who has information about this incident or others like it to contact the detective bureau at 860-447-1481 or submitting an anonymous text tip to “Tip411” at 847411.

Police made a similar arrest in March 2019 when they charged former student Carlos Antonio Alberti, then 21 years old, with seven counts of voyeurism for allegedly recording female students in dorm bathrooms from October 2018 to January 2019. Alberti pleaded not guilty and pre-trial proceedings are scheduled to begin next month in Superior Court in New London.

Zach Murdock can be reached at [email protected]


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Cops: CT College student accused of voyeurism in dorm bathroom

NEW LONDON — A Connecticut College student has been arrested in a voyeurism incident on campus, police said.

Shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday, police said they responded to a dorm on the Mohegan Avenue campus for a reported incident of voyeurism in a bathroom.

Police said the suspect, identified as Nicholas Spellman, 19, is a Connecticut College student.

“During police contact with the student, electronic devices were seized,” police said.

Spellman, of Wilbraham, Mass. was arrested and charged with voyeurism and disorderly conduct.

He was released after posting bond will appear in court on Nov. 20.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

Given the nature of the incident, New London Police encourage anyone who has information concerning these type of incidents or has reason to believe that they may be a victim of this type of crime to contact the New London Police Department’s detective bureau at 860-447-1481 or anonymous information may be submitted via the New London Tips 411 system by texting NLPDTip plus the information to Tip411 (847411).

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Toilet cam: Otumoetai College sparks concerns over bathroom cameras

A Bay of Plenty college is the latest secondary school to spark concerns over security cameras in student toilets.

A mum of two girls at the school was appalled to discover Otumoetai College had installed wall-mounted cameras inside student toilets.

The woman, who does not want to be named, has told the school her daughters will not be using the toilets until they are taken down.

She claims the spherical cameras are high on bathroom walls, capturing vision from inside the cubicles.

But the school says the cameras are only in the public areas of the toilets to ensure the individual safety and security of its students.

The woman said she thought her daughter was mistaken when she said the school had placed cameras inside the bathrooms.

It took a photo to convince her they were real and her daughter wasn’t making up the story.

“I really thought my girl had got it wrong when she told me there were cameras in the girls’ toilets.

“I honestly didn’t think schools could do that. And we hadn’t been told.”

After seeing photographic proof of the camera, she contacted a dean at the school to raise concerns but claims she was told “not to be ridiculous” and “that’s not what we do”.

However, the principal confirmed to the horrified mum that cameras were installed throughout the school last year after a decision by the board of trustees.

She was told they were meant to counter a graffiti problem in the bathrooms and only two people had access to the footage: himself and the person in charge of IT.

The principal tried to reassure the mother the pupils’ privacy was not at stake with vision down into the cubicles blacked out, she said.

“I don’t want to even think of my daughter using the toilet and someone being able to watch her.

“That’s just disgusting.

“I told the school my daughters will not be using the toilets, ever,” she said.

“It’s completely inappropriate that they’ve done it,” she said.

She believed parents should have been notified.

Other parents she had contacted were also outraged.

But Otumoetai College principal Russell Gordon told the Herald the cameras had been installed for about 20 months and only showed the wash bay areas and did not capture any vision inside cubicles.

“The reason for these cameras are to ensure the individual safety and security of our students,” he said.

Prominent notices indicated the presence of cameras in the toilets and the school had clear policy guidelines about storage and access to the information collected.

Gordon said he had only received one complaint from a parent concerned about the placement of a camera, but it only showed students entering and exiting the toilets and did not capture any vision inside cubicles, he said.

Last week, the Herald reported students at Rutherford College ripped down a CCTV camera outside the boys’ bathrooms because they were worried it might capture them exposed.

The school defended the cameras, saying they were

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In the Presidential Race, What Happens in an Electoral College Tie? | America 2020

In mid-July, with many polls showing a blowout lead for Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the presidential race, Fox News host Chris Wallace pressed his television show guest, President Donald Trump, to “give a direct answer” on whether he would accept the outcome of November’s presidential election. Trump demurred. “I have to see. Look … I have to see,” the president replied. “No, I’m not going to just say yes.”

Trump’s reply angered many critics, who called it anti-democratic, and it served to inject another layer of uncertainty into an election process that’s also been shaken by COVID-19, the administration’s attacks on the U.S. Postal Service, and persistent Russian meddling, among other issues. But there’s another, rarely discussed Election Day scenario that could potentially thrust the country into extended political turmoil: a tied Electoral College.

“I don’t think that we’re prepared for a contingent election at all,” says Robert Alexander, a professor of political science at Ohio Northern University and an expert on the Electoral College. “As tumultuous and chaotic as the last several years have been, I can only imagine that would be amplified in the weeks following a tie vote in the Electoral College.”

Cartoons on the 2020 Election

Recent American history, of course, has produced two highly unusual presidential elections. In 2000, more than one month after votes had been cast, the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately halted Florida’s infamous recount effort, confirming a tiny electoral vote victory for George W. Bush.

Just four years ago, Trump lost the popular vote to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes, but he still won a comfortable Electoral College margin (304 to Clinton’s 227).

But the Electoral College hasn’t actually been tied since 1800, when a new party nominating system resulted in a split between then vice president Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, with each man receiving 73 electoral votes. (After 36 ballots, Congress finally settled on President Jefferson, with Burr going on to serve a term as his vice president.)

This year, under one scenario modelled by the political website 270toWin, the country’s 538 electoral votes could end up evenly divided if swing states Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire and Virginia turn for Biden while Arizona, Florida, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia and Ohio vote for Trump. This scenario also hinges on Biden winning four out of a possible nine combined votes from Maine and Nebraska’s unique “congressional district method,” where those two states each allocate two electoral votes to the overall state popular vote winner and one electoral vote to the winner in each congressional district. Maine, with four electoral votes, is projected for Biden; Nebraska, with five, is a safe bet for Trump.

Still, an overall 269-269 tie remains decidedly unlikely, but it is possible.

“Close elections are actually the rule when it comes to the Electoral College,” says Alexander, who points out that about half of all Electoral College decisions have been decided by 75,000 voters or fewer. “It would take

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They knew they had COVID-19, but some college students threw a large house party anyway

It stands to reason you probably wouldn’t throw a large house party if you tested positive for COVID-19. But that wasn’t the case for some students at Miami University of Ohio.

When Oxford police arrived to break up a large house party hosted by students over Labor Day weekend, officers discovered one student had tested positive for COVID-19 and been ordered to quarantine a week prior. Bodycam video from the Oxford Police Department shows several students sitting on the porch, unmasked, drinking and listening to music, according to report from WOIO.

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“How many people are in the house? Twenty people inside? You might want to start clearing out, please,” one officer ordered the students.

After running one student’s identification, an officer calls him over.

“I’ve never seen this before, there’s an input on the computer that said you tested positive for COVID?” The officer asked the student. The student then informed the officer that everyone at the party has coronavirus.

“How many other people have COVID?” the officer asked.

“They all do,” the student answered, gesturing to other roommates.

After the incident, police fined the six men in the house and a guest $500 each.

“This particular case is egregious, but

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College students admitted to police they had COVID-19. They threw a house party anyway.

More than 1,100 students at Miami University in Ohio have tested positive for coronavirus since mid-August. But even after testing positive, a group of students was caught on camera hosting a large house party over Labor Day weekend, breaking quarantine rules. 

An officer with the Oxford Police Department arrived to break up a house party over the weekend that violated capacity rules, which currently allow gatherings of no more than 10 people. When police arrived at the house, several students were sitting on the porch, unmasked, drinking and listening to music. 

Despite allowing 20 people inside the house, the hosts of the party maintained they were following guidelines. According to the officer’s body-camera footage, he warned the students that they were violating safety guidelines before running one student’s license. 

But after scanning the ID of one of the students who lives in the house, he saw a note on his computer that the student tested positive for COVID-19 just one week prior. 

“How many other people have COVID?” the officer asked.

“They all do,” the student replied, gesturing toward his housemates. He added that some of the guests had also tested positive. 

“That’s what we’re trying to prevent,” the officer said. “We want to keep this town open.” 

More colleges closing over worries of coronav…


Police fined six men — five who live in the house and one visitor — $500 each. 

“This particular case is egregious, but I think for the most part, by in large, the students have been very well behaved,” Lt. Lara Fening with the Oxford Police Department told CBS News affiliate WKRC.

“Some residents came over from across the street that were reportedly COVID-positive as well,” said Fening. “We do not know if anybody else at that party was aware of the COVID-positive residents because some of them left while the officer was there.” 

Miami University said it receives student violations from the Oxford PD. The school told CBS News that it could not comment on an individual case, but said that any student in violation of quarantine or isolation orders, including hosting a large gathering, will face disciplinary action under the Code of Student Conduct.

“We take these matters most seriously, and students can face suspension or dismissal for these types of violations,” a spokesperson for the university told CBS News on Friday. 

The school announced this week that it will resume in-person and hybrid classes on campus on September 21, following a month of entirely online classes. Students living on-campus are continuing their phased move-in starting Monday. 

All students returning to campus must be tested for coronavirus before moving into dorms. Additionally, face masks are required for all students and faculty and all activities outside of the classroom with more than 10 participants have been canceled or moved virtually.

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Free admission for kids, college students this fall at U of A Botanic Garden

a small boat in a body of water: The Kurimoto Japanese Garden at the University of Alberta Botanical Gardens southwest of Edmonton in Parkland County, Alta. on Thursday, September 10, 2020.

© Global News
The Kurimoto Japanese Garden at the University of Alberta Botanical Gardens southwest of Edmonton in Parkland County, Alta. on Thursday, September 10, 2020.

The University of Alberta Botanic Garden is opening its gates to children and students for free this fall.

“We know what a tough time families have been having, especially kids,” education co-ordinator Jennine Pedersen said. “We want the garden to be a space where they can come and explore nature.”

Read more: University of Alberta Botanic Garden reopens amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Pedersen said while the move is temporary, it’s hoped one day to be permanent.

“This is actually part of a larger dream we have,” she said. “We’re looking for partners to reach out to us, who maybe want to be involved in making this dream possible and having kids at the garden free forever.”

The ultimate goal is that all the garden’s children’s programs — like school field trips — will be free and accessible to all kids.

With borders locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Alberta families have stayed closer to home this summer. The garden normally opens to visitors in the spring, but this year didn’t until June 1 — and Pedersen said it has been busy.

“We’ve had pretty good attendance over the summer. This is a great, safe area. Lots of space to spread out,” she said.

While some programming such as field trips had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, the garden is looking to develop new programming that’s safe, fun, engaging and gets kids back outside.

“Having kids connect with nature is more important than ever,” Pedersen said.

“Nature teaches you so many lessons that you can’t learn on a screen. So it allows you to learn problem-solving skills and creativity skills and you just learn about the wonder that’s around you.”

Read more: U of A Botanic Garden closing early for entry pavilion construction

The gardens have seen several major upgrades in recent years, including the construction of a new entry pavilion structure over the past year, which included a new admissions area, gift shop, concession and outdoor seating area.

The opening of the Aga Khan Garden two years ago also resulted in twice as many visitors as normal during the first two months.

Read more: New U of A Botanic Garden saw spike in attendance; Aga Khan in town for inauguration

The 11-acre garden has 12 water features, about 665,000 kilograms of granite, fruit orchards and more than 25,000 trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and wetland plants.

Also popular at the facility is the the five-acre garden Kurimoto Japanese Garden — which opened in 1990 and is created in the kaiyou (strolling garden) style but filled with plants hardy to Alberta’s northern climate.

“We have 240 acres of beautiful, beautiful garden to explore,” Pedersen said. “Beautiful ponds, flower beds, trees, lots of insects, squirrels.

“It’s just a great place to enjoy with a family.”

While the tropical butterfly showhouse is also a popular

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College student positive for COVID-19 throws party: OH cops

Six Miami University students in Ohio were cited for throwing a house party a week after one of them tested positive for COVID-19, police say.

An Oxford police officer arrived at the home Saturday evening due to a noise complaint and found multiple people clustered on the front porch as loud music played, WCPO reported.

Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited in Oxford, WLWT reported. A student who lives at the residence told the officer there were roughly 20 people inside, according to the outlet.

The officer ran the student’s name through the law enforcement database and discovered the student had recently tested positive for COVID-19, both stations reported. Their conversation was captured on the officer’s body camera.

The student reportedly told the officer it had been about a week since his positive test. When the officer asked if the student was supposed to be quarantining, he replied: “That’s why I’m at my house.”

The student added that “everyone staying in the house” was also positive for COVID-19, along with some residents across the street, according to the news outlets.

When the officer told the student they’re trying to keep the town open, the student reportedly responded, “I know. That’s why I’m staying home.”

“The way I interpreted the video from the body cam footage was he felt like he was at home and quarantining like he was supposed to be and that the majority of the people that were at the house had passed by and stopped by,” Oxford police Lt. Lara Fening told WKRC.

Fening added that it was unclear if guests at the party knew that the residents at the home were positive for COVID-19, as several left when the officer arrived, according to the outlet.

“This particular case is egregious, but I think for the most part, by in large, the students have been very well behaved,” Fening told WKRC.

The students cited for violating the mass gathering ordinance each face a $500 fine, according to WLWT. Their names have not been released.

More than 1,000 Miami University students have tested positive for the coronavirus in the last two weeks, according to data from the school’s online dashboard.

University officials announced Wednesday that the school would move forward with plans for in-person classes starting Sept. 21, WXIX reported. Students returning to campus will begin a phased move-in process on Monday.

About 60% of on-campus students are expected to return, with the remainder opting for remote learning, according to WXIX.

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Dawson covers goings-on across the central region, from breaking to bizarre. She has an MSt from the University of Cambridge and lives in Kansas City.

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