Bente Birkeland

Rocky Mountain News Radio

Bente Birkeland is a reporter for Rocky Mountain News Radio.

Bente Birkeland appears in the following:

Minnesota to join at least 4 other states in protecting transgender care this year

Friday, April 21, 2023

In 2023, a record number of states have passed rules or legislation to eliminate youth gender-affirming care, but a record number of states have also moved to protect care for trans youth and adults.


The math behind Dominion Voting System's $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News

Friday, April 14, 2023

If Dominion prevails in its massive defamation suit against Fox News, a big challenge for the voting tech company will be to demonstrate that it deserves more than $1 billion in damages.


Colorado is passing the most significant package of gun legislation in state history

Monday, April 03, 2023

Hundreds of school kids marched on Colorado's capitol twice in the wake of two school shootings. Now, after Nashville, three gun control bills on the cusp of passing are being hotly debated.


Clerks battle false claims as they prepare to administer elections

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Even though it wasn't a swing state in 2020, Colorado has been at the forefront of false claims that the election was stolen.


Candidates compete eagerly for Colorado's new congressional district seat

Friday, October 14, 2022

Colorado's new congressional district was drawn to be highly competitive. Its election pits a Latina Democrat against a Republican who became a politician to fight environmental injustice.


The election denial movement is now going door to door

Thursday, July 21, 2022

In Colorado, canvassers have been knocking on doors in some communities to determine whether people actually voted. The effort is raising concerns about voter intimidation.


Some who think 2020's election was stolen are going door-to-door to audit the results

Thursday, July 14, 2022

People who falsely believe the 2020 election was stolen are knocking on doors around the country to determine whether people actually voted. The effort is raising concerns about voter intimidation.


An election denier in Colorado is running for secretary of state

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Tina Peters — a local Republican election clerk who has been indicted on 10 charges of election tampering and misconduct — is running for Colorado's top election job in Tuesday's primary.


Colorado Democrats look to crack down on insider election threats and misinformation

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

One controversial provision would ban anyone overseeing elections from knowingly or recklessly making false statements about the process. That's raised First Amendment concerns.


Colorado clerk is indicted for election tampering and misconduct

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

The indictment of Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and her deputy on a laundry list of felony and misdemeanor charges is related to an election security breach in her office last year.


Colorado's first lawmaker to use a wheelchair will finally get to wield the gavel

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

State Rep. David Ortiz was paralyzed from the waist down while serving in Afghanistan. To give him access to the House podium, legislative staff say they have built the first lift of its kind.


This Denver Christmas caroling quartet has been singing together for nearly 4 decades

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The Colorado Caroling Company shares the joy of performing holiday favorites for appreciative audiences.


To try to convert an election skeptic, a county clerk invited her to help the process

Friday, November 12, 2021

Election officials are trying to win over voter trust that ballots are handled and counted securely. In Colorado, a clerk went so far as to invite one skeptic to work at his office to see for herself.


The committees intended to combat gerrymandering can look very different per state

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

More states have adopted redistricting commissions as an antidote to gerrymandering over the past decade. Depending on the state, commissions look and function very differently. Are they working?


Colorado Gov. Jared Polis' Wedding Marks 1st Same-Sex Marriage Of Sitting Governor

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, who in 2018 became the first openly gay man ever elected governor in the U.S., wed his longtime partner on Wednesday.


Voting Data From A Colorado County Was Leaked Online. Now The Clerk Is In Hiding

Friday, September 03, 2021

A county clerk in Colorado is under investigation after sensitive information about the county's voting machines appeared on conspiracy websites.


After Data Is Posted On Conspiracy Site, Colorado County's Voting Machines Are Banned

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Colorado officials are pointing the finger at the Mesa County clerk, who's currently attending a conference promoting claims that the 2020 election was rigged.


Concerns Persist As Independent Commissions Redraw Voting Districts In Some States

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Independent redistricting commissions are more popular than ever, but some states in which Democrats have political control — like Colorado — are starting to regret giving up map-making power.


Lawmakers Push For Protest Restrictions In The Year Since George Floyd's Killing

Monday, May 24, 2021

Republicans in more than 30 states have introduced bills to criminalize or limit the rights of protesters. Simultaneously, some Democratic-led states are working to better protect protesters.


Coloradans Worry About Mental Health Effects Of Some Pot Products

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Reports of psychosis associated with new cannabis concentrates have half a dozen states proposing new regulations They're also proposing more taxes to fund research about the unknowns in concentrates.