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.
New Voting Restrictions in Place for 2016 Presidential Election
In 2016, 15 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 15 states are: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
(This number decreased from 17 to 15 when the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a series of voting restrictions in North Carolina in late July 2016, and a federal court enjoined North Dakota’s photo ID law in August 2016. Despite a recent court victory mitigating the impact of Texas’s restrictive voter ID law, the state is still included because its 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. This page details the new restrictive voting requirements put in place during that time period.