Democracy Decoded
Season 3
Decoding State and Local Democracy
Street view of the Missouri State Capitol Building in Jefferson City, Missouri.

This season focuses on democracy at the state and local levels and how we can better protect the right of all citizens to have their voices heard and the ability to hold their leaders accountable. Simone speaks with advocates and officials from a variety of states and municipalities to explore topics like expanding the freedom to vote, increasing opportunities for people to elect leaders of their choice, and implementing new systems to prevent corruption and ensure local governments adhere to the highest ethical standards. 

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1. All Politics Is Local 

In this episode Simone talks with Jawharrah Bahar about her experience losing and then regaining her freedom  to vote, and how that inspired her work with the advocacy group Free Hearts. CLC’s senior vice president Paul Smith explains how and why state and local governments are stepping in directly to protect the right to cast a ballot. Simone also speaks with the Arizona State Director for the organization All Voting is Local, Alex Gulotta. Alex talks about the fight for state and local voting policies that protect the freedom to vote of Black, brown, Native American, and other historically disenfranchised communities.

2. Voting Begins Here

Host Simone Leeper speaks with expert guests that provide a comprehensive view of the challenges that ordinary citizens face in registering to vote, from convoluted registration processes to restrictive laws and administrative hurdles. With a sobering yet hopeful perspective on voter registration, this episode also explores the efforts being made across the U.S. to modernize this fundamental democratic process.

3. Your Community, Your Election

In this episode, host Simone Leeper takes listeners on a journey through the intricate process of running a local election, from its initial stages to the final vote tally. This comprehensive exploration highlights the checks and balances in place to facilitate voter participation and to guarantee that the final results will be accurate. In interviews with election administrators and experts, this episode underscores the commitment to ensuring free, fair and secure elections while promoting inclusivity and accessibility for all eligible voters.