In the nearly three months since elections dogged by accusations of voter suppression, state lawmakers across the country have either filed or pre-filed at least 230 bills that would expand access to the ballot for millions of Americans. Bipartisan efforts aim to bring automatic voter registration, vote-by-mail, or the restoration of voting rights for ex-felons to more than 30 states. Bills to increase voter access have outpaced election integrity bills, such as those that would require voter ID or proof of citizenship and would limit early voting, across the country this year, according to a count by New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice. State lawmakers had introduced just 24 such bills.
High-profile questions over ballot access and the success of “pro-voter” ballot measures in November led to “an extraordinary groundswell of support for pro-voter reforms,” said Max Feldman, a counsel in the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program.
The midterms saw reports of voter registrations put on hold and rejected absentee ballots in Georgia and purges of names from voter rolls in Florida, Indiana and North Carolina. At the same time, voters in Michigan and Nevada approved automatic voter registration and voters in Maryland cleared the path for same-day registration.