Democracy Explained

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

How to Qualify for the Ballot

One of the first steps in any political campaign is qualifying for the ballot so people can vote for you. In today’s Explainer, we’re breaking down how candidates can qualify for the ballot for the general election.

Felony Disenfranchisement Explained

In today’s Explainer, we dive into the laws that disenfranchise millions of Americans on the basis of criminal convictions. We outline the origin of these laws, how they reached today’s scale of exclusion and their unequal impact on people of color.

What Is a Recall Election?

In today’s Explainer, we answer some questions about recall elections — how and why they occur, how this trend can undermine the will of the majority and what the stakes are in the biggest state in the nation this September.

Why Your Secretary of State Matters

In most states across the country, voters elect their secretary of state. These officials hold the keys to vital parts of the election administration process — and who holds these offices has significant ramifications for elections.

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. 

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