The Journal Gazette
 
 
Sunday, November 08, 2020 1:00 am

Banks promising variety of guests on podcast

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks has added a new title to his repertoire: podcast host.

He started a podcast called Grounded, which is available on Spotify and other places you find podcasts.

Banks, R-3rd, dropped his first episode last week, which features special guest Pastor Raymond Dix Jr. of Pilgrim Baptist Church of Fort Wayne. They discussed reconciliation and issues related to race in America.

“In an era of 240 character tweets, fast-paced media segments and the 24-hour news cycle, podcasts have become an invaluable tool to slow down and consume longform content during a workout, a commute or at home relaxing,” Banks said. “I hope that listeners will get to know more about my role as their representative, and I'd like to share with them the incredibly gifted people I get to work with in Indiana and beyond.”

The podcast description says he will chat with all types of guests – from hardworking, humble leaders from Indiana to high-profile national figures.

“Conversation will be raw, authentic and in-depth, and you never know where it'll go by the end of the episode. The only thing that will remain consistent week-to-week is that there will be coffee.”

Tweet interrupted

The social media site Twitter temporarily blocked a tweet posted Thursday by U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, regarding voting by mail.

“Rep. Banks CENSORED by Twitter,” his office headlined its announcement of the decision. It said that Banks “was censored by Twitter for correctly pointing out that Democrats wanted to expand mail-in and early voting with their piece of legislation H.R. 1.”

Twitter covered the tweet with a message stating that “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”

A few hours later, Banks' office announced he had successfully appealed to Twitter and that his original tweet had been restored.

Banks had tweeted: “Democrats always planned to use mail-in ballots to sway this election. That's why they intro'd & passed HR1 (their #1 priority) when Pelosi took House majority in early 2019 (long before pandemic). If it had passed every state election would look like PA, WI and MI right now!!”

The Republican-controlled Senate has never considered the House legislation. Among other things, the For the People Act would establish automatic voter registration, expand early voting and voting by mail, make Election Day a federal holiday and restore voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences.

Poll workers celebrated

In an interview Friday, Allen County's director of elections lauded and thanked the army of poll workers who made the 2020 election a success. 

“We just have an amazing group,” Beth Dlug said. “My staff is just so dedicated and just so great.” 

Partnering with Memorial Coliseum was also a boon for the Election Board as it attempted to administer an election in the midst of a pandemic. The Coliseum's staff ensured poll workers had everything they needed and were “a wonderful group of people” to work with, Dlug said. 

About 700 poll workers managed polling places on Election Day, helping voters cast their ballots. That's in addition to about 60 seasonal workers who helped occasionally since August, Dlug said. Additionally, 46 counters – 23 teams of two – assisted in opening and counting tens of thousands of absentee ballots, she said. 

“Every one of them, in my mind, has the same goal: They all want to have a safe and efficient election, and they want the voters to have a good experience and leave knowing their vote is going to count,” she said. “To a person, everybody that worked for us had that goal in place.” 

This election attracted a lot of first-time poll workers, as well, something Dlug said is exciting and helped open people's eyes to the election process beyond casting a ballot. 

“They're excited and many have said they want to do it again,” she said. “It's nice to have a lot of new people who got involved and got to see the mechanics of what we do and understand it a bit better.” 

Dave Gong of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at bfrancisco@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at www.journalgazette.net/politicalnotebook.


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