Author

Kira Lerner

Kira Lerner

Kira Lerner is the democracy reporter for States Newsroom in Washington, D.C. She has previously covered voting, criminal justice, and civil rights issues for publications including Votebeat and The Appeal.

Trump’s fake electors: Here’s the full list

By: - June 29, 2022

The 84 people who signed bogus documents claiming that Donald Trump won the 2020 election include dozens of local Republican Party leaders, four current candidates for public office, six current office holders and at least five previous state and federal office holders. Groups from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin all allegedly met in December 2020 and sent lists of so-called […]

Report says hundreds of state legislators have joined far-right Facebook groups

By: - May 20, 2022

More than 1 in 5 state lawmakers across the country have joined at least one far-right Facebook group, according to a new report.  Together the lawmakers sponsored 963 bills during the most recent legislative sessions, said the group that wrote the report, which describes the far-right efforts as anti-human rights. The Institute for Research and […]

Election officials make their voices heard as battleground states debate voting laws

By: - May 16, 2022

When Georgia legislators pushed through a restrictive voting bill during the 2021 session, Bartow County election supervisor Joseph Kirk said he felt frustrated and sidelined.  Lawmakers largely didn’t take election officials’ views into account, he said, and what resulted was a law that included a number of provisions that he said election officials believe are […]

Decline in federal grant funding for local elections criticized by advocates

By: - March 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — The $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill passed by Congress includes $75 million in Help America Vote Act grants — a major reduction compared to years past. Experts say the $75 million is insufficient to fund local elections and leaves local election offices without resources to improve election infrastructure and protect the security of […]

In Houston, people in jail can still go to the polls

By: - March 9, 2022

HOUSTON — Damien Lewis had been detained in the Harris County Jail for a week. Other than the one hour a day he was allowed to walk around indoors and trips to court, he had been under quarantine and hadn’t left his cell.  But on the day of the Texas primary earlier this month, a […]

Voting snafus in Texas primary show what may be on the way for other states

By: - March 3, 2022

HOUSTON — Standing outside a polling location in the historically Black neighborhood of Kashmere Gardens on Election Day, lieutenant governor candidate Carla Brailey predicted that Texas’ performance in 2022’s first primary would gain national attention — no matter the outcome. Texas is already a model for other Republican-controlled states for its new law that makes […]

Texans go to the polls under sweeping new voting restrictions

By: - March 1, 2022

HOUSTON — With less than two days until Texas’ primary election, Cedric and Myrtis Tatterson sat in a community center gym in Houston to fulfill the training required of them as election judges.  Though they have both served as judges in numerous past elections, Tuesday’s primary will be the first since Texas’ Republican-controlled legislature passed […]

States target ballot drop boxes in fight over voting rights

By: - February 15, 2022

Ballot drop boxes are so secure they’ve survived getting hit by an SUV and rolled by a school bus — yet much of the battle over voting rights has centered on the big metal boxes. In the November 2020 general election, nearly 40 states had ballot drop boxes available and more voters used drop boxes […]

Seven states to watch in the 2022 push to restrict voting rights

By: - January 18, 2022

WASHINGTON — Republican state lawmakers across the country are ramping up their drive to enact voting and election-related laws in time for crucial 2022 midterm elections. As federal legislation that would limit state-level voting restrictions appears stymied in Washington, Republicans in the states are moving forward with new proposals and revisiting old ones that Democrats […]

How an election denier’s fan club got its start in the states

By: - January 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — The suddenly famous election denier behind the circulation of a PowerPoint filled with plans to overturn the 2020 election has a long history of election subversion attempts in multiple states. Retired Army Col. Phil Waldron also has close ties to former President Donald Trump’s legal team and served as one of its key […]

Candidates fighting 2020 misinformation run to administer local elections

By: - December 27, 2021

As a chemist and immigrant from Vietnam, Linh Nguyen never thought she could have a role in U.S. politics. But then Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 and he “unknowingly inspired minority leaders, women of color like me, to be more actively engaged in politics,” she said. She joined the nonpartisan League of Women […]

Activists target corporate campaign cash in battle against voting restrictions

By: - December 14, 2021

Members of the Defend Black Voters Coalition chose Detroit’s Huntington Center as their backdrop earlier this month when they issued a warning about the dangers of “voter suppression legislation” backed by Republican state lawmakers.  The building behind them, formerly known as the TCF Center, was a powerful symbol of what could happen if elections indeed […]