WhoWhatWhy has been a leader in covering election integrity. That makes us uniquely qualified to inform our readers about the threats to US democracy from within and from abroad.

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May 11, 2020

Republicans Restrict Mail-in Voting Amid Pandemic

Oklahoma’s GOP-led state legislature quickly reinstated a requirement for absentee voting that the state Supreme Court struck down due to the coronavirus pandemic. The state Supreme Court ruled last Monday that absentee voters would not have to include a notarized signature on their ballot. However, by the end of the week, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed the legislature’s bill reinstating the requirement. Oklahoma is one of the few states that still has this kind of requirement for mail-in voting. (read more) States Grapple With Germ-Ridden Voting Equipment: Scientists say the coronavirus could survive for days on voting machines, and local election officials are worried that...

May 4, 2020

Federal Court Deals Another Blow to Kobach

Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) made a name for himself among conservative circles as the go-to person for voter suppression strategies and pushing catchy yet unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. In 2013, Kobach successfully pushed for a state law requiring people to provide proof of citizenship before they can register to vote. But late last week, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals delivered perhaps the final blow to Kobach’s effort to “stop” voter fraud from happening. A two-judge panel sided with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and ruled that the 2013 law is unconstitutional. (read more)...

April 27, 2020

GOP Responds to Mail-in Voting With Voter Roll Purges

It seems that the flavor of the year for conservatives is the “cleaning up” of voter rolls, and now they appear to have their sights on swing states that are considering mail-in voting this November. It started with a removal of more than 500,000 “ineligible” voters at the end of 2019. The North Carolina State Board of Elections is required to, among other things, maintain the state’s voter registration database. So, the conservative self-described “election integrity” group Judicial Watch claims to have found nearly 1 million more names that need to go and filed a federal lawsuit earlier this month....

April 20, 2020

Voting During a Pandemic

Republicans have spent decades making it more difficult for core Democratic constituencies to vote by implementing things like voter ID, “exact-match” signature requirements, voter purges, poll closures, and other election rules that voting-rights groups say disenfranchise millions of Americans every year. Now, their efforts are facing a much tougher test than a Supreme Court that usually lets them have their way: a pandemic that highlights the need for making voting easier. However, instead of putting voter safety first, many Republicans seem more willing to double down — regardless of the cost to democracy and the health of Americans — and...

April 13, 2020

Impose Campaign Finance Restrictions on Our Opponents, Not Us

In a move that is stunningly hypocritical even for Washington standards, Citizens United, the group eponymous with destroying the few meaningful campaign finance rules the United States once had, now wants to get the money out of politics. Well, at least money that goes to Democrats.  On Wednesday, the group sent a petition to its sworn enemy, the Federal Election Commission (FEC), asking the agency to place limits on how much money a candidate can give to their party. Candidates for office can send as much money as they want from their campaign to national, state, or local party. But...

April 6, 2020

Will They Vote or Won’t They?

The games appear to be over for now, and Wisconsin will carry on with its primary election tomorrow. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers tried to postpone the state’s primary and put in place vote-by-mail, but each effort was blocked by the Republican state legislature. The nation is in the midst of a public health crisis, so the GOP legislators have unsurprisingly come under criticism for their refusal to postpone the primary election. (read more) Poll Worker Crisis Exacerbated by Coronavirus: Local officials in Wisconsin are almost certain that their cities will suffer from a poll worker shortage this year. Stay-at-home orders...

March 30, 2020

Coronavirus and the 2020 Election — an Update

There are a lot of moving parts at the moment, but election officials are scrambling to keep elections going amid the coronavirus. Here’s what happened this past week: Congress included $400 million for elections in its emergency $2 trillion stimulus package last week. It’s a step in the right direction, but a drop in the bucket, say voting rights and election security groups. (read the Brennan Center’s cost estimate here) At least 10 states and one territory have rescheduled their presidential primaries: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico. (find new election...

March 23, 2020

An Opportunity Presents Itself

Seven states — Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Maryland, Connecticut, and Indiana — have postponed their presidential primaries. Wyoming canceled its in-person caucuses and urged everyone to vote by mail. In fact, a growing number of people are pointing out that mail-in voting could be the best way to keep voters safe without disrupting turnout this November. The editorial board of the New York Times called on the federal government yesterday to mandate that every state offer mail-in voting in the general election. A few states already conduct most or all of their elections through mail-in voting: Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah,...

March 16, 2020

What to Know About the Coronavirus

What to Know About the Coronavirus: Democrats in Congress have introduced emergency legislation to fund mail-in voting and help poll workers purchase cleaning supplies in the event that 25 percent of all states declare a state of emergency, but it remains unclear whether it will pass. (read more) Not all states have taken steps to balance access to voting and protecting public health, either. Louisiana and Georgia, two states already grappling with a poor record of election security, have postponed their presidential primary elections. Wyoming canceled its in-person voting and will implement a vote-by-mail and ballot drop-off system. (read more) In...

March 9, 2020

Investigation Refutes Kemp Bogus Hacking Claim

Days before the 2018 election, WhoWhatWhy exclusively reported that there were serious security vulnerabilities in a voter database in Georgia. Then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R), who was running for governor, accused Georgia Democrats of a failed hacking attempt just hours later. Nearly a year and a half later, investigators have found no evidence backing up Kemp’s claims. Attention is now turning toward Kemp’s successor, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who is accused of repeating Kemp’s retaliatory tactics against critics of state officials and of Georgia’s new election equipment. Marilyn Marks, executive director of the Coalition for Good Governance, is...