The Canvass:  States and Election Reform

Welcome to The CanvassStates and Election Reform®—a newsletter by NCSL for legislatures. The Canvass is designed to synthesize data, legislative practices, and insight from the 50 states and U.S. territories into an executive summary for legislators and key staff. 

We hope The Canvass will give you an edge in perspective as you work to improve your state's elections, and we welcome your feedback. Feel free to call or email us with any questions or comments.   

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Current Issue of The Canvass

The June 2022 edition of The Canvass highlights strategies to protect election systems from cyberattacks and how to minimize damage should an attack occur. Plus, a look into the nation’s largest ballot printing and mailing business, an interview with Hawaii Sen. Karl Rhoads and a compilation of recent enactments.

Topical Index of The Canvass

Featured election articles from past issues of The Canvass can be found in a Topical Index.

Chronological Index of The Canvass


  • June 2022: Elections Cybersecurity: Actions for Legislators
  • May 2022: The Help America Vote Act: 20 Years Later
  • April 2022: 7 Considerations for Talking to Your Constituents About Elections
  • March 2022: The What, Why and How of Voter List Maintenance
  • February 2022: When Redistricting Is Complete, What’s Next? Election Administrators Get Busy
  • January 2022: 2021 Legislative Action on Elections


  • December 2021: Back to Session: Legislators Get Homework in Four Election Recommendation Reports
  • November 2021: Local Election Officials Feel the Heat—And What Legislators Can Do About It
  • October 2021: Voter ID: Where Are We Going, Where Have We Been?
  • September 2021: Election Tech Providers Offer Advice on Cybersecurity and More
  • August 2021: The What, Why and How of Election Audits
  • July 2021: Voting is for All Americans, Including Those Living Abroad
  • June 2021: Legislative Focus Shifts from Voter Experience to Everything Else
  • May 2021: The Battle Over Election Emergency Powers: Legislative vs. Executive Branches
  • April 2021: Don't Sleep on Election Cybersecurity (Cyber Criminals Won't)
  • March 2021: Primary Changes: The Hot Trend of 2021?
  • February 2021: Then and Now: Election Policies in 2000 and 2020
  • January 2021: 2020 Legislative Actions on Elections





  • November 2017: Cybersecurity for Elections: Everyone's Responsibility
  • September 2017: Common Data Formats: What's in them for Legislators?
  • July 2017: Elections Security: A Priority for Everyone
  • June 2017: Voter ID: Back to the Future?
  • May 2017: Is Vote-By-Mail for your State?
  • March 2017: Ranked Choice Voting Has Its Red Carpet Moment in 2017
  • February 2017: Avalanche of Election Bills Introduced in 2017.
  • January 2017: Special Edition: Expert Predictions for 2017


  • December 2016: That's a Wrap on 2016-But What Happened in Legislatures?
  • October 2016: The Watchers Watching Elections
  • September 2016 Special Edition: Security and Elections: What Legislators Need to Know
  • July/August 2016: What is Automatic Voter Registration Anyway? What the Experts Say
  • June 2016: Uniformity in Voting Systems: Looking at the Crazy Quilt of Election Technology
  • May 2016: Voter Registration is All About Residency (and Domicile)
  • April 2016: Election Dates May or May Not Matter
  • March 2016: Dude-I'm Way Too Depressed About The Future to Vote
  • February 2016: It's a Presidential Election Year: Do You Know Where Your Voter Records Are?
  • January 2016: Legislative Vacancies: A Patchwork of Laws for Patching Holes in State Legislatures


  • November-December 2015: Election Funding for 2020 and Beyond.
  • October 2015: The Facts on 10 Common Election Misconceptions
  • September 2015: State Legislation and the Voting Rights Act: Past, Present and Future
  • August 2015: Presidential Ballot Access: 50 Shades of Law
  • July 2015: Internet Voting: Creeping Our Way?
  • June 2015: Burning Questions at NCSL's Policy and Elections Technology Conference
  • May 2015: Elections Technology: Nine Things Legislators May Want to Know
  • April 2015: Elections, Meet Academia; Academia, Meet Elections
  • March 2015: Linking Driving and Voting Records
  • February 2015: Looking Ahead—2015 Elections Legislation
  • January 2015: Expert Predictions for 2015






  • December 2010: The Election Season Gets Longer and Longer
  • August 2010: Ten Years Since the Florida Election Meltdown - Could it Happen Again?
  • July 2010: Vote-By-Mail: Fiscally Fashionable?
  • June 2010: State Voting Laws and the Mentally Disabled
  • March 2010: The Real Cost of Voter Registration: Oregon Case Study


  • December 2009: States Confront Military and Overseas Ballot Mandates
  • October 2009: Indiana Courts Strike Down Photo ID Requirement
  • June 2009: Registration "Modernization" Proposals Take Center Stage
  • March 2009: Arizona Leads The Way As Military And Overseas e-Voting Gains Momentum
  • January 2009: 2008 Election Recap


  • October 2008: Nonresident Property Owners and Voting in Local Elections: A Paradigm Shift?
  • August 2008: Election Emergencies Happen
  • July 2008: Tennessee and Ohio Enact Major Bipartisan Election Reform
  • May 2008: Supreme Court Upholds Indiana Law Requiring Photo ID to Vote
  • April 2008: What Should States Do About Voting Equipment

Additional Resources