Polling over the past year has shown a precipitous decline in voters’ faith in election integrity—a jarring shift that voting rights activists attribute to the deliberate dissemination of false and misleading information around elections. Indeed, only a fifth of Americans are "very confident" in the voting system, according to an ABC/Ipsos poll.  

Is American democracy imperiled? Republican policymakers in an increasing number of states are moving to reshape election administration in a way that could give them a partisan advantage.  And there are attempts to tighten mail-in voting through new photo identification requirements, as well as bans on ballot drop boxes. Lawmakers are considering at least 165 such restrictive bills nationwide.  

This series of interviews and reports looks into these activities as well as the implications when democracy is weakened and some new, more autocratic form of national leadership moves into a position of power.

The Series:

  • Is it possible to get a divided America back on speaking terms? "Meeting of America" aims to find out, and it begins in Kentucky. We’ll hear from co-founder Pearce Godwin and Meeting of America Kentucky Director, Julie Babbage. LISTEN
  •  Efforts to inundate local elections officials with records requests only weeks before we go to the polls: we ask the state’s top elections official, Secretary of State Michael Adams, what’s going on?  LISTEN
  •  Election integrity and unimpeded access to the ballot are fundamental tools of democracy. Are these fixtures of American democracy endangered? We get the perspective of UK election and voting law professor Joshua Douglas. LISTEN  
  • A free and independent press is fundamental to democracy. How did it become so complicated to find trustworthy sources of information? What happens to press freedom under an autocracy? We draw from the experience of John Greenman who has spent a lifetime as reporter, editor, publisher, news executive and journalism professor emeritus at the University of Georgia - and, who once called Morehead home.  LISTEN  
  • An offer to help encourage civility on the local level is coming to Kentucky in February. NYTimes columnist David Brooks details “Weave”, his mission to support people on the grass roots level who are working to heal our divisions and rebuild trust in our communities. The guest of Kentucky Humanities, celebrating its 50th anniversary year, Brooks will be meeting with students in Pikeville and holding a listening session in Paintsville on February 8. LISTEN