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Voting Laws Roundup: May 2021

States have already enacted more than 20 laws this year that will make it harder for Americans to vote — and many legislatures are still in session.

Published: May 28, 2021

Edit­or’s note: A more recent snap­shot of state-level voting laws — both expans­ive and restrict­ive — can be found here.

Across the coun­try, the effort to restrict the vote contin­ues, with a wave of bills moving through state legis­latures and becom­ing law.

Between Janu­ary 1 and May 14, 2021, at least 14 states enacted 22 new laws that restrict access to the vote. foot­note1_zr8kn0a 1 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 United States is on track to far exceed its most recent period of signi­fic­ant voter suppres­sion — 2011. By Octo­ber of that year, 19 restrict­ive laws were enacted in 14 states. This year, the coun­try has already reached that level, and it’s only May.


 

End Notes

UPDATE

As of June 21, 17 states enacted 28 new laws that restrict access to the vote. With some state legis­latures still in session, more laws will certainly follow, which we will track in the next roundup later this year.

More restric­tions on the vote are likely to become law, as roughly one-third of legis­latures are still in session. Indeed, at least 61 bills with restrict­ive provi­sions are moving through 18 state legis­latures. More specific­ally, 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, lawmakers have intro­duced at least 389 restrict­ive bills in 48 states in the 2021 legis­lat­ive sessions. foot­note1_gauwi40 1 This total includes bills that are intro­duced, prefiled, or carried over.

The restrict­ive laws from 2011 were enacted after the 2010 elec­tions brought a signi­fic­ant shift in polit­ical control over state­houses — and as the coun­try confron­ted back­lash to the elec­tion of its first Black pres­id­ent. Today’s attacks on the vote come from similar sources: the racist voter fraud alleg­a­tions behind the Big Lie and a desire to prevent future elec­tions from achiev­ing the historic turnout seen in 2020.

Amer­ic­ans’ access to the vote is in unpre­ced­en­ted peril. But Congress can protect it. The For the People Act, passed by the House and now await­ing action in the Senate, would block many of the state-level restric­tions that have been or may soon be enacted into law.

At the same time, at least 880 bills with expans­ive provi­sions have been intro­duced in 49 states. foot­note2_wety­fnq 2 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.  Of these, at least 28 bills with expans­ive provi­sions have been signed into law 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.

You can find a resource list­ing restrict­ive and expans­ive state voting legis­la­tion by bill number here.

Restrict­ive Bills

Bills Enacted into Law

In a back­lash to 2020’s historic voter turnout and unpre­ced­en­ted vote-by-mail usage, state lawmakers have imposed a vari­ety of signi­fic­ant restric­tions on both mail voting and in-person voting. Flor­ida, Geor­gia, and Iowa have each used single omni­bus bills, which incor­por­ate many restric­tions, to under­take a full-fledged assault on voting. By contrast, Arkan­sas and Montana lead the coun­try in the number of restrict­ive bills enacted (four each), each of which addresses a narrower range of issues. Laws enacted in Arkan­sas, Flor­ida, Geor­gia, Iowa, and Montana are already being chal­lenged in court.

At least 16 mail voting restric­tions in 12 states will make it more diffi­cult for voters to cast mail ballots that count. foot­note3_sd58d39 3 Many of these laws enact more than one mail voting restric­tion, as delin­eated in the para­graph that follows.  Six laws shorten the time­frame for voters to request a mail ballot, includ­ing a Geor­gia law that will reduce that window by more than one-half. foot­note4_cl1r7f5 4 AL HB 538, AR SB 643, GA SB 202, IA SF 413, KY HB 574, OK HB 2663.  Five laws make it more diffi­cult for voters to auto­mat­ic­ally receive their ballot or ballot applic­a­tion — either by making it harder to stay on absentee voting lists or by prohib­it­ing offi­cials from send­ing applic­a­tions or ballots without the voter’s affirm­at­ive request. foot­note5_wlnawjt 5 AZ SB 1485, FL SB 90, GA SB 202, IA SF 413, KS HB 2332.  Nine laws in eight states make it more diffi­cult for voters to deliver their mail ballots, includ­ing a law in Arkan­sas that makes the in-person ballot deliv­ery dead­line earlier, six laws that restrict assist­ance to voters in return­ing their mail ballots, and four laws that limit the avail­ab­il­ity of mail ballot drop boxes. foot­note6_130o8st 6 AR HB 1715, AR SB 643, FL SB 90, GA SB 202, IA SF 413, IN SB 398, KS HB 2183, KY HB 574, MT SB 530.  Three laws impose stricter signa­ture require­ments for mail voting, foot­note7_xpdgrbg 7 AZ SB 1003, ID HB 290, KS HB 2183.  while three others impose stricter or new voter ID laws for mail voting. foot­note8_kx7t­dbb 8 FL SB 90, GA SB 202, MT SB 169.

At least 8 states have enacted 11 laws that make in-person voting more diffi­cult. Three states have enacted four laws that impose new or harsher voter ID require­ments for in-person voting. foot­note9_ci1tc3w 9 AR HB 1112, AR HB 1244, MT SB 169, WY HB 75.  Four laws make faulty voter roll purges more likely, risk­ing confu­sion and disen­fran­chise­ment when voters show up at the polls. foot­note10_e3cltjg 10 IA SF 413, FL SB 90, KY HB 574, UT HB 12.  Montana elim­in­ated Elec­tion Day regis­tra­tion and moved up its regis­tra­tion dead­line to the day before Elec­tion Day. foot­note11_e986jla 11 MT HB 176.  Three states have limited the avail­ab­il­ity of polling places: Montana permit­ted more loca­tions to qual­ify for reduced polling place hours; Iowa reduced its Elec­tion Day hours, shortened the early voting period, and limited elec­tion offi­cials’ discre­tion to offer addi­tional early voting loca­tions; and Geor­gia reduced early voting in many counties by stand­ard­iz­ing early voting days and hours. foot­note12_712zlms 12 GA SB 202, IA SF 413, MT SB 196.

Restrict­ive Bills That Are Moving

As of May 14, 2021, there are at least 61 bills with restrict­ive effects moving through 18 state legis­latures, in addi­tion to the bills that have already become law. foot­note13_otcnttn 13 AL HB 285, AL HB 314, AZ HB 2792, AZ HB 2793, AZ HB 2811, AZ SB 1358, AZ SB 1713, ID SB 1070, KS SB 307, LA HB 167, LA SB 63, LA SB 224, MA S 468, ME HP 174, ME HP 402, ME HP 798, MI HB 4127, MI HB 4128, MI HB 4134, MI HB 4491, MI SB 273, MI SB 285, MI SB 286, MI SB 287, MI SB 308, MN SF 173, MN SF 1422, MN SF 1831, NC HB 782, NE LB 590, NE LR 3CA, NH HB 292, NH HB 523, NH SB 31, NH SB 54, NV AB 321, NV SB 84, NY AB 6970, RI HB 6003, RI HB 6007, RI HB 6099, RI SB 516, RI SB 662, RI SB 666, SC SB 236, TX HB 3920, TX SJR 51, TX SB 7, TX SB 155, TX SB 1111, TX SB 1114, TX SB 1235, TX SB 1340, TX SB 1509, WI AB 201, WI SB 179, WI SB 180, WI SB 203, WI SB 204, WI SB 206, WI SB 209. “Moving” means the bill is still live and has passed one or both cham­bers or has had some sort of commit­tee action — namely a commit­tee hear­ing (already held or sched­uled), an amend­ment, or a commit­tee vote.  More than one-third of these moving bills are in only three states: Texas and Michigan with nine bills each, and Wiscon­sin with seven. Texas legis­lat­ors are still consid­er­ing SB 7, an omni­bus voter suppres­sion bill, in confer­ence. To date, however, the final language of the bill has not been released from the confer­ence commit­tee.

At least 32 moving bills in 15 states would restrict the abil­ity to vote by mail. foot­note14_m1n6koy 14 AZ HB 2792, AZ SB 1713, ID SB 1070, KS SB 307, LA SB 63, LA SB 224, MA S 468, MI SB 273, MI SB 285, MI SB 286, MI SB 287, MI SB 308, MN SF 173, NC HB 782, NE LB 590, NH HB 292, NH SB 54, NV AB 321, NY AB 6970, RI HB 6007, RI HB 6099, RI SB 662, RI SB 666, TX HB 3920, TX SJR 51, TX SB 7, TX SB 1509, WI AB 201, WI SB 203, WI SB 204, WI SB 206, WI SB 209.  In Wiscon­sin, AB 201 and SB 204 would elim­in­ate the abil­ity of voters other than milit­ary voters to auto­mat­ic­ally receive an absentee ballot for each elec­tion. At least six moving bills would prohibit the unso­li­cited send­ing of mail ballot applic­a­tions or ballots. foot­note15_05h73y0 15 AZ HB 2792, RI HB 6007, TX SB 7, TX SJR 51, WI AB 201, WI SB 204.  At least four moving bills would make it harder for absentee voters to obtain assist­ance submit­ting their ballots. foot­note16_z71s­n49 16 RI HB 6099, RI SB 662, TX SB 7, WI SB 203.

At least 15 bills moving in 10 states would impose new or stricter voter ID require­ments. foot­note17_5t26c1r 17 AZ SB 1713, LA SB 224, ME HP 174, ME HP 402, ME HP 798, MI SB 285, MN SF 173, MN SF 1831, NE LR 3CA, NH HB 292, NH SB 54, RI HB 6099, RI SB 666, TX SB 1509, WI SB 204.  Six of these bills would impose new or stricter ID require­ments to vote in person. foot­note18_6kp26bx 18 AZ SB 1713, ME HP 174, ME HP 402, ME HP 798, MN SF 173, NE LR 3CA.  Seven would require voters to present an ID number or an ID to vote by mail. foot­note19_jrj4txh 19 LA SB 224, MN SF 173, NH HB 292, NH SB 54, RI SB 666, TX SB 1509, WI SB 204.

At least 14 bills moving in 6 states would expand voter purge prac­tices in ways that risk improper removals. foot­note20_uo93x83 20 AL HB 314, LA HB 167, MI HB 4127, MI HB 4128, MI HB 4491, NH SB 31, RI HB 6003, RI SB 516, TX SB 7, TX SB 155, TX SB 1111, TX SB 1114, TX SB 1235, TX SB 1340.  At least eight bills would require the use of new and often unre­li­able data sources to elim­in­ate voters from the rolls. foot­note21_f2iyr1i 21 AL HB 314, LA HB 167, MI HB 4127, NH SB 31, TX SB 155, TX SB 1114, TX SB 1235, TX SB 1340.

At least 11 bills moving in 6 states would increase barri­ers to voter regis­tra­tion. foot­note22_rlb4o4x 22 AZ HB 2793, AZ HB 2811, AZ SB 1358, MN SF 173, MN SF 1422, MN SF 1831, NH HB 523, RI HB 6099, TX SB 1340, WI SB 179, WI SB 180.  MN SF 173 and RI HB 6099 would require voters to provide an ID or ID number when regis­ter­ing to vote. Four bills would prohibit or restrict the abil­ity to register to vote on Elec­tion Day. foot­note23_wdj7uw8 23 MN SF 1422, MN SF 1831, NH HB 523, WI SB 180.  In Arizona, HB 2793 would pree­mpt­ively prohibit auto­matic voter regis­tra­tion, while HB 2811 would pree­mpt­ively prohibit Elec­tion Day regis­tra­tion.

Expans­ive Bills

Bills Enacted into Law

Despite the wave of voter suppres­sion efforts in 2021, some states have enacted legis­la­tion to make it easier for Amer­ic­ans to access the ballot box. These laws are focused on expand­ing early voting, making mail voting easier, and improv­ing access­ib­il­ity for voters with disab­il­it­ies. Virginia has enacted nine expans­ive bills this session, the most of any state. foot­note24_xa9i7hk 24 VA HB 1888, VA HB 1890, VA HB 1921, VA HB 1968, VA HB 2125, VA SB 1097, VA SB 1245, VA SB 1331, VA SB 1395.

At least seven laws would expand the avail­ab­il­ity of early voting. For example, New Jersey and Kentucky codi­fied in-person early voting, and Massachu­setts exten­ded early voting through June of this year. foot­note25_8zyk97r 25 IN HB 1479, KY HB 574, MA HB 73, MD HB 745, NJ SB 3203, OK HB 2663, VA HB 1968.

And at least eight laws in six states make mail voting easier. foot­note26_9fi759z 26 IL HB 1871, IN SB 398, KY HB 574, MD SB 683, ND HB 1253, VA HB 1888, VA SB 1097, VA SB 1245.  That includes five laws in four states that expand mail ballot drop box access or ballot drop-off loca­tions foot­note27_ubbqt2s 27 IL HB 1871, KY HB 574, MD SB 683, VA HB 1888, VA SB 1245.  and five laws in four states that codify proced­ures so that voters learn of and can fix mistakes and defects in their mail ballots. foot­note28_3t4aiez 28 IN SB 398, KY HB 574, ND HB 1253, VA HB 1888, VA SB 1245.

At least six states have enacted eight laws that seek to make voting more access­ible for voters with disab­il­it­ies. foot­note29_ncd1pjb 29 IN SB 398, KY HB 574, MA HB 73, MT SB 15, ND HB 1253, VA HB 1921, VA SB 1245, VA SB 1331.  Wash­ing­ton and New York restored voting rights to people with past convic­tions so that every Amer­ican living in the community is eligible to vote. foot­note30_k22ysn7 30 NY SB 830B, WA HB 1078.  Two states made voter regis­tra­tion easier for young voters: New York expan­ded auto­matic voter regis­tra­tion to include the State Univer­sity of New York, while Virginia expan­ded pre-regis­tra­tion to 16-year-olds. foot­note31_x1ge3kp 31 NY AB 2574, VA HB 2125.

Expans­ive Bills That Are Moving

As of May 14, 2021, there are at least 115 bills with expans­ive provi­sions that are moving across 25 states, in addi­tion to the bills that have already become law. New York has 20 moving bills with expans­ive provi­sions, the most of any state. foot­note32_sysgfjh 32 NY AB 4128, NY AB 454, NY AB 6046, NY AB 6047, NY AB 6970, NY SB 253, NY SB 360, NY SB 492, NY SB 517, NY SB 518, NY SB 557, NY SB 632, NY SB 744, NY SB 1028, NY SB 1046, NY SB 1485, NY SB 1632, NY SB 2951, NY SB 4306, NY SB 4658.  These include two bills that, if approved by New York voters in Novem­ber, would amend the state’s consti­tu­tion to allow for no-excuse absentee voting and same-day voter regis­tra­tion. foot­note33_75dy7tx 33 NY SB 360 (no-excuse absentee voting), NY SB 517 (same-day voter regis­tra­tion).  In addi­tion, there are 13 moving expans­ive bills in Connecti­cut and 10 in Oregon. foot­note34_ir46nwt 34 CT HJR 58, CT HJR 59, CT HB 5318, CT HB 5651, CT HB 5872, CT HB 6205, CT HB 6408, CT HB 6464, CT HB 6578, CT SJR 13, CT SB 5, CT SB 820, CT SB 901, OR HJR 11, OR HB 2226, OR HB 2366, OR HB 2499, OR HB 2681, OR HB 2679, OR HB 3021, OR SB 249, OR SB 251, OR SB 571.

More than half of the expans­ive bills that are moving would make it easier to vote by mail. There are 59 moving bills across 20 states that would make it easier to obtain and return a mail ballot and have that ballot coun­ted. Thir­teen bills would expand the avail­ab­il­ity of ballot drop boxes. foot­note35_jsg636c 35 CT HB 6464, CT SB 5, CT SB 901, MA H 805, MA S 459, MD HB 222, MD SB 525, ME HP 936, ME SP 450, MN HF 9, NV AB 321, NY AB 4128, NY SB 492.  Twelve bills would extend the dead­line for mail ballot receipt or post­mark, giving voters more time to return their mail ballots. foot­note36_9fgzhw7 36 CA AB 37, MA H 805, MA S 459, MA S 468, NC HB 782, NJ AB 3591, NJ AB 4259, NJ SB 2496, NV AB 121, NV SB 263, OR HB 2226, OR HB 2687.  Nine of the moving bills would either estab­lish no-excuse mail voting or put forward state consti­tu­tional amend­ments to do so. foot­note37_bozfw7t 37 CT HB 6464, CT HJR 58, CT SB 901, DE HB 75, MA H 76, MA S 27, MA S 28, NY SB 360, RI SB 621.  Nine of the moving bills would estab­lish or expand notice and cure oppor­tun­it­ies for mail voters. foot­note38_5q33uau 38 CA SB 503, HI SB 548, ME HP 1172, ME SP 450, NH SB 89, NJ SB 2496, TX SB 1018, VT SB 15, WI AB 198.  In addi­tion, other moving bills would allow voters to apply online for mail ballots, require that mail ballot return envel­opes include prepaid post­age, or remove a witness require­ment for mail ballots, among other expans­ive meas­ures. foot­note39_ugr0oz6 39 NE LB 577 (requir­ing absentee ballot return envel­opes have prepaid post­age), NH SB 83 (allow­ing for online absentee ballot applic­a­tions), RI SB 184, RI SB 247, RI SB 621 (remov­ing require­ment that absentee ballots need to be signed before a notary or two witnesses).

There are 32 bills moving in 16 states that would expand voter regis­tra­tion oppor­tun­it­ies. foot­note40_imja64c 40 CA SB 504, CT HB 5872, CT HB 6408, CT HB 6578, CT SB 5, CT SJR 13, DE SB 5, HI SB 159, HI SB 548, IL HB 3235, MA H 805, MA S 459, MA S 468, ME HP 804, ME HP 1172, MI SB 274, MN HF 607, MN HF 9, NE LB 557, NH SB 83, NV AB 121, NV AB 321, NV SB 263, NY SB 517, NY SB 2951, OR HJR 11, OR HB 2681, OR HR 2499, RI HJR 5983, RI SJR 569, RI SB 799, TX SB 1340.  Ten bills would estab­lish auto­matic voter regis­tra­tion (AVR) or extend AVR to addi­tional agen­cies or schools. foot­note41_fm1qiw7 41 CT HB 5872, CT HB 6578, CT SB 5, DE SB 5, IL HB 3235, MN HF 9, MN HF 607, NE LB 557, OR HB 2499, RI SB 799.  Ten bills would estab­lish or expand same-day or Elec­tion Day regis­tra­tion oppor­tun­it­ies. foot­note42_83xseoj 42 CA SB 504, HI SB 548, MA H 805, MA S 459, MA S 468, MN HF 9, NV AB 321, NV SB 263, NY SB 517, OR HJR 11.  In addi­tion, five bills would extend voter regis­tra­tion dead­lines. foot­note43_xsi5uxs 43 HI SB 548, NV AB 121, NV SB 263, NY SB 517, NY SB 2951.  Three bills would give 16– and 17-year-olds the oppor­tun­ity to pre-register to vote. foot­note44_qdp8fmn 44 CT SJR 13, MI SB 274, MN HF 9.

There are 25 bills moving in 11 states that would estab­lish or expand early voting. foot­note45_yhxdgnh 45 CT HJR 59, CT SJR 13, LA HB 286, MA H 805, MA S 28, MA S 459, MA S 468, MD HB 206, MD SB 596, ME HP 423, ME HP 1172, MI SB 300, MN HF 9, MN HF 1160, MN SF 1831, NY SB 518, NY SB 557, NY SB 744, NY SB 1485, NY SB 4306, NY SB 4658, OK SB 440, RI HB 5745, RI SB 247, TX HB 2149.  Some of these bills, includ­ing in Louisi­ana and Oklahoma, would increase the number of days, or increase the required hours per day, of early voting. In New York, three bills would require that counties provide a minimum number of early voting loca­tions based on their popu­la­tions, while another would require an early voting loca­tion (and an Elec­tion Day polling loca­tion) on any college or univer­sity campus with 300 or more registered, active voters. foot­note46_y95i­ge4 46 NY SB 744, NY SB 1485, NY SB 4306, NY SB 4658.

There are 10 bills moving in five states that would restore voting rights for those with past convic­tions. foot­note47_wr3jwqe 47 CT HB 5318, CT HB 6578, CT SB 5, MN HF 9, MN HF 876, NE LB 158, NE LR 10CA, OR HB 2366, OR SB 571, VA SJR 272.  Six bills would restore the right to vote upon release from incar­cer­a­tion, rather than upon comple­tion of proba­tion or parole. foot­note48_nbdzjni 48 CT SB 5, CT HB 6578, CT HB 5318, MN HF 9, MN HF 876, VA SJR 272.  There are also three bills that would restore the right to vote while incar­cer­ated, with limited excep­tions. foot­note49_lygukk2 49 NE LR 10CA, OR HB 2366, OR SB 571.  Addi­tional bills would remove or ease require­ments that formerly incar­cer­ated indi­vidu­als pay legal finan­cial oblig­a­tions before their right to vote is restored; others would remove a mandat­ory wait­ing period after complet­ing a sentence before the right to vote can be restored. foot­note50_hqdsy8i 50 AL SB 118, CT HB 6578, CT SB 5, NE LB 158.

Alarm­ing Trends

In addi­tion to new legis­la­tion that will make it harder for Amer­ic­ans to vote, state lawmakers have enacted several other policies that risk under­min­ing the voting process.

For example, a previ­ous Bren­nan Center analysis high­lighted the nation­wide effort to expand the powers of poll watch­ers, a move that invites the oppor­tun­ity for increased voter intim­id­a­tion and harass­ment at the polls. Already, three such bills have been enacted. foot­note51_3578gdp 51 GA SB 202, IA SF 413, MT SB 93.  Geor­gia and Montana have expan­ded poll watcher access in voting or ballot-count­ing loca­tions. The Geor­gia law also provides that a single person can chal­lenge the eligib­il­ity of an unlim­ited number of voters, risk­ing arbit­rary, discrim­in­at­ory, and disrupt­ive chal­lenges. The Iowa law makes it a crim­inal offense for an elec­tion offi­cial to obstruct a watch­er’s activ­it­ies.

Three new state laws seek to punish local elec­tion offi­cials for tech­nical mistakes. foot­note53_115rop5 53 AR SB 644, GA SB 202, IA SF 13.  Iowa’s SF 413 allows the state commis­sioner of elec­tions to impose a fine on county elec­tion offi­cials for tech­nical infrac­tions, includ­ing fail­ure to purge voters. In Arkan­sas, SB 644 allows the State Board of Elec­tion Commis­sion­ers to decer­tify local elec­tion offi­cials or even take over the admin­is­tra­tion of local elec­tions based on any viol­a­tion (even if inad­vert­ent) of voter regis­tra­tion or elec­tion laws they deem severe enough. Simil­arly, Geor­gi­a’s SB 202 allows local elec­tion offi­cials to be suspen­ded for viol­a­tions of elec­tion-related rules and regu­la­tions, without a require­ment that intent be estab­lished. Other bills would impose crim­inal penal­ties on elec­tion offi­cials. foot­note54_oqwbclz 54 AZ HB 2794, TX HB 574.  In Arizona, HB 2794 makes it a crim­inal offense for elec­tion offi­cials to revise elec­tion-related dead­lines without first obtain­ing a court order. If enacted, Texas HB 574, which has been passed by both cham­bers, would create crim­inal liab­il­ity for know­ingly count­ing invalid votes.

After governors, secret­ar­ies of state, and local offi­cials took action in 2020 so that voters could safely cast their ballots during the pandemic, state legis­lat­ors are advan­cing bills that limit exec­ut­ive and local power. Of those, five such bills have already been enacted. foot­note55_j6wu0sa 55 FL SB 90, GA SB 202, KS HB 2332, KY HB 574, MT HB 429. One Montana law requires legis­lat­ive consent to exec­ut­ive actions related to elec­tion law in an emer­gency. New laws in Kansas and Kentucky prohibit exec­ut­ive offi­cials from suspend­ing or modi­fy­ing elec­tion law. The Kansas law goes further and prohib­its the secret­ary of state from enter­ing into a consent decree with a court regard­ing elec­tion proced­ures without first obtain­ing legis­lat­ive approval. Arizon­a’s HB 2794 prohib­its state and local offi­cials from revis­ing elec­tion-related dead­lines without first obtain­ing a court order. And Flor­id­a’s omni­bus voter suppres­sion law, SB 90, limits the abil­ity of state and county agen­cies to settle lawsuits related to elec­tions without inter­fer­ence by the legis­lature and attor­ney general. Along the same lines, Geor­gi­a’s omni­bus voter suppres­sion law, SB 202, limits the state’s abil­ity to settle lawsuits and adopt emer­gency rules or regu­la­tions related to elec­tions without inter­fer­ence by the legis­lature

This session, five bills have been enacted that restrict or prohibit the use of outside fund­ing for elec­tion admin­is­tra­tion expenses. foot­note56_zxbd­fk4 56 AZ HB 2569, FL SB 90, GA SB 202, KS HB 2183, TN SB 1534.  In 2020, nonpar­tisan phil­an­thropic grants were essen­tial to elec­tion offi­cials’ abil­ity to conduct safe elec­tions during the pandemic. Laws in Arizona, Flor­ida, and Geor­gia prohibit elec­tion admin­is­trat­ors from accept­ing private fund­ing for elec­tion expenses, while the Kansas law creates a felony offense for elec­tion offi­cials to accept or spend money on elec­tions from private sources. Tenness­ee’s law prohib­its elec­tion offi­cials from taking any private fund­ing for conduct­ing elec­tions unless it is approved by the speaker of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Repres­ent­at­ives.

In response to the momentum behind the For the People Act, four states have passed nonbind­ing resol­u­tions oppos­ing the federal compre­hens­ive demo­cracy reform bill and urging Congress to reject it. foot­note57_oa551l6 57 AZ HCR 2023, KS HCR 5015, MI SR 25, OK SR 9.

End Notes