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New life for voting rights

He had vowed to keep talking "until the cows come home," and for five days Jesse Helms, along with a small cadre of other conservatives, did just that. The goal of the Republican Senator from North Carolina: to stall a vote on extending the 1965 Voting Rights Act. But with 78 Senators sponsoring the measure, the filibuster was doomed to fail. So late last week Helms relented, and the Senate overwhelmingly passed the legislation, 85 to 8. The bill will soon be sent to the White House, where Ronald Reagan has promised to sign it.

The landmark law,...

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