From today’s The Guardian Online:
After an election filled with misinformation and lies about fraud, Republicans have doubled down with a surge of bills to further restrict voting access in recent months, according to a new analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice.
There are currently 106 pending bills across 28 states that would restrict access to voting, according to the data. That’s a sharp increase from nearly a year ago, when there were 35 restrictive bills pending across 15 states.
Among the Brennan Center’s findings:
- More than a third of the bills would place new restrictions on voting by mail
- Pennsylvania has 14 pending proposals for new voter restrictions, the most in the country. It’s followed by New Hampshire (11), Missouri (9), and Mississippi, New Jersey and Texas (8)
- There are seven bills across four states that would limit opportunities for election day registration
- There are also 406 bills that would expand voting access pending across 35 states, including in New York (56), Texas (53), New Jersey (37), Mississippi (39) and Missouri (21)
The restrictions come on the heels of an election in which there was record turnout and Democrat and Republican election officials alike said there was no evidence of widespread wrongdoing or fraud. There were recounts, audits and lawsuits across many states to back up those assurances. Federal and state officials called the election “the most secure in American history”.
Myrna Pérez, director of the voting rights and elections program at the Brennan Center, said the surge in anti-voting legislation was “countersensical” given that there were Republican and Democratic wins in key races across the country.
“The volume of anti-voter legislation is certainly revealing that a nerve was struck,” she told me. “There are certainly people who are sensitive to the idea of more progress … It ultimately comes down to an anxiety over the browning of America and people in power are afraid of losing their position.”