Miles Parks

Miles Parks is a reporter and producer on NPR's Washington Desk. He covers election interference and voting infrastructure and reports on breaking news.

Miles joined NPR as the 2014-15 Stone & Holt Weeks Fellow. Since then, he's investigated FEMA's efforts to get money back from Superstorm Sandy victims, profiled budding rock stars, and produced for all three of NPR's weekday news magazines.

A graduate of the University of Tampa, Miles also previously covered crime and local government for The Washington Post and The Ledger in Lakeland, Fla.

In his spare time, Miles likes playing, reading and thinking about basketball. He wrote The Washington Post's obituary of legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summitt.

You can contact Miles at mparks@npr.org.

Two portraits of William Barr emerged during the second day of his confirmation hearing to lead the Justice Department as President Trump's choice as attorney general.

One was of a brilliant and moral man who oversaw the resolution of a hostage crisis at a federal prison without any casualties and another was of an early 1990s attorney general who held views on race and policing that now seem antiquated and unacceptable to many in law enforcement.

Updated at 5:17 p.m. ET

President Trump's choice to lead the Justice Department, William Barr, took questions from lawmakers Tuesday, with the central one being whether Barr will work to impede the Russia investigation.

Barr, who previously served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee for the first day of his confirmation hearing.

Today, Mark Harris is at the center of an election that just won't end in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District.

The outcome remains up in the air pending an investigation into allegations of election fraud by an operative hired by the Harris campaign.

It's the only remaining uncalled election of the 2018 midterms, but it's just the latest bump in a half decade of setbacks as Harris has had his eyes set on joining Congress.

Leading up to Nov. 6, 2018, anyone with a stake in American democracy was holding their breath.

After a Russian effort leading up to 2016 to sow chaos and polarization, and to degrade confidence in American institutions, what sort of widespread cyberattack awaited the voting system in the first national election since?

None, it seems.

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Inside his barber shop in Bladenboro, N.C., Rodney Baxley is giving Bobby Simmons a haircut.

The two men are talking about what everyone in this part of the state has been talking about for the better part of the past month: McCrae Dowless, and the operation he was running to get out the vote for Republican Mark Harris in the congressional race in North Carolina's 9th District.

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When it comes to election fraud, the "voting twice by dressing up with a different hat" tactic that President Trump talks about almost never happens.

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Updated at 5:44 p.m. ET

The head of North Carolina's Republican Party says he would "not oppose" a new election in the state's 9th Congressional District if allegations of fraud by a GOP operative prove true.

"If they can say with a strong degree of certainty that the outcome of the race was changed or there is a substantial likelihood that it could have been, the law requires that there be a new election, and we would not oppose," said Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, in an interview with NPR.

Election fraud has been a much discussed, seldom seen phenomenon in U.S. elections over the past several decades. But new details emerging from government and media investigations into the vote-counting in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District paint a picture of a tight race where potentially illegal voter fraud could have skewed the outcome.

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When Ohio State elections law professor Daniel Tokaji tells colleagues from other parts of the world about how the United States picks election officials, he says they're stunned.

"And not in the good way," says Tokaji.

That's because in a large portion of the U.S., elections are supervised by an official who is openly aligned with a political party. It's a system of election administration that's routinely come under scrutiny over the past two decades, and did again in this year's midterms especially in Georgia, Florida and Kansas.

Updated at 3:21 p.m. ET

After two recounts, a deluge of lawsuits and loaded political rhetoric, the 12-day election marathon in Florida is finally drawing to a close.

Election workers in Florida have been counting remaining ballots by hand in the close U.S. Senate and state agriculture commissioner contests, as a number of lawsuits are still outstanding in the final 48 hours before official election results are due to the state.

If a federal judge declines to extend the state's deadline, county canvassing boards need to turn in their official results following machine and manual recounts by noon on Sunday.

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Updated at 8 p.m. ET

As confusion continues over the outcome of multiple Florida elections, a hand recount has been ordered in that state's narrow Senate race between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Meanwhile, in the gubernatorial contest, Republican Ron DeSantis appears headed to victory over Democrat Andrew Gillum after a machine recount did not significantly narrow the margin in that race.

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We begin this hour in Florida, where they are still counting votes from last Tuesday's elections.

(SOUNDBITE OF MACHINE WHIRRING)

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Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Days after midterm voting, as ballots are still being counted, Republican lawmakers who are holding on to tight leads in midterm states are alleging foul play and voter fraud. The claims were amplified by President Trump, without evidence, on Friday morning.

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The Trump administration says it is changing a U.S. asylum rule. A big question is whether that rule change is within the law.

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Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker could make life quite difficult for Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller if he wanted.

The biggest question in Washington is: Will he?

The acting head of the Justice Department took over on Wednesday from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was forced out after months of verbal abuse by President Trump.

Across the country, states are on track to overwhelmingly change the way elections are run.

In the ballot measures that passed Tuesday, voters in at least three states took the power to determine political boundaries away from state legislatures, while a similar proposition in Utah was too close to call. Voter registration deadlines could become a thing of the past in three states that are making it easier to take part in elections.

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On Wednesday, federal judges in Ohio ordered the state to allow voters who had been purged from the state's voter rolls over the past six years to vote in this year's midterm elections.

As Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen walks around the second floor of his office in Panama City, Fla., he points up at a makeshift ceiling of tarp and plywood.

"From that wall right there, all the way over, all the wood there, that all just got put on," he says.

Andersen is the supervisor of elections for Bay County, Fla., the county most ravaged earlier this month by Hurricane Michael. Andersen was in the elections office two weeks ago, one floor below this spot, when 130-mile-an-hour winds ripped off the building's roof.

A number of states are blocking web traffic from foreign countries to their voter registration websites, making the process harder for some U.S. citizens who live overseas to vote, despite the practice providing no real security benefits.

Updated at 9:49 p.m. ET

President Trump continued his defense Tuesday of his Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, mocking one of Kavanaugh's accusers at a Mississippi campaign rally.

The latest move by Trump came just hours after he had highlighted the possibility of false accusations against young men in the midst of a cultural moment brought on in the past year by the #MeToo movement.

Former President Barack Obama weighed in on the midterm election conversation Monday, endorsing 260 candidates in federal and state races across the country.

That brings the former president's list of endorsed candidates for November's midterms, all Democrats, to over 300, as he released a tranche of endorsements in August as well.

Rob Goldstone, the man who sent the email to Donald Trump Jr. that proclaimed "Russia and its government's support" for the Trump campaign, now says he had no idea what he was talking about.

In fact, not only did he not know the Russian government had launched a broader program of "active measures" against the 2016 election, Goldstone also says he made up some of the most important details in the message.

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