As part of our monthly newsletters, the AAPI Caucus will be sharing information on key issues affecting the coming elections that will impact AAPI communities at both the state and federal levels.
Restrictive Voting Legislation
With the failure of the Senate to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act in January, introduction of state-level legislation to restrict voting access has continued to increase, impacting both individuals’ ability to vote and undermining the electoral process. If enacted, it would disproportionately affect voters of color.
As noted in the Brennan Center for Justice’s Round Up of Voting Laws, many of these bills are justified by ongoing perpetuation of the myth of voter fraud and a stolen election. These bills reflect state lawmakers’ efforts to undermine voters’ trust in elections, and provide a mechanism to manipulate election results to achieve partisan results.
According to the report, as of mid-January, 96 new legislative bills were introduced that would make it harder to vote in 12 states, a 39% increase from this time last year. Legislators in 13 states have introduced 41 bills that would undermine the electoral process. “These bills threaten the people and processes that make elections work.”
These proposed bills include:
- allowing any citizen to initiate or conduct new biased election audits
- imposing new criminal or civil penalties on election officials for making unintended errors
- allowing partisan actors to remove election officials from office
- give partisan figures more power when it comes to certifying election results or choosing electors
- curtailing access to mail voting
- imposing new or stricter voter ID requirements for in-person voting and registration
- new barriers for voters with disabilities
- limiting or eliminating same-day voter registration
- addng new proof of citizenship requirements
Read more about the variety of proposed legislation recently introduced here. You can also read more about what is happening in Arizona and Wisconsin here.