FROM Allison Riggs
Ballot box battles as the race comes down to the wire In many states, Republican claims of widespread "voter fraud" have led to photo ID laws and other restrictions that Democrats call "voter suppression." Donald Trump, who's gained political traction with the claim that next week's election is "rigged" against him, takes it a step further by calling on his supporters to try to prevent it. "Go down to certain areas and watch and study and make sure other people don't come in and vote five times. Democrats call that code for "intimidation" — especially in black and Latino neighborhoods important to the Clinton campaign. They've already filed suit against "Ballot Security Task Forces" organized by Trump supporters in several states. We hear what could be in store at polling places during early voting — and on Election Day.
Where Should Democracy Draw the Line? The Constitution requires that the boundaries of congressional districts be re-drawn every 10 years, according to the latest census. In 2010, Republicans won control of legislatures all over the country—and those GOP lawmakers then collectively increased their Party’s power in Congress. When President Obama re-visited the Illinois Capitol in Springfield this week, he said it’s time for a change. The President’s talking about what’s called Gerrymandering, a practice as old as the nation itself.
Another Split Decision, Another Political Firestorm The President says he is "deeply disappointed" with today's decision by a divided US Supreme Court, this time over the voting rights of blacks and other minority citizens. Writing for a 5-to-4 majority of the court, Chief Justice John Roberts declared that Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act -- a major achievement of the civil rights movement -- is out of date and therefore, unconstitutional. Roberts said federal guidelines for oversight of minority voting don't reflect present reality. Nine mostly Southern states and parts of others will no longer have to ask Washington to approve changes in their voting laws. Is voting discrimination against blacks and other minorities a thing of the past? We hear the dispute that's already raging.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.