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.

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 […]

Coffee County election officials check in voters on Nov. 3, 2020.

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

By: - August 20, 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 […]

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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

By: - July 23, 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, […]

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 […]

(Getty Images)

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

By: - January 17, 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 […]

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Conservative groups target state, local voter registration rolls with multiple lawsuits

By: - January 10, 2022

North Carolina’s voter rolls are like a refrigerator that needs to be cleared periodically of rotting milk and other items past their expiration date, according to Jason Torchinsky.  Torchinsky is a lawyer representing Republican plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to force the state to more regularly maintain its voter rolls.  But Jeff Loperfido, an attorney […]