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Supporters of Brittany Maynard release birthday video

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Nearly three weeks after her death, on what would have been her 30th birthday, Brittany Maynard returned to the national spotlight on Wednesday in a video in which she urges states to pass laws allowing terminally ill people to end their lives on their own terms.

The video, made in August, was released by an advocacy group that worked with Maynard during the last months of her life in a campaign that prompted a national debate about allowing terminally ill people to hasten their deaths.

The group, Compassion & Choices, is hoping that the practice will be expanded beyond the five that already allow it: Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont and New Mexico. But even though Maynard's story received national attention, the groundswell of support on a legislative level for laws like Oregon's has yet to materialize.

Compassion & Choices held a conference call with journalists on Wednesday, hoping to build on the momentum generated for the movement while Maynard was alive. After the news conference, the organization released a video that is partly narrated by Maynard.

In the video, Maynard says: "I hope for the sake of other American citizens ... that I'm speaking to that I've never met, that I'll never meet, that this choice be extended to you."

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>> Right-to-die advocate's mom blasts Vatican remarks

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>> Brittany Maynard, woman with terminal brain cancer, ends her own life

The video includes photographs of Maynard before her illness. It also features the voices of other terminally ill patients and their family members.

In the conference call, Compassion & Choices officials said legislators in about a dozen states plan to introduce right-to-die laws next year.

Also on the call were legislators from Pennsylvania and Wyoming.

Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Pennsylvania Democrat whose 63-year-old father died of the same type of brain cancer as Maynard, said the young woman's campaign and his family's situation made it apparent why such bills are needed.

"I had to watch my father die of cancer... It was the most gut-wrenching experience our family and he had to endure," Rozzi said. "He would always tell me this is not the way he wanted to live."

A "death-with-dignity" bill was introduced in Pennsylvania last month. Rozzi conceded that it has been difficult getting bills out of the judiciary committee when they are opposed by the state's Catholic leadership.

Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, a Wyoming Republican, said he plans to introduce such legislation in his state.

Oregon was the first state to allow terminally ill patients to die using lethal medications prescribed by a doctor. Maynard moved from California to Oregon to make use of the Oregon law.

The New Jersey Assembly passed a bill last week that would allow physicians to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients, with some legislators citing Maynard's story as a deciding factor in their vote. But Republican Gov. Chris Christie has said he opposes the measure.

In California, the West Hollywood City Council this week passed a resolution that urges the Los Angeles County District Attorney to not prosecute physicians and family members who offer aid in dying to the terminally ill. But the state has no current bills or ballot measures on the issue.

Some religious groups and social conservatives, including a Vatican official and the American Life League, have heavily criticized Maynard's decision. Pope Francis denounced the right-to-die movement Saturday, saying the practice is a sin against God and creation and provides a "false sense of compassion." He didn't refer specifically to Maynard's case.

Compassion & Choices said its website has had more than 5 million unique visitors during the past month, while Maynard's two previous videos have been viewed more than 13 million times on YouTube alone.

"I sense immense momentum right now," said Barbara Coombs Lee, president of Compassion & Choices. "Brittany Maynard is a new voice for a new generation of activists ... she devoted her precious energy to help ensure other dying Americans would have a choice."

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Thinking of snapping a voter selfie? Think again

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If you’re on social media, there's a good chance that some of your friends will post -- or try to post -- a photo of themselves voting. Or maybe you will.

But in some states, it could warrant a jail sentence. In others, like New York, there’s no law against it.

Florida law, for example, prohibits photography in the polling place and poll clerks will remind voters if they see them taking a picture, said Bill Cowles, supervisor of elections for Orange County.

Cowles said Orange County poll clerks have been trained to be on the look-out for voters snapping photos and will remind them not to do it again.

LINK: Read the law here

University of Central Florida student Ashlee Holloway waited until she was out of the voting booth and away from the polling site before she took a selfie with her "I Voted" sticker.

"I just wanted to prove to my mom that I voted. She was on me today like, 'Get up and vote,'" said Holloway.

Holloway said she didn't think it would be appropriate to take a photo while voting.

"It just seems like it's very roped off and it's very serious for a reason," said Central Florida student Joanna Gill.

News cameras are not allowed inside polling locations.

In New Hampshire, a law banning “ballot selfies” is being challenged by a lawsuit alleging that it compromises the right of free political speech in the state, according to Reuters.

#VoterSelfies have been big on social media on Election Day, but for now, be mindful that they’re not allowed inside a voting area in Florida. It could get you in trouble.

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