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PNS Daily News - September 22, 2020 

The Supreme Court vacancy raises stakes for a reproductive-rights campaign; voter-registration deadlines are just around the corner; and the pandemic compounds child-care woes.

2020Talks - September 22, 2020 

It's National Voter Registration Day. Plus, the Supreme Court and abortion are back, center stage, in the election spotlight.

Public News Service - MA: Civic Engagement

A new training and recruitment program for Massachusetts poll workers incorporates input from town clerks across the state. (Andrey Popov/Adobe Stock)

BOSTON -- Good-government groups are partnering with local election officials to recruit and train students and other young people to fill poll-worker positions vacant due to the pandemic, ahead of the September 1 Massachusetts primary. In 2018, around two-thirds of poll workers nationwide were ov

The new Harvard Kennedy School and Brookings Institution report,

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Voting is required in a lot of countries, but not the U.S. A new Harvard and Brookings Institution report considers what universal voting could look like here. The paper argues that mandatory voting would improve democracy by getting more people to the polls. María Teresa K

Applications for absentee ballots are being held up in Massachusetts due to funding issues. (Flickr_1/Adobe Stock)

BOSTON -- Voting-rights groups are asking a judge to force Massachusetts to mail out applications for absentee ballots tomorrow, as required by a law passed just last week. Secretary of State William Galvin has said he won't have the funds to pay the postage until either the Legislature or governo

This is the current number of volunteers who have signed up for human challenge studies as part of COVID-19 vaccine trials through the nonprofit 1 Day Sooner. (1 Day Sooner)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - At least three possible COVID-19 vaccines, including from Cambridge biotech firm Moderna, have seen promising results in Phase One trials. And some experts think infecting volunteers with the virus that causes COVID-19 may be worthwhile to speed vaccine development. They believe

The Commonwealth is considering three bills that expand access to voting in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. (Michael Jefferies/Creative Commons)

BOSTON -- The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Election Laws is having a hearing Thursday about three bills aimed at increasing voting access this fall. The committee will hear testimony about bills establishing voting by mail as a default option, expanded early voting and detailing in-person voti

Groups that promote unity and social harmony are encouraging Americans to find ways to connect despite social distancing. (#WeavingCommunity)

BOSTON -- A new online campaign called #WeavingCommunity aims to confront the social crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Their website,, gives tips on ways to connect and to show folks care about their communities. Pearce Godwin, co-director of the Listen First Project and the Nati

Massachusetts is one of 19 states that requires a voter to have a specific reason in order to obtain an absentee ballot. (Svanblar/iStockphoto)

BOSTON -- In light of the COVID-19 crisis, voting-rights groups want the state to make it easier to vote by mail. The Massachusetts Legislature recently passed a bill to make fear of going out in public due to COVID-19 a valid reason to request an absentee ballot. However, it only applies until Jun

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., dropped out of the Democratic presidential primary race last week after performing worse than polls expected. The question of her

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Why are the last two major Democratic primary candidates older white men? According to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology experiment, it's beyond their perceived "electability" against Trump: Many Americans misjudge others' level of bias. Political science professor Regina

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