At a time when many states are making it harder to vote, 16 states have provided some good news over the last year by deciding to go in the opposite direction. In various ways, they have expanded access to the polls, allowing more people to register or to vote more conveniently. The list, compiled by the Brennan Center for Justice, includes these states:
• Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Virginia and West Virginia. They created online registration systems, a big improvement over unreliable and inconvenient paper systems.
• Colorado and Louisiana. They will allow 16- and 17-year-olds to preregister when they apply for a driver’s license. Colorado also added Election Day registration, and it is encouraging mail-in voting without an absentee excuse.
• Maryland. It will allow same-day registration during early voting, which was expanded from six to eight days.
• Delaware. It will allow most felons to vote immediately after completing their sentences.
Some of these improvements took place in Republican-led states, a development that is all the more striking because many of the other states that are trying to keep people from the polls — 15 will have new restrictions on voting in November — are mostly controlled by Republicans.
These restrictions include voter ID laws, which are going into effect this year in 11 states, and cutbacks on early voting, which have taken place in eight states since 2011. One of the most pernicious ways to limit voting is to make it harder to register, as 10 states have done. Some limit voter registration drives, while others require documentary proof of citizenship, which many American citizens lack.
Full Article: Where Voting Is Now Easier – NYTimes.com.