The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

July 27, 2013

Southern states gird for new fight on laws

AUSTIN, Texas — Stricter voter identification laws, redrawn political maps fortifying Republican majorities, reducing early voting: States with GOP strongholds intensified these efforts under President Barack Obama and proclaimed victory at the Supreme Court.

Now the Obama administration is signaling plans to drag some of these mostly Southern states with histories of minority discrimination into rematches after the high court knocked down a major piece of the Voting Rights Act.

First up is Texas, which rushed to enact a tough voter ID law and new redistricting maps after the justices’ 5-4 ruling last month. North Carolina is considered to be another possible target of the administration, and officials in Alabama are also digging their heels in for another possible round with the Justice Department.

Other states also are watching closely.

“You can imagine a very aggressive Justice Department trying to get the bar as low as possible and demanding that states be bailed in” back under former voting rights protections, said Rebecca Green, co-director of the election law program at the College of William & Mary.

Predictions that North Carolina is on deck grew late Thursday after its Legislature sent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory sweeping voting law changes, including the end of a popular program that registers high school students to vote in advance of their 18th birthday.

There’s also a strict voter ID measure, slashing early voting by a week and the elimination of same-day registration. State elections statistics show black voters use early voting in heavy numbers and that more than 300,000 of the state’s residents don’t have a driver’s license, many of them poor and elderly.

North Carolina conservatives call the moves voter integrity safeguards and were confident they will stand.

“I think what we’ve seen over the past several years is the Obama administration politicize the voting rights section in ways we’ve never seen before,” said North Carolina state Sen. Phil Berger, the top Republican in the chamber. “I do not think they are a non-partisan or neutral arbiter.”

Text Only
Top News
  • Letter to the Editor: Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract

    Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton:
    The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled “‘Fair offer’ differences” in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate statements regarding our negotiated contract proposal with the city. These incorrect statements could impact the use of your city funds negatively and unduly influence our elected representatives. So, we would like to address these points, as follows:

    April 18, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    April 18, 2014

  • World Book Night A big love for books CLINTON -- Sharing a love for books is something members of the Clinton Public Library have always promoted and embraced. On Wednesday, they will join the rest of the world in spreading that love throughout communities. World Book Night, which conve

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taylorville couple wins $20M lotto jackpot

    A Taylorville couple has celebrated winning a more than $20 million Illinois Lottery drawing.

    Steve and Wilma Durbin were presented with their winning check Thursday afternoon at a grocery store in the central Illinois city where they purchased the ticket. The couple took a lump sum payment of $8.1 million after taxes.

    The Taylorville Breeze-Courier reports the Durbins hit the jackpot in the April 10 Illinois Lotto drawing. That was just two weeks after they were married.

    April 17, 2014

  • Branstad signs school radon bill into law

    The Iowa Department of Education must gather information from schools about whether they are testing for radon gas under a bill Gov. Terry Branstad has signed into law.

    Branstad signed the bill Thursday to require school districts to tell the department about radon testing by the end of this year. The department must then report to the Legislature by January.

    April 17, 2014

  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Golf turns into snooze-fest without celebrities like Tiger and Phil

    The Masters lumbered on last week without two of pro golf's biggest names, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and fans changed the channel. The PGA needs someone with star power if it's going to lure people back to the game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

AP Video