Author

Kira Lerner

Kira Lerner

Kira is the democracy reporter for States Newsroom where she covers voting, elections, redistricting, and efforts to subvert democracy.

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A conspiracy-fueled push across states to count ballots by hand gains traction

By: - September 26, 2022

Nye County, a rural enclave in Nevada, has positioned itself as the epicenter of a Donald Trump-fueled conspiracy about the security of electronic vote tabulators.  The Nye County Commission voted in March to make the county one of the first to act on the false narratives that machines that count votes are rigged. County Clerk […]

On Democracy Day, newsrooms draw attention to a crisis in the U.S. system of government

By: - September 15, 2022

A recent poll found that 69% of both Democrats and Republicans think democracy in the United States is in danger of collapse. Almost two years after Donald Trump falsely claimed that voter fraud cost him the election and inspired a web of supporters and “big lie” candidates to also believe the election was rigged, a […]

Kari Lake at a July 18, 2022, candidate forum in Peoria. Photo by Gage Skidmore (modified) | Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

How election-denying GOP governors could tilt the 2024 presidential election

By: - August 25, 2022

Republican candidates who claim that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump have been nominated for governor in four critical swing states, raising concerns that if elected they could try to sway election results in 2024 and beyond.  In Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, Republican primary voters elected a candidate who has denied the […]

Votes are counted by staff at the Maricopa County Elections Department office on November 5, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)

Across U.S., election officials can’t access federal funding for security as violent threats rise

By: - August 19, 2022

Colorado’s election officials, like so many across the country, faced a surge of violent threats after the 2020 election.  Federal authorities are prosecuting a man who pled guilty to threatening a Colorado election official on Instagram, where he wrote: “Do you feel safe? You shouldn’t.” And Colorado police arrested a man accused of calling Secretary […]

A sample ballot for the 2022 Alaska special U.S. House race is seen on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (James Brooks / Alaska Beacon)

State elections officials struggle with paper shortages, harassment, insider threats

By: - July 22, 2022

MADISON, Wis. — Elections officials from 33 states, gathered for a conference under tight security, warned that the next few election cycles will be affected by paper shortages and the potential for threats from inside elections offices. The meeting of the National Association of State Elections Directors this week was held with stringent security precautions, […]

Poll workers assist voters at the Westside Community Center in West Des Moines’ Valley Junction neighborhood shortly after 8 a.m. Nov. 3, 2020.

Election officials risk criminal charges under 31 new GOP-imposed penalties

By: - July 16, 2022

Second in a two-part series. See part one here. Since the 2020 election, Iowa has enacted one new felony and two new misdemeanor offenses targeting election officials.  The state’s omnibus election law, passed in 2021, criminalizes election officials who fail to perform their duties, don’t adequately maintain voter lists, or interfere with other people performing […]

Criminalizing the vote: GOP-led states enacted 102 new election penalties after 2020

By: - July 15, 2022

During the 2020 election, Rhonda Briggins and her sorority sisters spent days providing voters in metro Atlanta with water and snacks as they waited in long lines at polling places. The lines for early voting and on Election Day at times stretched on for hours. As the national co-chair for social action with the Delta […]

An Arizona mail-in ballot envelope sits on a mailbox. The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division announced Tuesday that it has sued Arizona over a law signed by the state’s Republican governor in March that requires people registering to vote prove their citizenship to participate in a presidential election or to vote by mail in any federal election.(Photo by Jim Small/Arizona Mirror)

U.S. sues Arizona over proof of citizenship voting law

By: - July 5, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division announced Tuesday that it has sued Arizona over a law signed by the state’s Republican governor in March that requires people registering to vote prove their citizenship to participate in a presidential election or to vote by mail in any federal election. Republican proponents of […]

Department of Corrections Central Detention Facility in Washington, D.C. (Photo from Google Maps)

The District of Columbia allows incarcerated people to vote, a rarity in the U.S.

By: - June 20, 2022

This article is published through a collaboration between States Newsroom and Bolts. WASHINGTON — Earlier this month, about 10 men detained in the Young Men Emerging unit in the Washington, D.C., jail sat around a TV to watch the Democratic candidates for mayor debate issues including affordable housing and gun violence.  “It was on a […]