Why You Need to Cover Voting Rights Lawsuits
Covering voting rights lawsuits is vital to help your audience navigate the voting process. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University has analyzed the spike in lawsuits this election year compared to 2016 and found an 82% increase. Read on to learn why it matters, how you can cover it, and examples from other newsrooms.
Why It Matters:
- Voting rights lawsuits could affect your local election offices. What are the changes and how are they affecting your readers?
Why You Should Cover It:
- If there are any court rulings before Nov. 3, you need to explain why that matters to your voting audience. A court ruling could give people more time to vote — and those details are important.
How You Can Cover It:
- Besides county-level lawsuits, look for cases at your local/regional federal courthouse through PACER. And, connect with the ACLU in your area to see if there are any lawsuits they’re tracking.
- The Brennan Center for Justice and the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project both track election litigation, too.
Examples of Coverage:
- In September, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that courts may even decide election results in Georgia because of lawsuits.
- Voters in Texas sued Gov. Greg Abbott over him closing ballot drop-off locations. Harris County, for example, which includes the fourth largest city in the United States — Houston — has only one ballot drop-off location.
- The New York Times Magazine has an in-depth look at how voting is being attacked overall in 2020.