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Today is Monday, April 25. We are tracking 2,446 bills so far this session, with 572 bills that restrict voter access or election administration and 1,088 bills that improve voter access or election administration. The rest are neutral, mixed, or unclear in their impact.
The Bad News: The Missouri House added a poison pill to legislation that would create in-person early voting for the first time. A New Hampshire bill that would create a stricter voter ID law in the state passed the House and heads to the House Finance Committee.
Looking Ahead: H.B. 2238 will be heard in Arizona today. We are also watching Missouri to see whether a bill creating early voting passes. H.B. 1878 is ready for a full Senate vote, and H.B. 2140 is ready for a House floor vote.
Here are the details:
The Missouri House adds a poison pill to legislation that would create in-person early voting. H.B. 2140 would expand early voting via the in-person absentee voting process; allow first responders, health care workers, and members of law enforcement to vote absentee; and allow Missouri registered voters to make same-day changes in residence up to and including Election Day. However, during a floor debate on the bill, a poison pill amendment was passed concerning transgender student athletes’ participation on school sponsored athletic teams, making the bill very unlikely to pass the Senate. If early voting passes in Missouri this session, it is likely to be through H.B. 1878, legislation that would make the state’s voter ID law more strict but also create in-person early voting. H.B. 1878 has passed the Senate Local Government and Ethics Committee and is ready for consideration by the full Senate.
Arizona’s rights restoration bill passes the Senate. H.B. 2119 passed the Senate last week. The bill would allow people who are not eligible for automatic restoration to apply for their voting rights to be restored immediately upon discharge, instead of having to wait two years, as they do under current law. The bill would also ensure that citizens convicted of or facing felony charges are notified about whether their voting rights will be automatically restored – if so when, and if not, how to apply for restoration. The House will vote on concurrence with the Senate amendments later today. If the bill passes that vote, it will be eligible for the governor’s signature. H.B. 2238, a bill that would restrict drop boxes by mandating monitoring requirements, will be heard in the Senate Rules Committee today.
New Hampshire’s strict voter ID bill passes the House. S.B. 418, which already passed the House and Senate, heads to the House Finance Committee. This bill would make the state voter ID law more restrictive. Current New Hampshire law allows voters without ID to cast a regular ballot if they complete an affidavit affirming their identity, under penalty of perjury. This bill would eliminate that alternative, and instead rescind their vote from the count if they are unable to provide an ID. Most states with voter ID laws offer an alternative to ensure the identity of voters without ID can be verified through other means. This new bill would put New Hampshire in the minority.
No Montana special session on election security. The Montana Legislature voted against holding a special session next month to set up a committee on election security. Initially, ten Republican lawmakers proposed a special session to investigate the state’s election procedure in light of the “widespread belief” of irregularities in the state’s voting system. This committee would have had subpoena powers and included funding for legal staff support.
This update is powered by VRL’s State Voting Rights Tracker: tracker.votingrightslab.org