March 15, 2022

Restrictive Voting Legislation

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.