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State Voting Laws

The Brennan Center tracks voting legislation around the country, keeping an eye on measures to restrict or expand voting access, restore voting rights, and improve security.

Overview

In response to former President Trump’s continued lies about voter fraud, legislators across the country are aggressively attempting to limit voting access and roll back the gains of an election conducted during a deadly pandemic. These proposed bills will make it harder to vote, target voters of color, and take aim at the very election changes — such as mail voting — that made the 2020 election not only successful but possible.

Each year, the Brennan Center publishes regular roundups of voting legislation around the country. In 2021, these updates have taken on new importance. As of May 14, lawmakers have enacted at least 22 bills with restrictive provisions in 14 states.

In addition, at least 61 bills with restrictive provisions in 18 states are moving through legislatures: 31 have passed at least one chamber, while another 30 have had some sort of committee action (e.g., a hearing, an amendment, or a committee vote). Overall, legislators have introduced at least 389 bills with restrictive provisions in 48 states.

This campaign of voter suppression makes legislation currently before Congress essential. Both the For the People Act (H.R. 1/S. 1) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would enact commonsense reforms to make voting easier as well as protect voters of color from racial discrimination in voting.

During the same timeframe, pro-voter legislators, often in the very same state houses, are pushing back, seeking to make permanent the changes that led to the biggest voter turnout in over a century. Overall, 880 bills with expansive provisions have been introduced in 49 states. Of these, at least 28 bills with expansive provisions have been enacted in 14 states. At least 115 bills with expansive provisions are moving in 25 states: 45 have passed at least one chamber, and 70 have had some sort of committee action.

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