Democracy Explained

Democracy is complicated, but we’ve got you covered. Use the drop-down menu to sort our Explainers by topic.

What’s a Special Session Anyway?

Special sessions can mean the difference between bills passing or dying — and the circumstances under which they are called can spell the difference between protecting or restricting voting rights.

What’s The Deal With Off-Year Elections?

Five states hold statewide off-year elections. In today’s Explainer, we walk through which states have off-year elections in 2021, why they have them and how the delayed redistricting process could upend expectations. 

How the Census Decides Your Congressperson

The census is important for a number of reasons, but today we’re going to talk about one of its biggest uses: redistricting, or the redrawing of district lines to fairly distribute representation in government to voters.

Protecting Minority Voting Rights

Voting rights activists have brought Section 2 claims under the Voting Rights Act against a variety of election laws including voter ID rules, registration restrictions, early vote requirements, and redistricting legislation.

The Fight for D.C. Statehood

Statehood for D.C. is a pressing voting and civil rights issue. D.C. statehood would return self-governance to more than 700,000 Americans and give them proportional representation in Congress.

The Heart of the Voting Rights Act

Section 5 of the VRA was a powerful and effective tool to protect the voting rights of Black Americans, and it is vital that Congress strengthen and expand it in the face of unprecedented attacks on our democracy.

The Voting Rights Act: How We Got Here

The state of voting rights in this country is concerning—but there are signs of hope. The VRA established a vital foundation and gives us a guide for what lasting and equitable voting rights reform can look like at the federal level.

Here’s How a Recount Works

There are many factors dictating what a recount will look like—vote margin, hand or machine count, and other state laws guiding the process. Every state has different rules and timelines for their recounts.

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