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Tucson voters wait in line during the November, 2022 election. An Arizona GOP bill would have removed the state from ERIC, the database designed to prevent voter fraud.

Eight Republican-led states this year left an interstate cooperative that seeks to maintain accurate voter registration rolls, and three more may join them — a move that election security experts say is fueled by conspiracy theories. Read more»

As water levels in Colorado River reservoirs like Lake Mead, shown here in 2918, continue to fall to dangerously low levels and triggering a series of cuts in the amount of water states can pull from the river, groundwater access rights have become a bigger issue.

As the American West battles its worst megadrought in over 1,200 years, lawmakers in Arizona, California, Texas, Utah and Washington state are rethinking how groundwater is used and who gets access to it — with some even targeting foreign-owned companies. Read more»

The Election Threats Task Force, established in 2021 and run by the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI, has a dozen cases of criminal threats to state and local election workers from recent years.

Some of the nation’s top cybersecurity leaders are warning state and local election officials of ongoing foreign and domestic national security threats to election systems, urging them to upgrade their defenses ahead of next year’s presidential election. Read more»

Western states are negotiating massive cuts to Colorado River water use to save essential reservoirs such as Lake Mead.

Western state water officials will spend the next few months trying to agree on how to divvy up water from the Colorado River, devastated by the worst drought in more than a thousand years - and if the states can’t agree, federal officials will unilaterally impose cuts later this year. Read more»

Arizona is one of several states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, that rejected top-ticket candidates in the midterms who embraced the false conspiracy theory that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

With eyes on the 2024 presidential election, state lawmakers around the country are preparing to reshape voting rules as Republican lawmakers are looking to tighten rules around absentee voting and Democrats will try to expand access to the ballot box through early voting. Read more»

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

Western states can no longer rely on snowmelt and rain to supply their communities in a drier, more arid landscape caused by climate change, and some local water officials across the West see a massive opportunity in storing rainwater in reservoirs and groundwater aquifers. Read more»

Proponents of ranked choice voting argue the system guarantees that candidates in crowded races eventually earn the support of most voters, instead of having races decided by a slim plurality.

Ranked choice voting has seen steady success in recent years as nationwide, 62 jurisdictions have adopted the voting method - and though proponents argue it leads to better representation of voters’ viewpoints, opponents say it’s too complicated for the average voter to understand. Read more»

Thirty-five states require identification to vote, and seven of them do not accept student IDs as proof.

Across the country, say voters on college campuses faced far too many difficulties trying to cast their ballots, and advocates want to expand same-day voter registration, encourage students to serve as poll workers and work with universities to make it easier for college students to vote. Read more»

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»

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