Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "precincts" ...

  • Stolen Future: The Untold Story of the 2000 Election

    Investigative reporter and New York Times bestselling author Stephen Singular discovered that Florida punch cards could have been manipulated in the still highly debated 2000 presidential election. Using forensic journalism, Singular found evidence that the troubles may not have been random or accidental, as widely reported, but could have been intended to create chaos in largely Democratic and African American precincts, thereby costing Gore tens of thousands of votes. Singular examined the role of the notorious "hanging chads" — and revealed how punch cards could have been designed and targeted for specific constituencies in order to alter the outcome.
  • Broken Windows

    “Beyond Broken”: The number of summonses issued each year has soared since broken windows was implemented in the early 1990s — from 160,000 in 1993 to a peak of 648,638 in 2005 — making ticket writing for low-level offenses the single most frequent activity of NYPD officers, far surpassing felony and misdemeanor arrests combined. Roughly 81% of the 7.3 million people hit with summonses between 2001 and 2013 were black and Hispanic. And the top 15 precincts with the highest rate of summonses have a population that is 75% or more black and Hispanic. They spoke to nearly 170 people waiting in line at the city’s three summons courts. Although some admitted guilt, many said they felt targeted by officers looking to write tickets, as if their neighborhood were under “martial law.”
  • Long Florida Voter Lines

    Despite well-reported anecdotes of long voter lines in Florida during the 2008 general election, everyone appeared unprepared and shocked when the same problem emerged in the 2012 general election, with early reports indicating that the voting wait times might have been even worse this time. Orlando Sentinel political reporters David Damron and Scott Powers (who also is a CAR reporter) set out to quantify the problems and determine who was most affected, by seeking, obtaining and analyzing county Supervisor of Elections data on closing times for precincts, and using that data to find human stories about long polling place lines and late, late votes. The effort snowballed from an initial report published Dec. 17, 2012, on four counties in the Orlando Sentinel market, to broader, deeper and more analytical reports that reached statewide, and appeared to be cited in President Barack Obama's Feb. 12 State of the Union speech. Obtaining data from the state's 25 largest counties, and arranging assistance from an Ohio State University professor, the Orlando Sentinel pinpointed where and why long lines developed, and who was affected, and concluded that 200,000 voters might have turned away in frustration. Follow-up stories, showing clear responses from state and federal officials, included contributions from Mark K. Matthews of the Orlando Sentinel's Washington bureau.
  • In precincts with higher minority populations, greater chance of casting provisional ballots

    This story presents an analysis of the percentage of provisional ballots cast in precincts across Maricopa County, Arizona during the November 2012 general election. Maricopa County is home to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and home to several Hispanic rights groups. After the general election in November, some of the groups claimed Hispanics and other minorities were forced to vote provisionally more often than other groups, increasing the likelihood that their votes wouldn't count. This story confirmed that areas with higher rates of minorities did see higher rates of provisional ballots cast.
  • Buddy Johnson series

    Elections Supervisor Buddy Johnson was scrutinized for flawed elections occurring in Hillsborough County since he was elected in 2004. Precincts moved without notifying the voters and votes were lost do to poorly trained workers.
  • Police Reorganization

    Columbus can't hire more police officers, so the Chief of Police shifted 800 police officers from precinct to precinct according to the number of calls from those precincts. WCMH-TV discovered that the areas in need of police presence were losing the most officers, while more upscale areas were gaining police officers.
  • Police Plan Would Help Some Safe Precincts More

    This story is abut the New York City police expansion plan, which turns out to be more beneficial to precincts and neighborhoods that are already pretty safe. The NY Times analysis found disparities between levels of violent crime and the percentage of additional officers that would be assigned. Police officials say that the new assignments are still appropriate, because violent crime is not the only factor in deciding deployments. Ultimately, the plan was delayed anyway because of the legislators' indecision.
  • Under Suspicion

    A New Times investigation reveals "a pattern of police officers involved in the drug trade in one of Miami's inner-city precincts." The reporter finds that most drug dealers know the cops and often talk to them. Some of the major findings are that an officer has admitted being an accomplice in drug deals, and that some of the talks between dealers and cops have been recorded. The faulty officer, however, has never been charged despite having signed a confession, and the wiretaps have fallen through the cracks, the story discovers. The department's internal-affairs office failed to investigate the conduct of the police officers who allegedly had connections to drug dealers.
  • NYPD Blues?

    Dateline's hidden-camera story examining the complaint process through which victims receive solace and bad cops are punished, at least in theory. Was the process "user-friendly" or did it discourage civilians from speaking out, thus deflating complaint numbers and masking needed reform? A young African-American man with a hidden camera recorded what happened when he walked into police precincts in New York City, which has the largest police force in the country. His mission was to ask a simple and polite question: "How do you go about filing a complaint about police abuse?"
  • The Reckoning

    The Washington Post Magazine reports that "When a white D.C. policeman unwittingly shot a black colleague, the cops in one of the city's toughest precincts came to the brink of a racial conflict and then found their shared humanity... Officer James McGee lay dying. Officer Michael Baker sat dazed, absorbing the news that he had mistaken a cop for a robber. In the aftermath, the ideal of racial integration in the DC police department became a matter of life and death...."