Election Day. (Phil Roeder/Flickr)

In recent years, election integrity has increasingly come into question, and both voter rights and regulations to stop fraud have become relentless points of controversy in the political space. The legitimacy of recent elections has become a hot-button topic. 

As the 2022 midterm elections are just two weeks away, many candidates are sharing their stances on voting rules and their policy plans regarding election procedures. Decisions regarding voting and elections often raise a plethora of other concerns from election security and foreign relations to discrimination and racism. As a result, the issue brings about heated debate in Senate, House, and gubernatorial races alike. 

AllSides examined where the 2022 candidates stand and what each is saying in regards to the controversial topic of voting rules. Let’s take a look at some of the candidates in key races.

Senate Elections

Wisconsin

Mandela Barnes (D)

“Make no mistake, our democracy is on the ballot in 2022, and we need a United States Senator who has a plan to make elected officials accountable to the voters, to stand up to the corrupting influence of dark money, and to ensure the rights of voters are protected across this country.”

Mandela Barnes is passionate about protecting the right to vote. If elected, he plans to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act to offer greater protections for voters. He also aims to expand online voter registration, implement same-day and automatic voter registration, and offer greater opportunities for early and mail-in voting. Further, Barnes wants to make election day a national holiday. He believes that elected officials must stop special interests and big money from influencing elections and place the power back in the hands of voters. 


Ron Johnson (R, Incumbent)

“The bill that Democrats are pushing is not about voting rights - please identify one person who recently wanted to vote who couldn’t? With record and near record voter turnout across America, it is a non-solution looking for a problem. Even worse, it is a federal takeover of our elections that would eliminate state election integrity laws that make it more difficult for Democrats to cheat.”

Ron Johnson does not see voter suppression as a legitimate issue. He supports tightening restrictions on voting rules and opposed the use of election drop-boxes during the 2020 election. He does not believe in voter suppression and has also voiced he feels there is “nothing racist about voter ID.” Instead, he feels elections need to be made more secure and his campaign has recently launched a portal for reporting election fraud in the race.

See more on the candidates in this race from our friends at guides.vote.

Georgia

Raphael Warnock (D, Incumbent)

“Voting rights is how we address the deepening divides in our country, by ensuring every eligible voter’s voice is heard. And we as elected representatives have an obligation to protect their voice.”


Raphael Warnock is extremely passionate about protecting voting rights. He co-sponsored both the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act aimed at making voting more inclusive and accessible. He sees the issue as a backbone to democracy and human dignity. He advocates against voter suppression efforts and believes bipartisan collaboration is necessary to ensure voters have access.

Herschel Walker (R)

"[L]et's go to the voting rights, if you want to talk about voting. First of all, if you want to get people to vote, if they're legal to vote, you want to try to encourage people to vote — that's the most precious thing that you have — not encourage, but encourage. And what I mean by that is, you get things done now — don't talk about it after or talk about it during, but get it done right now. And no one is not legal to vote, why don't we go in and get the IDs and get everything done right now instead of waiting until it's time to vote and start talking about it. And I think that's what people got to remember.”

Herschel Walker supports tightening restrictions on voting rules. He supports Georgia Senate Bill 202 which would add new voter ID requirements, limit the time for early and absentee voting, as well as bring changes to vote counting, local election offices, and State Election Boards to heighten regulatory practices. He opposes bills such as the John Lewis Voting Rights Act aimed at lessening such restrictions. 

See more on the candidates in this race from our friends at guides.vote.

Alaska

Patricia Chesbro (D)

“Congress must pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act to ensure safe and accessible voting. Making voting day a national holiday would help some people get to the polls, especially low income workers who do not have holidays at their workplaces. We need to advertise elections and provide unbiased information on candidates and issues.”

Patricia Chesbro believes in implementing measures to increase accessibility to voting and safeguard the right to vote. She supports the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act. She also advocates for greater access to information in the election process for voters, including increasing advertising and access to unbiased information on candidates and their stances on key issues. Further, she believes Election Day should be made a federal holiday.

Lisa Murkowski (R, Incumbent)

“I’m committed to ensuring access to voting is equal, fair, and free from discrimination, which is why I’ve been working with Senators Leahy and Manchin in the context of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. There is nothing more fundamental than the right to vote.”

Lisa Murkowski believes in ensuring access to fair, safe, and secure elections for all voters. She voted against the Freedom to Vote Act, voicing that partisan effort is needed to instill citizen confidence in elections and this is not to be done by micromanaging the state election systems. She instead worked to consponsor the John Lewis Voting Rights Act to prevent practices that would curtail voting rights. However, she does not feel Election Day should be a federal holiday.

Kelly Tshibaka (R)

“Free, fair, and secure elections are the basic building blocks of our republic. Without properly ensuring the integrity of our elections, we will continue to see confusion, allegations, delays, and growing mistrust in our election outcomes, and therefore in our government itself. I support commonsense election integrity measures like Voter ID and signature matching, among others. I will oppose any efforts to weaken election security.”

Kelly Tshibaka advocates for implementing stricter rules in voting regulation to ensure integrity and confidence in elections and their outcomes. She supports measures to this end including Voter ID as well as signature matching. Election security is of utmost importance to this candidate.

See more on the candidates in this race from our friends at guides.vote.

Gubernatorial Elections

Maryland

Wes Moore (D)

“Voting should always be easy and safe for everyone and we have to fight for support in early voting systems, mail-in balloting, and making sure people can vote without fear of intimidation or retribution…As governor, I will stand as a brick wall against any attacks to voting rights and will work to continue the progress of the legislature in making voting rights more accessible.”

Wes Moore believes that voting should be accessible and protected for all. He supports early voting systems and mail-in balloting to ensure voters can cast their votes without fears of intimidation. He supports legislation that expands voting access for those formerly incarcerated or currently incarcerated on misdemeanor charges. He also advocates for greater voter education tools. He believes that Maryland’s elections are valid and fair and believes the fight lies only in making sure voters have proper access.

Dan Cox (R)

“I believe very firmly in making sure that our system works. I don’t believe in changing the rules midstream. I don’t believe in making a system that creates questions. I don’t believe in losing our chain of custody with mail-in ballots. I don’t believe in failure to assert and verify that it’s actually voters voting.”

Dan Cox believes election security is a problem and supports tightening rules regarding voting. He supports a “valid citizen voter I.D.” requirement. He also voted against allowing voters to receive automatic mail-in ballots. He has raised issues of election integrity regarding decisions in recent elections.

Nancy Wallace (Green Party)

“This fundamental right of a human being to have a voice in their own government is the basic contract by which the government exists in the first place. Incarceration should not waive that right. The viewpoint of people for whom the system is not working, who have been incarcerated, is particularly important in solving our problems. All voices should be included.”

Nancy Wallace believes in protecting and expanding the right to vote for all Maryland citizens. Wallace has been very involved in this area, serving 10 years on the Board of Directors at VerifiedVoting.org, a non-partisan national voting technology and integrity group. She is also the co-founder of TrueVoteMD.org, advocating for voter-verified paper audit trails. She believes voting is a fundamental human right and believes those who are incarcerated or convicted of a felony should still retain this right.

See more on the candidates in this race from our friends at guides.vote.

New Hampshire

Tom Sherman (D)

“We need leaders who will veto measures meant to restrict or limit the right to vote, and who will refuse to entertain conspiracies meant to undermine our elections.”

Tom Shermann believes that voting rights must be protected and opposes measures that restrict this right. He opposes voter ID laws and voted against legislation requiring first-time voters to mail in an ID. He also voiced support publicly for the use of absentee ballots during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chris Sununu (R, Incumbent)

(In reference to Senate Bill 3’s tightening of New Hampshire’s voter ID requirements): “This legislation helps protect the integrity of New Hampshire’s electoral process. As host of the first-in-the-nation primary, New Hampshire has the obligation to ensure our system is beyond reproach. This bill does exactly that and as such, I signed SB 3 into law today.”

Chris Sununu does not support measures to expand voter access and instead supports tightening restrictions. He enhanced voter ID requirements and instituted new penalties for election crimes. He vetoed legislation that would have permitted online voter registration as well as no-excuse voting by mail. He signed Senate Bill 89 in rejection of the For the People Act that would expand voter access. He also signed a bill that limits college students and military personnel voting in state elections as it requires registered voters to be permanent state residents, obtain a state driver’s license within 60 days of voting, and register vehicles in the state.

See more on the candidates in this race from our friends at guides.vote.

Kansas

Laura Kelly (D, Incumbent)

“Every lawfully eligible Kansans deserves an equal opportunity to cast his or her ballot in every election. By sharing resources and expanding opportunities to get registered to vote, we will encourage more voices to be heard at the polls and more Kansans to exercise this important right.”

Laura Kelly supports expanding opportunities for voter registration and protecting voter rights. Kelly worked with the state and a coalition of civil rights agencies to expand voting opportunities to register and update voter registration in 2021. She also vetoed a number of election bills aimed at tightening regulations in collecting and delivering ballots. She does not see voter fraud as a legitimate issue and instead sees it as a voter suppression ploy. 

Derek Schmidt (R)

“For many years, Kansas has practiced ongoing "preventative maintenance" on Kansas election laws to continually ensure they are up-to-date and our elections are free, fair and secure. For example, that's how our state came to require voter ID…I think it's good that the Legislature continues that practice and is now discussing ideas to better regulate ballot drop boxes and to make sure ballots arrive by Election Day.”

Derek Schmidt supports strengthening restrictions on voting rules. He sided with Secretary of State Kris Kobach in a legal battle aimed at requiring first-time voters to prove their citizenship. He has also backed legislation strengthening punitive measures against voting crimes and supporting signature verification.

See more on the candidates in this race from our friends at guides.vote.

House Elections

Michigan

District 7

Elissa Slotkin (D, Incumbent)

“Over the last few weeks, I've joined Reps. Veronica Escobar and Colin Allred to rally members of the 2018 Democratic class to support adopting a ‘sword and shield' approach to protecting and strengthening voting rights. The act that we passed today is the ‘shield': It will protect hard-fought gains by reducing confusion and misinformation about accessing the ballot box; preventing the enactment of discriminatory, late changes to state voting laws; and requiring federal approval before making changes to voting laws that could disadvantage minority voters.”

Elissa Slotkin believes in protecting the right to vote and ensuring free and fair elections in the United States. She voted in favor of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and stands behind its goals of reducing misinformation surrounding voting and combatting voting laws with discriminatory undertones. She also voted in favor of the For the People Act, a bill aimed at enhancing security, accountability, and transparency in elections, namely in the area of campaign finance. She believes in protecting the integrity of elections from corruption.

Tom Barrett (R)

“Basic election integrity requires the use of photo identification to ensure honest voting. This is a simple, straightforward requirement that will go a long way toward securing elections.”

Tom Barrett supports measures to secure the voting process to a greater degree. He introduced a series of election security bills in regards to voting processes, including protecting ballot drop boxes. He sponsored Senate Bill 303, requiring individuals to vote with provisional ballots if they do not have a photo ID and present ID when submitting absentee ballots among other election security measures. 

Nevada

District 3

Susie Lee (D, Incumbent)

“Nevada is leading the way in protecting our right to vote. But many states aren't even trying to hide the discrimination at the core of their attacks on voting rights. We must honor this day. The Senate must pass the #FreedomToVoteAct and the #JohnLewisVotingRightsAct now.”

Susie Lee is passionate about protecting the right to vote and feels, “The right to vote is a cornerstone of our democracy.” She aided in the passage of the Voting Rights Advancement Act which served to fully restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with measures to fight voter suppression and discrimination and ensure transparency in election processes. Further, she supports the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act as well to further safeguard voters against discriminatory obstacles and ensure access.

April Becker (R)

“We must ensure the utmost integrity at the ballot box, and that is why I support passing common-sense measures like Voter ID. You need an ID to buy a beer, board an airplane, and purchase a firearm. Why shouldn’t you need an ID to vote?”

April Becker’s campaign website outlines her stance on the issue of election integrity. Becker believes in protecting the integrity of elections and supports enhancing security measures including requiring voter ID. She opposes “ballot harvesting” and believes greater transparency is needed in such practices. 

California

District 22

Rudy Salas (D)

“We need to continue to make sure that all voters are able to cast their ballots without feeling undue pressure from others and that the public has up-to-date, accurate information during an election.”

Rudy Salas believes that the right to vote must be protected and voting rules must be fair and transparent. As Governor, Salas signed two voter integrity bills including the Voter Protection Act into law to increase protections for workers against voter intimidation and streamline communication between the Secretary of State and election officials to ensure accurate information is conveyed and spread.

David G. Valadao (R, Incumbent)

“Making sure people have faith in our elections is something we should all take very seriously. We need to give states and localities tools to increase transparency in the way they conduct elections. This roundtable discussion highlighted the need for important reforms to California’s election system, like requiring an ID to vote and putting safeguards on same day registration.”

David G. Valadao believes in tightening voting rules to ensure security in elections. He believes in implementing more measures to increase transparency, specifically requiring IDs for voters and safeguarding same day voting registration. He believes this is crucial in maintaining faith in election processes and argues reform is necessary in this area.


Rose Mercer is a Content and Research Intern at AllSides. She has a Lean Left bias.

This blog was reviewed and edited by Henry A. Brechter, Managing Editor (Center bias).

Image Credit: Phil Roeder/Flickr