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ProPublica’s Pandemic Guide to Making Sure Your Vote Counts

Here’s what you can do ahead of time to be prepared for the 2020 election.

Tell Us If You Have Trouble Voting This Year

Are you a voter? A poll worker? An election administrator? We want to hear from you about any problems you’re experiencing or witnessing in the voting process.

What the Post Office Needs to Survive a Pandemic Election

Fueled by the president’s unfounded claims about rampant voter fraud, and reports of equipment being removed, the plight of the United States Postal Service has captured America’s attention. Will it collapse? Here’s what you need to know.

Latest Stories

Electionland 2020: North Carolina Mail Voting, In-Person Voting Starts, Naked Ballots and More

New From ProPublica

In North Carolina, Black Voters’ Mail-In Ballots Much More Likely to Be Rejected Than Those From Any Other Race

Black voters were more than twice as likely to have mail-in ballots rejected than those submitted by the state’s white voters in 2018, and rejection rates for 2020 show a similar pattern, according to a new analysis by ProPublica and WRAL News. Read the story.

Foreign Hackers Cripple Texas County’s Email System, Raising Election Security Concerns

The malware attack, which sent fake email replies to voters and businesses, spotlights an overlooked vulnerability in counties that don’t follow best practices for computer security. Read the story.

Before Limiting Ballot Drop Boxes to One Per County, Top Ohio Election Officials Secretly Consulted Promoter of Debunked Voting Fraud Fears

After Black union workers petitioned the state for more secure ballot drop boxes, top election officials called Hans von Spakovsky, a leading purveyor of discredited voting fraud claims, and then put a strict limit on the boxes instead. Read the story.

Foreign Hackers Cripple Texas County’s Email System, Raising Election Security Concerns

Diego Patiño for ProPublica

Last week, voters and election administrators who emailed Leanne Jackson, the clerk of rural Hamilton County in central Texas, received bureaucratic-looking replies. “Re: official precinct results,” one subject line read. The text supplied passwords for an attached file.

But Jackson didn’t send the messages. Instead, they came from Sri Lankan and Congolese email addresses, and they cleverly hid malicious software inside a Microsoft Word attachment. By the time Jackson learned about the forgery, it was too late. Hackers continued to fire off look-alike replies. Jackson’s three-person office, already grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, ground to a near standstill.

Before Limiting Ballot Drop Boxes to One Per County, Top Ohio Election Officials Secretly Consulted Promoter of Debunked Voting Fraud Fears

A voter drops off a primary election absentee ballot on March 17 in Dayton, Ohio. (Megan Jelinger/AFP via Getty Images)

After Black union workers petitioned the state for more secure ballot drop boxes, top election officials called Hans von Spakovsky, a leading purveyor of discredited voting fraud claims, and then put a strict limit on the boxes instead.

In North Carolina, Black Voters’ Mail-In Ballots Much More Likely to Be Rejected Than Those From Any Other Race

Workers prepare absentee ballots for mailing at the Wake County Board of Elections in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Sept. 3. (Gerry Broome/AP Photo)

Black voters were more than twice as likely to have mail-in ballots rejected than those submitted by the state’s white voters in 2018, and rejection rates for 2020 show a similar pattern, according to a new analysis by ProPublica and WRAL News.

Electionland 2020: USPS Mailers, Pandemic Voting, Get Out the Vote Efforts and More

New From ProPublica

No Democrats Allowed: A Conservative Lawyer Holds Secret Voter Fraud Meetings With State Election Officials

The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, whose work about voting fraud has been discredited, has been conducting private meetings for Republicans only. Read the story.

ProPublica’s Pandemic Guide to Making Sure Your Vote Counts

Here’s what you can do now to be prepared for the 2020 election. Read the story.

Poorly Protected Postal Workers Are Catching COVID-19 by the Thousands. It’s One More Threat to Voting by Mail.

More than 50,000 workers have taken time off for virus-related reasons, slowing mail delivery. The Postal Service doesn’t test employees or check their temperatures, and its contact tracing is erratic. Read the story.

Poorly Protected Postal Workers Are Catching COVID-19 by the Thousands. It’s One More Threat to Voting by Mail.

Shoshana Gordon/ProPublica; source images: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Postal Service and Wikimedia Commons

For months, one postal worker had been doing all she could to protect herself from COVID-19. She wore a mask long before it was required at her plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. She avoided the lunch room, where she saw little social distancing, and ate in her car.

The stakes felt especially high. Her husband, a postal worker in the same facility, was at high risk because his immune system is compromised by a condition unrelated to the coronavirus. And the 20-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service knew that her job, operating a machine that sorts mail by ZIP code, would be vital to processing the flood of mail-in ballots expected this fall.

By mid-August, more than 20 workers in her building had tested positive for the coronavirus. Then, in a list of talking points on her supervisor’s desk, she spotted a reference to a new positive case at the plant. She had heard that someone she’d worked with closely a few days earlier was out sick, but no one at USPS had told her to quarantine, and no contact tracer had reached out to her. Although USPS’ protocol is to tell workers when they’ve been exposed to COVID-19, that didn’t happen, she and another postal worker familiar with the case said.

No Democrats Allowed: A Conservative Lawyer Holds Secret Voter Fraud Meetings With State Election Officials

Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, confirms his attendance at a meeting held by Hans von Spakovsky. (Obtained and highlighted by ProPublica.)

Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, whose work about voting fraud has been discredited, has been conducting private meetings for Republicans only.

Electionland 2020: Voting Begins, Facebook Rules, Pandemic Election Plans and More

New from ProPublica

Facebook’s Political Ad Ban Also Threatens Ability to Spread Accurate Information on How to Vote

Two months out from Election Day, Facebook’s changes to its political ad rules cause additional problems for the government officials running the vote. Read the story.

Please Tell Us If You Have Any Trouble Voting This Year

Are you a voter? A poll worker? An election administrator? We want to hear from you about any problems you’re experiencing or witnessing in the voting process. Read the story.

Facebook’s Political Ad Ban Also Threatens Ability to Spread Accurate Information on How to Vote

Doris Liou for ProPublica

Facebook this week said it would bar political ads in the seven days before the presidential election. That could prevent dirty tricks or an “October surprise” and give watchdogs time to fact-check statements. But rather than responding with glee, election officials say the move leaves them worried.

Electionland 2020: Mail Ballot Challenges, Election Security, New Legislation and More

New From ProPublica

Reporting Recipe: How to Report on Voting by Mail

Many states are expanding mail-in voting this year. Here’s how local reporters can cover this issue while educating voters. Read the story.

Reporting Recipe: How to Report on Voting by Mail

An election worker sorting mail-in ballots in Renton, Washington, for the state’s primary election on Aug. 4. (David Ryder/Getty Images)

Many states are expanding mail-in voting this year. Here’s how local reporters can cover this issue while educating voters.

Electionland 2020: Nursing Home Voting, Election Guides, Creative Enfranchisement and More

The Latest From ProPublica

Hundreds of Thousands of Nursing Home Residents May Not Be Able to Vote in November Because of the Pandemic

Renowned inventor Walter Hutchins has voted in every presidential election since 1952. This year, as many states stopped sending teams to help seniors vote, his nursing home was on coronavirus lockdown and his streak was in jeopardy. Read the story.

Hundreds of Thousands of Nursing Home Residents May Not Be Able to Vote in November Because of the Pandemic

Sally Deng, special to ProPublica

Renowned inventor Walter Hutchins has voted in every presidential election since 1952. This year, as many states stopped sending teams to help seniors vote, his nursing home was on coronavirus lockdown and his streak was in jeopardy.

Electionland 2020: DeJoy Under Fire, Election Administrators, Pandemic Voting and More

The Latest From ProPublica

What the Post Office Needs to Survive a Pandemic Election

Fueled by the president’s unfounded claims about rampant mail-in voter fraud, and reports of sorting equipment being removed, the plight of the United States Postal Service has captured America’s attention. Will it collapse? Here’s what you need to know.

For Election Administrators, Death Threats Have Become Part of the Job

In a polarized society, the bureaucrats who operate the machinery of democracy are taking flak from all sides. More than 20 have resigned or retired since March 1, thinning their ranks at a time when they are most needed. Read the story.

For Election Administrators, Death Threats Have Become Part of the Job

Photo Illustration: Lisa Larson-Walker/ProPublica; Source Image: Derek R. Henkle/AFP/Getty Images

In a polarized society, the bureaucrats who operate the machinery of democracy are taking flak from all sides. More than 20 have resigned or retired since March 1, thinning their ranks at a time when they are most needed.

About Electionland

ProPublica’s Electionland project covers problems that prevent eligible voters from casting their ballots during the 2020 elections. Our coalition of newsrooms around the country are investigating issues related to voter registration, pandemic-related changes to voting, the shift to vote-by-mail, cybersecurity, voter education, misinformation, and more.

Questions? Read our FAQ.

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