Voting rights

Voters lining up in a hall to vote. A sign with an American flag, an arrow and the text "Vote Here" is visible in the foreground.

Federal appeals court dismisses Arkansas redistricting lawsuit

BY: - November 20, 2023

This story was originally published on Arkansas Advocate. A federal appeals panel on Monday affirmed a lower court’s ruling and dismissed a case challenging Arkansas’ state redistricting map, asserting that only the United States attorney general can enforce the Voting Rights Act. A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that […]

Two women and a man celebrating at a party

State, local elections offer good news for democracy

BY: - November 8, 2023

The big news out of Tuesday’s elections was wins for Democrats and for reproductive rights in Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. But small “d” democracy also had a good night: Virginians elected pro-voting majorities in both chambers, stymieing efforts to pass restrictive new voting laws. Ohioans turned out in large numbers to pass two popular […]

Rows of American flags in front of the U.S. Capitol, framed by an orange sky.

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

BY: - November 8, 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 […]

Two black and white photos of Benjamin Turner and Jeremiah Haralson and a sepia etching of James T. Rapier, the three Black congressmen elected from Alabama during Reconstruction.

What if Alabama had never taken anyone’s vote away?

BY: - October 16, 2023

There’s a chance — not a guarantee, but a better-than-average possibility — that two Black Alabamians will represent the state in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2025.  A federal court created two new congressional districts for the state, one with a Black Voting Age Population (BVAP) of 51.9% and one with a BVAP of […]

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall delivers his inaugural speech during inauguration ceremonies at the Alabama State Capitol on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023 in Montgomery, Alabama.

Steve Marshall doesn’t know what Jim Crow was

BY: - October 2, 2023

Last Tuesday, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall issued a “statement on redistricting to the people of Alabama.” It said his office would abide by a federal court order creating a second majority or near-majority Black congressional district while appealing the ruling. That’s a standard comment when one loses cases like these. (The office on Friday […]

A woman embracing a man in front of a screen.

Birmingham voter rights restoration event celebrates those who regained the ballot

BY: - September 25, 2023

Darius Gamble’s mother and grandmother were part of the Civil Rights Movement. They instilled in him the value and the importance of exercising this right to vote. And Gamble exercised that power regularly — until he couldn’t. Convicted on a charge of trafficking marijuana, he served three years in prison before being released in 2009. […]

Four large letters spell out "VOTE" on a brown wall. The American flag is seen in the foreground.

On Democracy Day, newsrooms unite for pro-democracy coverage

BY: - September 15, 2023

This article is part of U.S. Democracy Day, a nationwide collaborative on Sept. 15, the International Day of Democracy, in which news organizations cover how democracy works and the threats it faces. To learn more, visit It’s no secret: U.S. democracy is under serious threat. Politicians use rigged maps to entrench themselves in power, […]

A sign in a yard saying "Vote No on Issue 1 Tuesday August 8."

Ohio’s Issue 1 goes down to defeat

BY: and - August 9, 2023

The Republican-led effort to make amending Ohio’s constitution more difficult has failed. As of 11:45 p.m., unofficial results for the Aug. 8 special election show voters rejected Issue 1 57% to 43%. The Associated Press called the race at 9 p.m. While precincts were still reporting late into the night and absentee ballots will continue […]

Voters lining up in a hall to vote. A sign with an American flag, an arrow and the text "Vote Here" is visible in the foreground.

In reversal, some states make it harder for people with felony convictions to vote

BY: - August 7, 2023

The year started out strong for advocates trying to make it easier for people with felony convictions to regain their voting rights. In March, the Democratic-led legislatures in Minnesota and New Mexico enacted measures that cleared a pathway for residents serving prison time for felonies to regain their right to vote upon being released. It […]

A glass-windowed door labeled with voting information stands to the right. In the background, a man can be seen planning to vote.

National bill on voting standards pushed anew by Democrats in Congress

BY: - July 19, 2023

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats on Tuesday said they plan to again introduce a bill to set national voting standards in response to state legislatures passing strict voting laws. The bill, known in a previous Congress as the Freedom to Vote Act, would establish national standards for early voting, mail-in ballots and protection of poll workers […]

A pen hovering over a black and white ballot showing the Democratic Party, the Republican Party and the Libertarian Party.

U.S. House Republicans pass overhaul of federal elections system out of committee

BY: - July 14, 2023

WASHINGTON — On a party-line vote, the U.S. Committee on House Administration on Thursday night passed a bill that would enact strict new voting laws for states, such as requiring copies of IDs for voting by mail and set penalties for states that allow voting by noncitizens in local elections. The 224-page bill, H.R. 4563, […]

A statue of a seated figure of justice outside the U.S. Supreme Court.

NC Republicans lose US Supreme Court case on legislatures’ power over federal elections

BY: - June 27, 2023

The US Supreme Court rejected North Carolina Republican legislators’ argument that the state courts cannot review laws legislatures pass governing federal elections. Republican legislators claimed the Elections Clause in the U.S. Constitution makes legislatures the sole state authorities on federal elections law, including congressional redistricting. Critics said the high court’s endorsement of the independent state […]