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Republican-backed bills restricting vote advance across U.S., report finds

WorldMay 28, 2021 02:11PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S. February 28, 2021. REUTERS/Octavio Jones/File Photo/File Photo

By Joseph Ax

(Reuters) - Fourteen U.S. states have enacted 22 laws this year that make it more difficult for Americans to vote, according to a report released on Friday, as Republican lawmakers pursue tougher voting restrictions in the wake of former President Donald Trump's false claims of election fraud.

The pace of legislation is faster than in 2011, when new Republican majorities in numerous states passed 19 restrictive laws by October of that year, the report from the Brennan Center for Justice said.

"Americans' access to the vote is in unprecedented peril," the report warned.

Democrats and civil rights activists have said the laws are a thinly veiled effort to disenfranchise voters, particularly minorities.

But Trump's fellow Republicans argue the measures passed by such states as Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Texas are necessary to prevent fraud and ensure public confidence in election integrity.

Many of the laws seek to make it harder to vote by mail, after a surge in mail balloting last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Others restrict early voting, limit drop boxes, eliminate poll locations and give partisan poll watchers more power.

That said, 14 states have also enacted 28 bills that expand voting access, the report found.

Trump, a Republican, has said for months that his loss to President Joe Biden in November's election was due to massive fraud, despite a lack of evidence. Dozens of judges rejected lawsuits asserting voting irregularities, and election officials across the country have said the vote was safe and secure.

There are at least 61 additional restrictive bills that have advanced in some way in 18 state legislatures, the report said. Overall, lawmakers have introduced 389 restrictive bills in 48 states.

Republican-backed bills restricting vote advance across U.S., report finds
 

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Comments (5)
Patron Silver
Patron Silver May 29, 2021 9:12PM ET
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Americans rejected him once and we will do it again
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Ad Cline May 29, 2021 12:40AM ET
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this is about the minority party, the Republicans, cheating to maintain power. there has been this big lie pushed by Trump and his minions that if they loose it must be fraud. they tried this lie in 60 different courtrooms and failed. now their pushing this lie, using it as an excuse to limit fair elections and bring down Democracy.
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Ad Cline May 29, 2021 12:29AM ET
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in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Oregon the only people committing voter fraud were Republican operatives and Trump supporters.
Bob Collins
Bob Collins May 29, 2021 12:29AM ET
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That is flat-out untrue. In the days following the election one could go to the PA SOS website and query all the 100-140 yr-old registered democrats and see the dates they requested mail in ballots, and returned those ballots (often the same or following day). I counted ~8000. Now all that data has been purged from the SOS site in a major revamp of the website.
Joel Hauser
Joel Hauser May 28, 2021 2:18PM ET
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Say it racist america you don't want Black people to vote.
Scott Bailey
Scott Bailey May 28, 2021 2:18PM ET
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Hey Joel, if a black person has a valid license he or she can vote, just like everyone else, what is racist about that?
Mike Wellons
Mike Wellons May 28, 2021 2:18PM ET
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Scott, many people that live in urban areas don't have drivers licenses as it is not needed where public transportation is available and the cost of parking is unattainable
Catholic Man
CatholicMan May 28, 2021 2:18PM ET
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Mike Wellons  He meant to say ID, which is going to be a requirement everywhere.
Duane Goodson
Duane Goodson May 28, 2021 2:18PM ET
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Bottom Line....People need to be a U.S. citizen to vote and should show an I.D. to do so. That's what this is all about. Democrats want to insure victory for themselves by allowing illegals to vote.
 
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