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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.

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

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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.

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As the hunt intensifies to try to find who sent at least 10 potentially explosive devices to Democrats and critics of President Trump around the country, a second important question lingers: how exactly were the dangerous packages sent?

The FBI and the investigative arm of the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, both declined Thursday to confirm to NPR how the packages reached the destinations at which they were intercepted.

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.

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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.

It's been a tough couple of years for the business of voting.

There's the state that discovered a Russian oligarch now finances the company that hosts its voting data.

Then there's the company that manufactures and services voter registration software in eight states that found itself hacked by Russian operatives leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

And then there's the largest voting machine company in the country, which initially denied and then admitted it had installed software on its systems considered by experts to be extremely vulnerable to hacking.

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