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 U.S. Senate, 2018 Primary Election in Arizona (AZ) | Crowdpac John Conyers | Candidate for 13th Congressional District, 2018 Primary Election in Michigan (MI) | Crowdpac Angus King | Candidate for U.S. Senate, 2018 Primary Election in Maine (ME) | 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, 2018 Primary Election in Florida (FL) | Crowdpac Alan Grayson | Candidate for 11th Congressional District, 2018 Primary Election in Florida (FL) | Crowdpac Ted Cruz | Candidate for U.S. Senate, 2018 Primary Election in Texas (TX) | Crowdpac Reid Ribble | 8th Congressional District, 2014 in Wisconsin (WI) | Crowdpac Beto O'Rourke | Candidate for U.S. Senate, 2018 Primary Election 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

Resources

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