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Posted inWho Counts?

Montana sued after GOP targets Indigenous and younger voters with new laws

What advocates call a “cocktail” of new voter suppression laws in Montana, disproportionately disenfranchising the state’s Indigenous population and younger voters, were struck down by a judge in September. The laws, ruled unconstitutional, had been on hold under a temporary injunction since April. The decision could be appealed. All three laws emerged from the 2021 […]

Posted inWho Counts?

After record 2020 turnout, Iowa Republicans adopt numerous voting barriers

A record number of people voted in Iowa two years ago. Its Republican-controlled legislature and Gov. Kim Reynolds responded by adopting a broad set of limitations last year that put up various roadblocks to absentee and election day voting. Voting rights advocates have called this legislation a blatant effort to suppress participation in elections after […]

Posted inWho Counts?

Nebraska voters will consider new ID requirements

Unlike their counterparts in most Republican-leaning states across the country, legislators in Nebraska have resisted placing new restrictions on access to voting. But in November, voters will consider a significant one. Right-wing activists echoing former President Donald Trump’s false allegations of fraud in the 2020 election collected enough signatures to put new photo ID requirements […]

Posted inWho Counts?

With Michigan government deadlock, advocates ask voters to ease access

A ballot initiative that would sidestep a Republican-controlled state legislature and expand voting rights in Michigan has surpassed the number of signatures needed to appear on the November ballot, but opponents have challenged it on technical grounds. The measure advanced by voter advocacy group Promote the Vote would allow for nine days of early voting […]

Posted inWho Counts?

Supreme Court allows extreme racial gerrymandering to stand in Louisiana 

Louisiana’s Republican-controlled legislature and Democratic governor have agreed on a series of minor improvements to voting access in the past two years. But an extreme gerrymander of the congressional districts has made representation of the state’s growing Black population less equitable.  Louisiana is one of four states this year that will be using a redistricting […]

Posted inWho Counts?

New Hampshire isn’t budging on obstacles to registration, ID, mail ballots

Republicans who control both houses of the state legislature and the governor’s office in New Hampshire are maintaining the state’s strict limitations on registering to vote and casting ballots while enacting new security requirements and penalties advocates see as an attempt to criminalize people who mistakenly fail to follow rules that were unnecessary in the […]

Posted inWho Counts?

Massachusetts widens early and mail voting, but local disparities persist

Voting rights advocates in Massachusetts are celebrating a series of pandemic-era measures made permanent in June, but obstacles remain that disproportionately affect Black and Latino voters. The VOTES Act, a voting reform law, expands early voting and no-excuse absentee voting. It was proposed by a Democratic-controlled legislature and signed into law by Republican Gov. Charlie […]

Posted inWho Counts?

Colorado makes it easier to vote while guarding against conspiracy theorists

Colorado has continued to improve access to voting in the past two years, but advocates are urging an end to the state’s disenfranchisement of people who’ve been convicted of felonies.  In a different time, small improvements in voting access in Colorado would seem “niche” to wider observers. But baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud spurred […]

Posted inWho Counts?

‘A torrential downpour of legislation:’ Voting in Arkansas gets much harder

Voting in Arkansas was made considerably more difficult by a slew of new laws last year that create stricter voter ID requirements, signature matching, a special voter fraud hotline (despite no evidence of fraud), earlier absentee voting deadlines and much more.  In March, an Arkansas judge found many of these measures unconstitutional, but the state’s […]

Posted inWho Counts?

Arizona sued by DOJ over requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote

Amid a failed attempt by supporters of former President Donald Trump to throw out the state’s 2020 election results based on false accusations of voter fraud, Republicans who control Arizona’s state legislature and governor’s office passed significant new obstacles to voting.  New laws allow for the purging of names from the state’s mail-in ballot voting […]

Posted inWho Counts?

‘A perfect storm of confusion:’ Voting faces systemic challenges in Alaska

Language and other barriers faced by Indigenous communities and the inability to get information to voters in broadband deserts caused a distressingly high rate of ballot rejections in Alaska’s June primaries. These problems exacerbate longstanding issues of inequity in access to voting and political representation in Alaska, such as relying on a postal service heavily […]

Posted inLabor

Low-paid workers are unionizing. Corporations are spending a ton to stop them.

Thousands of workers across the country have been busy gathering signatures from their co-workers in the past year. Candy makers at a Hershey’s factory in Virginia. Cooks at a Chipotle restaurant in Michigan. Six employees at a Dollar General store in Connecticut. Their goal: form a labor union to force their bosses to negotiate better […]

Posted inPublic Health

Getting the lead out — at long last

The country began phasing lead out of gasoline for cars in the mid-1970s, and yet the toxic metal is still in aviation fuel for small aircraft — spewing over neighborhoods with children especially vulnerable to its irreversible impacts. That’s finally poised to change. Following decades of pressure from environmental-justice advocates, the Federal Aviation Administration has […]

Posted inUnequal Burden

How state taxes make inequality worse

Hover over any term that is underlined with a dotted line to read its definition. This story also appeared in Crosscut and Investigate West and Mother Jones and Univision ABERDEEN, Wash. — As she opened her $1,600 property tax bill in February, Edith Baltazar suddenly lost her appetite for the eggs she’d prepared for lunch […]

Posted inEn Espanol

Cómo los pobres cargan con el mayor peso de los impuestos

ABERDEEN, Wash. — Cuando Edith Baltazar abrió en febrero la factura de impuestos sobre su propiedad, de inmediato se le quitaron las ganas de comerse los huevos que había preparado para almorzar con su hija. Su mente se puso a mil: ¿le quitarían su hogar si no podía pagar? La hija lloró. La familia se […]