Voting Ease by State

  • Research
  • 3 min read

We took 25 laws related to voting issues and coded them either 0 or 1 for each state. A state got a 1 for a law that makes voting easier and/or more accessible, and a 0 if that law was not enacted. For example, a state that doesn’t require ID to vote gets a 1 on voter ID laws, whereas a state that does require ID gets a 0. 

The higher the number, the easier it is to vote in that state overall.

The scale has a possible range of 0 to 25.

In 2018, the range was from 5 to 18.

Here are the laws we looked at:

  1. No-excuse absentee voting: 1 if no excuse is needed, 0 if an excuse is required
  2. Pre-paid postage for absentee ballots: 1 if ballot comes with pre-paid postage, 0 if pre-paid postage is not provided
  3. Absentee ballot tracking: 1 if tracking is available, 0 if tracking is not available
  4. In-person absentee voting: 1 if an in-person option is available, 0 if in-person is not allowed
  5. 3rd party absentee ballot collection: 1 if 3rd party collection is allowed, 0 if 3rd party collection is not allowed
  6. Automatic voter registration: 1 if AVR exists, 0 if AVR does not exist
  7. Same-day voter registration: 1 if SDVR is allowed, 0 if SDVR is not allowed
  8. Online voter registration: 1 if voter registration can be done online, 0 if there is no online option
  9. Pre-registration: 1 if there is voter pre-registration, 0 if pre-registration is not allowed
  10. Early voting: 1 if early voting is available, 0 if early voting is not available
  11. Early voting ID requirements: 1 if ID is not required to vote early, 0 if early voting is not available or ID is required
  12. Early voting on weekends: 1 if early voting is available on the weekends, 0 if early voting is not available on weekends
  13. Vote by mail: 1 if vote by mail is available, 0 if vote by mail is not available
  14. Pre-paid postage for vote by mail: 1 if ballot comes with pre-paid postage, 0 if there is no vote by mail or postage is not provided
  15. 3rd party vote by mail ballot collection: 1 if 3rd party collection is allowed, 0 if 3rd party collection is not allowed
  16. Vote by mail dropboxes: 1 if drop boxes are available, 0 if dropboxes are not available
  17. Vote by mail voter centers: 1 if voter centers are available, 0 if voter centers are not available
  18. Vote by mail signature verification: 1 if signature verification is not required, 0 if signature verification is required
  19. Vote by mail cure: 1 if a cure process is available, 0 if a cure process is not available
  20. Voter ID: 1 if no ID is needed to vote, 0 if ID is required to vote
  21. Voter ID, photo: 1 if photo ID is not needed to vote, 0 if photo ID is required to vote
  22. Voter ID, alternative: 1 if alternative ID is accepted, 0 if alternative ID is not accepted
  23. Removal from permanent absentee list: 1 if voters are not removed from the permanent absentee list, 0 if voters are removed from the permanent absentee list
  24. Removal for not voting: 1 if voters are not removed from the rolls for failure to vote in prior elections, 0 if voters are removed from the rolls for failure to vote
  25. Disenfranchisement for incarceration: 1 if voters do not lose their franchise due to incarceration, 0 if voters lose their franchise due to incarceration