JUST RELEASED: New Democracy Maps

Democracy Maps


The Democracy Maps track state election laws and policies and create a detailed roadmap of how states can optimize civic engagement and protect the security, integrity and independence of our elections. The Democracy Maps dive deep into more than 40 aspects of state election and voting laws, making it easy to see the states that are ensuring democracy thrives, the states that are falling woefully short, and the incredible difference in access to voting and election independence across the states. Policies tracked include the categories of voter registration, representation & participation, voting in person, voting by mail, election security and election independence & integrity. 

United States Map
Washington New York U.S. Virgin Islands Puerto Rico Guam Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands American Samoa New Hampshire Vermont Virginia Pennsylvania New York Maine West Virginia Ohio Kentucky Indiana Michigan Illinois Wisconsin North Carolina South Carolina Tennessee Georgia Florida Mississippi Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Iowa Minnesota Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska South Dakota North Dakota Texas 33 Colorado Wyoming Montana Idaho Arizona Utah Nevada Oregon California Hawaii Alaska Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut New Jersey Delaware Maryland Washington D.C. New Hampshire Vermont

Voting Laws & Policies by Category

Who Votes

Voter Registration

Voter registration policies such as automatic and online registration work to determine the eligible electorate in each state, which is often unduly restricted before elections even begin.

Representation & Participation

Representation and Participation encompasses both policy and data points related to the electorate, such as registration and turnout rate, as well as tracking state primary election systems and voting rights for formerly incarcerated people.

How to Vote

Voting in Person

Many voters still cast their ballot at a traditional polling place. The availability of early voting, restrictive voter ID requirements, and provisional ballot policies all have an impact on a voter’s ability to access the ballot.

Voting by Mail

As an increasing number of voters cast their ballots by mail, states that have adopted no-excuse absentee voting and full vote by mail elections allow more opportunities for participation. Other policies such as the availability of drop boxes also have an impact on access.

Protecting the Vote

Election Security

States that prioritize election security employ voting machine systems that include verifiable paper ballots, and also have systems in place for post-election audits to detect and address anomalies, and that can provide independent audits and verify results when election results are challenged.

Independence & Integrity

These maps highlight state laws and policies that protect the vote and ensure voters are not disenfranchised, and that election results are accurate as well as protected from partisan or foreign interference.

Data current as of 10/29/2021
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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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