(RepublicanWire.org) – The US elections landscape is changing faster than it has in decades, mostly in response to concerns about the risk of vote manipulation and fraud. As Democrats seek to make it easier for almost anyone to cast their ballot, Republicans continue to push for tighter and more protective regulations. In fact, GOP-led states passed a record-breaking number of reform laws throughout 2021. Here are a few of the most sweeping changes.
Governor Ducey (R) signed off on SB 1485 in May, transforming the state’s Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) into an Active Early Voting List (AEVL). Administrators must now purge infrequent mail-in voter names from the list at least once every four years. The GOP also greatly expanded signature requirements in this key battleground state.
Governor Greg Abbot (R) collaborated with state Republicans to pass SB 1 in September 2021. While it greatly expands access by increasing voting hours in several regions, it also cracks down on both overnight early and drive-through voting. SB 1 also grants partisan poll watchers far more power, ensuring they have access to facilities on election day.
In Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp (R) passed SB 202, a multifunctional piece of legislation colloquially referred to as the “partisan bill.” It institutes new identification standards for mail-in ballots and dramatically restricts the placement of drop boxes throughout the state. SB 202 also contains stricter rules for maintaining voter registration lists while granting state legislators new localized powers.
Florida GOP leaders passed SB 90, a bill extremely similar in nature to SB 202. It, too, restricts the use of ballot boxes and heightens ID requirements for voters. The omnibus legislation also dramatically shortens how long voters persist on the state’s mail-in voter registration list and prevents third parties from providing food and water at polls.
Officials in Kansas kicked off a firestorm of debate after passing HB 2183 in June. The multifunctional law significantly restricts access to mail-in ballots. HB 2183 also institutes criminal punishments for third parties (such as non-profits) who issue, collect, or submit mail-in ballot applications and ballots on behalf of citizens they aren’t directly related to in some way.
A number of other states also passed similar legislation throughout 2021, including Montana, Iowa, Arkansas, and Wyoming. GOP leaders in all states focused largely on restricting what they saw as potential avenues for voter fraud and election insecurity, forcing voters to prove they are who they say they are and demanding officials follow proper protocols.
DNC leaders, as they are often wont to do, accuse Republicans of discriminating against minority groups in an attempt to boost the power of their own voter base. It’s a little bit ironic for Republicans to take heat for wanting to improve election integrity, but not at all surprising.