As I write this newsletter, I’m also sitting in front of the TV, watching CNN (I was a single mother of two children – I can do lots of things at the same time) as the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot gavels into what may be its final public session.

The hearings have focused on efforts by former President Donald Trump and his supporters to undo the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election. Ultimately, the panel’s work concerned democracy and how to protect and defend this nation’s bedrock democratic institution – elections – from violence and corruption. To that end, our stories this week have focused both on the hearings themselves and on the conduct of U.S. elections.

Jonathan Coopersmith at Texas A&M writes about how it’s taking longer to cast a ballot in elections, and even longer for Black and brown voters. “Where you are and who you are significantly affect how long it will take you to vote,” writes Coopersmith, who says such waits can discourage future voting.

Arizona State’s Thom Reilly writes about partisan officials presiding over elections; Amherst College’s Austin Sarat describes how a growing movement among Republicans to challenge a voter’s right to cast a ballot echoes hundreds of years of U.S. voter suppression; and two stories examine the meaning and impact of the House Jan. 6 committee’s hearings.

In the end, it’s up to all of us to do the hard work of sustaining democracy. These stories, and our continuing coverage of democracy, equip you with facts that will help you do that.

Naomi Schalit

Senior Editor, Politics + Society

A tweet from former President Donald Trump is shown on a screen at the House Jan. 6 committee hearing on June 9, 2022. Jabin Botsford/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Jan. 6 Committee’s fact-finding and bipartisanship will lead to an impact in coming decades, if not tomorrow

Claire Leavitt, Smith College

A lot of facts have come forward through the efforts of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol. What will its efforts mean to the US?

Voters line up at a polling station in Houston to cast their ballots during the Texas presidential primary on March 3, 2020. Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

It’s taking more time to cast a ballot in US elections – and even longer for Black and Hispanic voters

Jonathan Coopersmith, Texas A&M University

A 2014 US Presidential Commission set a guideline that voters should not have to wait more than 30 minutes to cast their ballots. In some voting districts, it’s taking longer than an hour.

Candidate signs during the first day of early primary voting on July 7, 2022, in Silver Spring, Md. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Good faith and the honor of partisan election officials used to be enough to ensure trust in voting results – but not anymore

Thom Reilly, Arizona State University

A partisan election system, attacks on election administration and widespread disinformation place the U.S. democracy in a precarious position.

Challenges to voters are growing before the midterms – and have a long history as a way of keeping down the Black vote

Austin Sarat, Amherst College

On Nov. 8, the US may experience a surge of voters intimidated by Election Day challenges to their right to cast a ballot.

What the Jan. 6 committee could learn from the failures of truth commissions to bring justice and accountability

Rachel E. Bowen, The Ohio State University

While the Jan. 6 committee investigating the US Capitol attacks has limited legal powers, it can help craft an accurate narrative of American democracy and history.

Russia is enlisting hundreds of thousands of men to fight against Ukraine, but public support for Putin is falling

Arik Burakovsky, Tufts University

While Russian public opinion polls show continued support for the war, there are questions about the polls’ reliability and indications that public approval of Putin is declining.

Headcovers have always been political in Iran – for women on all sides

Eliz Sanasarian, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Controversy of veils goes back more than a century, a scholar of Iran explains.

Like this newsletter? You might be interested in our other weekly emails: