Juana Summers

A majority of young Americans are worried about the state of democracy in the U.S., according to a new poll released this week by the Harvard University Kennedy School's Institute of Politics.

The poll found that 52% of young people in the U.S. believe that the country's democracy is either "in trouble" or "a failed democracy." Just 7% said that democracy in the United States is "healthy."

Young people in the U.S. made history in the 2020 elections, voting at a record high rate. And now the technology company behind a popular social media app is hoping to help some of those young voters become political candidates in their own right.

Snap, the company behind the Snapchat app, is launching an initiative intended to help connect users with information, tools and connections if they want to launch their own campaigns.

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When President Biden gave a much-anticipated voting rights speech in Philadelphia this week, he called the fight against restrictive voting laws "the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War" and decried what he called a "21st century Jim Crow assault" on voting rights.

But a lot of people who turned out voters to elect Biden think he's failing them in the battle for voting rights so far.

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Today President Biden delivered his most forceful rebuke of the wave of voting restriction proposed by Republicans across the country, arguing that those efforts are the biggest threat to American democracy since the Civil War.

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President Biden marked the important moment for the country speaking from the White House.

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President Biden has pledged to help end the epidemic of Black men being killed by police. But he's also presented himself as an ally of the law enforcement community. NPR's Juana Summers takes a look at the line the president is walking.

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The deadly shootings around the Atlanta area this week have put more attention on violence and harassment against Asian Americans. NPR's Juana Summers reports on what the federal government is doing to respond.

House lawmakers have passed two bills aimed at strengthening the nation's gun laws, including a bill that would require background checks on all gun sales and transfers.

The top Senate Democrat vowed to bring up legislation expanding background checks up for a vote, but it does not have the 60 votes needed in the chamber to advance.

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A Latino advocacy group wants more lawmakers to learn to speak Spanish, not just to pull out a few awkward words when they run for office. NPR's Juana Summers reports.

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Updated at 4 a.m. ET

Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' victory early on Thursday, the end of a long day and night marked by chaos and violence in Washington, D.C. Extremists emboldened by President Trump had sought to thwart the peaceful transfer of power that has been a hallmark of modern American history by staging a violent insurrection inside the U.S. Capitol.

Updated at 4:22 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden called the violent protests that engulfed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday an "assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: the doing of the people's business" and called on President Trump to immediately demand that his supporters stop the violence.

In a somber address, Biden called on Trump, who had not publicly spoken since a rally earlier Wednesday, to "go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege."

President-elect Joe Biden opposes the death penalty and has said he will work to end its use, but as President Trump's administration accelerates the pace of federal executions in the closing days of his presidency, activists and progressive lawmakers are feeling more urgency to push Biden to act immediately upon taking office.

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Democrats' long-term hopes for electoral success have long cited the growing Latino population in the country. But former Vice President Joe Biden's performance in heavily Latino areas of key states has concerned members of his party — and may have cost him Electoral College votes, according to groups and activists working to mobilize Latino voters.

Nationally, Biden appears to have gotten support from roughly twice as many Latino voters as President Trump, but that support looked very different depending on where you looked in three key states with large Latino populations.

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Young Americans favor Joe Biden over President Trump, according to a new survey, but Trump's supporters appear more enthusiastic about that choice.

Sixty percent of likely voters under the age of 30 say they will vote for Biden, compared with 27% for Trump, according to a poll from the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics out Monday. But 56% of likely voters who support the president are "very enthusiastic" about voting for him, compared with 35% of likely voters who back the Democratic nominee when asked about their enthusiasm.

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Last week's Republican National Convention offered direct appeals to a new generation of voters. It showcased figures like Madison Cawthorn, a congressional candidate in North Carolina.

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Former President Barack Obama delivered a virtual commencement address on Saturday, urging the tens of thousands of graduates from historically black colleges and universities to "seize the initiative" amid what he described as a lack of leadership from leaders in the United States to the coronavirus pandemic.

On a recent Saturday night, tens of thousands of people joined a nine-hour virtual dance party on Instagram Live that was hosted by DJ D-Nice. Some familiar big names have been dropping into what he calls "Club Quarantine," like John Legend, Joe Biden and Mark Zuckerberg.

But it was the appearance of former first lady Michelle Obama that seemed to have a big impact.

"Oh my gosh. Michelle Obama's in here," D-Nice exclaimed as Obama's appearance brought the music to a brief stop. "Yo, I swear, I don't even know who to play right now. My mind's completely blown."

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Updated at 12:02 p.m. ET

Former President Barack Obama officially endorsed his former vice president, Joe Biden, on Tuesday, marking the Democratic establishment's formal consolidation around the party's presumptive presidential nominee.

Brianna Wu is hoping for an upset.

The software engineer is looking to challenge incumbent Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) for a second time. But, before that, she has to get on the ballot for September's primary.

For congressional candidates like Wu, that means collecting 2,000 signatures, no large number. But with in-person contact several limited by the coronavirus outbreak, even that feels impossible now.

The revolution that Bernie Sanders is promising depends on a new wave of young voters showing up at the polls to propel his campaign. But this week, the Vermont senator acknowledged that those voters, on which his success to some degree hinges, have not shown up in the way he'd hoped.

After 14 states held primary contests on Super Tuesday, Sanders acknowledged to reporters that he'd been "disappointed" with the results.

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The Democratic National Committee announced new rules for getting on stage for the party's Feb. 19 debate in Nevada — and they have the potential to shake up who is on the stage.

The new qualification standards scrap the grassroots funding support threshold that candidates have had to meet for prior debates. That means former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire who is self-funding his campaign and is not soliciting donations, could make his first appearance on stage.

Marlu Abarca has lived in Iowa for a decade and says she now "identifies as an Iowan." For the past few weeks, she has been attending training sessions to chair a satellite caucus site at the South Suburban YMCA in Des Moines.

She'll have to miss work to participate.

"I have to take vacation to chair the satellite caucus," Abarca, 28, said during a lunch break from her job at a Des Moines library.

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