Basic Briefing

The Fair Elections Debate

The debate focuses on how to make voting as fair as possible. Is voting fraud an issue in the US? What is the best way to protect voter integrity without making it unreasonably difficult for certain people to vote? Are Voter ID Laws an example of voter protection or voter suppression?

Official Democratic position

The Democratic Party “will continue to fight against discriminatory voter identification laws, which disproportionately burden young voters, diverse communities, people of color, low-income families, people with disabilities, the elderly, and women.” They support ending “long lines at voting booths and ensuring that all registration materials, voting materials, polling places, and voting machines are truly accessible…”

Official Republican position

The Republican Party supports “legislation to require proof of citizenship when registering to vote and secure photo ID when voting” because of their concern that “some voting procedures may be open to abuse.” They also support “state efforts to ensure ballot access for the elderly, the handicapped, military personnel, and all legitimate voters.”

Institutional framework

At the federal level, the Election Assistance Commission is responsible for creating voting guidelines and certifying voting systems under the Help Americans Vote Act. The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice investigates voting complaints about possible violations to federal voting rights laws.

At the state level, each Secretary of State’s office is in charge of investigating voting complaints. There are also independent groups like the Election Protection Hotline that deal with complaints such as voter intimidation, voter challenges, and misinformation.

Most Vocal on Fair Elections

These are the candidates who focus on this issue the most, with the most liberal on this issue on the left and the most conservative on this issue on the right. Click on the circles to see more information.

Jeff Flake | Candidate for US Senate, primary (2018) in Arizona (AZ) | Crowdpac Angus King | Candidate for US Senate, primary (2018) in Maine (ME) | Crowdpac Tony Strickland | Candidate for State Assembly, (25th District), primary (2018) in California (CA) | Crowdpac Matt Salmon | 5th Congressional District (2014) in Arizona (AZ) | Crowdpac John Larson | Candidate for 1st Congressional District (2018) in Connecticut (CT) | Crowdpac Ted Deutch | Candidate for 22nd Congressional District, primary (2018) in Florida (FL) | Crowdpac Alan Grayson | Candidate for 11th Congressional District, primary (2018) in Florida (FL) | Crowdpac Ted Cruz | Candidate for US Senate, primary (2018) in Texas (TX) | Crowdpac Reid Ribble | 8th Congressional District (2014) in Wisconsin (WI) | Crowdpac Beto O'Rourke | Candidate for US Senate, primary (2018) in Texas (TX) | Crowdpac

The Spectrum on Fair Elections

These are the candidates who are most liberal, most conservative, and most moderate on this specific issue. Click on each candidate to see more information.

Relevant Committees


American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) - Founded in 1920 "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution guarantees"

True the Vote - An initiative developed by citizens for citizens to inspire and equip volunteers for involvement at every stage of America’s electoral process