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.

Illinois legislation would allow people to vote while serving felony sentences

By: - March 11, 2022

When Avalon Betts-Gaston was incarcerated for roughly four years, she left behind two sons — one in high school and one in elementary school.  Betts-Gaston had always been involved in their education, and she said she was angry that she couldn’t vote and choose her local school board representatives.  “I came from a very politically […]

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 2, 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: - February 28, 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 […]

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

By: - January 31, 2022

The 84 people who signed bogus documents claiming that Donald Trump won the 2020 election include dozens of local Republican Party leaders, seven current candidates for public office, eight 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 […]

States weigh how to shield election officials from threats, harassment

By: - January 25, 2022

Following the turmoil of the 2020 election, a photo of Washington state Election Director Lori Augino marked with crosshairs, her address, and the words “your days are numbered” was posted on a website alongside photos of numerous other state election officials described as “enemies of the people.”   Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman said in […]

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 Snead, director of the pro-Trump Honest Elections Project. Snead is an elections advocate supporting Republican plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to force the state to more regularly maintain […]

Candidates fighting 2020 misinformation run to administer local elections

By: - December 24, 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 […]