Republicans at the state level have moved swiftly to either roll back some easy access to voting or put new obstacles in the way of voters following losses in the 2020 presidential and US Senate elections.
More than 250 bills to curb or complicate access to polls had been introduced in 43 state legislatures as of February 19, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which is tracking the bills — and bills have since been introduced in at least two more states, North Carolina and Wisconsin, according to CNN reporting.
Key states to watch: Florida, Arizona and Georgia were all battleground states in 2020 and host US Senate races in 2022. Republican legislative majorities and GOP governors are moving to make it more difficult to vote in these states.
The Republican-led Georgia House of Representatives on Thursday passed its version of a sweeping election overhaul bill, moving it one step closer to enacting election law changes and restricting voter access in the state.
Texas does not have a 2022 Senate race, but it will feature a race for governor in 2022. Republicans currently control all levers of the state government there.
There are proposals to make it more difficult to vote in other key states — Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — featuring 2022 Senate races, but divided government in those places will make restrictions more difficult to enact.
There is no Senate race in Michigan and there is also divided government there. (See a breakdown of state government control here.)
What’s happening in Congress: House Democrats have passed a sweeping bill that includes a number of voting reforms, including automatic national voter registration. Currently, 18 states and Washington, DC, have automatic registration. Expanding that requirement nationwide could enfranchise 50 million Americans, according to the Brennan Center.
The bill would do a lot more, including putting an end to partisan gerrymandering, by which parties draw congressional lines to protect their incumbents, mandating a two-week early voting period and more.
But it would require a supermajority — 60 votes — to overcome a promised GOP filibuster in the Senate. Democrats have suggested changing Senate rules specifically for this bill, but it’s not clear all Democrats would support the rule change.
CNN’s Kelly Mena, Dianne Gallagher and Pamela Kirkland contributed reporting to this post.