Challenge to Texas Voter ID Law Goes to Trial

Discrimination against older voters is a focus of a trial in federal court this month over a strict voter ID law in Texas. Although the challenge to the 2011 law chiefly targets its impact on racial minorities, the opening of the case in Corpus Christi featured elderly witnesses who complained that the new requirements impose undue logistical and financial burdens on them. >> AARP Voter Education Guide   Sammie Louise Bates, who was born in 1940, said that she couldn’t …

The Congressman Who Broke All the Rules

These days we’re rarely shocked when we learn that a politician has enjoyed lavish benefits at public expense or found some way to exploit public office for personal gain. That makes all the more remarkable the story of former U.S. Rep. Andrew “Andy” Jacobs Jr. (D-Ind.), who during his three decades in Congress declined to accept the monthly disability payments to which he was entitled for his injuries in combat as a Marine during the Korean War. “He didn’t think …

Court Rules on Voting Rights: What It Means for You

In two decisions this term, the Supreme Court has changed the political landscape on voting rights. Reaction to the court’s latest decision, in Shelby County v. Holder, ranged from outrage (“Supremes Gut Voting Rights Act” at Huffington Post) to just-the-facts-ma’am (“Supreme Court voids key part of Voting Rights Act because law uses data ‘that does not reflect racial progress in U.S.’” at NYPost.com). What will these decisions mean for older voters? In our coverage of voter registration issues during the …

Obama Frames Voting Reform Around 102-Year-Old Hero

The sheer determination of a 102-year-old Miami woman brought the U.S. government to its feet Tuesday night. In his State of the Union address, President Obama recognized Desiline Victor, a retired farmworker who voted last fall after enduring a wait that would have discouraged most voters. Lawmakers and other Washington VIPs rose to their feet and craned their necks to see Victor, sitting in the back row of the First Lady’s box. “When Desiline arrived at her polling place, she …

How to Make Sure That You Get to Vote

You may feel energized and passionate about the 2012 election, but that enthusiasm isn’t going to have much impact if you don’t actually cast a vote. Here are some tips on how to make sure that you make a personal impact on the nation’s future. Make sure you know where to vote. Vote411.org, a website created by the League of Women Voters, allows you to find your polling place by typing in your address. Once you’ve got that, Google Maps can …