The report, which covers legislative activity through September 27, finds that:
- Four states bundled together an array of new voting restrictions into single omnibus bills: Texas, Florida, Georgia and Iowa.
- Four states — Arkansas, Montana, Texas and Arizona — passed multiple laws to restrict voting.
- Many state laws hit on common themes. Seven, for instance, imposed tougher identification requirements to cast ballots. Seven states also shortened the window to apply for a mail-in ballots.
The report also highlights a growing divide in the country. Some states have headed in another direction and have lowered barriers to voting. In all, 25 states have enacted 62 laws that expand voting access, Brennan’s researchers concluded.
Last month, for instance, heavily Democratic California became the eighth state to enact a law to automatically mail ballots to every voter.
“The states that already made it hard to vote are making it harder,” said Eliza Sweren-Becker, who tracks the state legislation as a Brennan voting rights and election counsel. “The states that generally have more accessible voting access are making it easier to vote.”
New restrictions could still be in the works — even as state legislatures wrap up for the year.
In Texas, lawmakers assembled for a special session are revisiting a sweeping election law they passed just last month. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has asked the legislature to reinstitute stiffer penalties for illegal voting.
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