Movement Advancement Project (MAP)
MAP’s newest project, the Democracy Maps, tracks more than 40 laws and policies related to elections and voting. Our maps are updated in real time as legislatures across the country pass laws that impact voting, elections, and our democracy.
These are the Democracy Maps updates as of June 28, 2023.
▸▸ National Update
On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in Moore v. Harper.
The decision is an outright victory: a complete rejection of the independent state legislature theory (ISLT) and a clear win for American democracy. The Court not only rejected the radical arguments advanced by legislators in North Carolina, they also adopted the pro-democracy position in full.
Read more about the case via Common Cause here.
▸▸ State Policy Updates
Automatic Voter Registration
Washington became the eighth state to implement back-end automatic voter registration, passing a new law updating their previous front-end AVR system. An additional 15 states have front-end AVR, for a total of 23 states with some form of automatic voter registration system.
Back-end AVR works by automatically registering voters when they interact with certain state agencies, like a DMV and has been shown to significantly increase both voter registration rates and voter turnout.
With Washington’s new law, over 1 in 10 voters now live in a state with back-end AVR.
MAP’s report, Automatic Voter Registration Best Practices in the States details state approaches to AVR and examines how differences in implementation of AVR can significantly impact election security and voter turnout.
Democracy Maps | Automatic Voter Registration (AVR)
AVR is a policy that automatically registering eligible voters through their interactions with state agencies, most commonly when people apply for or renew their driver’s licenses.
Voter ID Requirements for In-Person Voting
In Nebraska, following the passage of a ballot measure in 2022 that called for stricter voter ID requirements in the state, the legislature enacted legislation in June 2023 that will require photo ID to be presented in order to vote in person, which creates harmful barriers to voter participation.
Democracy Maps | Voter ID Requirements for In-Person Voting
In a majority of states, voters show some form of identification when casting their ballot in-person. This map displays the landscape of voter ID policies in the U.S.
Note: the new law will not go into effect until April 2024, at which time our map will be updated, and Nebraska will become the 12th state in the category of the strictest voter ID laws in the country.
State Level Voting Rights Acts
Connecticut became the seventh state to implement a state level voting rights act this month, building on a trend in the last four years, when three additional states also passed their own VRAs (Oregon, New York, and Virginia).
Connecticut’s new law is one of the most comprehensive in the country. The state’s VRA includes pre-clearance provisions that apply to local jurisdictions with a history of discrimination, provides new avenues to contest discrimination against voters in court, expands language assistance, and strengthens protections against voter intimidation, among other provisions. However, nearly 4 in 5 voters live in a state that still does not have a statewide voting rights act.
Early In-Person Voting
Connecticut was previously only one of four remaining states that did not offer opportunities for early voting to all voters.
With the passage of the new law, the majority of U.S. voters (over 90%) now live in states that offer early in-person voting.
Democracy Maps | Early Voting Availability
Almost all states offer some form of early voting, but the length of the early voting period varies by state. This map details which states offer early voting for general elections.
Protections for Native American Voters
The Colorado law includes provisions to better facilitate the registration of Native American voters by implementing a process similar to automatic voter registration run through Tribal authorities, as well as expanding opportunities for in-person voting on Tribal lands.
The Nevada law requires that local election officials in the state consult with Tribal authorities regarding policy changes to in-person voting and ballot drop boxes.
Democracy Maps | Native American Voting Protections
Native Americans often face additional obstacles to voting, and only a small number of states have implemented laws specifically designed to address and mitigate these obstacles.
Membership in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC)
In a concerning trend, states continue to withdraw from membership in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a nonpartisan organization created to assist states in maintaining accurate voter registration lists.
Since our May 2023 update, two additional states, Iowa and Virginia, have withdrawn from ERIC — which means that 8 states total have withdrawn from ERIC since 2022.
In addition to these withdrawals, Texas has passed legislation that will facilitate the withdrawal of the state in the future, and Oklahoma passed legislation that prohibits future membership in ERIC. This trend is unfortunately likely to continue as states bow to political pressure and misinformation, despite the fact that ERIC is the best tool available to maintain accurate voter lists and prevent potential voter fraud.
▸▸ MAP Policy Research Updates
MAP recently published policy analysis related to attacks on voting and democracy, the threats that arise from election denialism, and barriers to voting associated with restrictive ID laws.
Under Fire: Erecting Systems and Structural Barriers to Make Change Harder, the third report in its Under Fire series, which focuses on how attacks on voting rights and democracy make it more difficult to advance LGBTQ equality — and to counter anti-LGBTQ attacks.
Read the full report here.
How Election Denialism Threatens Our Democracy and the Safeguards We Need to Defend It, measures the level of risk to each state posed by election denialism, the resulting threats when the proper safeguards are not in place. The report also offers more than 10 recommendations for ways in which states can protect their elections from election deniers.
Read the full report here.
A collaborative brief with Vote Riders highlights MAP’s The ID Divide report, which offers solutions and recommendations for improving access to IDs for everyone.
Read the brief here.
▸▸ More from Democracy Maps
You can stay connected with Democracy Maps by subscribing to our newsletter and following our work via social media on: