Democracy Explained

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

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. 

In-Person Voting Explained

Whether you’re voting for the first time or have been voting for decades, it’s important to know what is and isn’t allowed at your polling place. Learn about some of the key dos and don’ts before you head out to vote.

Keep Tabs on Your Mail-in Ballot

More people are voting by mail in this election than ever before. To help give voters peace of mind, 45 states and the District of Columbia allow you to track the progress of your ballot. 

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