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High African-American voter turnout helped elect Doug Jones to the Senate. Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty

The enthusiastic turnout among African-American voters in Alabama's Senate election is prompting a new look at the impact of voter ID laws, per the New York Times. Opponents say the laws disenfranchise minority voters, but after Doug Jones' victory, researchers are trying to figure out whether the impact is overstated or whether African-American voters in Alabama were so motivated that the laws didn't matter.

The bottom line: The Alabama outcome isn't going to end the debate over voter ID laws, but it may help put the laws in perspective. "There are real, live instances where positions are taken to keep eligible people from showing up at the polls or to make it needlessly harder to vote," Justin Levitt, a former voting rights official in the Obama administration Justice Department, told the Times. "But it's not nationwide, and it's not all the time."

Go deeper

DOJ cites discrimination in lawsuit against Texas over voting districts

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas, alleging Republican state lawmakers discriminated against Black and Latino voters and has "again diluted the voting strength of minority Texans" when they approved new redistricting maps.

Why it matters: A DOJ assessment of the new districts found that they violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference.

3 hours ago - World

Biden to warn Putin U.S. will add troops in Eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine

Putin meets Biden in Geneva. Photo: Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin when they speak on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. is prepared to increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank," a senior administration official told reporters.

Why it matters: The administration believes it's increasingly likely that Putin will order an invasion.

4 hours ago - World

U.S. announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

An Olympic-themed sculpture in Beijing on Dec. 1. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. announced Monday that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Why it matters: The diplomatic boycott — which won't prevent American athletes from competing — marks a major escalation between the U.S. and China amid already heightened tensions over the CCP's treatment of Muslim minorities, military threats to Taiwan and economic tariffs.