Also: Can we go electric before it’s too late? And how Manhattan became a rich ghost town.

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What We’re Following

Spell it out: The November elections are nearly three weeks away, but roughly half of all states have already closed the books for voter registration. In fact, in the past decade, 24 different states have passed new restrictions on voting, the most common among them being voter ID laws. Now even people with driver’s licenses could face problems casting their ballots come November 6.

That’s certainly the case in Georgia this year. After the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, the state reinstated its “exact match” program, which suspends a person’s voting status if their voter registration form doesn’t precisely match their state driver’s license and social security number. A potential mismatch could come from common nicknames, hyphens, or even a simple typo from a county election official inputting registration data. More than 51,000 people’s voting statuses have been left in limbo, and now civil rights organizations are suing the state. Today on CityLab, Brentin Mock explains how dismantling the Voting Rights Act helped Georgia discriminate again.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Can We Go Electric Before It’s Too Late?

Plugging in cars and trucks will be critical to averting climate catastrophe, according to the IPCC. How far has the U.S. come?

Rebecca Bellan

How Manhattan Became a Rich Ghost Town

New York’s empty storefronts are a dark omen for the future of cities.

Derek Thompson

Is Sydney’s Opera House a Billboard?

After a horse race ad was projected onto the structure’s iconic roof earlier this week, protestors took to the streets in objection to the commodification of their beloved building.

Annette Lin

How a Booming City Can Be More Equitable

In Durham, North Carolina, abandoned factories are becoming tech hubs and microbreweries. But building a shared commitment to its most vulnerable citizens could be a trickier feat of redevelopment.

Barry Yeoman

San Francisco’s Scooter War Is Over, and the Scooters Won

Shared e-scooters have returned to the Bay Area. But is regulation enough to make them work in the long term?

Alexis C. Madrigal


After the Storm

Mexico Beach, Florida, before and after Hurricane Michael. (NOAA)

These photos from NOAA show the devastation that Hurricane Michael brought to the Florida Panhandle last week. Viewed from above, you can see how the storm ravaged entire neighborhoods and towns. But other parts of Florida benefitted from stringent building codes, constructed to better withstand the storm. Take a look at the storm’s brutal but uneven impact in these before-and-after photos of Michael’s destruction.


What We’re Reading

Uber and Lyft drivers fear getting “deactivated” (San Francisco Chronicle)

A record number of New York City students are experiencing homelessness (New York Times)

As e-scooters roll into American cities, so do safety concerns (NPR)

Welcome to the physical cloud: How robots and drones will change retail forever (Wall Street Journal)


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