Battleground Nevada

President Barack Obama flew into Las Vegas for another quick campaign stop focusing on his economic policies. Air Force One touched down at McCarran International Airport for the president’s eighth appearance this year in Nevada.

Obama spoke before a Democratic campaign audience at a convention hall just north of downtown Las Vegas before departing for Denver. His visit comes after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addressed a National Guard Association convention in Reno.

During that convention Romney told guard members September 11th is a time to renew the resolve of protecting Americans against “evil” attacks. Romney added that the events of that day remain seared in the memory of Americans.

Meanwhile, a watchdog group gives Nevada Senate candidate Shelley Berkley a “dishonorable mention” in its report on corrupt members of Congress. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington cited a House Ethics Committee investigation into allegations she used her position to help her family’s financial interests.

The Nevada Republican Party filed a complaint last year saying Berkley’s efforts to keep a kidney transplant program open in Las Vegas constituted a conflict of interest. Her husband is a managing partner of a company that contracted with the hospital to offer kidney care.

Also, Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller is in the Middle East to learn about military and overseas voting issues. He and other secretaries of state are traveling with U.S. Department of Defense officials, and so far have visited Kuwait and Qatar where they met with U.S. embassy and military officials.

Discussions have focused on voter outreach efforts for U.S. citizens living abroad and absentee voting for military personnel stationed overseas. A Nevada bill passed by the 2009 Legislature allows Nevada voters overseas to register to vote, as well as request and send absentee ballots electronically.

Nevada also adopted the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, which requires  absentee ballots be mailed to voters who ask for them at least 45 days before an election to make sure their ballots are counted.  In 2009 Congress passed the MOVE Act to help military voters obtain absentee ballots, wherever they are stationed.

Finally, the Military Voter Protection Project reports a significant declines in absentee-ballot requests by service members across the nation. Compiling data from Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, Alaska, Colorado and Nevada, the organization found military families have requested 55,510 absentee ballots so far this year.

That’s a sharp decline from the 166,252 sought in those states in 2008.

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Battleground Nevada

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