voting

Jagada Chambers was sent to prison for attempted second-degree murder in 2000. The story, as he tells it, was that he was on spring break with friends during college and got into a physical altercation with an acquaintance.

He was released four years later, in August 2004, and his understanding was that his voting rights were gone forever.

Just in the past few months, elections in the U.S. have been decided by hundreds of votes.

The 2016 presidential election tilted to Donald Trump with fewer than 80,000 votes across three states, with a dramatic impact on the country. Yet, only about 6 in 10 eligible voters cast ballots in 2016.

Caroline Halter / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

People over 65 are the most likely to vote. They’re also the group that’s most likely to point to government issues — like mismanaged taxpayer money — as their biggest political concern, according to a poll commissioned by Oklahoma public radio stations.

Martha Buehring, a 71-year-old Republican and former military wife, is one of many older Oklahomans who are frustrated with the state budget.

Kansas cannot require people to prove their U.S. citizenship before they can vote, a federal judge says, ruling that the state's election law is unconstitutional. The judge sharply criticized Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has based much of his political career on worries about voter fraud.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about a statement from the Attorney General's Office supporting a referendum petition to repeal a tax to pay for raises to teachers, school support staff and state workers while at the same time Attorney General Mike Hunter faces a heated primary against challenger Gentner Drummond over the airwaves.

As America heads toward the 2018 midterms, there is an 800-pound gorilla in the voting booth.

Despite improvements since Russia's attack on the 2016 presidential race, the U.S. elections infrastructure is vulnerable — and will remain so in November.

Cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier laid out the problem to an overflowing room full of election directors and secretaries of state — people charged with running and securing elections — at a conference at Harvard University this spring.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a budget deal at the State Capitol could lead to an early end to the 2018 legislative session, the state House passes an amended criminal justice reform bill which makes it easier for juveniles to get life without parole and Governor Fallin vetoes a measure which would have allowed people to take selfies with their ballots.


Emily Nakano began doing lockdown drills when she was in second grade.

"An alarm plays over the PA system, and we lock the door, turn off the lights and hide in a corner away from the window," she explained.

The high school senior from Illinois said she's grown up with a fear of school shootings in the back of her mind, even though she's not scared of guns. In fact, she's been around guns her entire life.

Political brawls over voting laws have consumed states across the country for the past decade. But below the surface, a movement to automatically register eligible voters to vote is rapidly gaining traction. By next year, more than a quarter of all Americans will live in states where they no longer have to fill out registration forms in order to cast a ballot.

Courtroom drama marked the first week of a high-stakes federal trial underway in Kansas, the outcome of which could encourage or hinder tighter voter registration requirements across the country.

At the center of the lawsuit is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, one of Donald Trump's key backers on voter fraud and the president's unsubstantiated claims that millions of illegal ballots gave Hillary Clinton the 2016 popular vote.

Kobach led Trump's now-defunct election integrity commission.

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