Following the November election, Republican lawmakers across the nation drafted and introduced hundreds of bills to impose restrictions on voters. Record turnout, especially among Black, Indigenous, and Latino voters helped flip the Senate and elect Joe Biden as president. Now, the GOP-sponsored legislation seeks to reduce access to early voting, limit the use of mail-in ballots or absentee voting, and even criminalize water and food distribution in poll lines.
Advocates have worked to raise awareness about the legislation the midterm election season revs up.
The other states who have enacted similar laws are: Georgia, Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Indiana, Utah, and Wyoming.
At least 61 other bills are still advancing through legislative bodies in 18 states. On that list is Michigan, which Biden won in November, despite local election officials’ attempt to overturn predominantly Black city’s election results.
New Hampshire is also proposing bills that would take voters off of rolls and impose voter ID requirements.
Texas nearly passed the country’s most restrictive voting bills yet, though Democratic state lawmakers blocked the vote earlier this week –– for now. Texas’ law would empower poll watchers, and election officials could face criminal penalties.
Biden recently announced Vice President Kamala Harris would be leading White House efforts to get federal voting rights legislation passed. Advocacy groups are fighting the restrictions in court while also preparing voters for the upcoming election season with the new laws.
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