Welcome to The Markup. If you like what you see, please consider sharing this update with colleagues and friends today so that we can get this valuable information into more hands.
If you received this update from someone else and would like to get these weekly updates straight to your inbox, please subscribe here.
Today is Monday, November 14. Today we have a special post-election update about key voting-related ballot initiatives. We are tracking 2,208 bills so far this session, with 583 bills that restrict voter access or election administration and 1,058 bills that improve voter access or election administration. The rest are neutral, mixed, or unclear in their impact.
The Bad News: Nebraska voters approved a constitutional amendment requiring photo ID to vote.
The Good News: Michigan amended its constitution to increase access to mail voting and in-person early voting and protect against election interference. Connecticut voters approved an amendment allowing for in-person early voting.
Looking Ahead: We are still watching Arizona, where the legislature asked voters to ratify a new photo ID law that would eliminate many of the ID options currently available to Arizona voters. Under current law, a voter can present either (1) a photo ID or (2) two documents with their name and address, such as a utility bill. The proposition would eliminate the second option. It would also require voters to provide a specific ID number, such as their driver’s license number, on their mail ballot envelopes.
Here are the details:
Michigan amends its constitution to increase voting access and protect against election interference. Michigan voters adopted Proposal 2, enshrining nine days of early voting in the state constitution, expanding mail ballot access, and ensuring election results will always be based on the votes cast. The new mail voting provisions provide ballot drop boxes statewide, prepaid ballot return postage, and a permanent list for voters who want to receive a mail ballot each election. Other mail ballot provisions – while new to the state constitution – reflect existing law and practice. These include a right to vote by mail and cure ballot envelope errors. Similarly, Proposal 2 adds the current voter ID rules – which allow voters who do not have an ID with them to vote with a regular ballot if they sign an affidavit affirming their identity – to the state constitution. Finally, the proposition ensures that election audits will be done transparently and professionally, and that elections will be certified smoothly, accurately reflecting the votes cast.
Connecticut poised to adopt early voting. 60% of Connecticut voters supported an amendment to the state constitution authorizing the legislature to establish in-person early voting. Connecticut is currently one of only four states, along with Mississippi, Alabama, and New Hampshire, that does not offer all voters an opportunity to cast a ballot before Election Day. It is now up to the legislature to establish the parameters of future early voting opportunities.
Nebraska constitution amended to require photo ID for voters. A state constitutional amendment requiring photo ID was approved by Nebraska voters with 66% of voters supporting the measure. While the details and exceptions will be determined by the legislature, Nebraska will join the 21 other states that generally require photo ID to vote in person.
Nevada voters take a step towards adopting open primaries and ranked-choice voting. Voters in Nevada narrowly approved an amendment to the state’s constitution to establish an open-primary system wherein five candidates would advance from an open primary. Voters would then rank up to five candidates in the general election. The amendment must be approved by voters again in 2024 in order to take effect.
Ohio amends its state constitution to block cities from allowing non-citizens to vote in local elections. Voters in Ohio approved an amendment to the state’s constitution to prohibit municipalities from allowing residents who are not U.S. citizens from voting in their local elections. Louisiana will vote on a similar provision on December 10.
This update is powered by VRL’s State Voting Rights Tracker: tracker.votingrightslab.org