For the fourth year in a row, bills that would expand voters’ access to the ballot box have outpaced those that would restrict voting, in terms of both introduction and passage.
In 2016, 14 states will have new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election. The new laws range from strict photo ID requirements to early voting cutbacks to registration restrictions.
Those 14 states are: Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
(This number decreased from 15 to 14 when the D.C. Circuit blocked a voter registration requirement in Alabama, Georgia, and Kansas on September 9, 2016. Georgia was removed, but Alabama and Kansas remain on the map because certain restrictions remain in place. Other recent court rulings have impacted the map: North Carolina and North Dakota were removed after courts blocked restrictive laws. Despite a recent court victory mitigating the impact of Texas’s photo ID law, it is still included because the requirement is more restrictive than what was in place for the 2012 presidential election.)
This is part of a broader movement to curtail voting rights, which began after the 2010 election, when state lawmakers nationwide started introducing hundreds of harsh measures making it harder to vote.
Overall, 20 states have new restrictions in effect since the 2010 midterm election. Since 2010, a total of 10 states have more restrictive voter ID laws in place (and six states have strict photo ID requirements) seven have laws making it harder for citizens to register, six cut back on early voting days and hours, and three made it harder to restore voting rights for people with past criminal convictions.
This page details the new restrictive voting requirements put in place during that time period.
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