Best Election Integrity Stories of 2020
Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Random Institute / Unsplash, Nick Moore / Unsplash, Adi Goldstein, Serge Kutuzov / Unsplash, Luis Quintero / Unsplash, Toan Nguyen / Unsplash, Sincerely Media / Unsplash, Olive Tatiane / Unsplash, AAndrik Langfield / Unsplash, Charles Unitas / Unsplash, and Element5 Digital / Unsplash.

2020 was a year rife with attacks on our voting systems and speculation on the integrity of our democracy. WhoWhatWhy covered it all. Here is our best.

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For years, WhoWhatWhy has been a leader in covering election integrity. In 2020, we raised the bar, bringing you not only cutting-edge news coverage, but also an e-book featuring a deep investigative look into the murky world of voting machines — before Dominion came under fire — and a college campus voting guide focusing on the youth vote and young voter turnout.

Ahead of the curve, WhoWhatWhy anticipated the problems the country would have with election integrity. Below you will find a sampling of our stories that shows how vulnerable US elections are and what is and isn’t being done about it.

America Decides 2020: Our Democracy, Explained

Our series answering frequently asked questions about our electoral system.

Women Engaged, voter registration

Women Engaged and other organizations run by Black women activists helped make the difference in the Georgia presidential election. Photo credit: Women Engaged

Women of Color Lead On the Ground in Georgia

Black female political organizers are the unsung heroes of the election in Georgia, and may yet earn Democrats control of the Senate.

Few Ex-Felons Able to Vote Even After Rights Restored

Although their rights to vote were recently restored, few former felons in Iowa and Florida registered to vote in the 2020 election.

Q Sent Me, sign, Arizona

A QAnon supporter dons a Viking headdress and argues with Biden supporters over the conspiracy theory’s legitimacy in downtown Phoenix on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. Photo credit: Marisa Latzman / WhoWhatWhy

Assault Rifles, Prayers, and Outrage Over Election Outcome

Pro-Trump protests continue, as does the counting of votes in Arizona.


Cubanos Con Biden organizer, Sofia Hidalgo, poses in front of her “Todos con Biden” car in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Photo credit: Courtesy of Sofia Hidalgo

The Myth of the Cuban American Monolith

Despite a historic distrust of the left fueled by Republican messaging, many members of the Cuban American electorate in Florida are leaving the party of Donald Trump. 

election center

Anitra Harris, front, and a team of election workers plug in pollbooks as they prepare the early voting site at the Randallstown Community Center for the first day of early voting in the Maryland primary on July 21, 2020. Photo credit: © TNS via ZUMA Wire

Sports Teams Help Create Election ‘Super Centers’

With a pandemic still raging, athletes and election advocates are teaming up to make voting as exciting as the Super Bowl.

Voting, Marietta, Georgia

Polling station at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Marietta, GA, at 7 AM Tuesday morning, June 9, 2020. Photo credit: Courtesy of Janis LeMieux, Marietta, Georgia

Voters in Georgia Frustrated by Long Lines and Broken Equipment

Many Peach State residents had to wait hours to vote on Tuesday, as what had been billed as a state-of-the-art voting system broke down, causing chaos in many precincts.

secure elections, Georgia

A computer printout of a Georgia ballot includes an encrypted QR code representation of votes cast. The English words below are not counted as the actual vote, meaning votes cannot be audited by humans. Photo credit: Darlena Cunha / WhoWhatWhy

Safe and Secure Elections in Georgia

The 2020 general election is looming ever closer, but will it be safe and secure?

Deibold, voting machines, Shelby County, TN

These Diebold touchscreen voting machines, being inspected here back in 2013, are still in use in Shelby County, TN. Photo credit: © Jim Weber/The Commercial Appeal/

Touchscreen Voting Machines and the Vanishing Black Votes

After thousands of votes mysteriously vanished from touchscreen voting machines in Shelby County, TN, a battle rages over how to replace the machines. 

Ellen Weintraub

FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub addresses OSCE Pennsylvania observers, 5 Nov. 2016. Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from OSCE Parliamentary Assembly / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Despite Shattered FEC, One Commissioner Is Still Fighting for Clean Elections

FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub sat down with WhoWhatWhy to talk about money in politics, losing a quorum, and what it could mean for the next election.

ExpressVote, barcode

The ExpressVote “paper ballot” produces a barcode that is used to store and count votes rather than human-readable printouts. Photo credit: Verified Voting Foundation, Inc.

Ignoring Warning Signs: Officials Approve Vulnerable Voting Machines

While more states move toward hand-marked paper ballots, others will keep using outdated voting machines that are hackable and known to have serious security flaws.

Don’t forget to take a deep dive into the world of voting machines and the rankings of university voting accessibility for a better understanding of the US election systems.

Is This Any Way to Vote

“Is This Any Way to Vote?: Vulnerable Voting Machines and the Mysterious Industry Behind Them” by Celeste Katz Marston and Gabriella Novello. Photo credit: WhoWhatWhy

The Voting Machine Monopoly — Is This Any Way to Vote?

Excerpt from Is This Any Way to Vote?: Vulnerable Voting Machines and the Mysterious Industry Behind Them by Celeste Katz Marston and Gabriella Novello.

Does Your School Rate? The Top Voting Campuses in the US

Schools are rated on all kinds of factors. This year, WhoWhatWhy ranked them in terms of student voter turnout and accessibility. Months of research boiled down to the top schools in every state, whether they make it easy for their students to vote.

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