Take a glance at the checkered map above, and it’s clear that many states have moved in opposite directions in enacting new voting measures this year.
Those changes — which come after the pandemic upended election administration in 2020, a year that witnessed record turnout — have fallen mostly along partisan lines, with Republican-led states like Arizona passing new restrictive voting laws, while Democratic states such as Illinois have increased voters’ ballot access.
The classifications on the map are from the Voting Rights Lab, which advocates for expanded voting access. The group determined whether each state’s new provisions cumulatively expand or restrict access, or have a mixed outcome for voters.
“What we are witnessing in real time across the country is a widening divide,” the lab said in a June report, “whereby some states are working to strengthen and expand participation in our democracy just as a significant number of states work to curtail it.”
As of this week, according to the organization, 45 states have enacted more than 200 new laws related to elections and voting.
Following former President Donald Trump’s baseless fraud claims and efforts to overturn the 2020 election, GOP-led states that have curtailed ballot access or made changes to election administration — like Arizona, Florida and Georgia — have drawn most of the attention from federal lawmakers, voting advocates and the courts.
But overall the Voting Rights Lab says more states — affecting millions more voters — have passed into law measures that expand access.
That proportion would change somewhat if Texas Republicans pass their restrictive voting legislation, which is currently stalled after dozens of the state’s House Democrats fled the state.
On Capitol Hill, Republicans have blocked Democratic attempts to pass sweeping federal legislation that would set new election standards nationwide.
Below is a list of the states that the Voting Rights Lab says have passed laws that either mostly restrict or expand access.
Keep in mind: Some places, like Nevada, which will now send ballots to all eligible voters, have enacted significant changes; other state reforms are more modest.