Why More Americans Are Voting Early

President Barack Obama voted in his former Chicago neighborhood on October 20 — more than two weeks before Election Day. “I’m so glad I can early-vote,” he said as he cast his ballot. “It’s so exciting. I love voting.” More than 2.6 million American already have joined him, according to official data. Election Day, in fact, has become Election Month. Political campaigns remain in full swing across the nation. Candidates continue to debate each other and run costly advertising campaigns. …

Supreme Court Upholds Texas Voter ID Law

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court has permitted Texas to enforce its controversial voter ID law in the Nov. 4 election. The court, in an unsigned order issued Oct. 18, left in place the Oct. 14 decision of a federal appeals court to delay the implementation of U.S. District Court judge’s reversal of the state’s 2011 law. The judge had cited possible discrimination against older voters. Early voting in Texas began Oct. 20. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by …

Arkansas High Court Throws Out Voter ID Law

The Arkansas Supreme Court has unanimously overturned the state’s voter identification law as a violation of the state Constitution’s four criteria for voting. The Oct. 15 ruling resolved, at least temporarily, a clash between Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, who vetoed the measure, and the Republican-controlled legislature, which overrode his veto. The four standards specified by the state Constitution — U.S. and Arkansas citizenship, 18 years of age and lawful voter registration — “simply do not include any proof-of-identity requirement,” Justice Donald Corbin wrote …

Arkansas Senate Candidates Brawl Over Medicare, Social Security

In their final scheduled debate, Arkansas’ two major-party candidates for the U.S. Senate vigorously slashed each other on Social Security and Medicare issues. “The game plans for both men were plain as day — [Rep. Tom] Cotton repeatedly tied [Sen. Mark] Pryor to President Obama, while Pryor said Cotton was beholden to big-money interests who didn’t share the same goals as Arkansans,” a visiting newspaper columnist wrote of the Oct. 14 exchange in Fayetteville. In contrast to recent Senate debates in other …

Virginia Senate Candidates Spar Over Social Security, Medicare

In their final scheduled debate before Election Day, Virginia’s two major-party candidates for the U.S. Senate sparred over their records on Social Security and Medicare while voicing similar views on steps needed to address their long-term financing. The debate, held in Richmond on Oct. 13 and televised statewide, was cosponsored by AARP Virginia, whose president, Bob Blancato, asked the candidates how they would protect the programs. “If you are 47 years old or younger … you are looking at getting …

Supreme Court Blocks Wisconsin Voter ID Law

The Supreme Court has blocked the implementation of a Wisconsin voter ID law that triggered an intense legal battle and conflicting court rulings. In an unusual late-evening action on Oct. 9, the court issued an unsigned, two-paragraph decision — the first paragraph being the ruling of the six-justice majority and the second a dissent from Justice Samuel Alito. The decision set aside the Sept. 12 ruling of a federal appeals court that had blocked a U.S. District Court judge’s order preventing enforcement of …