The NCSL Blog


By Saige Draeger

As sessions wind down throughout most of the country, legislators are swamped with reading bills and figuring out how to vote.

Pen checking off boxes on ballotThis is oftentimes easier said than done.

After all, election legislation is nuanced and complex—a seemingly small change can have ripple effects that extend throughout the voting process, be it before, during or after an election.

To help, the NCSL elections team created a bill rubric, designed to help legislators craft and assess effective legislation. The election bill rubric provides deliberation points intended to give lawmakers a starting point for analysis and discussion.

While every election bill is different, most affect the following five areas in some way:


o Would this bill have a disparate effect on particular groups of voters?

o Would it affect turnout?

o How might it affect voter confidence?

Election Administrators

o How might election officials feel about this bill?

o How might this bill change their timelines, workload or other responsibilities?

Costs and Funding

o How much would implementation cost?

o Who will pay for it?


o How might this bill affect cybersecurity?

o How might it affect physical security?


o Does this bill benefit one party over another?

o Is it an opportunity for bipartisanship?

You can also download a printer-friendly PDF version.

As always, if the elections team can make our resources more valuable, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Saige Draeger is a policy associate in NCSL's Elections Program.

Email Saige.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.