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Thursday, November 8, 2012 $1.50

Voters experience issues on Election day


Lawyers help take complaints, resolve issues on Election day
by Jessica Herrera As voters headed to the polls Tuesday, lawyer Tricia Betterly headed to the phones. Usually enmeshed in the fine points of corporate finance, Betterly spend the morning fielding calls about far different problems: A woman in Kansas City, Mo., had been told she needed a utility bill to vote. A registered voter in Wisconsin had been told she wasnt on the voting polls, though she had brought her registration card. Over BlackBerrys and binders stuffed with election-law specifics, Betterly and 30 other lawyers in a Midtown Manhattan conference room looked up answers, logged complaints and pressed to resolve voting problems phoned in to (866) OUR-VOTE from 10 Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern and Midwestern states. The marble clad call center is normally a conference room for the prominent law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP, but on Tuesday, it was part of a national network of legal experts volunteering as voting-rights advisers - an Election day tradition quickly forged in the post-2000 political landscape. After the 2000 presidential election dispute drew volunteer lawyers from around the country, legal and civil-rights groups decided afterward to organize an ongoing effort called the Election Protection Coalition. Its hot line debuted in 2004. On Tuesday, it had fielded more than 12,000 calls by 3 p.m., said Barbara Arnwine of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a coalition leader. Organizers said many callers reported mal-functioning voting-machines, and precincts that opened late or were closed at points during the day. Others said there were requests for more or different forms of identification than state law requires, and problems locating registered voters on precinct roles. The coalition was also concerned about reports of phone calls misleading or discouraging voters in some places, Arn-

A voter, Jane Doe, casts her vote on a paper ballot. Many voters experienced problems registering and using voting-machines on Election day. Photo by Phil Anderson.

wine said. The coalition describes itself as a nonpartisan legal resource that aims to make sure all eligible voters get to vote if they want to, whether that entails

looking up a precinct or going to court. For instance, members pushed to keep polls open an extra hour when problems snarled primary voting in some parts of Maryland.

Organizers said Tuesday afternoon they were contemplating similar action in several states where polls had opened late or been temporarily shut down by voting-machines

problems. The coalition acknowledges targeting black, Hispanic and poor communities that it sees as historically disenfranchised.
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New Deputy City Manager of Operations picked for Topeka


Official Randy Speakers goals, ambitions for new position
by Peggy Mooney Topekan Randy Speaker has set some goals for himself when it comes to his new job as Deputy City Manager of Operations for the city of Topeka. My first goal is to interact with the departments in detail to see what efficiencies we are missing out on and what we can do better. I feel that the citizens of Topeka want their services to beresponsivelycost-effective and targeted to get the most bangs for the buck. In some cases, we will be implementing some cross-training because we dont want to shut the doors when one person is gone. We want to be able to keep the process moving, Speaker said. Although Speaker said the job had been under discussion for several months he was pleasantly surprised when it was offered to him. I feel honored to be part of his (city manager Norton Bonaparte) move to start managing the city, he said.
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Mayor: Riverfront project could take more than 20 years


by Peggy Mooney Its not just a pie-inthe-sky project. Developing Topekas riverfront is a vision that Topeka Mayor James McClinton believes in and says will become a reality. McClinton first announced the project at one of his weekly news conferences in mid-September. Although the idea is not a new one, McClinton hopes to keep the project on the front burner from now on. According to McClinton, development of the riverfront wont happen over night. He said its not meant soldiers back to the United States by plane. No physicians were on the planes, she said -- just nurses. We took care of the sick and wounded, Seberg said. We brought them from the combat area back to the United States to military hospitals near their homes. They got super care. Seberg said she and other nurses didnt have time to get scared or excited. They were simply too busy, she City. Prior to playing for the Chiefs, he played football at Azusa Pacific University as well as competing in track and field where he won seven national titles in shot-put, discus and hammer throw as well as earning 17 All-American honors in track and field. In 1989, Okoye enjoyed his best season for the Chiefs rushing for 1,480 yards. In addition to his stats, he collected a number of awards after the season, to be a short-term project, but rather a long-term one that could take more then 20 years to complete. McClinton and other city officials and business leaders have recently held several public forums to receive input from Topeka residents and others interested. Christy Caldwell, vice-president of government relations for the Greater Topeka chamber of commerce, attended both forums last week and was impressed with the turnout. We are excited about the riverfront project, she said. It has a lot of posaid. We didnt have time to think about it, Seberg said. We were just doing our job. A recent display at the Kansas History Museum saluted Sebergs career, which included a stint as the first chief of the Air Force Nurse Corps, a position to which she was appointed in 1951 and which meant being stationed at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
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A bird-eyes view of Topekas riverfront. Mayor James McClinton wants to develop both sides of the river, whic could take more than 20 years to complete. Photo by Stacy White

tential ... and, both sides of the river can be developed. In many cities, only one side can be developed. But, Caldwell says there is an even bigger picture. The Menningers have deeded a piece of land to the state that is close to the river, she said. It has been designated by Menningers to be used as a park. The state is currently working on the merger. Caldwell says that the state plans to put in a canoe launching area, as well as some picnic tables and hiking trails. It will be a good anchor on the west she Continued on page 2A said.

WWII nurse honored for service


By Phil Anderson If Verena Zeller Seberg had her way, every nurse would serve -- at least for a while -- in the U.S. military. Seberg, 94 years old,

speaks from experience. She served her country as a nurse in the Army Air Corps and U.S. air force from 1936 until the early 1950s, a career that spanned World War II and the Korean War. As Veterans Day approaches on Saturday, Seberg said she remains proud of her military service. She served active duty as an air evacuation nurse during World War II, bringing wounded and injured 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Okoye, nicknamed The Nigerian Nightmare, played many great games in his seven year career as part of the Kansas City Chiefs. He went on to set records in rushing yardage and touchdowns for the 43 -year-old franchise and became the Chiefs all time leading rusher. Okoyes career was an outstanding achievement considering Okoye played football for only three years before playing for Kansas

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Chiefs player to come to Topeka


by John Doe Former Kansas City Chiefs all-pro running back, Christian Okoye, will be appearing at the Mo-Ark Sports Card and Collectible Show being held at the West Ridge Mall. Christian Okoye will be at the show on November 30, 2012, from

including Running Back of the Year and the Ed Block Courage award, one of the most prestigious football awards. He later became the 30th member of the Chiefs Hall of Fame. The Mo-Ark Show starts Friday, October 22, and runs through Sunday, October 24. The show features 60 dealers from five states offering a wide range of collectibles including Kansas City Chiefs items and Nascar diecast.
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