For Immediate Release
Desiree Ramos Reiner at 646-292-8321 or email@example.com
New Analysis: Strong Photo ID Push in 2015 Session, But Momentum for Reform
NEW YORK - At the start of the 2015 legislative session, there are strong pushes for strict photo ID requirements in some Republican-led states, but also continued momentum around reforms to improve access to the polls, according to a new analysis from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
Voting Laws Roundup 2015, released today, shows 40 restrictive bills were introduced in 17 states — compared to 195 bills to expand voting access introduced in 25 states plus the District of Columbia. One bill to modernize registration passed in Washington, D.C.
There is a notable increase in the number of voter ID bills in 2015, with new ID measures introduced in 13 states. This push comes as several courts — including the U.S. Supreme Court — are poised to rule on voter ID and other restrictions. Results were mixed last year, and without clear limits set by the courts, states are ready to move forward with harsh new voting curbs.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Our Summer Campaign Is Underway
Support Common Dreams Today
Independent News and Views Putting People Over Profit
At the same time, there is continued momentum around reforms to improve access to the polls. Two ideas recommended by the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration — modernizing voter registration and increasing early voting opportunities — appear in many legislative proposals, with modernization efforts gaining the most traction. Both Democrats and Republicans have sponsored such bills, but it is too early to tell whether they will move forward. There is also bipartisan movement to restore voting rights to people with past criminal convictions, improve access for military voters, and expand access to absentee ballots.
“We are still in the midst of a high-pitched battle over the right to vote,” said Myrna Pérez, deputy director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. “Politicians are still trying to manipulate the rules to make it harder for eligible citizens to vote. Fortunately, several states are on the brink of passing bipartisan reforms to modernize the voting process. As the leading democracy of the world, we must keep our elections free, fair, and accessible to all eligible Americans.”
The recent push to restrict voting rights started after the 2010 election. In the next two years, at least 41 states introduced 180 restrictive bills. Overall, since the beginning of 2011, 21 states have new laws in place making it harder to vote, and several are being challenged in court. Other states have moved to improve voting, with 17 states plus the District of Columbia passing laws to expand access.
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.
Please select a donation method:
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on fundamental issues of democracy and justice. Our work ranges from voting rights to redistricting reform, from access to the courts to presidential power in the fight against terrorism.