Voting by mail? Here’s how to make sure your ballot gets counted

Laveta Brigham

More Americans than ever are expected to cast their ballots through the mail this election, and doing so may seem daunting to first-time absentee voters or those unfamiliar with the process.

Some states now allow their residents to more easily cast mail-in ballots as the coronavirus pandemic makes the safety of in-person voting questionable, and the analyst website FiveThirtyEight estimates one-third of American voters will use this method, McClatchy News reported.

Mail-in voting, despite unfounded claims from President Donald Trump and other Republican lawmakers, does not lead to increased fraud and doesn’t help one party’s chances of winning over another.

But there are some common mistakes mail-in voters make that can render their ballots invalid.

In 2016, roughly 1% of all mail-in ballots cast were rejected, according to a report from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. A CBS News analysis found in that in key battleground states, between just under

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Why there are so few black tech start-ups

Laveta Brigham

“I think a lot of folks like myself never even get a chance, because folks don’t answer their phones, or listen to their idea, but put them in a box they shouldn’t be in,” says Zack Smith, the founder of Boston-based Jobble.

He’s talking about how hard it can be for black tech entrepreneurs to raise money.

But Mr Smith saw it as a challenge.

“It doesn’t matter what box they put me in to begin with, I’ll get out of that box and prove to them I’m bigger and better. I think this fuels me,” he says.

His firm is a US platform for jobs in the gig economy, offering work to those who want flexible hours.


According to a study of 9,874 US business founders by California-based social enterprise RateMyInvestor, only 1% of start-ups receiving venture capital were black.

But Mr Smith was fortunate to have New

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Nervous About Making Friends in College This Semester? Here’s Your Go-To Guide

Laveta Brigham

Getty Images

In more ways than one, college is looking pretty different this year. If you’re back on campus, mandatory face masks, social distancing, and parameters set around large gatherings are just some of the ways that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may have impacted your day-to-day. If you’re not on campus, online college can pose its own set of mental and physical challenges. Due to the pandemic, college, which used to be a space that was prime for meeting new people, can suddenly feel much more isolating. But whether it’s your first semester or your last, leaning into social connections is important for your well-being—particularly right now.

“Science shows that 70% of our happiness comes down to our relationships, so it’s easily one of the most important factors for our well-being—both physical and mental,” says Shasta Nelson, friendship expert and author of The Business of Friendship: Making the Most of

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Florida Supreme Court decides Bar exam will remain a requirement for new law graduates

Laveta Brigham

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday refused a request to waive a requirement that law school graduates pass the state Bar exam to practice law, saying that such a move could result in harm to the public.

Dozens of lawyers last month filed a petition with the court seeking to lift the exam requirement for law school graduates who had signed up for a test that was supposed to be conducted in person in July. A state board switched to an online test amid the coronavirus pandemic, but that test also had to be postponed because of technical problems.

The petition proposed that law school graduates who were scheduled to take the test this summer be admitted to The Florida Bar after six months of working under the supervision of a Florida attorney.

But Thursday’s Supreme Court order said “it is essential for this court to ensure that those seeking

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‘Mulan’ vs. Pirates Raises Stakes In Online Piracy

Laveta Brigham

The live-action remake of “Mulan,” the story of a woman who disguises herself as a man to become a soldier, debuts on Disney+ on Friday.

While many fans of Disney’s take on the Chinese legend will pay the additional fee to purchase the movie, others — those less willing to fork over $30 on top of a subscription — may seek out or come across less legitimate venues to watch the film.

We’re talking about online piracy. But in the age of the so-called streaming wars, the pirates have upped their game.

Asaf Ashkenazi, content security expert and chief operating officer at Verimatrix: “Now, there are many streaming services that are pirate streamers, but they look legitimate. … They get the content from Netflix, from Disney and it’s good quality.

Back in March, digital piracy experts at MUSO found that visits to film piracy sites in the U.S. increased by

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3 online safety tips for kids and parents

Laveta Brigham

Like so many parents across the country, Skye McLain wrestled with the idea of virtual learning for her son, Jett, 7, as school resumed amidst the coronavirus pandemic this fall.

“The thought of him being required to be in front of a screen for multiple hours a day was very unnerving for me,” the Texas-based mom told TODAY Parents. “I gave homeschooling quite a bit of consideration, because I felt that it would give us more flexibility when it came to screen time and to lessen the chances of his exposure to the inappropriate content he could easily find or be shown on the Internet.”

While McLain ultimately decided for Jett to attend second grade virtually through the public school system, internet safety has remained a top priority in their at-home classroom.

“[Schools] are going to do everything in their own power to provide a safe place to conduct a

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This Small Business Owner Found Success by Helping Customers Feel Safe: It’s ‘a Beautiful Thing’

Laveta Brigham

courtesy Danielle Cullen Jermaine Owens

Jermaine Owens is the owner of North Fork Seafood and Shelter Island Seafood Market, a Long Island-based seafood company that sells fish to commercial customers and restaurants. After getting his start in the industry at a young age, Owens, 43, worked three decades as a professional fish cutter prior to opening North Fork Seafood in February — right before the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. While other businesses were struggling, Owens saw his thrive — in part due to his home delivery service — and it became so successful that he opened a second seafood market and restaurant in July. Here, Owens talks to PEOPLE about operating two businesses in the midst of a pandemic, why he believes they’ve done so well and what he’s learned along the way.

I was about eight years old when I got my start in the fish business. My

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Prince George’s Delays Stage 3 Coronavirus Reopenings

Laveta Brigham

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MD — Prince George’s County will not yet enter stage 3 of its coronavirus recovery effort, County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said at a Thursday morning news conference. Alsobrooks’ announcement came two days after Gov. Larry Hogan said that all Maryland jurisdictions can enter the third and final phase of his Roadmap to Recovery plan this Friday at 5 p.m.

Although Hogan will not force counties to relax their coronavirus regulations, the offer is theirs for the taking. All businesses have the governor’s permission to reopen, but only when their county approves.

“I can tell you that we are interested in the long game,” Alsobrooks said, noting that her team will reevaluate its position in a few weeks. “We are looking to make sure that whatever openings we make are ones that are sustainable and responsible, so we are taking our time.”

Alsobrooks said the county will remain

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Teachers Are Spending Their Own Money On School Supplies Due To COVID-19

Laveta Brigham

It’s no secret that teachers usually have to supplement their classroom supplies with money from their own pockets. In fact, 94% of U.S. public school teachers reported paying for supplies without reimbursement for the 2014-2015 school year, according to a federal Department of Education survey.

It’s not just a few bucks, either. The average teacher shelled out about $479 throughout the year, while 7% of survey respondents said they spent more than $1,000.

This year, it’s a whole new ballgame. Not only must teachers keep their classrooms stocked with glue sticks, pencils and construction paper, they need enough inventory to ensure children don’t share supplies and spread germs across the classroom. Plus, they have to maintain a large supply of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies. And it’s not any cheaper for those who are teaching virtually.

The High Cost Of Teaching During A Pandemic

Ashley, a second grade teacher

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13 best laptops for students, whatever your needs

Laveta Brigham


For Fashion To Be Truly Inclusive, There Needs To Be Plus-Size Education

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