HOW MANY VOTING LAWS ARE BEING PROPOPSED THIS YEAR?
Since the 2020 election, legislatures across the nation have taken to drafting and enrolling new voting laws – but whether those laws are helpful or harmful to voters largely depends on who is running the state. To learn more about what is in new laws like this and who they affect, I took a deeper look at the language in SB1 – a bill proposed and passed by the senate in Texas – in this episode of Poli•Look. read more
As of May 2021, there were 176 bills proposed across several states that affect the right to vote – according to The Brennan Center. Of those bills, 61 with restrictive provisions were moving through 18 state legislatures. And that number does not just represent the most bills being proposed with voting provisions since 2011, these are also some of the most expansive state voting laws to date.
If Texas’ SB1 bill passes the House of Representatives, here are just a few of the changes voters will see:
- A ban on drive-thru voting.
- New regulations for voting hours – including a ban on 24-hour testing sites.
- New identification requirements for voting by mail.
- A new method by which to correct or amend mail-in ballots.
- Enhanced “poll watcher” protections.
Not to mention a provision under Article 5 Section 5.01 Subsection (f) effectively targets a practice known as “Souls to the Polls” – a method practiced by disproportionately black communities to increase voter turn out by providing transportation to ballot stations.
Texas Democrats have fled the state’s capitol to deny Republicans – who hold an overwhelming majority in the House and Senate of Texan legislature – a quorum to vote on the House bill equivalent to SB1. It is unsure if they will hold out long enough to prevent the law from passing.