Author

Kira Lerner

Kira Lerner

Kira is the democracy reporter for States Newsroom, where she covers voting, elections, redistricting and efforts to subvert democracy. Before joining States Newsroom, Kira was managing editor of Votebeat, a pop-up newsroom launched to cover election administration and voting before and after the 2020 election. She has also covered voting rights, criminal justice, and civil rights issues for outlets including The Appeal and ThinkProgress. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Guardian, Slate, and Talking Points Memo, among other outlets. Kira has a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and is a native of the Washington, D.C. area.

Election deniers lose attempts to control elections in critical battleground states

By: - November 9, 2022

Several prominent Republican candidates who denied the results of the 2020 election lost their races Tuesday, but other critical races featuring election deniers have not been called.  Going into Election Day, election deniers were on the ballot in around half of the races for governor and secretary of state and one-third of the races for […]

Midterm voting mostly problem-free in battleground states, voting advocates report

By: - November 8, 2022

As of midday Tuesday, voting across the country has largely gone smoothly without any major issues or incidents of voter intimidation, voting rights advocates said.  In counties that did experience problems, which were typical of any Election Day, the incidents were largely attributed to faulty technology and human error.   In Maricopa County, Arizona, one of […]

Voting lines

Conspiracy theorists urge voting as late as possible on Election Day to ‘stop the steal’

By: - November 4, 2022

A close ally of Republican Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano has a plan that she claims will help win him the election and prevent voter fraud: She wants voters to cast their ballots “as late in the day as possible” on Election Day.  Conspiracy theorist Toni Shuppe, who has ties to QAnon and who is […]

Concerns grow that voter intimidation could disrupt midterm elections

By: - November 3, 2022

PHOENIX — The two outdoor ballot drop boxes in Maricopa County are both unassuming — secure metal boxes, about the size of blue mailboxes, located just outside county buildings. But in recent weeks, they’ve at times been monitored by volunteers with far-right organizations, prompted by former President Donald Trump’s claims of widespread fraud and misinformation […]

‘Burning the candle at both ends’: Inside one of the nation’s busiest elections offices

By: - October 31, 2022

PHOENIX — During the first few days that Arizona’s Maricopa County began tabulating early votes, County Recorder Stephen Richer ran between interviews and meetings, responded on Twitter to dozens of voters with questions about the election and held a press conference for reporters. He managed this all while overseeing a staff and volunteers who were […]

Prolonged challenges by losing candidates could overshadow November election results

By: - October 20, 2022

Joey Gilbert, a Reno-based attorney, lost the GOP primary for Nevada governor by roughly 26,000 votes in June, a margin of around 11 points. But he wasn’t ready to admit defeat.  Empowered by former President Donald Trump’s false claims of voter fraud after the 2020 election, Gilbert refused to concede. He offered a $25,000 reward […]

A conspiracy-fueled push 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 […]

Election officials can’t access federal funding for security as violent threats mount

By: - August 24, 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 pleaded 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 […]

Election officials at U.S. Senate hearing describe threats, spread of misinformation

By: - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — Democrats on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday explored how to combat violent threats lodged against election officials, while Republicans questioned why the Department of Justice isn’t doing more to investigate threats against crisis pregnancy centers and Supreme Court justices. During a hearing on protecting election officials, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite […]

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, […]

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

By: - July 19, 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 […]

GOP-led states enacted 102 new election penalties after 2020

By: - July 18, 2022

First in a two-part series 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 […]