Americans’ most fundamental civil right—the right to elect those who govern them—relies on honest elections and citizen confidence in our election process. Accurate voter registration and ballot counting are essential to maintaining our constitutional republic.
The Voting Integrity Institute provides education and policy advice on critical voting and election integrity issues to state legislators, secretaries of state, attorneys, and citizen advocates.
The Institute closely monitors voting legislation across the country and provides guidance and assistance to states considering ways to improve their electoral process.
All states have some form of absentee or mail-in voting due to federal requirements. These voters normally include military and overseas citizens, voters with disabilities and students who reside in a different state. For example, absentee or mail-in ballots are sent to these military and overseas voters 45 days prior to federal elections. However, absentee or mail-in voting is often limited by states to a number of valid excuses based on age, absentee status or an inability to vote on Election Day.
Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) is a system of automatically adding individuals to the voter rolls when they apply for a driver’s license or state identification card at the state’s licensing office or other agencies.
In many cases, AVR does not require voters to sign or affirm a statement attesting to their eligibility to vote and does not allow voters to decline to register until days or weeks later. In many cases, there is no verification of citizenship or other qualifications prior to registration. As a result, many argue that AVR violates the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) as it does not require voters to affirm their eligibility at the time of registration.
Early voting periods have been stretched to absurd lengths, with some states beginning their voting for the November election more than a month or more in advance. There is no empirical evidence that early voting increases turnout, but it does have serious downsides.
Proof of Citizenship
The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution stipulates that the right to vote in federal elections for the Senate, House of Representatives and presidency is limited to U.S. citizens. With few exceptions, most state constitutions explicitly authorize only resident citizens to vote in state and local elections.
An election method more suited to parliamentary-styled governance, ranked-choice voting uses a process of elimination to select the winner when multiple candidates run for an office and none gets more than 50 percent of the vote in the first tally. For now, ranked-choice voting seems to be catching on only at the municipal level in Left-leaning locales.
Redistricting and Gerrymandering
Every 10 years, the Census Bureau and state legislators redraw district boundaries for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as for districts in their own state legislatures. Now that Republicans control the vast majority of state legislatures, the Left is attempting to change this historic method of drawing political boundary lines in favor of handing the authority to “non-partisan” or “independent commissions.”
Maintaining a period between registration and voting allows election officials time to verify the qualifications and residency of the voter, thus reducing the opportunity for vote fraud. Once an unverified and unqualified voter casts a ballot and it is counted, there is no way to go back and disqualify the illegally cast ballot.
Vote fraud disenfranchises Americans and poses a serious threat to both the integrity of and confidence in our electoral system. Opponents of measures to prevent vote fraud contend that its occurrence is either nonexistent or so rare as to be insignificant.
Requiring voters to prove they are who they say they are in order to cast a ballot is a simple, common-sense measure that helps ensure honest elections.
Opponents of photo ID falsely charge that such requirements discriminate against poor and minority voters. Each time this claim has been used in the courts, plaintiffs have failed to produce evidence of any individual who was actually denied the right to vote for lack of a photo ID. Despite this fact, and that all demographic groups including African-Americans support voter ID laws, accusations of Jim Crow, the racist system that disenfranchised Southern blacks for generations, continue to be hurled with abandon.
Voter Roll Maintenance
The most significant problem facing America’s electoral process is the chronic and growing inaccuracy of the lists of registered voters in the country. Inaccurate voter rolls provide the oxygen for vote fraud.