New Democracy Maps

Nonpartisan Election Observers

During the 2020 election, partisan poll watchers and challengers within the states caused problems by intimidating voters and in some cases threatening to disrupt election processes. While most states allow the use of partisan poll watchers, a number of states also have policies that allow nonpartisan election observers such as academics or the media to witness various parts of the state’s election processes. These policies promote election integrity while also avoiding the risk of voter intimidation that can sometimes result from the use of strictly partisan poll watchers
United States Map
Washington New York U.S. Virgin Islands Puerto Rico Guam Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands American Samoa New Hampshire Vermont Virginia Pennsylvania New York Maine West Virginia Ohio Kentucky Indiana Michigan Illinois Wisconsin North Carolina South Carolina Tennessee Georgia Florida Mississippi Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Iowa Minnesota Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska South Dakota North Dakota Texas 33 Colorado Wyoming Montana Idaho Arizona Utah Nevada Oregon California Hawaii Alaska Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut New Jersey Delaware Maryland Washington D.C. New Hampshire Vermont
  • State explicitly allows nonpartisan observers access to some or all parts of election process (38 states + D.C.)
  • State does not explicitly allow nonpartisan observers access to some or all parts of election process (12 states)
Recommended citation: Movement Advancement Project. "Nonpartisan Election Observers." Accessed 07/18/2024.

Breakdown by Population

*Note: These percentages reflect the voting-eligible population, as reported by the United States Election Project.


71 % of voting-eligible population lives in states that explicitly allow nonpartisan observers access to some or all parts of election process


29 % of voting-eligible population lives in states that do not explicitly allow nonpartisan observers access to some or all parts of election process

Data current as of 07/08/2024
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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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