Looking Ahead to 2014 Elections: Voting Laws Roundup 2013
In 2013, some state legislators continue to push laws that would make it harder for eligible American citizens to vote. But there’s good news, too. More and more states are pressing measures to improve elections. (*See Editor's Note about GAO report on Challenges to Voters with Disabilities)
Below you will find a regularly-updated, comprehensive roundup of introduced, pending, active, and passed voting laws, prepared by the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law. (See a detailed summary of restrictive legislation, as of April 5th.)
Since the beginning of 2013, restrictive voting bills have been introduced in more than half the [US] states:
- At least 80 restrictive bills were introduced in 31 states.
- Of those, 62 restrictive bills are still pending in 25 states.
- Of those, 25 restrictive bills are currently active in 12 states, in that there has been legislative activity beyond introduction and referral to committee (such as hearings, committee activity, or votes).
- Two states have already passed three restrictive bills this session. Virginia and Arkansas both passed restrictive legislation requiring a photo ID to vote, and Virginia passed legislation making it harder for community groups to conduct voter registration drives.
"Country Gentleman" magazine cover, November 1922. The 19th Amendment giving all women the right to vote wasn't ratified until August 1920. Painted by J. F. Kernan, Wikimedia Commons
At the same time, across the country, politicians from both sides of the aisle have introduced and supported bills that expand access to registration and voting.
- At least 195 bills that would expand access to voting were introduced in 45 states.
- Of those, 155 bills are still pending in 37 states.
- Of those, 41 bills are currently active in 21 states, in that there has been legislative activity beyond introduction and referral to committee (such as hearings, committee activity, or votes).
- Three states have passed three bills that expand opportunities for eligible citizens to register to vote. Virginia passed online voter registration and New Mexico passed a bill that automates the registration process at the state’s DMVs. Oklahoma passed a bill that allows more types of photo IDs to satisfy its existing, strict, voter ID law.
Note: In the cases where more than one piece of restrictive legislation has been introduced in a state, we designate the state’s passed, active, or pending status based on its most active piece of legislation.
Restrictions Passed in 2013
- Photo ID required to vote (legislature overrode gubernatorial veto)
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- Updated: Looking Ahead to 2014 Elections, Voting Laws Roundup 2013