Author

Laura Olson

Laura Olson

Laura covers the nation's capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit outlets that includes Louisiana Illuminator. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

The fight for the presidency comes down to millions of uncounted mail ballots in battleground states

By: - November 4, 2020

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump prematurely declared victory early Wednesday morning, but the outcome of a razor-thin presidential contest actually depends on key battleground states that are trying to finish tallying millions of remaining mail ballots. Here are some questions—and answers—about what’s going on in those states: Why is the counting process slow? It’s taking […]

Democrats struggle for U.S. Senate control after failing to knock off GOP incumbents

By: and - November 4, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democrats gained at least one Republican-held seat in the U.S. Senate, but also lost a seat of their own and were unable to defeat several GOP incumbents in the elections, ending up early Wednesday with an increasingly challenging path to wresting control of the chamber away from Republicans. The initial results showed a […]

U.S. Justice Department to send staff to monitor polling places in 18 states

By: - November 3, 2020

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Justice will have staffers on the ground in 44 counties and cities across 18 states on Election Day, monitoring for violations of federal voting-rights laws—fewer states than in 2016. The localities this year are in battlegrounds like Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The deployment of personnel […]

Supreme Court confirmation hearings to plow ahead amid COVID-19 infections

By: - October 9, 2020

Federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett will face the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee beginning Monday for what’s expected to be an unusual and contentious four days of hearings on her nomination for the Supreme Court. Democrats sought unsuccessfully to block those hearings, raising concerns about the short time frame before Election Day, the urgent need to […]

Trump, still infected with coronavirus, returns to White House

By: - October 5, 2020

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump on Monday night departed Walter Reed National Military Hospital, where he had been treated for COVID-19, and arrived at the White House via the Marine One helicopter a short time later. According to the press pool, Trump emerged from Walter Reed and briefly stopped at the top of the hospital steps before […]

Will COVID-19 delay the Supreme Court confirmation hearings?

By: - October 2, 2020

One of the few obstacles that could prevent Amy Coney Barrett from being confirmed as a Supreme Court justice this year is the coronavirus. That potential threat was on display Friday, when news of President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 test was followed by a similar announcement from U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican who […]

Trump in ‘good spirits’ after testing positive for COVID-19; Biden tests negative

By: , and - October 2, 2020

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump tweeted early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19, throwing the presidential campaign into a new uproar. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Trump tweeted. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters Friday morning that […]

Biden pledges to accept election result; Trump hedges

By: - September 30, 2020

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden pledged Tuesday night to accept the outcome of the election, while President Donald Trump urged his supporters to “watch very carefully” what happens as voters cast their general-election ballots. Those comments were in response to a question at the first presidential debate from debate moderator and Fox News anchor Chris […]

Trump and Biden quarrel over mask mandates and state shutdowns in first presidential debate

By: - September 29, 2020

The two men vying to become the next president offered a stark contrast to voters on face mask requirements and on how soon state economies should reopen amid the pandemic, just two of many areas where they squabbled during Tuesday’s contentious and often chaotic first debate. The exchange between President Donald Trump and former Vice […]