The Markup: Weekly Election Legislation Update for Monday, December 13

by Liz Avore

December 13, 2021

Scheduling Note: This will be our final edition of The Markup for 2021. We’re looking forward to “seeing” you in the new year!

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Today is Monday, December 13.

We’re tracking 2,809 voting bills. There are 550 anti-voter bills and 1,555 pro-voter bills, with the remainder being either neutral, mixed, or unclear in their impact.

The Good News: Michigan’s Senate passed a bill that would increase transparency in the redistricting process. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper vetoed a bill that would have banned private funding for use in election administration.

The Bad News: Legislators are pre-filing anti-voter bills for 2022 already and many of them are aimed at costly, partisan reviews of the results of the 2020 election. Please note: Pre-filed bills will display on the State Voting Rights Tracker beginning in January 2022. For now, click here to see which bills are carrying over from 2021 to 2022.

Looking Ahead: Pennsylvania H.B. 1800, an anti-voter omnibus bill, and H.B. 1596, which proposes a number of constitutional amendments to make it harder to vote, will come up on the floor during session this week.

Here are the details:

An increasing number of states are pre-filing bills to review 2020 election results. Over a year has passed since the 2020 election, and many states – including Florida, Tennessee, and South Carolina – have pre-filed legislation to review the long-certified results. Most states already have a process to confirm election results, including risk-limiting and probabilistic audits, and the push for costly, standardless “audits,” often conducted by people with no expertise in election monitoring, only serves to undermine the integrity of our elections.

Pennsylvania House to hear anti-voter bills this week. H.B.1800 and H.B. 1596 are scheduled for floor sessions this week. H.B. 1800, which is up for its third consideration and likely a vote, is an omnibus bill that would eliminate the permanent absentee voter list, move the voter registration deadline significantly earlier (30 days before elections instead of the current 15 days), create stricter voter ID requirements, limit absentee ballot return options, increase the penalties on all election crimes and create new election crimes, among other provisions. H.B. 1596, which is scheduled for its second and third considerations this week, proposes a number of constitutional amendments, including one that would implement a strict voter ID requirement.

Michigan Senate passes bill protecting transparency in the redistricting process. S.B. 728, introduced last month, would prohibit the independent redistricting commission from meeting in closed session for any purpose. The bill was heard by the House Oversight Committee on Thursday. This bill is one of seven pro-voter bills that have passed at least one chamber in Michigan this session.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper vetoes ban on private election funds. S.B. 725 would have prevented election administrations from accepting any private donations to facilitate elections. In a statement, Governor Cooper noted that private grants in 2020 were primarily used to facilitate safe voting during the pandemic, and that the legislature must properly fund election administration so that such grants are not necessary. The bill now returns to the General Assembly for a possible veto override, which is not likely to succeed.

This update is powered by VRL’s State Voting Rights Tracker:

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