Megan O’Matz


Photo of Megan O’Matz

Megan O’Matz is a reporter at ProPublica, where she covers issues out of Wisconsin.

O’Matz comes to ProPublica from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, where she worked for two decades. She was a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for stories on widespread fraud in federal disaster aid programs. She also shared in the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for public service for reporting on the Parkland school shooting. O’Matz has worked for the Chicago Tribune, the Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and the Pittsburgh Press.

She’s a graduate of Penn State University.

Wisconsin Picks New Legislative Maps That Would End Years of GOP Gerrymandering

Under legal pressure to address Wisconsin’s “Swiss cheese” and oddly shaped districts, the Legislature approved redrawn maps that promise to create a new dynamic in a state known for its pivotal role in national politics.

Wisconsin’s Legislative Maps Are Bizarre, but Are They Illegal?

Wisconsin’s gerrymandering case has garnered national attention. But a little-explored aspect of the suit — the pervasive presence of “Swiss cheese” districts — could have huge ramifications for the outcome.

Wisconsin’s Republicans Went to Extremes in Gerrymandering. Now They’re Scrambling to Protect That Power.

Heavily redrawn election districts in the battleground state gave Republicans firm control of the legislature — and the leeway to move aggressively against officials and judges they perceive as threats.

Bullied by Her Own Party, a Wisconsin Election Official’s GOP Roots Mean Nothing in Volatile New Climate

In the face of repeated calls to back Donald Trump's bogus claims that the 2020 election was stolen, Marge Bostelmann of the Wisconsin Elections Commission remains resolute: “I’m a Republican who stands up for the truth and not for a lie.”

Wisconsin Republicans Sowed Distrust Over Elections. Now They May Push Out the State’s Top Election Official.

The fate of Wisconsin election administrator Meagan Wolfe is a stark reminder that even though courts and voters across the country have rejected election denialism, it remains a factor in this key battleground state.

They Held Down a Black Teen Who Had Tried to Shoplift. He Died From Asphyxia. Why Was No One Ever Charged?

Customers at a Wisconsin corner store subdued 16-year-old Corey Stingley, who died after allegedly being placed in a chokehold. A decade later, the youth’s father still fights for justice and awaits the findings from an unusual new inquiry.

A Florida-Sized Roadblock for the League of Women Voters

After a league rally was blocked by a new rule, the chapter’s president considers what might come next in a state where Gov. Ron DeSantis is restricting public discourse.

How an Anti-Abortion Law Firm Teamed Up With a Disgraced Kansas Attorney to Dispute the 2020 Election

A Catholic-led law firm is sowing doubts about election integrity as part of its long-term strategy to battle abortion rights.

That Cardboard Box in Your Home Is Fueling Election Denial

A previously unreported boom in profits for the shipping supply giant Uline has provided the funds for a deeply conservative Midwestern family to bankroll anti-democracy causes around the country.

What One Photographer Captured in Wisconsin’s Changing Election Climate

Sausage, speeches and anger: Political events and an unusual court case shape the mood in Wisconsin as Election Day approaches.

Election Deniers Failed to Hand Wisconsin to Trump but Have Paved the Way for Future GOP Success

The stolen election myth has helped reshape this battleground state for the upcoming midterms and the 2024 presidential race.

Republicans Turn Against the League of Women Voters

The league, long known for focusing on voter registration and other fundamentals, became more willing to speak boldly during the Trump era. Now, some on the right are portraying it as a tool of the radical left.

A Republican Tried to Introduce a Commonsense Gun Law. Then the Gun Lobby Got Involved.

After a sheriff’s deputy was murdered in a Denver suburb, Colorado state Rep. Cole Wist took action by sponsoring a red flag bill. It likely cost him his seat. ProPublica spoke to Wist about the harsh realities of gun reform.

The Hypnotherapist and Failed Politician Who Helped Fuel the Never-Ending Hunt for Election Fraud in Wisconsin

How obscure retiree Jay Stone played a crucial, if little-known, role in making Wisconsin a hotbed of conspiracy theories that Democrats stole the state’s 10 electoral votes from Donald Trump.

What Increasingly Partisan and Venomous Wisconsin School Board Races Reveal About American Elections

As traditionally nonpartisan school board campaigns become polarized battlegrounds, voters in next week’s Wisconsin races may set the tone for how contentious races across the country will become this year.

Billionaire-Backed Group Enlists Trump-Supporting Citizens to Hunt for Voter Fraud Using Discredited Techniques

The Voter Reference Foundation is putting the nation’s voter rolls online while making unsupported claims suggesting election fraud. The group’s funding can be traced to a Super PAC funded by the CEO of Uline.

She Said Her Husband Was Abusive. A Judge Took Away Her Kids and Ordered Her Arrest.

The judge in Julie Valadez’s custody case found her disruptive, questioned her credibility and put out a warrant for her arrest. A rare appellate victory is now giving her case a fresh look, but Valadez still is fighting for her four children.

He Beat Her Repeatedly. Family Court Tried to Give Him Joint Custody of Their Children.

Wisconsin is considered a leader in the movement to treat fathers as equal caregivers when parents separate. Shared parenting is usually better for children — but the model fails for many women forced to co-parent with their abusers.

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