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Voting Laws Roundup: December 2021

This year’s tidal wave of restrictive voting legislation will continue in 2022.

Last Updated: January 12, 2022
Published: December 21, 2021

Click here for the most recent Voting Laws Roundup.

In 2021, the state legis­lat­ive push to restrict access to voting was not only aggress­ive — it was also success­ful.

Between Janu­ary 1 and Decem­ber 7, at least 19 states passed 34 laws restrict­ing access to voting. More than 440 bills with provi­sions that restrict voting access have been intro­duced in 49 states in the 2021 legis­lat­ive sessions. These numbers are extraordin­ary: state legis­latures enacted far more restrict­ive voting laws in 2021 than in any year since the Bren­nan Center began track­ing voting legis­la­tion in 2011. More than a third of all restrict­ive voting laws enacted since then were passed this year. And in a new trend this year, legis­lat­ors intro­duced bills to allow partisan actors  foot­note1_wchz­skj 1 These “elec­tion sabot­age” bills, which are discussed further below, would have empowered a vari­ety of partisan actors to reject or meddle with elec­tion results. Some of these bills, e.g. AZ H.B. 2720, would have empowered state legis­latures to reject the results of an elec­tion. Others, e.g. TX S.B. 7, would have gran­ted such a power to other partisan actors like elec­ted judges.  to inter­fere with elec­tion processes or even reject elec­tion results entirely.

Unfor­tu­nately, the momentum around this legis­la­tion contin­ues. So far, at least 13 bills restrict­ing access to voting have been pre-filed  foot­note2_n31xeo6 2 Pre-filed bills are bills that are submit­ted for intro­duc­tion before a legis­lat­ive session begins.  for the 2022 legis­lat­ive session in four states. In addi­tion, at least 152 restrict­ive voting bills in 18 states will carry over from 2021. These early indic­at­ors — coupled with the ongo­ing mobil­iz­a­tion around the Big Lie (the same false rhet­oric about voter fraud that drove this year’s unpre­ced­en­ted wave of vote suppres­sion bills) — suggest that efforts to restrict and under­mine the vote will continue to be a seri­ous threat in 2022.

There are solu­tions to this alarm­ing and unpre­ced­en­ted attack on our demo­cracy. Congress has the power to take bold action now to protect Amer­ican voters from the kinds of restric­tions enacted this year and the loom­ing threats to voters and elec­tions that may be imposed in 2022 and beyond. Two bills that would head off many of the assaults on free and fair elec­tions have passed the House of Repres­ent­at­ives and are await­ing Senate votes.

The Free­dom to Vote Act is a broad pack­age of voting, redis­trict­ing, elec­tion secur­ity, and campaign finance reforms that would ensure minimum national stand­ards for voting access for every Amer­ican. It would also prevent partis­ans from sabot­aging elec­tion results. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advance­ment Act would prevent discrim­in­at­ory prac­tices and rules in voting from being imple­men­ted in states and local­it­ies where discrim­in­a­tion is persist­ent and pervas­ive, protect­ing access to the vote for all eligible voters, regard­less of race, color, or member­ship in language minor­ity groups. And it would restore voters’ abil­ity to chal­lenge discrim­in­at­ory laws nation­wide. 

Look­ing Ahead to 2022

In 2022, the Bren­nan Center expects contin­ued efforts to restrict access to voting and to enable partis­ans to sabot­age elec­tions. The risk is evid­ent in:

  • States where restrict­ive bills are carry­ing over into 2022  foot­note3_7aa09ti 3 IL, KS, MA, MI, NE, NY, OH, PA, WI.       
  • States where legis­lat­ors have already pre-filed restrict­ive voting bills for the 2022 legis­lat­ive sessions  foot­note4_kszyiag 4 AZ, MO, NH, and SC.
  • States where legis­latures or partisan actors are work­ing to circum­vent governors’ vetoes  foot­note5_h3qz0t1 5 MI and PA.
  • States where governors have vetoed restrict­ive bills this year, or where 2022 gubernat­orial elec­tions could lead to the elec­tion of governors who support voting restric­tions  foot­note6_f104hqk 6 E.g. GA, MI, PA, and WI.
  • States that have been the site of partisan elec­tion reviews  foot­note7_fa1s­jzh 7 AZ, GA, MI, PA, TX, and WI.

1. Carry­over Bills

At least 152 restrict­ive bills in 18 states will carry over into the 2022 legis­lat­ive sessions.  foot­note8_jqk3y30 8 Restrict­ive bills will carry over in Alaska, Cali­for­nia, Delaware, Geor­gia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachu­setts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, North Caro­lina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wash­ing­ton, and Wiscon­sin. This number does not include “elec­tion sabot­age” bills — bills that would subvert the elec­tion process. Future roundups will report on elec­tion sabot­age bills.  The number of restrict­ive carry­over bills, along with 13 restrict­ive pre-filed bills (discussed below), is greater than the number of restrict­ive bills considered by state legis­latures in most years in the past decade.

These carry­over bills were intro­duced during the 2021 state legis­lat­ive sessions but did not reach final resol­u­tion this year. Twenty-five states that have legis­lat­ive sessions sched­uled in 2022 allow for carry­over bills. Of the nine states that have restrict­ive carry­over bills, two enacted restrict­ive voting laws this year (KS, NY); three passed restrict­ive voting bills that were vetoed by the governor (MI, PA, WI); and three have conduc­ted or have ongo­ing partisan reviews of the 2020 elec­tion (MI, PA, WI).

The major­ity (57) of the carry­over bills would continue this year’s trend of restrict­ing access to mail voting. Recur­ring restric­tions in these bills include short­en­ing the window for apply­ing for a mail-in ballot (e.g., PA H.B. 1706); short­en­ing the dead­line for deliv­er­ing mail ballots (e.g., KS S.B. 307); prohib­it­ing send­ing out unso­li­cited mail ballot applic­a­tions (e.g., MI H.B. 5268); and restrict­ing voters’ abil­ity to receive assist­ance with return­ing a mail ballot (e.g., OH H.B. 387).

Seven bills would expand oppor­tun­it­ies for voter purges.  foot­note9_sj76euc 9 IL S.B. 2946, MI H.B. 4127, MI H.B. 4128, MI H.B. 4491, MI S.B. 277, PA H.B. 143, PA S.B. 878.  Five bills propose new crim­inal penal­ties for elec­tion offi­cials who mail out unso­li­cited mail ballots or for indi­vidu­als who assist voters with return­ing mail ballots, includ­ing those assist­ing voters who have disab­il­it­ies.  foot­note10_shl0p3r 10 PA H.B. 1703 (crim­inal penalty for anyone assist­ing a voter in return­ing a mail ballot, with narrow excep­tions), PA H.B. 1800 (same), PA H.B. 1300 (same), WI A.B. 201 (crim­inal penalty for elec­tion offi­cials who send out an unso­li­cited mail ballot or mail ballot applic­a­tion), WI S.B. 204 (crim­inal penalty for elec­tion offi­cials who send out an unso­li­cited mail ballot).  Twenty-three bills would estab­lish or expand voter iden­ti­fic­a­tion require­ments for either in-person or mail voting, and three would require proof of citizen­ship to register to vote.  foot­note11_cy9tk01 11 IL S.B. 2949, MA H. 762, MA H. 792, MA H. 812, MA H. 3878, MA H.D. 2559, MI S.B. 285, MI S.B. 303, NE L.R. 3CA, NY A.B. 4326, NY A.B. 4901, NY A.B. 8180, NY S.B. 1853, NY S.B. 6450, NY S.B. 7368, OH H.B. 387, PA H.B. 1300, PA H.B. 1334, PA H.B. 1800, PA H.B. 853, PA H.J.R. 1596, PA S.B. 422, PA S.J.R. 735, WI A.B. 201, WI A.B. 306, WI S.B. 204.

2. Pre-Filed Bills

A number of states allow lawmakers to “pre-file” bills ahead of the next legis­lat­ive session. The pre-filed bills are not yet moving, but they are typic­ally among state lawmakers’ top prior­it­ies for the 2022 legis­lat­ive session.

As of Decem­ber 7, at least 74 bills address­ing voting access and elec­tions have been pre-filed for the 2022 session in 11 of the 22 states that allow bills to be pre-filed so far.

Of the pre-filed bills, at least 13 bills in four states would make it harder for voters to cast a ballot foot­note12_zw6ob5z 12 AZ S.C.R 1005, MO H.B. 1454, MO S.B. 633, MO S.B. 668, MO S.B. 670, MO S.B. 679, MO S.B. 695, MO S.B. 738, MO S.B. 780, MO S.B. 861, MO S.B. 900, NH H.B. 1153, SC H.B. 4622.

Of the restrict­ive pre-filed bills, at least seven would limit access to mail voting, includ­ing short­en­ing the time period in which a mail ballot may be reques­ted, elim­in­at­ing Covid-19 as an excuse for voting by mail, and expand­ing the grounds on which an absentee ballot can be rejec­ted.  foot­note13_glw5yyq 13 SC H.B. 4622, NH H.B. 1153, MO S.B. 633, MO S.B. 679, MO S.B. 695, MO S.B. 738, MO S.B. 900.  Five pre-filed Missouri bills contain provi­sions that would impose a stricter voter ID require­ment for in-person and mail ballots.  foot­note14_ftjk­sln 14 MO S.B. 670, MO S.B. 668, MO S.B. 679, MO S.B. 695, MO H.B. 1454.

Addi­tion­ally, legis­lat­ors in at least five states have pre-filed seven bills for 2022  foot­note15_q1laxui 15 FL H.B. 99, MO S.B. 695, NH H.B. 1473, NH H.B. 1484, SC H.B. 4550, SC H.J.R. 4551, TN S.B. 1657. to initi­ate or allow ille­git­im­ate partisan reviews of elec­tion results.

3. Circum­vent­ing Governor Vetoes and 2022 Gubernat­orial Races

In at least two states (MI and PA), state legis­lat­ors or other actors have taken steps to enact restrict­ive legis­la­tion through consti­tu­tional amend­ment (PA) or ballot initi­at­ive (MI). As discussed below, both meth­ods would disem­power the states’ governors and the Michigan ballot initi­at­ive would preclude the major­ity of the state’s own voters from weigh­ing in on the proposal.

In addi­tion, the winners of the 2022 gubernat­orial races could also impact legis­latures’ abil­ity to enact restrict­ive voting legis­la­tion. Voters in 36 states will be elect­ing a governor in 2022. Three states — Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wiscon­sin — have state legis­latures that passed restrict­ive voting legis­la­tion in 2021 that was vetoed by the governor and gubernat­orial elec­tions in 2022. While governors who support voting access have held the line against restrict­ive voting bills this year, those meas­ures will be more easily enacted in the event of the elec­tion of governors who support restrict­ive voting policies.

4. Partisan Elec­tion Reviews

A disturb­ing legis­lat­ive trend from 2021 is the launch­ing of ille­git­im­ate partisan reviews of elec­tion results in a number of key states. Specific­ally, partisan state legis­lat­ors have empowered other partisan actors who are not part of the elec­tion admin­is­tra­tion process to access and review ballots and other mater­i­als from the 2020 elec­tions. As the Bren­nan Center has docu­mented else­where, these reviews have typic­ally been designed to set the stage for future efforts to suppress votes and subvert elec­tion outcomes. In 2021, ques­tion­able and polit­ic­ally motiv­ated reviews of the 2020 elec­tion results occurred or are ongo­ing in six states (AZ, GA, MI, PA, TX, and WI).

Now, legis­lat­ors in five states (FL, MO, NH, SC, and TN) have pre-filed seven bills for 2022  foot­note16_e51haeh 16 FL H.B. 99, MO S.B. 695, NH H.B. 1473, NH H.B. 1484, SC H.B. 4550, SC H.J.R. 4551, TN S.B. 1657.  to initi­ate or allow similar partisan reviews of elec­tion results. Five of these bills would initi­ate reviews of the 2020 elec­tion, and two of them would set up processes for partisan reviews of future elec­tions.

Key States to Watch

Below are key states to monitor in 2022. These states have already shown some of the warn­ing signs discussed above.

Arizona legis­latures passed three restrict­ive voting bills this year,  foot­note17_sofjcgg 17 AZ H.B. 1003, AZ S.B. 1485, AZ S.B. 1819.  and they have pre-filed at least one bill that would restrict voting access by impos­ing stricter iden­ti­fic­a­tion require­ments.  foot­note18_0yjopbk 18 AZ S.C.R. 1005.  Addi­tion­ally, state legis­lat­ors intro­duced three bills in 2021 that would have directly empowered partisan offi­cials to reject or over­turn elec­tion results.  foot­note19_sj6hnyy 19 AZ H.B. 2720, AZ H.B. 2800, AZ H.B. 2826.  The state also conduc­ted an infam­ous partisan elec­tion review this year, when it contrac­ted a third party to audit Mari­copa County’s 2020 elec­tion results. Despite no evid­ence of fraud, the review has drummed up false rhet­oric around voter fraud and galvan­ized public offi­cials to push for restrict­ive voting legis­la­tion.

Geor­gia passed S.B. 202, a restrict­ive omni­bus law that crim­in­al­izes passing out water to voters wait­ing in line. The law also politi­cizes the state’s board of elec­tions and grants the board new powers to remove profes­sional elec­tion offi­cials and seize control of elec­tion admin­is­tra­tion in specific juris­dic­tions, which could lead to partisan influ­ence in the elec­tion certi­fic­a­tion process. Moreover, partisan actors sought to review the elec­tion results in Fulton County because of false alleg­a­tions of fraud, despite the fact that state elec­tion offi­cials conduc­ted a stat­utory audit that led to a full hand count along with two machine counts.

Geor­gia has high-profile elec­tions for secret­ary of state and governor in 2022. One candid­ate for secret­ary of state has repeated false fraud claims and voted not to certify the results of the 2020 pres­id­en­tial elec­tion, while two candid­ates for governor have expli­citly stated that they would not have certi­fied the results of the 2020 elec­tion had they been in office at the time.

Michigan’s legis­lature passed — but the governor vetoed — three restrict­ive voting bills;  foot­note20_8k360dx 20 MI S.B. 277, MI S.B. 303, MI S.B. 304.  15 restrict­ive bills are carry­ing over into the 2022 legis­lat­ive session; and the state has a gubernat­orial race next year.

Addi­tion­ally, partisan actors have turned to a ballot initi­at­ive to pass restrict­ive meas­ures to bypass both the governor and the people. Due to a quirk of the Michigan Consti­tu­tion, if a ballot initi­at­ive garners the required number of signa­tures of support (340,047), the legis­lature gets a chance to pass it in its own right. This means the major­ity of Michigan voters never get an oppor­tun­ity to vote on the initi­at­ive, and the governor has no power to veto such an initi­at­ive if the legis­lature passes it.

Anti-voting activ­ists are currently organ­iz­ing a restrict­ive ballot initi­at­ive that would, among other things, elim­in­ate the abil­ity for voters who lack a voter iden­ti­fic­a­tion to cast a regu­lar ballot; require voters to put the last four digits of their Social Secur­ity number on their voter regis­tra­tion; require voters to provide their driver’s license number, state ID card number, or the last four digits of their Social Secur­ity number on absentee ballot applic­a­tions; and prohibit either the secret­ary of state or local elec­tion offi­cials from affirm­at­ively send­ing absentee ballot applic­a­tion forms to voters. The number of signa­tures required to give the green light for the Michigan Legis­lature to roll back the voting rights of millions of Michig­anders — unchecked by the governor or voters — is fewer than the actual number of votes separ­at­ing the two major candid­ates in the state’s last gubernat­orial elec­tion.

In one Michigan county, a partisan group was given access to voting machines to review the 2020 elec­tion results, despite the fact that Michigan has a robust, accur­ate risk-limit­ing audit system already in place. And lawmakers intro­duced a bill that would have allowed a member of a county board of canvass­ers to rescind their vote to certify the results of an elec­tion — which is exactly what Pres­id­ent Trump sought in Wayne County after the 2020 elec­tion.  foot­note21_4roqz1e 21 MI H.B. 4966.

Pennsylvani­a’s legis­lature passed one wide-ranging restrict­ive bill this year, which the governor vetoed.  foot­note22_qu8mu17 22 PA H.B. 1300.  Thirty restrict­ive bills are carry­ing over into the 2022 legis­lat­ive session. The state also has a gubernat­orial race next year. Four of the restrict­ive carry­over bills are consti­tu­tional amend­ment propos­als that would enable state legis­lat­ors to get restrict­ive voting laws on the books without the governor’s review.  foot­note23_0i6o2tw 23 PA H.J.R. 1717 (Elim­in­ates no-excuse mail voting; removes abil­ity to prescribe other meth­ods of voting by stat­ute), PA H.J.R.1596 (Requires voter ID for in-person voting, proof of voter ID and signa­ture for absentee voting, requires signa­ture match­ing for mail ballots), PA S.J.R. 735 (Requires voter ID for in-person voting, proof of voter ID for absentee voting), PA S.J.R. 884 (Elim­in­ates no-excuse mail voting; removes abil­ity to prescribe other meth­ods of voting by stat­ute; moves absentee ballot return dead­line from 8 p.m. on Elec­tion Day to 5 p.m. the Friday before Elec­tion Day; requires all absentee ballots to be subject to signa­ture veri­fic­a­tion; elim­in­ates perman­ent mail voting list).  (These propos­als would need major­ity approval by the 2021–2022 and 2022–2023 state legis­latures, and then major­ity approval from voters).

Further, offi­cials in one rural Pennsylvania county agreed to a ques­tion­able partisan review of their 2020 elec­tion results by a private secur­ity firm with no previ­ous exper­i­ence audit­ing elec­tions and funded by Sidney Powell, a Trump-affil­i­ated attor­ney who pursued unsuc­cess­ful post-elec­tion lawsuits based on debunked conspir­acy theor­ies. A Pennsylvania state senator who was present at Capitol Hill during the Janu­ary 6 insur­rec­tion has since used the “results” of this ques­tion­able review to push for further restrict­ive voting legis­la­tion.

Texas passed S.B. 1 this year, one of the harshest restrict­ive voting bills in the coun­try. The law makes it harder for voters with disab­il­it­ies and language access barri­ers to obtain assist­ance, constrains elec­tion work­ers’ abil­ity to stop harass­ment by poll watch­ers, and bans 24-hour and drive-thru voting, among other meas­ures.

Texas legis­lat­ors also intro­duced legis­la­tion this year that would have provided for the over­turn­ing of elec­tion results and that expli­citly called for third party forensic reviews of the elec­tion results.  foot­note24_c5jw7lu 24 TX S.B. 7, TX H.B. 17.  Even without author­iz­ing legis­la­tion, the secret­ary of state’s office launched an unne­ces­sary audit into the 2020 elec­tion in four Texas counties. Even though routine audits had already occurred, docu­ments published by the secret­ary of state’s office would allow for a manual count of votes in those counties, as well as an exam­in­a­tion of other elec­tion records and voter lists.

Wiscon­sin’s legis­lature passed two restrict­ive voting bills this year, which the governor vetoed.  foot­note25_wq3r­grb 25 WI S.B. 203, WI S.B. 204.  Thir­teen restrict­ive bills are carry­ing over into the 2022 legis­lat­ive session, and the state has a gubernat­orial race next year.

Wiscon­sin has also initi­ated an “invest­ig­a­tion” into the 2020 elec­tion results. The effort lacks trans­par­ency, fair­ness, and cred­ib­il­ity, and is being staffed by a well-known partisan oper­at­ive with a prior history of spread­ing false claims of elec­tion fraud.

Missouri, New Hamp­shire, and South Caro­lina have each pre-filed at least one voting bill that would restrict access to the vote, as well as bills that would initi­ate or allow for partisan reviews of elec­tion results in 2022.  foot­note26_n28kzc9 26 MO S.B. 670, MO S.B. 695, NH H.B. 1473, NH H.B. 1484, SC H.B. 4550.  Missouri also intro­duced legis­la­tion this past session that would have empowered partisan offi­cials to over­turn elec­tion results.  foot­note27_wxr9few 27 MO H.B. 1301.

Flor­ida and Tennessee have each pre-filed bills that would initi­ate partisan reviews of the 2020 elec­tion results in 2022.  foot­note28_866jg4u 28 FL H.B. 99, TN S.B. 1657.

Look­ing Back at 2021

Between Janu­ary 1 and Decem­ber 7, at least 19 states passed 34 restrict­ive laws. At the same time, many state legis­latures worked to ensure greater voting access. Between Janu­ary 1 and Decem­ber 7, at least 25 states enacted 62 expans­ive laws.

This expans­ive legis­la­tion does not outweigh the impact of the restrict­ive laws. The expans­ive and restrict­ive sets of legis­la­tion are primar­ily passing in differ­ent states — 11 states enacted only restrict­ive laws in 2021, while 17 states enacted only expans­ive laws. As a result, there is a stark and grow­ing divide in the nation, where access to the right to vote increas­ingly depends on the state in which a voter happens to reside. That divide only stands to widen next year unless Congress acts.

Restrict­ive Legis­la­tion

Between Janu­ary 1 and Decem­ber 7, at least 19 states passed 34 restrict­ive laws foot­note29_jsmt38j 29 AL H.B. 285, AL H.B. 538, AR H.B. 1112, AR H.B. 1244, AR H.B. 1715, AR S.B. 643, AZ S.B. 1003, AZ S.B. 1485, AZ S.B. 1819, FL S.B. 90, GA S.B. 202, IA S.F. 413, IA S.F. 568, ID H.B. 290, IN S.B. 398, KS H.B. 2183, KS H.B. 2332, KY H.B. 574, LA H.B. 167, MT H.B. 176, MT H.B. 530, MT S.B. 169, MT S.B. 196, MT S.B. 319, NH H.B. 523, NH S.B. 31, NV S.B. 84, NY S.B. 264, OK H.B. 2663, TX H.B. 3920, TX S.B. 1111, TX S.B. 1, UT H.B. 12, WY H.B. 75. Provi­sions are categor­ized as restrict­ive if they would make it harder for Amer­ic­ans to register, stay on the rolls, and/or vote as compared to exist­ing state law.  The restrict­ive laws make it more diffi­cult for voters to cast mail ballots that count, make in-person voting more diffi­cult by redu­cing polling place hours and loca­tions, increase voter purges or the risk of faulty voter purges, and crim­in­al­ize the ordin­ary, lawful beha­vior of elec­tion offi­cials and other indi­vidu­als involved in elec­tions.

The state laws restrict­ing voting access are not created equal. Four of the thirty-four laws are mixed, mean­ing they contain pro-voter policies as well as policies that make voting more diffi­cult (IN S.B. 398, KY H.B. 574, LA H.B. 167, OK H.B. 2663). Other laws are relat­ively narrow in their scope (e.g., NV S.B. 84, UT H.B. 12). By contrast, Flor­ida, Geor­gia, Iowa, and Texas enacted omni­bus laws that each contain several new restrict­ive provi­sions.  foot­note30_uu29hy3 30 GA S.B. 202, FL S.B. 90, IA S.F. 413, TX S.B. 1.

More than 440 bills with provi­sions that restrict voting access have been intro­duced in 49 states in the 2021 legis­lat­ive sessions.

Expans­ive Legis­la­tion

Between Janu­ary 1 and Decem­ber 7, 2021, at least 25 states enacted 62 laws with provi­sions that expand voting access foot­note31_9ry1kq8 31 CA A.B. 37, CA S.B. 29, CA S.B. 152, CA S.B. 503, CO H.B. 1011, CT S.B. 1202, DE S.B. 5, HI S.B. 159, HI S.B. 548, IL H.B. 1871, IL H.B. 3235, IL S.B. 825, IN S.B. 398, IN H.B. 1479, IN H.B. 1485, KY H.B. 574, LA H.B. 167, LA H.B. 286, MA H. 73, MA H. 3973, MD H.B. 206, MD S.B. 596, MD H.B. 745, MD H.B. 1048, MD S.B. 525, MD S.B. 683, ME L.D. 1399, ME L.D. 221, ME L.D. 1126, ME L.D. 1363, ME L.D. 1575, MN H.F. 1952, MT S.B. 15, ND H.B. 1078, ND H.B. 1253, ND H.B. 1447, NH H.B. 555, NJ S.B. 3203, NM H.B. 231, NV A.B. 121, NV A.B. 321, NV A.B. 432, NY A.B. 2574, NY A.B. 6046, NY A.B. 6047, NY S.B. 830B, NY S.B. 5545, OK H.B. 2663, OR H.B. 2681, OR H.B. 3021, OR H.B. 3291, VA H.B. 1888, VA H.B. 1921, VA H.B. 1968, VA H.B. 2125, VA S.B. 1097, VA S.B. 1245, VA S.B. 1331, VA S.B. 1395, VA H.B. 1890, VT S.B. 15, WA H.B. 1078. Provi­sions are categor­ized as expans­ive if they would make it easier for Amer­ic­ans to register, stay on the rolls, and/or vote as compared to exist­ing state law.  These expans­ive policies ease the processes for request­ing and cast­ing a mail ballot and having that ballot coun­ted, expand early voting time peri­ods, improve access for disabled voters, strengthen language access provi­sions, expand or imple­ment auto­matic voter regis­tra­tion, and restore voting rights to formerly incar­cer­ated people, among other meas­ures. More than 1,000 bills with expans­ive provi­sions have been intro­duced in 49 states in the 2021 legis­lat­ive sessions.

CORREC­TION: The number of pre-filed bills that would allow for partisan reviews was updated from six to seven on Dec. 21, 2021. The number of pre-filed bills that would allow for partisan reviews of the 2020 elec­tion was updated from four to five on Dec. 21, 2021. 

CORREC­TION: The number of restrict­ive carry­over bills from the 2021 to the 2022 legis­lat­ive session was updated from 88 to 152 on Jan. 12, 2022. The number of states that have restrict­ive voting bills carry­ing over from the 2021 to the 2022 legis­lat­ive session was updated from nine to 18 on Jan. 12, 2022.

End Notes