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How Voting Laws Have Changed Since 2016

See the new legislation and legal cases in your state that have the potential to change how you vote this November.

How the Case for Voter Fraud Was Tested — and Utterly Failed

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who was placed in charge of President Donald Trump's voter fraud commission, attends the first meeting of the commission at the White House in 2017. (Chris Kleponis/Picture Alliance/DPA via AP Images)

In the end, the decision seemed inevitable. After a seven-day trial in Kansas City federal court in March, in which Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach needed to be tutored on basic trial procedure by the judge and was found in contempt for his “willful failure” to obey a ruling, even he knew his chances were slim. Kobach told The Kansas City Star at the time that he expected the judge would rule against him (though he expressed optimism in his chances on appeal).

Covering the Midterms With Electionland 2018

The Electionland newsroom on Election Day in 2016 (John Brecher for ProPublica)

In the run-up to the 2016 election, ProPublica organized a project called Electionland to cover voting, nationally and in real time. Along with a coalition of news organizations and tech companies, we brought together more than 1,100 journalists around the country to cover impediments like restrictive voting laws, allegations of voter fraud, voter harassment, equipment failures and long lines — all of which can effectively disenfranchise eligible voters and erode the integrity of the vote.

Today we’re announcing that we’re relaunching Electionland to cover the 2018 midterm elections. Policies and practices that jeopardize Americans’ fundamental right to vote demand scrutiny. And the concerns raised by the 2016 election — about cybersecurity and foreign attempts to sow doubt about the integrity of the election — make this even more urgent.

Electionland: The Inside Story

The Electionland newsroom, hosted at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism on Election Day (John Brecher for ProPublica)

The Google News Lab commissioned a case study on Electionland, a journalism project that ProPublica helped organize and participated in last year. The report was released today and is available for download.

The 66-page report was researched and written by Cassandra Lord, a writer and consultant based in London. It’s being released​ on the first day of the Collaborative Journalism Summit, a conference taking place this week at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

There’s No Evidence Our Election Was Rigged

President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to claim that he would have won the popular vote “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

There is no evidence that millions of people voted illegally. If there were, we’d have seen some sign of it.

After Electionland: How it Worked, What We Found and What’s Next

The results are in. The country has a new president-elect, and over 1,000 people joined Electionland to cover voter accessibility and obstacles at the polls on Election Day. The project was done in collaboration with the Google News Lab, Univision, USA Today and WNYC. Today, ProPublica’s Scott Klein, Celeste LeCompte and Jessica Huseman take us inside the project, which was one of the largest newsrooms in the country on Election Day. They walk us through the reporting process, share some surprising findings and talk about what’s next for large-scale collaborative journalism.

New York Times Details Long Lines and Minor Glitches for Voters on a Peaceful Election Day

The New York Times details the lack of chaos or major efforts of disruption at polling locations across the U.S.

Oath Keepers Prepare for Election-Related Unrest

Reveal tells of a militia-style group holding a webinar on responding to potential election-related violence and going undercover.

Voters in Key States Face Long Lines, Equipment Failures

Electionland partner USA Today reports on long lines, broken voting machines and other trouble casting ballots across the United States. They have also rounded up some of Electionland's discoveries from the last few days.

Lost Cause: Seeing America Through the Losing Candidates’ Map

If the winners write the history books, they also make the maps. As after every Election Day, we’ll soon see a variety of maps showing how the race was decided. They’ll differ in sophistication and type, but they’ll all show the same thing: Who won.

Here is the opposite view. We’ve mapped the counties that supported the losing candidate in every presidential election since 1828. Take a tour of history through the lens of the losers.

How Voter Fraud Works — and Mostly Doesn’t

Investigative cartoonist Susie Cagle takes a look at the phenomenon of voter fraud. While it's very rare, it really does exist. Do the laws meant to prevent it make any sense?

Debunked: Widely Shared Video Showing Ballot Box Stuffing is a Hoax

On Oct. 12, a YouTube account posted a set of video clips purporting to show "Democrats caught on camera stuffing ballot boxes." Our partners at First Draft tracked down the original videos and found that they were all filmed in Russia.

That Time I Was Investigated for Voter Fraud

Here’s how I learned that someone voted as me in the 2012 general election.

On March 26, 2014, three investigators from Maryland’s Office of the State Prosecutor sat at my dining room table and showed me a signature on a photocopy taken from a D.C. poll book. The scrawl looked more like a seismograph reading and was so unrecognizable that it took me a minute to realize that I was looking at it upside down. Turning the picture over didn’t make it much better.

“No, that’s not my handwriting,” I told them.

Somebody had clearly voted using my name. But why? And how did state officials figure it out?

Stand Up and Be Counted — Maybe

It took Nick Alati half a day to cast a ballot in Arizona’s August primary — and his vote didn’t even count.

Voting Has Started, and Electionland Is on the Case

Election Day is still a month away, but some Americans are already casting ballots. About 20 states and the District of Columbia have early voting programs, several of which have already begun. It’s estimated that about one-third of the country will have voted by the time polls open on Nov. 8.

Which Voters Show Up When States Allow Early Voting?

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 37 states now offer voters some way to cast ballots early and avoid lining up at the polls on Election Day.

These options are popular. About one-third of voters made use of them in the 2012 election.

But so-called “convenience voting” remains controversial: In some states, various types of early balloting has been challenged on grounds that it opens the door to fraud, though there’s been little evidence that such fraud is taking place.

Monitoring the Vote With Electionland

There is no more essential act in a democracy than voting. But making sure that the balloting is open to all and efficiently administered has been, at best, a low priority for many state legislatures, a victim of misplaced priorities and, at times, political gamesmanship.

About Electionland

ProPublica’s Electionland project covers problems that prevent eligible voters from casting their ballots during the 2020 elections. Our coalition of newsrooms around the country are investigating issues related to voter registration, pandemic-related changes to voting, the shift to vote-by-mail, cybersecurity, voter education, misinformation, and more.

Questions? Read our FAQ.

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