Pam Fessler Pam Fessler is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk, where she covers poverty and philanthropy.
Pam Fessler at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., March 19, 2019. (photo by Allison Shelley)
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Pam Fessler

Joseph Byrd, unemployed and living on disability, prepares to pick up groceries at the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger food pantry in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2010. The new experimental poverty measure takes into account cost of living associated with geographic differences. Bebeto Matthews/AP hide caption

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Bebeto Matthews/AP

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says that both parties need to "tone it down." The Republican says he doesn't believe you need to have a voter ID to "provide for voter security." Jay LaPrete/AP hide caption

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Jay LaPrete/AP

Dr. Brenda Williams, right, with her husband, Dr. Joe Williams, in their Sumter, S.C. medical clinic. The two routinely register their patients to vote. Brenda also seeks out new voters at the county jail.

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Pam Fessler/NPR

A Push To Register New Voters Reaches Behind Bars

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Voters stand at the voting booths inside the gymnasium at West Ashley Middle School in Charleston, S.C., in January 2008. This year, South Carolina passed a law requiring voters to show a government-issued photo ID at the polls. It still needs approval from the U.S. Justice Department, but it has voting rights advocates worried.

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Voters waited in long lines in Birmingham, Ala., to cast their ballots in the 2008 presidential elections. But next year, the lines across the country may be longer as state election offices face budget cuts. Butch Dill/AP hide caption

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Butch Dill/AP

New Programs Aim To Close The Wealth Gap

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Census Bureau: Poverty Rate Rises Past 2009 Level

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The nation's poverty rate rose last year to 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 in 2009, according to a new report from the Census Bureau. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Census: 2010 Saw Poverty Rate Increase, Income Drop

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USDA: Increased Food Aid Kept Hunger Rate Steady

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In happier times, Jerry Lewis performs during the MDA telethon on Labor Day in 2005. Jae C. Hong/AP hide caption

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Jae C. Hong/AP

Jerry Lewis speaks during "The Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis" panel at Television Critics Association Tour in Beverly Hills. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images hide caption

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Michigan Department of Human Services caseworker Sandy Satchel works at the Family Independence Agency in Detroit. In the past few years, welfare caseloads have dropped 2 percent in Michigan while unemployment has risen 54 percent, a trend that's reflected in other states. Carlos Osorio/AP hide caption

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Carlos Osorio/AP