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Voting Itself

Voting is the cornerstone of any democracy. How people vote varies considerably between states. Below are resources on state laws governing voting. 

Early, Absentee/Mail and Electronic Voting

Election Day voting is not the only option. Many states offer days or weeks of early in-person voting, and all states offer absentee, or mail, voting for at least some voters. The electronic transmission of ballots is rarer, but still an option for some military voters (and occasionally others). Below are resources on state laws governing these voting methods in all 50 states and D.C.

Voter ID

Many states require voters to show an I.D. to be able to vote. These laws vary based on the types of I.D. that are accepted and whether states allow alternative ways for a voter to prove their identity. Below are resources on state laws governing voter I.D.

Felon Voting Rights

It has been common practice in the United States to disenfranchise those who have been convicted of felonies, in some cases permanently. Over the last few decades, however, the trend has been toward automatically reinstating the right to vote at some point or establishing a system to permit former felons to request reinstatement. Below is a webpage outlining state laws governing felon voting rights.

Voter Registration

When and how voter registration works varies from state to state, as does how voter lists are maintained and who can access voter lists. Below are resources of state laws governing voter registration and their lists. 

Election Workers

Every year, thousands of election professionals and temporary workers help run local, state and federal elections. Below are resources on state laws governing election workers.

Poll Watchers and Election Observation

Election observers (aka poll watchers) watch election processes in polling places on Election Day in many states. These roles are established to give political parties, the public, and sometimes international organizations confidence in U.S. electoral processes. Below are resources on state laws governing poll challengers and observers.

Certification, Post-Election Audits and Recounts

Elections don’t end after all votes are cast and counted. Election administrators will certify the results and deal with contested elections. Post-election audits to ensure voting machines are operating correctly and recounts may need to be performed. Below are resources relating to state laws governing these post-election processes. 

Primaries, the Electoral College and Alternative Voting Systems

In the United States there are many types of elections, all of which have the same goal of electing a person. However, the way these elections operate vary  from state to state. The pages listed go over state laws governing primary elections, the electoral college and ranked choice voting.

Candidates, Campaigning, Ties and Filling Vacancies

State laws govern many aspects of being a candidate or campaigning, as well as how ties will be resolved and vacancies filled.  Below are resources on laws governing campaigning, filing requirements and how certain vacancies are filled.

Election Administration, Alternative Voting Systems and Emergencies

Much more than filling out and submitting a ballot occurs behind the scenes as election administrators prepare and run elections. Below are resources on laws governing the processes of election administration. 

Election Crimes and Law Enforcement

To ensure that elections accurately reflect the will of the voters, states define and prohibit certain election crimes. Below are resources on state laws governing crimes and prohibitions on certain actions.

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