Matt Vasilogambros

Matt Vasilogambros

Matt Vasilogambros covers voting rights, gun laws and Western climate policy for Stateline. He lives in San Diego, California.

‘Democracy Vouchers’ Put Free Campaign Cash in the Hands of Voters

By: - February 7, 2023

Seattle voters are about to get their democracy vouchers for this year’s city council elections: envelopes of $25 gift cards that voters direct to their choice of local political campaigns. Every February of municipal election years, Seattle voters receive four $25 “democracy vouchers” — blue slips of paper totaling $100 on which voters can write […]

New Gun Restrictions Are Coming in States Where Democrats Reign

By: - January 19, 2023

Illinois lawmakers wasted no time in the new legislative session, taking just five days to pass major gun safety measures that include a ban on semi-automatic rifles, high-capacity magazines and gun attachments that simulate automatic fire.

As 2024 Election Looms, State Legislatures Consider Voting Changes

By: - January 6, 2023

With their eyes on the 2024 presidential election, state lawmakers around the country are preparing to reshape voting rules in what election experts expect will be another busy legislative season. Republican lawmakers — many of whom are motivated by the mistaken belief that the voting system is riddled with election fraud — are looking to […]

Planning for Dry Times: The West Considers More Reservoirs and Aquifers

By: - December 16, 2022

Read more Stateline coverage of how communities across the West are grappling with drought that’s worsening because of climate change. SAN DIEGO, Calif. — As parched California receives much needed rain and snow this winter, some local water officials are calling on state leaders to invest in new infrastructure projects that will store freshwater for inevitable dry […]

Don’t Vote for Just One: Ranked Choice Voting Is Gaining Ground

By: - December 2, 2022

Last month, voters in Nevada, Seattle and at least six other jurisdictions around the country approved measures to change how they elect their leaders. Instead of voting for just one candidate, they instead will rank a slate of candidates. Ranked choice voting has seen steady success in recent years. Nationwide, 62 jurisdictions have adopted the […]

College Students Push to Ease Voting Access After Midterm Barriers

By: - November 18, 2022

Young voters made their voices heard during the midterms last week, turning out in relatively high numbers in an election that produced the first congressperson from Generation Z. But university students and voting rights advocates say voters on college campuses faced far too many difficulties trying to cast their ballots. Across the country, voting rights […]

Voters Push Back Against Election Deniers in Key States

By: - November 9, 2022

Election conspiracy theorists who echoed the lies of former President Donald Trump lost several key races Tuesday, though some others in Republican-dominated states will now be tasked with running elections. While secretary of state races are too close to call in Arizona and Nevada, Republican candidates who openly questioned the validity of the 2020 presidential […]

Election Deniers Already Are Disrupting the Midterm Election

By: - October 27, 2022

Two years of sustained disinformation campaigns and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election are causing disruptions and instability as early voting for the midterm election continues in most states. In Arizona, people who believe the lies of former President Donald Trump and his allies that the 2020 presidential election was stolen are filming and harassing […]

Proliferating Wildfires Poison Public Health Across the Country

By: - October 17, 2022

As wildfires continue to burn in parts of the United States, state public health officials and experts are increasingly concerned about residents’ chronic exposure to toxin-filled smoke. This year has seen the most wildfires of the past decade, with more than 56,000 fires burning nearly 7 million acres nationwide, according to the National Interagency Fire […]

California Takes Leading Edge on Climate Laws. Others Could Follow.

By: - October 6, 2022

California has enacted an ambitious package of legislation to aggressively combat the climate crisis — a bold move by the world’s fifth-largest economy that could inspire action in other states. Three years into a drought that is exacerbating wildfires and forcing limits on water consumption, California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed bills that will […]

California Leads the World in Testing Drinking Water for Microplastics

By: - September 27, 2022

You are drinking microplastics. Miniscule fragments of deteriorated plastic from bottles, bags and other products are in the deepest depths of the ocean, in the Antarctic and Arctic, and in countless rivers and lakes. Now, these specks — some less than 5 millimeters and others only visible by microscopes — are in the drinking water […]

Water Cuts Hit Western States

By: - September 15, 2022

Read more Stateline coverage of how communities across the West are grappling with drought that’s worsening because of climate change. As much of the West remains in extreme drought and reservoirs drop to historic lows, states are facing continued cuts to their water supply, either voluntarily or by direction of the federal government. Last month, federal authorities […]