State-level election crime legislation

This project found that, since 2020, more than 130 bills have been introduced in at least 42 state legislatures that increase voting infractions, expand the role of the criminal legal system in such infractions, and/or intensify the punishments thereof.

October 2022

Illustration of hands inserting ballots into a box, with other hands recording this on a camera and a phone.
Illustration by Sébastien Thibault


My contribution to this project was using the LegiScan API to retrieve structured data on legislation pertaining to criminalization of voting behaviors. I additionally used Python to transform the data for analysis, e.g. to calculate the parties of bill sponsors and the extent to which sponsorship was partisan.

I also used the LegiScan API to query for new bills periodically that related to the topic, and uploaded relevant results via the Airtable API for review by reporters.

The structured data was ultimately used not just for reporting findings in the text piece and radio show, but for building an interactive tool through which people could examine such legislation in their own states.

I loved working with reporter Ese Olumhense and editor Maryam Saleh to think through what information might be of greatest use to our audience. I was also grateful to work on an investigation that not only expounds a complex political process like legislation, but also alerts people to how that process could materially affect them.