Author

Zachary Roth

Zachary Roth

Zachary Roth is the National Democracy Reporter for States Newsroom.

One year out: how a free and fair 2024 presidential election could be under threat

By: - November 5, 2023

The last time America elected a president, it led to a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol and a failed coup that gravely damaged the political system and marred the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in U.S. history. A year from now, the nation’s voters will decide another presidential contest — likely […]

States that send a mail ballot to every voter really do increase turnout, scholars find

By: - October 9, 2023

Lately, a rough consensus has emerged among people who study the impact of voting policies: Though they often spark fierce partisan fighting, most changes to voting laws do little to affect overall turnout, much less election results. But one fast-growing reform appears to stand out as an exception. When every registered voter gets sent a […]

Americans are worried about democracy. You wouldn’t know it from the GOP debate.

By: - August 24, 2023

There’s a growing feeling, among both experts and ordinary Americans, that our democracy isn’t functioning well — and even that it’s under threat. “American democracy is cracking,” the Washington Post reported August 18. “I’m terrified,” one democracy expert told the paper. “I think we are in bad shape, and I don’t know a way out.” […]

Changes in state election laws have little impact on results, new study finds

By: - July 17, 2023

In recent years, U.S. politics has been consumed by partisan fights over states’ election policies. But a new study by two political scientists is causing a stir by finding that state legislators’ changes to election laws — both those that tighten election rules in the name of integrity, and those that loosen rules to expand […]

Federal health insurance website lags in voter registration assistance, Democrats charge

By: - July 5, 2023

A group of U.S. Senate Democrats is pressing the Biden administration to make it easier for the millions of Americans who sign up each year for health insurance through a federal website to register to vote. The lawmakers, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wrote in a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human […]

Red and blue state divide grows even wider in 2023’s top voting and election laws

By: - June 26, 2023

Next year’s elections are still 16 months away. But for voters, perhaps the most important developments took place during the first half of this year — when states drafted and passed the legislation that will shape how those contests are run. “The rules that will govern the 2024 election are being written today,” said Megan […]

Ruling in Alabama case could boost suits increasing Black voters’ power in other states

By: - June 9, 2023

In one sense, the Supreme Court’s surprise ruling striking down Alabama’s 2022 congressional maps maintains the legal status quo. By 5-4, the justices rejected the state’s attempt to restrict the ability of the Voting Rights Act to block gerrymanders that suppress the power of minority voters. But that dramatically understates the impact of the case, […]

GOP-led states plan new voter data systems to replace one they rejected. Good luck with that.

By: - May 30, 2023

So far this year, seven states, all Republican-led, have left the Electronic Registration Information Center, an interstate compact for sharing voter registration data, and more could follow. Amid the exodus, some states, including Texas and Virginia, have said they plan to create their own data-sharing networks to replace ERIC. Pledging to build a new system […]

A GOP claim that Michigan purposely tried to encourage voter fraud doesn’t fit with facts

By: - May 8, 2023

Republicans at a recent congressional hearing accused Michigan’s chief election official of deliberately leaving tens of thousands of dead voters on the rolls in order to encourage illegal voting. Even at a time of intense partisan conflict over election policies, it was a strikingly direct charge against a sitting official — and one made not […]

A top GOP lawyer wants to crack down on the college vote. States already are.

By: - May 2, 2023

 A top Republican election lawyer recently caused a stir when she told GOP donors that the party should work to make it harder for college students to vote in key states. But the comments from Cleta Mitchell, who worked closely with then-President Donald Trump to try to overturn the 2020 election, are perhaps less surprising […]

Federal agencies lag in registering voters despite Biden executive order, advocates say

By: - April 13, 2023

Within weeks of taking office in 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order — hailed by voter advocates as potentially transformative — that for the first time committed the U.S. government to registering new voters at federal agencies.  But just over two years later, most of the 10 agencies examined in a recent report […]

Red-state elections officials balk at voter registration outreach

By: - March 31, 2023

A day after taking office in January, Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen withdrew his state from the Electronic Registration Information Center, an interstate data-sharing compact aimed at helping states keep clean voter rolls.  Asked about the move a few days later by a conservative radio host, Allen, a Republican, at first talked about privacy […]