Every American deserves an equal vote, John Oliver said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight — "even idiots" — but new laws in several states are making it harder for hundreds of thousands of people to cast their ballots.
In the states where voters have to show photo ID to prove who they are, people who don't have a driver's license — from grandmothers who no longer drive to "the reclusive uncle who rollerblades everywhere" — have to go and apply for a photo ID in order to vote. The laws affect a lot of people, Oliver said: In Texas, 500,000 registered voters do not have the necessary ID to vote.
The major problem, he continued, is that it can be incredibly difficult to get the ID. Oliver shared the story of 68-year-old Doris Clark in Pennsylvania, who was turned away three times for a voter ID card — she was told the clerks needed to see her original birth certificate, then original Social Security card, then her husband's death certificate for proof of her married name. In some areas, the offices are barely open — in one part of Wisconsin, the ID-issuing office was open the fifth Wednesday of the month for just a few hours. "Voting is a right," Oliver said. "If you take it away, you ruin democracy."
Studies show that these restrictions tend to disproportionately impact African American and Latino voters, Oliver said, and they also don't do anything to stop fraudulent activity like vote buying, vote tampering, and ballot box stuffing. The only thing the laws target is voter impersonation, which is incredibly rare and "a stupid crime," Oliver said. "Stand in line at a polling place and risk five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, all to cast one, probably not consequential extra vote. In terms of pointless crimes, it's right up there with forging a Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon. It's a lot of trouble with low reward." Watch the video below, and get ready for the hypocrisy at the end when Oliver enlightens the audience on "ghost voting." Catherine Garcia
With 7 in 10 Americans reporting they are "frustrated" with the 2016 presidential election, this year could be the Libertarian Party's big chance — and America's largest third party is holding its national convention in Orlando, Florida, this weekend.
On the agenda: picking a presidential nominee from among three contenders. Though the contest is considered close, greatest name recognition belongs to former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian nominee in 2012, when he picked up more than 1 million votes. Johnson recently polled at 10 percent nationally against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and he would need 15 percent support to make it into the general election debates.
Martin Short and Maya Rudolph stopped by The Tonight Show on Friday, so naturally host Jimmy Fallon had to find something totally outlandish for them to do together. The gang spoofed '80s cop shows with The Windy City Blue, a gag that gets progressively sillier — and windier — with each new bit. Hold onto your hat and watch below. Julie Kliegman
The World Health Organization dismissed a call Saturday to move or cancel the Rio Summer Olympics due to the spread of the Zika virus. The U.N. agency was responding to a Friday open letter from 150 health experts urging them to delay or relocate the event "in the name of public health," citing the mosquito-borne virus' link to birth defects.
"Based on the current assessment of the Zika virus circulating in almost 60 countries globally and 39 in the Americas, there is no public health justification for postponing or cancelling the games," the group's statement read.
The Zika virus is thought to have originated in Brazil. Julie Kliegman
Yellen noted that "growth looks to be picking up from the various data that we monitor," referencing rising oil prices and a weaker, stabilizing dollar as the rationale for her decision, which corresponds with recent remarks from other Fed policymakers.
She argued that a gradual increase from the near-zero rate the central bank has maintained since the 2008 financial crisis "would be appropriate" to push inflation toward the Fed's 2 percent goal. Bonnie Kristian
Things are looking good for Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, and not only because he's expected to star in the long-awaited Space Jam sequel.
James scored 33 points Friday in the Cavs' 113-87 rout of the Toronto Raptors. With the win, his team earned a spot in the NBA Finals against either the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Golden State Warriors, which would be a rematch of last year's contest.
This means, as The New York Times reports, that James is set to appear in his sixth-straight NBA Finals, and seventh overall. He's a two-time champ, both from when he took his talents to the Miami Heat. Julie Kliegman
Police arrested at least 35 people Friday at a San Diego rally for Donald Trump. About 1,000 people turned out to protest the hard-line immigration policies of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Reuters reports.
Clashes between protesters and supporters were largely non-violent, but police in riot gear began pushing and pepper spraying protesters.
.@SanDiegoPD- Fantastic job on handling the thugs who tried to disrupt our very peaceful and well attended rally. Greatly appreciated!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2016
Trump's campaign has come under fire for its history of conflict at rallies and its subsequent handling of both protesters and reporters. On Wednesday, police arrested protesters at Trump's Anaheim rally after they reportedly pelted officers with objects. Julie Kliegman
A Home Depot employee in Staten Island, New York, sparked death threats by wearing an "America Was Never Great" hat to work, The New York Times reports. Krystal Lake, 22, says she wore the hat after several co-workers wore pro–Donald Trump pins. "The point of the hat was to say that America needs change and improvement," Lake said. A company spokesman said Lake has been told never to wear the hat again.