Miles Parks

Miles Parks is a reporter 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.

Updated at 4:12 p.m. ET

Special counsel Robert Mueller shut down his Russia investigation on Wednesday in an unusual appearance in which he restated his findings and made clear that he never considered it an option to charge President Trump.

"We are formally closing the special counsel's office," Mueller told reporters at the Justice Department on Wednesday morning.

Sen. James Lankford is worried about election apathy.

Not that people will stop caring about politics, but as the weeks and months pass after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report on Russian interference, the Oklahoma Republican said he worries there won't be the same urgency to safeguard American democracy.

The 2018 midterms went by without a major cybersecurity breach, but the issue isn't solved, Lankford warned.

From checking in at a polling place on a tablet to registering to vote by smartphone to using an electronic voting machine to cast a ballot, computers have become an increasingly common part of voting in America.

In a rare public appearance on Tuesday, Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and one of his closest advisers, said that the multiple investigations into Russian election interference have been more harmful to American democracy than the original interference itself.

What does the arrest of Julian Assange mean for the role that WikiLeaks might play in future election interference targeting the United States?

National security officials say they're confident that foreign activity will continue through 2020, but no one knows how familiar it may look, how much it may evolve — or whether a WikiLeaks without Assange could play a similar role.

The answer, cyber-observers say, is probably yes ... but.

Updated at 10:03 a.m. ET

The release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report may provide Americans with the best playbook yet on how to defend democracy in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election.

Most people in America want the Electoral College gone, and they want to select a president based on who gets the most votes nationally, polls say.

Democratic presidential candidates are weighing in too.

"Every vote matters," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in Mississippi on Monday. "And the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College."

That line garnered one of her largest roars of applause for the evening.

Gregg says that change would radicalize politics.

High-ranking Democrats on Capitol Hill are calling for a counterintelligence investigation into a woman who has peddled access to President Trump and who founded the massage parlor where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is accused of soliciting sex.

The House passed an extensive bill Friday that would overhaul the way Americans vote and take aim at the money currently flowing through the U.S. political system.

Updated at 9:06 p.m. ET

President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to just under four years in prison on Thursday after being convicted last year of tax and bank fraud.

The 47-month sentence from federal Judge T.S. Ellis III was the culmination of the only case brought to trial so far by the office of Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller.

The judge also ordered Manafort to pay $24.8 million in restitution and a $50,000 fine.

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Updated at 7:12 p.m. ET

Three months after the midterm elections, North Carolina officials began publicly laying out their evidence for the first time that the outcome in the state's 9th Congressional District may have been tainted by election fraud.

The most important political issues of the past year will be on display Tuesday night, not only in what President Trump says in his State of the Union address but in who will be in the audience.

Furloughed federal workers, Border Patrol agents, immigrants, school shooting survivors and the first inmate to benefit from a new criminal justice law will be among those to gather in the chamber of the U.S. House.

In the predawn hours of Jan. 25, more than a dozen FBI agents raided Roger Stone's home in South Florida and took into custody one of President Trump's closest longtime confidants.

CNN showed the agents moving up the driveway with weapons and flashlights in footage that critics have said is shocking.

But was it unusual?

The short answer: No. Law enforcement agencies often conduct early-morning arrests or raids with large numbers of officers and tactical equipment.

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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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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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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.

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.

About 1 out of every 3 American adults thinks a foreign country is likely to change vote tallies and results in the upcoming midterm elections, according to a new NPR/Marist poll released Monday.

The finding comes even as there is no evidence Russia or any other country manipulated or tried to manipulate the vote count in 2016 or at any other point in American history.

In a sign that America's two centuries-old democracy is under strain, nearly 2 in 5 American voters do not believe elections are fair, according to a new NPR/Marist poll. Nearly half of respondents lack faith that votes will be counted accurately in the upcoming midterm elections.

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