Kentucky New EraTennessee voters began casting ballots this week. Our neighbors to the south are among 33 states, along with the District of Columbia, where lawmakers have approved methods for early voting. Three other states conduct all voting by mail ballots. Kentucky, unfortunately, is among 14 states that do not allow early voting and impose strict limits on voters who want to cast absentee ballots.Wouldn’t it make sense to give citizens some options for voting in advance of the Nov. 4 general election? Some officials, like Christian County Clerk Mike Kem, think so. Kem said he favors early voting but he doubts the Kentucky General Assembly will pass the legislation in the foreseeable future.“I don’t think it has a chance,” Kem said.Maybe not. But state lawmakers ought to hear from voters who believe Kentucky is needlessly sticking to an antiquated system of voting.Under current law, most voters must drive to a polling place on election day to cast a ballot between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Absentee voting is granted to voters who must be out of their county for work or medical appointments on election day and to those with a physical condition that makes it difficult for them to get to a polling place. College students living away from home also are allowed to cast absentee ballots.Kentucky law does not recognize a range of other modern realities that make it tough for people to vote at a polling place on one specific day. Take for example, a young father who has to get a couple of children off to day care before driving to work. If the workday ends at 5 p.m. and children have to be picked up from day care, there’s little time left in the day to drive to a polling place that could be several miles from a school or factory.Although many county clerks in Kentucky oppose early voting, we believe it would not be especially difficult to set up one voting machine in every county’s courthouse several days before the election. Anyone wanting to vote early, regardless of where they reside in a county, could schedule time to drive to the courthouse in the days before the election to vote.Kentucky also needs to lift some of the restrictions on mail ballots. Voters shouldn’t have to provide an approved excuse for voting by mail. Conveniencefor the voter ought to be reason enough.Anything that improves the odds of voters casting ballots ought to be supported. One day for voting is an old-fashioned method. We can do better.
By Dr. Glenn Mollette
Ebola affected Liberians and other West Africans whocan obtain plane tickets will be headed to the United States. How many more can we handle coming into ourcountry? We only have a handful of hospitals that arecurrently equipped to handle Ebola. Each of thesehas only four or five equipped isolated treatment areas.
I have friends in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria.We must help them by providing West African hospitalswith what they need to fight this fatal disease.
America spends billions on war every year. Spendinga few billion on equipping West African hospitals andtraining staff will be a great investment in saving ourplanet. I hope the West African nations will help usfinancially since our nation is broke.
Closing commercial flights from this part of the world is a prickly idea for many. We have Americans who areliving or visiting in Liberia who need to get back to America.We can screen them and fly them home.
Medical teams, equipment and tons of medicine must go tothese areas. There are plenty of planes that can be booked forthe months and probably years of medical service that will bedemanded.
This will not be a permanent situation. However, we cannotallow everybody to board planes to the United States andcirculate in our country while spreading Ebola.
Securing our borders from illegals, drug traders, ISISand Ebola is a task that seems almost insurmountable.We are not winning the war on border security. We don'twant to lose the Ebola war. There must not be any surrendering in this area of national security. A few hundred Ebola cases in this country would be more than we could handle.
The real answer to the Ebola crisis is finding a cure. More than ever we need billions of dollars investedin medical research. Millions of Americans simply endureand live with disease instead of beating disease. We aredesperate for a new era in America's medical research.It's time for a cure for cancer, neurological disease and Ebola.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and author. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group, organization or this publication.
By Glenn Mollette
Religious entities benefit from being in America. In most cases they enjoy 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. This means Catholics, Protestants,Mormons, Muslims and all other churches, synagogues, temples and mosques do not pay taxes.
Religious entities are also privileged to promote their religion. This is a good thing for our country. Our forefathers and thousands of Americans have paid the price in effort and blood to guarantee our country this privilege.
The Muslim religion has grown dramatically in this country. From September 11, 2001 until 2010 Muslims grew from one million to 2.6 million followers according to the US Religion Census of 2010. The data was collected by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies and released by the Association of Religion Data Archives. The report is available on the ARDA website. During the same time frame, followers of the Christian faith diminished. The number of people in our country who do not align themselves with any religion was reported to be up to 158 million people. This was the fastest growing group during the same timespan.
I am not aware of any church or religion that teaches that our country or flag should be worshiped. However, every religious entity should stand up for this country, salute our flag and be united in protecting this nation.
When I was a child we often said the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag in Bible school. Part of our worship was respecting and paying tribute to our nation.
All religious groups including Muslims should cry out against ISIS and Sharia law. There is no room in this nation for the mistreatment of people. This includes all people.
Militant Islam, discrimination, Sharia law and hurting other people must be forbidden in this country. We could even go a little further with this. What about churches who forbid women to speak and will not allow the divorced to serve? Christian churches have been offenders of discrimination for centuries.
The practice of religion is the opportunity to promote a faith that helps mankind. We've had enough hurt in this country from discrimination to mistreating our own citizens. While we have come a long way in this nation we must continue to be vigilant to maintain a free and safe America.
If we don't all get on board and help each other protect this nation we could lose all of our religious freedoms. We could also lose any other freedom for which hundreds of thousands of Americans have died.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and author. He is read in all 50 states. He is a graduate of Georgetown College, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Lexington Theological Seminary and Newburgh Theological Seminary. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group, organization or this publication.
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