Advance the Freedom to Vote


No matter our race, background, or zip code, most Americans believe that for democracy to work for everyone, it must include everyone. Yet Americans across the country still struggle for their freedom to vote. Voting rights have long been under attack by politicians who want to make it harder for some people to cast their ballots, undermining the most basic principle of democracy.

In states across the nation today, legislatures are passing laws that intentionally make it harder to vote,[1] which particularly impact Black voters and other voters of color, young voters, and rural voters. These antidemocratic tactics divide and distract communities while making it harder to pass laws that a majority of Americans favor. Laws that restrict voting have no place in a democracy and must be blocked at every opportunity.

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State Policy Priorities

  • Expand safe and accessible elections and the freedom to vote for all.
  • Establish same-day registration and automatic voter registration.
  • Expand vote by mail and provide convenient ballot return options.
  • Provide for convenient and accessible in-person voting locations.
  • Fund local rural election offices.

State Examples

  • Minnesota (MN Statutes § 201.061) is one state with same-day registration; Colorado (2019 CO SB 235) is one with automatic voter registration.
  • In eight states, all registered voters automatically receive ballots in the mail and can return them by drop box,[5] mail, or in person at a polling location. Oregon (OR Rev. Stat. 254.470) is one of these.[6]
  • Washington (WA Code § 29A.40.091) provides prepaid postage for mail ballots.
  • Colorado (R.S. 1-5-102.9) requires accessible vote centers for in-person voting, in addition to expansive mail voting options.

[5] For more information about what states have legislation relating to vote by mail, visit: https://tracker.votingrightslab

[6] Oregon Secretary of State. “Vote by Mail Procedures Manual – Oregon.” Oregon Elections Division, Jan. 2022,


Inspired? Ready to dig in on these issues with your rural neighbors? Our practical communications toolkits will help you connect with new communities through common values. The toolkits provide examples on narrative framing, press release templates, sample talking points, and more. 

Click here for the communications toolkit on Advancing Rural America’s Freedom To Vote.

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