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.
Election deniers lose attempts to control elections in critical battleground states
By: Kira Lerner - November 9, 2022
Several prominent Republican candidates who denied the results of the 2020 election lost their races on 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 […]
Conspiracy theorists urge voting as late as possible on Election Day to ‘stop the steal’
By: Kira Lerner - November 5, 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 rumored […]
‘Burning the candle at both ends’: Inside one of the nation’s busiest elections offices
By: Kira Lerner - October 29, 2022
As the midterm election approaches, election officials across the country face an immense workload combined with changes in the nature of their jobs.
Prolonged challenges by losing candidates could overshadow November election results
By: Kira Lerner - October 20, 2022
Candidates may not be deterred by the fact that challenges to election results are rarely successful.
A conspiracy-fueled push to count ballots by hand gains traction | Analysis
By: Kira Lerner - September 26, 2022
'This is totally unnecessary,' Jonathan Diaz, senior legal counsel with the Campaign Legal Center, said. 'There is no evidence or reason to suggest that ballot tabulators don't work'
Democrats feel pressure to ‘save the republic’ in campaigns to run state election systems
By: Kira Lerner - September 10, 2022
Election deniers are running for secretary of state in five critical states across the country, and the Democrats challenging them in November say their campaigns have taken on increased importance.
How election-denying GOP governors could tilt the 2024 presidential election
By: Kira Lerner - August 26, 2022
Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano will face Democrat Josh Shapiro in November in Pennsylvania. Mastriano is an extreme supporter of Trump’s Big Lie.
Election officials can’t access federal funding for security as violent threats mount
By: Kira Lerner - August 21, 2022
The threats have led to mass resignations, leaving their offices understaffed for future elections.
State elections officials struggle with paper shortages, harassment, insider threats
By: Kira Lerner - July 24, 2022
Last week's meeting of the National Association of State Elections Directors was held with stringent security precautions.
Election officials risk criminal charges under 31 new GOP-imposed penalties
By: Kira Lerner - July 18, 2022
The new laws are likely to dissuade people from becoming election officials or may lead more current election officials to quit.
Criminalizing the vote: GOP-led states enacted 102 new election penalties after 2020
By: Kira Lerner - July 15, 2022
Since the 2020 election, 26 states have enacted, expanded, or increased the severity of 120 election-related criminal penalties.