Last week, we looked at what the electoral impact of new election-law changes would be in 2014. Would stricter photo ID requirements or curtailed early voting influence the outcome of November races in the states that had passed such legislation? Ultimately, we concluded any affect would be limited. But in other ways — and in the longer term — such changes to voting rules could have a big impact. Here are a few ways in which the new changes could shape November and beyond. Several states where election-law changes are being held up in the courts are highly competitive electorally. In both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, voter ID laws are being held up in the courts. The laws were passed by Republican legislatures and signed by Republican governors, but both of these states are politically competitive. If either law is ultimately enacted, numerous competitive races could be affected in future electoral cycles.
Several states that have recently tightened voter ID laws are likely to be presidential battlegrounds for 2016. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin certainly fit this category. So does North Carolina, which is going to see most of the key provisions hitting in 2016. And Ohio and Virginia, both of which have new laws on the books, have been key presidential battlegrounds in recent years.
The passage of voter ID laws may energize Democratic voters and hurt the Republican “brand.” Democrats are trying to channel voter concern about election-law changes in Texas. And it’s at least as big a deal in North Carolina if not more so.
In North Carolina, the Republican legislature and Republican governor passed a far-reaching election law in 2013. The biggest provisions will hit in 2016, which is both a presidential year and the major election year for statewide positions. The North Carolina bill — one of many hardline conservative bills to be passed by the newly empowered GOP majority in 2013 — became a focus for protests at the state capitol known as the Moral Monday movement.
Full Article: The Long-Term Impact of Voting Law Changes.