Matt Vasilogambros

Matt Vasilogambros

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

Water Cuts Are Coming for the West

By: - June 2, 2022

MONTEREY, Calif. — If Californians don’t change the way they consume water, officials are warning, sweeping, statewide mandatory cuts may be unavoidable. Three years into a severe drought and with water supplies plummeting, lush green lawns and the careless use of drinking water are no longer realistic in California and throughout much of the West, […]

California Lawmakers Reject Offshore Oil Ban

By: - May 20, 2022

California lawmakers this week defeated legislation that would have banned offshore oil drilling in state waters. The bill focused on three oil leases off the Orange County coast in Southern California, seven months after a damaged pipeline poured 25,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean. Some of the oil made it onshore in […]

Check Your Polling Place: Redistricting Confused Some Voters

By: - May 20, 2022

After sporadic reports of voter confusion in the early months of the primary season, local election officials and voting rights advocates are urging voters to double-check polling place locations and other critical election information before they try to vote this year. Some voters around the country have shown up only to learn their polling places […]

California Panel Unanimously Quashes Desalination Plant

By: - May 16, 2022

The California Coastal Commission last week unanimously rejected a private company’s proposal to build a desalination plant southeast of Los Angeles capable of producing 50 million gallons of freshwater a day. The commission cited environmental and economic costs in denying the plan, ranging from sea life being killed during water intake to rising water bills […]

Jail Voting Expands in Illinois

By: - May 11, 2022

Another major jail in the Chicago area is getting a polling place. Voting from jail is rare throughout the United States, but lawmakers in Illinois in recent years have paved the way for more detention facilities to offer in-person voting. Will County Detention Facility, which houses around 600 detainees, will be just the second jail […]

Immigrant Communities Push for More Non-English Ballots

By: - May 10, 2022

With primary elections well underway across the country, voting rights and immigrant advocates are raising the alarm about a lack of language assistance for voters who aren’t fluent in English. While federal law requires counties with a certain percentage of non-English-speaking citizens to provide ballots in a limited number of languages, advocates contend the federal […]

Russian Cyberattack Could Capitalize on Election Doubts

By: - April 22, 2022

As the war in Ukraine continues, the United States is warning that Russia and aligned criminal groups may launch cyberattacks against critical American infrastructure, potentially including election systems ahead of November’s midterms. Election officials and cybersecurity experts worry that a disruption from Russia or other foreign actors may capitalize on plummeting confidence in election integrity […]

Voters with Disabilities Face New Ballot Restrictions Ahead of Midterms

By: - April 12, 2022

As voters went to the polls last month in the Texas primary, the voting rights hotline lit up at the nonprofit advocacy agency Disability Rights Texas. Molly Broadway, the group’s training and technical support specialist, heard from some frustrated voters with disabilities who had not received their mail-in ballots on time. Others had their ballots […]

Contentious Fringe Legal Theory Could Reshape State Election Laws

By: and - March 18, 2022

This story is a collaboration between Stateline and Spotlight PA. The U.S. Supreme Court this month left open the possibility that it could endorse a fringe conservative legal theory that would give state legislatures unchecked powers over election rules before the 2024 presidential election. Republican officials cited the theory, which asserts that state courts do […]

States Want to Boost Protections for Threatened Local Election Officials

By: - March 9, 2022

From her second-floor office window in Medford, Oregon, elections administrator Chris Walker vividly remembers reading the unsettling words painted in big white letters on the parking lot below in late November 2020: “Vote don’t work. Next time bullets.” Her heart sank, she recalls, wondering whether or when the threat would materialize. Former President Donald Trump […]

A Parched West Remains Divided on Desalinating Seawater

By: - February 22, 2022

Editor’s note: The story was updated Feb. 25, 2022, to correct a quote from the Berkeley Lab’s Newsha Ajami. MONTEREY, Calif. — Gripped by drought, communities along California’s coast are exploring innovations and investments to ensure residents have access to drinking water. But desalinating seawater, one proposed solution, has provoked heated debate, as some environmentalists […]

Rising Gun Deaths Push Cities to Shore Up Police and Services

By: - February 10, 2022

As the coronavirus pandemic approaches its third year, it has worsened another deadly crisis for American cities: gun violence. With a rise in homicides in more than a dozen major U.S. cities, local leaders and gun safety experts are renewing their efforts to strike a balance between relying on law enforcement and engaging others, such […]