Since the 2020 general election, state lawmakers across the country have introduced legislation that would dramatically criminalize voting activity. Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting has collected and analyzed those bills into this first-of-its-kind database. 

Reveal used records from LegiScan, which catalogs virtually every bill introduced by state-level lawmakers in all 50 states, to identify and classify the bills, which we have divided into the following categories:

  • Empowering a law enforcement agency by giving it more power or resources
  • Creating a new enforcement agency 
  • Creating new criminal penalties
  • Increasing penalties for existing offenses

For bills that would create or increase criminal penalties, Reveal further categorized them based on the type of activity they would criminalize:

  • Voting
  • Voter assistance
  • Ballot collection
  • Election administration
  • Election interference

Each database entry contains information about the bill’s provisions, when it was introduced, the political party of its sponsors and its latest status, according to LegiScan. Bills that are marked as “carried over” were moved into the next legislative session. In some cases, there are repeat entries for a bill because it was introduced multiple times in the same or different legislative chambers. The database logs bills introduced from Nov. 16, 2020, to Oct. 19, 2022.

Read the investigation: State Legislatures Are Dramatically Increasing Law Enforcement Involvement in Elections 

Share your story: How Are Voter Suppression Tactics Affecting You and Your Community?

This story was edited by Soo Oh and Maryam Saleh and copy edited by Nikki Frick. 

Ese Olumhense can be reached at eolumhense@revealnews.org. Melissa Lewis can be reached at mlewis@revealnews.org. Farah Eltohamy is Reveal’s 2022-23 Roy W. Howard investigative reporting fellow and can be reached at feltohamy@revealnews.org. Soo Oh can be reached at soh@revealnews.org. Follow them on Twitter: @essayolumhense, @iff_or and @farahelto.

Ese Olumhense (she/her) is a reporter for Reveal, covering democracy and gender rights. She joins Reveal from City Limits, a nonprofit investigative organization that covers New York City, where she was a senior editor/reporter for politics and investigations. Olumhense previously worked for Spotlight PA and THE CITY, two other nonprofit journalism outlets, and the Chicago Tribune. As part of a team at THE CITY, Olumhense won the Online News Association’s 2021 Knight Award for Public Service for Missing Them, a collaborative project to remember every New Yorker killed by COVID-19. For the project, she investigated the potential link between the poor air quality in neighborhoods near freeways and COVID-19 death tolls. Olumhense is also an adjunct faculty member at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, working with investigative reporting fellows there.

Melissa Lewis is a data reporter for Reveal. Prior to joining Reveal, she was a data editor at The Oregonian, a data engineer at Simple and a data analyst at Periscopic. She is an organizer for the Portland chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. Lewis is based in Oregon.

Farah Eltohamy is the 2022-23 Roy W. Howard Fellow for Reveal. She received both her master's and bachelor's degrees at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. While at ASU, Eltohamy interned for The Texas Tribune, NPR and The Arizona Republic and served as diversity officer for ASU's student newspaper, The State Press. Her reporting has also appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and National Geographic. In 2020, she won a National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Award for her reporting on the lack of a census category for people from the Middle East and North Africa. Outside of news, Eltohamy can be found painting, thrifting and spending time with her grumpy old cat, Tito.

Soo Oh is the enterprise editor for data at Reveal. She has previously reported data stories, coded interactive visuals and built internal tools at the Wall Street Journal, Vox.com, the Los Angeles Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education. In 2018, she was a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University, where she researched how to better manage and support journalists with technical skills. Oh is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.