Pam Fessler

Pam Fessler is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk, where she covers poverty and philanthropy.

In her reporting, Fessler covers homelessness, hunger, and the impact of the recession on the nation's less fortunate. She reports on non-profit groups, how they're trying to address poverty and other social issues, and how they've been affected by the economic downturn. Her poverty reporting was recognized by a 2011 First Place Headliner Award in the human interest category.

Previously, Fessler reported primarily on homeland security, including security at U.S. ports, airlines, and borders. She has also reported on the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, the 9/11 Commission investigation, and such issues as Social Security and election reform. Fessler was also one of NPR's White House reporters during the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Before becoming a correspondent, Fessler was the acting senior editor on the Washington Desk and oversaw the network's coverage of the impeachment of President Clinton and the 1998 mid-term elections. She was NPR's chief election editor in 1996, and coordinated all network coverage of the presidential, congressional, and state elections. Prior to that role, Fessler was the deputy Washington editor and Midwest National Desk editor.

Before coming to NPR in 1993, she was a senior writer at Congressional Quarterly magazine. Fessler worked at CQ for 13 years as both a reporter and editor, covering tax, budget, and other news. She also worked as a budget specialist at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and was a reporter at The Record newspaper in Hackensack, NJ.

Fessler has a Masters of Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a bachelor's degree from Douglass College in New Jersey.

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2:02pm

Thu October 16, 2014
It's All Politics

Recent Rulings Alter Voting Laws Ahead Of November Election

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 2:50 pm

Election worker Dorothy Davis checks a voter's ID during Arkansas' party primary elections in May. After a state Supreme Court ruling, Arkansas' voter ID law won't be in effect for the November elections.
Danny Johnston AP

Election Day is 2 1/2 weeks away and early voting has already started in many places. So here's a recap for all those trying to keep track of the flurry of last-minute legal activity involving state voting laws:

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3:05pm

Fri October 10, 2014
Law

Courts Strike Down Voter ID Laws In Texas, Wisconsin

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 5:43 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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3:53am

Fri October 10, 2014
Law

U.S. Supreme Court Court Halts Wis. Voter ID Law; Texas Law Overturned

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 7:05 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

2:05am

Thu October 9, 2014
It's All Politics

Rules For Provisional Ballots All Over The Map

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 10:46 am

Adreanne Lewis signs up for a photo ID at a senior center in Arlington County, Va., with the help of Bill Sands, outreach coordinator for the county registrar.
Pam Fessler NPR

The fail-safe for many voters who run into problems at the polls — such as a lack of ID or an outdated address — is called provisional voting. The person votes, and his or her ballot only counts after the problem is resolved.

But many of these ballots never do count, raising questions about how good a fail-safe they really are.

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3:27pm

Wed September 24, 2014
Law

As Election Nears, Voting Laws Still Unclear In Some States

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 10:12 am

Voters walk to an early voting site to cast their ballots on Aug. 11 in Miami. On Wednesday, a federal appeals court in Ohio upheld a decision extending early voting in that state. Meanwhile, as Election Day nears, courts are still considering cases about early voting in North Carolina, and voter ID requirements in Texas and Wisconsin.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Midterm elections are less than six weeks away, but the rules for voting in some states are still unclear. This week alone, courts have been considering challenges to voter ID requirements in Texas and Wisconsin, and whether limits on early voting in North Carolina should stay in place. On Wednesday, a federal appeals court panel in Ohio upheld a decision extending early voting in that state, although state officials say they'll appeal.

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