Hannah McCarthy | New Hampshire Public Radio

Hannah McCarthy

Producer

Hannah McCarthy first came to NHPR an intern in 2015, returned as a Fellow the following year and then bounced around as a reporter and producer before landing as co-host of Civics 101. She has reported on everything from the opioid epidemic to State House politics to haunted woods of New Hampshire. 

Hannah comes to NHPR from Braintree, Massachusetts by way of Vermont, where she studied theater, and New York, where she studied journalism. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine and the Vineyard Gazette. 

Sara Plourde/NHPR

The peaceful transition of power is a central tenet of American democracy. It has long been a point of pride for this nation that even in times of deep political strife the sitting president accepts the election of a new leader, and, if abashedly, steps down without protest.

Sara Plourde/NHPR

Today we're answering a listener question about certifying the Electoral College vote. Namely: what is with all of the downtime between the date when the electors meet to vote and the day those votes get counted in Congress? Is it a holdover from the days of slow travel and horse drawn carriage? Is it about our molasses bureaucracy? 

Read on or listen to this short episode for the answer.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

  Today we're answering a listener question about nominating conventions: would a contested convention be similar to a caucus? Read on or listen to this short episode for the answer.

Ask Civics 101 graphic
Sara Plourde | NHPR

Today we’re answering a question from a listener who asks: When voting statistics such as gender, race and education level are released post election, how was that determined? Is my individual vote traced back to me?

Do you have a question for the Civics 101 team? Submit it here!

Today we're answering a listener question about voter fraud - namely, what is it and how often does it actually happen?

Read on, or listen to this short episode for the answer.

Do you have a question for the Civics 101 team? Submit it here!

Today's listener question: how does the Electoral College vote?

Listen to our quick episode or continue reading for the answer.

Today's listener question: What do the National Archives have to do with the Electoral College?  Read on, or listen to this short podcast episode for the answer.

Do you have a question about American democracy? Ask us and we'll track down the answer!

Today's listener question: Can you explain the role of the Solicitor General and how if at all that position has changed over time?  Read on, or listen to this short podcast episode for the answer.

Have a question about democracy you've been itching to ask? Do it!
" class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

 

Today's Ask Civics 101 question: How is it that Georgia is electing both U.S. Senators in the same year (and while we're at it, if the Senate has a 50-50 Democrat-GOP split, is there a majority leader)?  

Read on, or listen to this short podcast episode for the answer.

Do you have a question about democracy burning a hole in your pocket? Ask us!

Today’s Ask Civics 101 question: What happens to campaign funds after an election is over?

Read on, or listen to this short episode for the answer.

Do you have a question for the Civics 101 team? Click here to submit it.

Today's Ask Civics 101 question: What is an executive order? Read on, or listen to this short podcast episode for the answer.

Do you have a question for the Civics 101 team? Click here to submit it.

Today's Ask Civics 101 question: how do judicial appointments and elections work? Read on, or listen to this short podcast episode for the answer.

Do you have a question for the Civics 101 team? Click here to submit it.

Today's Ask Civics 101 question: What’s the difference between a justice who is a strict textualist/strict constructionist and the more liberal justices?

Read on, or listen to this short podcast episode for the answer.

Do you have a question for the Civics 101 team? Click here to submit it.

Today, we’re tackling a big what-if question. A listener wrote in to ask: What is the likelihood that we will get rid of the electoral college system? Is anyone actively working toward that goal?

Read on, or listen to this short episode for the answer.

Do you have a question for the Civics 101 team? Click here to submit it.

We should first establish what it is we’re talking about here.

As with so many things this year, the 2020 Election has required us to adjust expectations, particularly around when we'll know the winner of the presidential election.

One question that's top of mind right now: How are ballots counted?

Do you have a question for the team? Click here to submit it.

Election Night in the U.S. is typically like watching a high-stakes sporting event -- two teams going head to head, and by the end of the night we know the winner. Of course, in this case, it’s the networks that call it. This year, with the enormous volume of mail-in ballots, the decision to call that winner is going to be more fraught than usual.

 

 

We take it for granted that the voting age is 18 in the United States, but it hasn’t always been this way. We lowered that age from 21 in the seventies — so does that mean we could lower it again? Who gets to make that decision?

The constitution, that original document ratified in 1789, doesn’t say anything about how old someone had to be to vote, as it granted all powers to set voting requirements to the states.

Feeling anxious about the upcoming general election? Got questions about what happens after? About peaceful transitions of power, Inauguration Day, appointments and more? Great. That's what we thought. Now's your chance to ask them! Starting November 4th (the day after Election Day), we'll be answering as many of your questions as we can, on the air, in podcast form and right here on nhpr.org. What're you waiting for? Submit your question through the form below. Having trouble seeing or using the form?

 It's the highest court in the land. An entity with so much influence over federal law that the appointment of a new justice can cause an almost existential reaction among lawmakers and the public alike. How is it possible, then, that Alexander Hamilton thought of the Supreme Court as "beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power"?

 

 

In the United States, campaign season begins long before primaries and caucuses, and ages before the general election. In the past few presidential elections, some people announced their candidacy nearly two years before election day.

Get the latest political reporting from NHPR - sign up for our Primary Politics newsletter today!

It's an oft-lobbed claim. "We're not a democracy, we're a republic." And it's half true! We are a republic. But we're also a democracy.

What does that actually mean, and why is the question important? For our first-ever Ask Civics 101, we're answering a question that listeners have been asking since the show's inception: what are we?

Columbia University Archives

Barbara Follett became an overnight success when she wrote The House Without Windows in 1927, with one review calling it “almost unbearably beautiful.” Barbara was a star... at just 12 years old.  

Barbara Follett was Stefan Cooke's mother’s half-sister. Stefan says he hadn’t heard much about Barbara as a child. When he started a genealogy project a few years ago, the plan was to research the whole family. But it was Barbara’s story that really grabbed him. And then found her papers archived at Columbia University.

Unsung: Ona Judge

Apr 3, 2019

Ona Judge isn’t a household name. Perhaps, in part, because she exemplifies our nation’s shameful past. Judge was Martha Washington’s slave -- her personal handmaid. For most of the 1790s, the President and his family lived in the nation’s capital of Philadelphia. Ona Judge occupied a room over the kitchen. 

That is, until dinnertime on May 21st, 1796, when she stepped outside and never looked back. Two days later, an ad appeared in the Philadelphia Gazette offering a ten dollar reward for her return.  

 

For the latest in our Only in New Hampshire series, we’re taking on a question from listener Meg Miles. She asks: Why is New Hampshire the only state in the region without a bottle deposit

What does that list of state abbreviations on your beer bottle mean? And why didn't New Hampshire make the cut?

On today's show, we dig into the decades-long fight for, and against, bottle deposit laws -- in New Hampshire, and across the country. 

For nearly two decades, the Furniture Masters of New Hampshire have been leading a program at the state men's prison in Concord. They teach a woodworking skill to inmates in the hobby shop, and return a month later to check on the progress.

For some inmates, these workshops have opened the door to mastering the craft of furniture making; and to a changed perspective on the world.

On this week's episode, we hear from these inmates, and from a UNH professor and woodworker wants to bring the same skills to incarcerated women.

Laurie Shaull, courtsey Flickr CC: https://bit.ly/2lrvtMI

Bloody footprints. A rifle thrown to the floor. Bodies splayed across the bedroom. It's a gruesome scene. Still, you might have to squint to make it all out. Because this murder is in miniature... Today on the show, a profile of Frances Glessner Lee, called "the Mother of Forensic Science," and her famous crime-scene dioramas. Plus, a visit to a Juneteenth Day event in Nashua and the next installment in our NH license plate culture.  It's a Word of Mouth smorgasbord!

Barbara Follett had done more by the age of 25 than many will do in their lifetime. Including vanishing. Today on the show, the disappearance of an American prodigy... and how we forgot her. Plus, the rediscovery of the first known published African American in the country -- a woman from New Hampshire -- and how one woman figured out how to bring LGBTQ pride back to Concord year after year.

tupperware party
State Library and Archives of Florida

In the early 1940s, an inventor from Berlin, New Hampshire, created a container made of refined polyethylene, an odorless, non-toxic plastic. He called the material “Poly-T.” A few years later, he designed an airtight lid.

NHPR and The Music Hall Present Writers on a New England Stage with Katy Tur. Tur's memoir, Unbelievable, recalls the relentless pace of reporting on the unprecedented Trump presidential campaign for NBC and MSNBC. Tur became a fixation for Trump as he ratcheted up hostility against the media. Tur stood up to Trump's taunting on Twitter and his calling her out at rallies.

Pages