Zachary Roth is the National Democracy Reporter for States Newsroom. He is a former national reporter at MSNBC, and the author of The Great Suppression: Voting Rights, Corporate Cash, and the Conservative Assault on Democracy (Crown, 2016). He has also written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Slate, Politico, and more.
Not just Ohio: Biased language is the new tactic to thwart ballot measures
By: Zachary Roth - September 4, 2023
Abortion rights supporters filed a lawsuit last week against what they call “deceptive” ballot language produced by Ohio officials for the state’s closely-watched upcoming referendum on the issue. But it isn’t just the Buckeye State that’s lately seeing fierce battles over the once-obscure topic of ballot language. In recent weeks, officials in Missouri — where […]
Ohio voters are deciding if it’s too easy to pass ballot measures. Other states are watching.
By: Zachary Roth and Morgan Trau - August 2, 2023
This story was produced by States Newsroom, a national nonprofit news organization. CLEVELAND — Ohioans over the last century have used the state’s ballot initiative process to pass constitutional amendments that raised the minimum wage, integrated the National Guard and removed the phrase “white male” from the constitution’s list of voter eligibility requirements. Now, lawmakers […]
Changes in state election laws have little impact on results, new study finds
By: Zachary Roth - July 14, 2023
In recent years, U.S. politics has been consumed by partisan fights over states’ election policies. But a new study by two political scientists is causing a stir by finding that state legislators’ changes to election laws — both those that tighten election rules in the name of integrity and those that loosen rules to expand […]
As states hunt for new voters, Massachusetts adds thousands via Medicaid applications
By: Zachary Roth - July 6, 2023
Massachusetts saw a more-than-fivefold jump in voter registration applications through social service agencies in the last election cycle, new federal data shows. The striking increase comes after the state implemented an automatic voter registration system that includes Medicaid applicants. Any eligible voter in the state who applies for Medicaid is automatically added to the rolls, […]
Red and blue state divide reflected in key voting and election laws
By: Zachary Roth - June 23, 2023
Next year’s elections are still 16 months away. But for voters, perhaps the most important developments took place during the first half of this year — when states drafted and passed the legislation that will shape how those contests are run. “The rules that will govern the 2024 election are being written today,” said Megan […]
States with low election turnout did little in 2023 to expand voting access
By: Zachary Roth - June 16, 2023
This year’s state legislative sessions are almost all wrapped up. And on voting and elections policy, the headlines have largely focused on a new wave of restrictive voting laws passed in big Republican-led states like Florida, Texas and Ohio, as well as expansive laws approved in Democratic-led states like Michigan, Minnesota and New York. But […]
A top GOP lawyer wants to crack down on the college vote. States already are.
By: Zachary Roth - April 28, 2023
A top Republican election lawyer recently caused a stir when she told GOP donors that the party should work to make it harder for college students to vote in key states. But the comments from Cleta Mitchell, who worked closely with then-President Donald Trump to try to overturn the 2020 election, are perhaps less surprising […]