Archives by: Kira Lerner

Kira Lerner

Kira Lerner's articles and posts

Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Florida gave voting rights to people with felony convictions. Now some face charges for voting.

Florida authorities arrested a Black man while he was staying in a homeless shelter and charged him with voting illegally in a case tied to Republicans’ drive to root out election fraud. But Kelvin Bolton’s arrest raises questions about the rollout of Amendment 4, passed by Florida voters in 2018 to restore voting rights to Floridians with felony convictions.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

In many parts of the U.S., people in jail can still go to the polls

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 jail staff member escorted him down to a hallway on the jail’s first floor, which was lined with eight voting machines.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

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

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 it much tougher to vote for many elderly, low-income and non-white citizens, said Brailey, who went on to lose in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

State judges across the U.S. face growing GOP pushback against rulings in election cases

In mid-December, Texas’ highest criminal court revoked the state attorney general’s ability to use his office to prosecute election-related cases without the request of a district or county attorney. In an 8-1 opinion, the all-Republican court weakened Attorney General Ken Paxton’s power to independently go after perpetrators of voter fraud, a problem he says is rampant but is actually exceedingly rare.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

States weigh how to shield election officials from threats, harassment

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 a press release in December 2020 that she reported the so-called doxxing to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. But it's unclear...

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

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

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 for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Candidates fighting 2020 misinformation run to administer local elections

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 Voters in DeKalb County, Illinois, where she lives with her husband and two young children, and was elected the group’s president in March 2020.

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Congress News Top Story

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

Despite record of false claims, retired army officer who urged overturning the 2020 election met with Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows multiple times 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.

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