President Biden’s Executive Order would provide voters unrestricted access to voting.
In a backlash to historic voter turnout during the 2020 general election, lawmakers in 43 states have prefiled or introduced bills with provisions that restrict voting access; a small number include provisions that expand voting access. Note that, in some cases, a single bill can have provisions with both restrictive and expansive effects.
These proposals primarily seek to: 1) limit mail-in-voting access; 2) impose stricter voter ID requirements; 3) slash voter registration opportunities; and 4) enable more aggressive voter roll purges. These bills are openly designed in response to the Republican Party’s unfounded and baseless claims and lawsuits about voter fraud.
Arizona leads the nation in such legislation with 19 restrictive bills. Pennsylvania comes in second with 14 such policy proposals, followed by Georgia with 11 bills and New Hampshire with 10.
Months after Election Day, former President Donald Trump’s allies continue to push the argument that sole power to set election rules rests with state legislatures—rather than with governors, election supervisors, or the judges who interpret state constitutions that enshrine voting rights.
In commemoration of the 56th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the 1965 incident in which some 600 civil rights activists were viciously beaten by state troopers as they tried to march for voting rights in Selma, AL, President Joseph R. Biden signed an executive order expanding voting access in what the White House calls “an initial step” in its efforts to “protect the right to vote. This executive order ensures that all eligible citizens can freely participate in the electoral process.
“Every eligible voter should be able to vote and have it counted,” said Biden in his remarks at Sunday’s March 7, 2021 Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast. “If you have the best ideas, you have nothing to hide. Let the people vote.”
President Biden’s move comes just three days after the House of Repre-sentatives passed HR1, a sweeping ethics and election package aimed at ensuring voting rights, with provisions expanding early and mail-in voting, restoring voting rights to former felons, and easing voter registration for eligible Americans.