Election 2016 Controversies

The 2016 election has been like no other. It’s rife with sensational claims from both sides about some of the core tenets of American democracy. From assertions the election will be “rigged” to questions about handling of classified material to debates on a nationwide crime wave, there are plenty of issues to unpack. But what’s the truth behind the rhetoric and political posturing?

“Election 2016 Controversies” will assess issues related to democracy, justice, and the rule of law ahead of November. The series includes Brennan Center briefing memos, research, opinion pieces, and relevant news stories. It’s a one-stop-shop for factual information on some of the most important topics of 2016. This page will be updated frequently, so check back in for new developments through Election Day.  


Claims have circulated this election season about the extent of voter fraud. But putting rhetoric aside to look at the facts makes clear fraud is vanishingly rare, and does not happen on a scale even close to that necessary to “rig” an election.

Hillary Clinton's use of private email to send classified documents has spurred contentious debate. But the discussion has suffered from a lack of public understanding about the classification system. Here's what you should know.

After recent reports of hacking, this briefing memo describes what the risks to America’s voting system security really are — and what states, localities, and voters can do to prevent successful attacks against the integrity of our elections.

When lawmakers passed new voting requirements, particularly voter ID laws, they claimed it was to safeguard against voter fraud and protect election integrity. But occasionally we have seen politicians slip — and reveal a more strategic motive.