New Democracy Maps

Threats Against Election Officials

Beginning during the 2020 election cycle, state and local election officials have been the targets of an alarming increase in violent threats and harassment. Much of this rise can be linked to the proliferation of unfounded claims of voter fraud and rigged elections. As a result, some states have put in place new laws that seek to explicitly protect the election officials who protect our democracy. 

These additional protections may include increased criminal penalties for threatening or harassing officials, interfering with officials in the performance of their duties, or allowing officials to have their personal information exempted from public records. It should be noted that generally applicable state laws may already be in place that can be used to protect election officials and prosecute perpetrators of threats or intimidation.

Our resources on this page track new state laws explicitly intended to protect election officials in response to the recent increase in threats and harassment. 

Related Resources


Democracy Map: Laws Protecting Election Officials Against Threats

This map is intended to track new state laws explicitly intended to protect election officials in response to the recent increase in threats and harassment.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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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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