Democracy Maps Updates: July 2022
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 July 2022.
Recent legislative trends that are harmful for democracy are restrictions on ballot drop boxes and restrictive voter ID requirements. See our issue brief on additional policy trends shaping voting and elections this year.
Democracy Maps for voter ID policies (left) and ballot drop box policies and availability (right)
State Policy Updates
- Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a ruling earlier this month in Teigen v. Wisconsin Election Commission which effectively bans ballot drop boxes in the state. The ruling also imposed new harsh restrictions on ballot collection. See our previous issue brief on ballot drop boxes.
The Battle Over Ballot Drop Boxes
In advance of the 2022 midterms, ballot drop boxes are back in the spotlight with several states restricting ballot…
- Missouri enacted a new omnibus election law which makes a number of concerning changes, including new restrictive voter ID requirements and a prohibition on ballot drop boxes. The law also implements a positive change to two weeks of early in-person voting. While changes will not immediately take effect for the upcoming Aug. 2 primary election they will be in place for the November elections.
- Rhode Island enacted the “Let Rhode Island Vote Act,” which makes a number of positive changes, including codifying no-excuse absentee voting, establishing an online portal for absentee applications, expanding the use of ballot drop boxes, and repealing the requirement that voters obtain witness signatures for absentee ballots.
- Massachusetts enacted the VOTES Act, which implements numerous positive policies, including no-excuse absentee voting, expanding the number of early voting days, an online portal for absentee applications, implementing back-end automatic voter registration and allowing more time for voters to register prior to Election Day.
- New York enacted a state level voting rights act, arguably the most comprehensive in the country, prohibiting voter dilution, suppression, intimidation, deception, or obstruction and requires jurisdictions with a history of civil or voting rights violations to seek pre-clearance for changes to important election policies and practices. New York now joins 5 other states with a state level voting rights act.
- Colorado passed a law providing protections for election officials in response to the unprecedented rise in threats, harassment, and intimidation. Only two other states (Maine and Oregon) have enacted this kind of law. See our issue brief: Protecting the Election Officials Who Protect Our Democracy.
Protecting the Election Officials Who Protect Our Democracy
Across the U.S. state and local election officials have been met with a wave of threats and intimidation unparalleled…
- Louisiana joins a growing number of states implementing harmful bans on ballot drop boxes. In positive news, the state also enacted a new process for voters to correct errors with their ballots (also known as “curing”).
- New Hampshire enacted new restrictive voter ID requirements; the changes will not take effect until 2023. Voting rights groups have already filed lawsuits challenging the new law.
- Delaware: Legislation awaiting the Governor’s signature in Delaware would implement no-excuse absentee voting for the first time in the state, as well as allow same-day voter registration.
Democracy Maps Policy Research
Our newest policy spotlight was just released: Automatic Voter Registration Best Practices in the States. The report details state approaches to automatic voter registration (AVR) and examines how differences in implementation of AVR can significantly impact election security and voter turnout.
Policy Spotlight: Automatic Voter Registration Is Good for Democracy, But How It is Done Matters
While it is not a policy that often makes headlines, automatic voter registration (AVR) is an integral part of a…
MAP released an issue brief: How States Rank on Voting & Democracy Compared to LGBTQ Equality. This issue brief draws on our Democracy Maps and our Equality Maps to emphasize how voting rights are interwoven with LGBTQ Equality.