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 …

W.Va. Senate Candidates Call for Lifting Social Security Salary Cap

West Virginia’s two major-party candidates for the U.S. Senate support raising the Social Security wage base limit from its current level of $117,000, and in an Oct. 7 debate both voiced concern over the long-term financing of the program. “I am supportive of raising the cap to $240,000” or in that vicinity, said West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, a Democrat. “I would be willing to raise the cap over $200,000,” said U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, her Republican opponent. …

Poll: In Close Senate Races, Older Voters Lean Slightly to GOP

In 12 states with competitive Senate races, older voters lean slightly more Republican than younger voters, according to a poll for National Public Radio. But the margins are narrower than those in nationwide polls conducted a few weeks ago. In the NPR poll, likely voters ages 50 to 64 split 50 percent for Republicans and 45 percent for Democrats — and among those 65 and older, the split was 50 percent to 43 percent. Overall, voters in the 12 states …