Republican state legislators across the U.S. are working hard to make it more difficult to vote in future elections, according to The Economist, with more than 250 bills winding through the legislative process that would restrict voting in several ways.
A new report by the Brennan Centre for Justice, a think-tank at New York University, finds that Republican lawmakers across 45 states have proposed at least 253 new laws to make voting harder, up from roughly 35 such proposals at the beginning of February last year. For their part, Democrats have introduced 704 new bills to expand access to the polls. This month last year they had sent only 188 to statehouse clerks.
The proposed bills obstruct voting by, among other things, narrowing who is allowed to cast mail-in ballots, restricting the window of time voters have to request and submit their ballots, and eliminating automatic and election-day voter registration. Republicans have introduced the most bills in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona—the battleground states that delivered President Joe Biden his electoral-college victory in November. It is probably no coincidence that these states have also seen the most election-fraud claims from the ex-president, Donald Trump, and his allies. (None of them has been substantiated.)
Republicans, The Economist noted, “have argued that the moves are necessary to restore faith in the election system—which was damaged, of course, by the lies they and Mr Trump spread about the election being ‘stolen.’ ”
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