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Bente Birkeland

Bente Birkeland has covered Colorado politics and government since spring of 2006. She loves the variety and challenge of the state capitol beat and talking to people from all walks of life. Bente's work has aired on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered, American Public Media'sMarketplace, and she was a contributor for WNYC's The Next Big Thing. She has won numerous local and national awards, including best beat reporting from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors. Bente grew up in Minnesota and England, and loves skiing, hiking, and is an aspiring cello player. She lives in Lakewood with her husband.

Colorado officials said Thursday that a local county clerk allowed an unauthorized person into a secure facility during an annual upgrade to the county's election equipment software, compromising the equipment.

The Mesa County clerk, Tina Peters, could be in legal trouble. She's currently at a conference led by a prominent election conspiracy theorist.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

California's governor is telling teachers and school employees that they must be vaccinated or be tested weekly for the coronavirus. Gavin Newsom is the first governor to take this step. Here he was speaking today in Oakland.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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In 2020, as the news of the death of George Floyd spread around the country, so did many peaceful protests calling for justice and police accountability.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

The right-wing media outlet Newsmax, which amplified former President Donald Trump's false allegations of election rigging and widespread voter fraud, said on Friday there is no evidence that Dominion Voting Systems and one of its top employees, Eric Coomer, manipulated election results in 2020.

The victims of some of the most pernicious conspiracy theories of 2020 are fighting back in court.

Voting equipment companies have filed a series of massive defamation lawsuits against allies of former President Trump in an effort to exert accountability over falsehoods about the companies' role in the election and repair damage to their brands.

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