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Because ... 2020.

Think you know how democracy fared in 2020? Test yourself.

The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic calamity will be remembered as the top stories of the year along with an extraordinarily contentious presidential contest — which faced extra challenges from Covid-19 and the incumbent president's unprecedented crusade to discredit American democracy. But the system survived, even as it got set back in some ways and improved at the margins in others.

How well do you remember the big moments in the world of democracy reform this past year? Take this quiz to find out.

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Attorney General William Barr, perhaps the most influential of President Trump's loyal supporters, said there's no evidence of substantial voter fraud.

Trump persists in ignoring democracy's realities, even as Barr abandons him

All six states where President Trump contested his defeat have finalized results showing he lost, fair and square. Forty lawsuits have gone nowhere for lack of evidence anyone cheated. The administration's top election security official was willing to sacrifice his job for concluding this "election was the most secure in American history."

And now the Cabinet member most influentially loyal to the president the past two years, William Barr, has reported that his Justice Department has not uncovered any evidence of the widespread voter fraud Trump alleges — and has seen nothing that might alter the outcome of an election clearly won by Joe Biden.

Under any normal American democratic circumstances, such a clear conclusion from the attorney general delivered four weeks after Election Day would be the belt encircling the suspenders holding up the elastic waistband pants. Instead, the ousted president declared Wednesday: "We will win!"

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Rudy Giuliani and other members of the Trump legal team held a news conference Thursday to discuss its strategy for contesting the election.

Tiny traction for Trump's latest tactic in combating the democratic process

Donald Trump's new double bankshot plan for clinging to the presidency, while demolishing the electoral process and devastating the nation's confidence in democracy, is beginning with a fresh campaign to delay rather than discredit results in a handful of battlegrounds he lost.

It gained a hint of dangerous traction Wednesday night, when both Republican election board members in Detroit asked to reverse their willingness to finalize the count in Michigan's largest county. They said they acted after the president telephoned following their palpably reluctant decisions to vote yes, which ended a tense three-hour partisan standoff just before Tuesday night's deadline.

The board's two Democrats said Thursday it's too late to backtrack, setting up yet another Trump campaign lawsuit hoping to stall the next step in the process: Monday's scheduled certification of results statewide, showing President-elect Joe Biden securing Michigan's 16 electoral votes by a margin above 157,000 votes.

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President Trump on Tuesday night tweet-fired Christopher Krebs as head of the agency overseeing election security, which has labeled this contest "the most secure in American history,"

Recounts and firings further Trump’s crusade, which the public starts buying

President Trump can fire people for false reasons and for free, as he's most recently proved with the dismissal of top federal election security official Christopher Krebs, but now he's decided to put serious money where his election disinformation mouth has been.

On Wednesday the campaign committed $3 million from it's not-so-flush coffers to pay for recounts in the two biggest counties in Wisconsin, saying without evidence they saw the "worst irregularities" in a state where virtually complete returns have President-elect Joe Biden ahead by 21,000 votes. And midnight is the deadline for finishing a hand tally of nearly 5 million votes in Georgia, where the president has picked up about 1,000 votes and may be able to demand a state-funded recount because he's less than half a point behind.

Trump's persistence in challenging his defeat, in its 11th day since the returns became decisive, has not come remotely close to changing the result — because there are no facts backing up his allegations of significant voting fraud in every swing state he lost. But new polling shows Trump is having significant success in his unprecedented-for-a-president campaign to foment distrust in the essential activity of American democracy.

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