New Democracy Maps

Voting Policy Resources

Voting is an important and deeply meaningful part of what it means to be an American. It’s experienced as a right and a responsibility that gives people a voice in the decisions that impact our lives and a say in how we are governed. 

As our nation has changed over the past decades, however, our election system has largely stayed the same. Many of the advances that have transformed the way we live have not been used to modernize the way we vote. And in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is growing urgency to ensure that that our elections are safe, secure and successful—and that every eligible American can register, vote and make their voice heard without putting their health or the health of others at risk.

Fortunately, election officials and voters across the country are supporting a number of proven policies—like mail voting, absentee voting, and automatic voter registration—that can help make our elections safe, accessible and secure. MAP has developed a series of resources to build understanding of how pro-voter policies help safeguard our democracy and the integrity of our elections, so that every citizen has the opportunity to vote and have their vote counted.

Related Resources


Diverging Democracy: the Battle Over Key State Election Laws Since 2020

June 2024 - This report details opposing policy trends since 2020 that have impacted how voters cast their ballots and the security and independence of our elections.


Election Year Trends: Voting and Democracy Policies to Watch in 2024

March 2024 - In this brief, MAP analyzes trends in election administration and voting policies that have emerged in statehouses in 2024.


Freedom Under Fire: the Far Right's Battle to Control America

March 2024 - This report connects the dots on extremist politicians’ attempts to fundamentally remake this country. The report further outlines the tightening restrictions on voting rights that limit the political power to fight back.


Super Tuesday Preview: the Voting Landscape in Four Key States

February 2024 - This brief details the state of voting and election policies in Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia in advance of Super Tuesday on March 5.


How States Can Empower Young Voters and Remove Barriers to the Ballot

February 2024 - This Q&A with Brian Hinkle, MAP’s Senior Voting Policy Researcher, highlights key findings from our Democracy Maps report on youth voting.


A Silenced Generation: How the Power of the Youth Vote Collides with Barriers to Voting

January 2024 - This report examines specific barriers that young voters face, what states can do to support young voters, and how each state’s election policies impact this important demographic.


Democracy Wrapped: Five Key Takeaways from Voting and Election Policy in 2023

December 2023 - This play-by-play of 2023’s major democracy trends details five key policy areas. We also look to the year ahead and forecast new developments that will further shape our democracy in 2024 — for better or worse.


Unfair Voter Roll Purging is Legal in Several States and Impacts One-Third of Americans

October 2023 - A new Democracy Map provides a real-time tracking tool for this harmful policy and highlights states that initiate voter removal based on inactivity in recent elections.


Most States Lack Specific Protections Against Election Disinformation

September 2023 - A new Democracy Map highlights where clear policies are in place to help prevent the spread of disinformation as we move towards the 2024 election.


Nearly Every Battleground State is at Risk of Election Denialism Interfering in 2024

August 2023 - This piece by Brian Hinkle, MAP’s senior voting policy researcher, is cross-posted from the Fulcrum and highlights findings from MAP's report on election denialism.


State of Democracy: 2023 Mid-Year Legislative Wrap Up

July 2023 - This brief takes a look back at which states saw the most change in early 2023 in our Democracy Tally, both positive and negative, as well as examining policy trends in voting and elections.


Under Fire: Erecting Systemic and Structural Barriers to Make Change Harder

June 2023 - The third report in this series details how fast, furious political attacks on LGBTQ people are connected to ongoing attacks on voting rights and democracy overall, which have also increased in recent years.


How Barriers to ID Impact Different Communities and Restrict Democracy

June 2023 - Identity documents can serve important functions, but they should not and must not be an obstacle to accessing basic needs and services or participating in civic and daily life.


How Election Denialism Threatens Our Democracy and the Safeguards We Need to Defend It

May 2023 - Detailing the level of risk to each state posed by election denialism and the resulting threats when the proper safeguards are not in place, this report offers over 10 recommendations for ways in which states can protect their elections.


State of Democracy 2022: Year in Review

December 2022 - In this post, MAP looks back at which states have seen the most change in 2022 in our Democracy Tally, for better or for worse, and policy trends in voting and elections.


Midterm Election 2022: How Direct Democracy Impacted Voting and Election Rules

November 2022 - This analysis explains how, along with shifting control of state governments across the country, the results of the 2022 midterms will play a significant role in shaping democracy as we head into the next election in 2024.


Counting All the Votes: When to Expect Election Results and Why It Takes Time

November 2022 - How quickly a state can tabulate election results depends on several variables such as the margin of the races, overall turnout, the percent of votes that are mail votes, and whether or not mail ballot have been pre-processed.


Breaking Trends on Election Day

November 2022 - Voters are motivated by the gravity of the issues at stake in this election, including abortion access and the health of our democracy itself.


Changes to Mail Voting Rules Could Impact Midterm Election Results in Multiple States

November 2022 - Voters in many states are casting their mail ballots under a different set of rules than in 2020. In battleground states like Florida, Georgia, and Nevada, these changes to mail voting policies have the potential to swing election results.


Threatening Democracy: Voter Intimidation in the U.S.

November 2022 - State laws and policies can protect against voter intimidation, ignore it, or even increase it. As detailed in this policy spotlight, we recommend states combat voter intimidation through a set of key policies.


State of Democracy Spotlight: Wisconsin

October 2022 - Our last spotlight features Wisconsin, a state to watch this November. The state’s gubernatorial election is also set to have an outsized influence on the health of democracy in Wisconsin going forward.


State of Democracy Spotlight: Pennsylvania

October 2022 - This spotlight features Pennsylvania. With a Senate seat and governorship being decided on by voters, as well as control of the state legislature, the 2022 election will decide if the state’s democracy will rebound or continue to decline in the years ahead.


State of Democracy Spotlight: Arizona

October 2022 - This post spotlights Arizona, an important state to watch this November. Voters will decide a Senate race in addition to their next governor and secretary of state. Keep reading to learn more about Arizona's state of democracy.


State of Democracy Spotlight: Michigan

October 2022 - This spotlight outlines how Michigan ranks in the six categories of policies we track and details which voting and election laws Michigan has in place. Read more to learn about the state's current voting landscape.


State of Democracy Spotlight: Georgia

September 2022 - This spotlight outlines policies that will impact what voting may look like in Georgia this fall and summarize how voting and election laws have changed since the 2020 election, for better or for worse.


State of Democracy Spotlight: Florida

September 2022 - This spotlight outlines the current voting landscape in Florida, key issues that are coming up in the state, and why it matters for the overall state of democracy in this country.


Five Approaches to Actually Secure U.S. Elections

September 2022 - Details five policy approaches that states should adopt to secure elections and ensure that eligible voters can cast their votes.


Abortion Access and Voting Rights: How Compromised State Democracies Allow Extreme Policy Positions

July 2022 - Comparison of the Democracy Maps landscape of state voting and election laws with the current state of reproductive rights in America.


Automatic Voter Registration Is Good for Democracy, But How It is Done Matters

July 2022 - In a country where we have seen numerous razor-thin election margins, the impact of automatic voter registration (AVR) on registration and turnout rates has the potential to significantly impact election results.


How States Rank on Voting & Democracy Compared to LGBTQ Equality

June 2022 - To mark this Pride Month, Movement Advancement Project (MAP) is bringing our two mapping projects together to look at the interconnections between voting and democracy and LGBTQ equality.


Litigating the Right to Vote: Seven Important Court Cases to Watch in 2022

June 2022 - These seven court cases could have a profound impact in shaping voting and elections in America.


Automatic Voter Registration Best Practices in the States

June 2022 - This policy spotlight details state approaches to automatic voter registration (AVR) and examines how differences in implementation of AVR can significantly impact election security and voter turnout.


Democracy Maps

The Democracy Maps track more than 40 laws and policies related to voting and elections around the United States.


The 10 policy trends transforming voting & Elections in america

April 2022 - This report examines a number of legislative proposals across the United States that seek to make policy changes in three main areas: registration & eligibility, casting a vote, and vote counting & certification.

Blog Post

Protecting the Election Officials Who Protect Our Democracy

February 2022 - In response to a wave of threats and violence against election officials, the federal government as well as state legislatures are moving to better protect election officials.

Blog Post

The Battle Over Ballot Drop Boxes

February 2022 - Amid the contentious rhetoric surrounding the 2020 election, this blog post describes how some federal and state elected officials sought to misrepresent drop boxes as contributing to voter fraud.


How the Freedom to Vote Act Would Improve Democracy in the States

January 2022 - This brief outlines some of the emerging threats to the independence and integrity of our democracy and shows the startling difference in access to voting and democracy by state.


State of Democracy: How Election Laws Differ Across the Country

November 2021 - This report provides findings and analysis on the disparities in election systems in the U.S. based on the Democracy Maps.


Making Vote By Mail Work for Everyone

June 2020 - This report provides an overview of how vote by mail works, how it can be implemented securely, and why the option is an important advancement to safeguard the accessibility and integrity of U.S. elections.


Talking About Pro-Voter Policies

April 2021 - Learn about approaches for talking about pro-voter policies and the importance of connecting on shared values around voting; addressing concerns about the security of our elections; making the case for solutions rooted in fairness, accessibility and security; and illustrating how these solutions help everyday Americans make their voices heard.


Video: How Automated Verification & Registration Works

February 2018 - Created by MAP and the Center for Secure and Modern Elections, this short video gives an overview of how Automated Verification & Registration makes voter registration more convenient, more secure, more accurate and more efficient.


Infographic: How Does Automated Verification & Registration Work?

February 2018 - This graphic provides an overview of the five easy steps involved in Automated Verification & Registration, which automatically updates an eligible voter’s registration when they change their address with the post office or at the DMV, making our voting rolls more accurate and voting more convenient for everyday Americans.

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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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