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Glitches in ballot tabulators caused some delays in Arizona, but election experts say voting went relatively smoothly throughout the country.

Election conspiracy theorists who echoed the lies of former President Donald Trump lost several key races Tuesday, though some others in Republican-dominated states will now be tasked with running elections. Read more»

The Telegraph Fire burns near Superior in 2021. Frequent wildfire smoke is causing chronic health problems for Americans.

As wildfires continue to burn in parts of the United States - with more than 56,000 fires burning nearly 7 million acres nationwide this year - state public health officials and experts are increasingly concerned about residents’ chronic exposure to toxin-filled smoke. Read more»

The Coolidge Dam and San Carlos reservoir impound the Gila River on the San Carlos Indian Reservation.

As much of the West remains in extreme drought and reservoirs drop to historic lows, Arizona and other Western states are facing continued cuts to their water supply, either voluntarily or by direction of the federal government. Read more»

Dozens of Tucsonans attended a March for Our Lives protest at Armory Park in June, 2022, to push for new gun safety legislation in the wake of a series of mass shootings across the nation.

American cities have been running gun buybacks since at least the 1970s, and they are broadly popular, even in conservative, gun-friendly states - but most research shows these events are ineffective at reducing homicides and suicides. Read more»

Lake Powell, fed by the Colorado River, is at a critically low level. Federal water officials said Western states will face mandatory cuts to the river’s water access next year.

With most of the West in severe drought, top federal water officials are warning Western states that there will be cuts to their access to Colorado River water next year - reducing water access by between 2 - 4 million acre-feet across seven states that rely on it. Read more»

The U.S. Department of Justice informs jurisdictions when they qualify for the ballot language requirement and provides guidance in fulfilling it - but the agency does not ensure that local officials are following the rules.

With primary elections well underway across the country, voting rights and immigrant advocates are raising the alarm about a lack of language assistance for voters who aren’t fluent in English. Read more»

Several states have added new restrictions that make it harder for disabled voters to cast a ballot.

Around the country, new voting restrictions have complicated an already difficult process for 38 million disabled voters—a challenge as advocates navigate sudden shifts and measures undergo last-minute legislative changes during the primary season. Read more»

Arguments over redistricting and election rules have been ongoing, but they reached a new level more recently as the high court considered the fringe 'independent state legislature' doctrine.

The U.S. Supreme Court left open the possibility it could endorse a fringe conservative legal theory which asserts state courts do not have jurisdiction over election policy, which would give state legislatures unchecked powers over election rules before the 2024 presidential election. Read more»

Reverse osmosis racks at a desalination plant. Western states are divided about the water treatment technology.

Gripped by drought, communities are exploring innovations to ensure residents have access to drinking water - but desalinating seawater, one proposed solution, has provoked heated debate, as some environmentalists say the process is inefficient, expensive and unneeded. Read more»

President Joe Biden has called on Congress to increase funding by $500 million to local police departments and community programs that tackle gun violence.

With a rise in homicides in more than a dozen major U.S. cities, local leaders and gun safety experts are renewing their efforts to strike a balance between relying on law enforcement and engaging others, such as social workers, to reduce violence in at-risk communities. Read more»

Iowa election workers process mail-in and absentee ballots for the 2020 general election.

The pervasive myths of a stolen 2020 presidential election and widespread voter fraud are still dominant in many state legislatures, as Republican policymakers call for more investigations and reshape election administration in a way that could give them a partisan advantage. Read more»

Tom Buschatzke, the director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, said that Arizona has been under a state of drought emergency since 1999.

A California conservation law being implemented over the next two decades, along with a range of actions by communities, provide a preview of difficult policy choices communities across the West will have to grapple with as climate change pushes water shortages to crisis levels. Read more»

Gun rights advocates gather at the Minnesota capitol in 2018 to rally in favor of gun rights. Three years later, 21 states have laws that allows people to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

21 states now no longer require residents to hold a permit to carry a concealed firearm, eliminating the previous requirements for gun owners to take gun safety and training classes and undergo a background check. Read more»

Ranked choice voting is expanding nationally.

Ranked choice voting, lauded by advocates for avoiding costly runoffs and ensuring that winners in crowded races earn majority support, is steadily gaining steam nationally - this year, 32 cities in seven states used the voting method. Read more»

Pima County election workers tabulate ballots in the 2020 election.

Voting rights advocates caution there is still considerable work to do ahead of next year’s midterms to boost lagging confidence in the democratic process. Read more»

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