Following the highly contentious 2020 election, elected officials across America have made many efforts to secure the integrity of future elections.
Since November 8, 2020, new election integrity laws have been enacted in ten different states: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming.
In Arizona, Republican Governor Doug Ducey signed S.B. 1485 into law on May 11, 2021. The bill limits the amount of absentee ballots that are automatically mailed out to registered voters by cleaning the voter rolls and removing those who did not vote in the last two election cycles. The bill passed the Arizona State Legislature along party lines, with no Democrats voting for the bill.
In Arkansas, Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson signed three election integrity bills into law on April 27, 2021. The three bills were H.B. 1112, H.B. 1715, and S.B. 486. H.B. 1112 requires voters that cast a ballot without providing some form of identification to provide identification to their county clerk’s office within six days of voting. H.B. 1715 requires that all signatures on absentee ballot applications match the signature on the voter’s voter registration application. S.B. 486 bans all non-voters from coming within 100 feet of a polling place and potentially disrupting the voting process.
In Florida, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed S.B. 90 into law on May 6, 2021. The bill bans local Florida governments from accepting private money to pay for election-related expenses, bans the mailing of unsolicited ballots to voters, mandates that all signatures on vote-by-mail applications match the most recent signature on file, expands the no-solicitation zone outside polling places to 200 feet from 150 feet, requires voters applying for a mail-in ballot to show some form of identification, and provides poll watchers, political parties, committees, and candidates with increased access to the election process.
In Georgia, Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed S.B. 202 into law on March 25, 2021. The bill requires voters that request an absentee or mail-in ballot to provide some form of identification bans the mailing of unsolicited ballots to voters, establishes new standards for ballot drop boxes, expands early voting in rural counties, and requires counties to certify their election results within six days, as well as report the total number of ballots each county has received by 10:00 p.m. on Election Night. Despite this bill being less significant than election integrity bills that have been enacted in other states, Democrats and left-wing activists oddly fixated on this piece of legislation. This is likely due to the fact that Democrats feel that their ability to win statewide races in Georgia is undermined if the elections are conducted with integrity, which says a lot.
In Iowa, Republican Governor Kim Reynolds signed S.F. 413 into law on March 8, 2021. The bill changes the time that the polls close for state and federal elections to 8:00 p.m. local time from 9:00 p.m. local time, cuts the early voting period to 20 days before Election Day from 29 days, and mandates that all mail-in ballots be received by Election Day.
The Kansas State Legislature has passed two election integrity bills since the 2020 election: H.B. 2183 and H.B. 2332. H.B. 2183 requires the signatures on all mail-in ballots to match the signature on file for each voter, bans private organizations and companies from providing funds for election infrastructure, makes ballot harvesting nearly impossible, and makes it illegal to backdate mail-in ballots. H.B. 2332 bans the governor or secretary of state from unilaterally altering election procedures and protocols without the Kansas State Legislature, as well as requires senders of third party solicitations to reside in the state of Kansas and provide some form of identification to state officials. Kansas’s Democrat Governor Laura Kelly vetoed both of the bills on April 23, 2021. However, on May 3, 2021, the Kansas State Legislature voted to override Kelly’s vetoes of the bills, meaning both bills are now law.
In Montana, Republican Governor Greg Gianforte signed two election integrity bills into law on April 19, 2021. The two bills were S.B. 169 and H.B. 176. S.B. 169 mandates that all Montanans show some form of identification when registering to vote and voting. H.B. 176 bans same-day voter registration and require voters to register to vote by “noon the day before the election”.
In Tennessee, Republican Governor Bill Lee signed S.B. 1315 into law on May 11, 2021. The bill bans non-approved contributions for election-related expenses and requires all absentee ballots to include a watermark. Any absentee ballots that do not bear the newly mandated watermark will be rejected by election officials.
In Utah, Republican Governor Spencer Cox signed H.B. 12 into law on February 15, 2021. The bill requires county clerks to remove dead registered voters from the voter rolls within 10 days of their death certificate being issued. This is common-sense legislation that should be enacted nationwide. What is the point in keeping a deceased American on the voter rolls?
In Wyoming, Republican Governor Mark Gordon signed H.B. 75 into law on April 6, 2021. The bill requires all Wyoming voters to present some form of identification when voting in person. Sadly, unlike election integrity measures enacted in other states, Wyoming’s voter ID requirement does not apply to absentee or mail-in ballots.
Since the disastrous 2020 election, election integrity bills have also passed at least one chamber of the state legislature in three different states: Michigan, Texas, and Wisconsin.
The Michigan House of Representatives has passed a total of three election integrity bills since the 2020 election. The bills are H.B. 4127, H.B. 4128, and H.B. 4135. H.B. 4127 allows for voters with unknown dates of birth to be removed from the voter rolls. H.B. 4128 allows for inactive voters that have not voted since the 2000 general November election to be removed from the voter rolls. H.B. 4135 requires all towns and cities with more than two precincts and more than 6,000 registered voters to establish an absent voter counting board for each precinct.
Many election integrity bills have been introduced in the Texas State Legislature, but only S.B. 7 has managed to actually get passed. S.B. 7 is a comprehensive election integrity bill that bans early drive-thru voting, forces all Texas counties that use voting machines to produce an auditable paper trail for each ballot, bans the sending of unsolicited mail-in ballot applications to Texas voters, establishes an online tracking tool for voters to track the status of their mail-in ballot applications and mail-in ballots, bans donations of over $1,000 for election-related expenses to counties unless they are unanimously approved by the governor, lieutenant governor, and Texas Speaker of the House expands access for poll watchers at polling places, and requires all counties with a population of 100,000 or more to live stream the video surveillance at their central counting stations, where most votes are counted. S.B. 7 passed the Texas State Senate on April 1, 2021, and passed the Texas House of Representatives on May 7, 2021. However, since the bill was heavily amended when it passed the Texas House of Representatives, the bill currently sits in a conference committee, where the bill will be revised to fit the desires of both chambers. Both chambers will need to pass the revised version of S.B. 7 again in order for it to be sent to Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s desk, where it will likely get signed into law.
A total of seven election integrity bills have passed at least one chamber of the Wisconsin State Legislature since the 2020 election. The bills are A.B. 173, S.B. 203, S.B. 207, S.B. 208, S.B. 210, S.B. 212, and S.B. 213. A.B. 173 prohibits counties, cities, and towns from accepting donations or grants from individuals or nongovernmental entities to cover election-related expenses. S.B. 203 mandates that all absentee ballots are returned by either the voter or a member of the voter’s immediate family. Like A.B. 173, S.B. 207 bans counties, cities, and towns from accepting donations or grants from individuals or nongovernmental entities to cover election-related expenses. S.B. 208 requires the Wisconsin Elections Commission to release copies of their meeting minutes online. S.B. 210 mandates local election officials to grant election observers full access to the election process and all recounts. S.B. 212 increases the penalties for election fraud that is committed by election officials. S.B. 213 states that those who commit election fraud in Wisconsin can be tried in “any county within the area covered by any office on the ballot for the election that is affected by the conduct alleged to be in violation of the state election laws.”
The integrity of every election is critical to America. If your state has not enacted common-sense election integrity measures, contact your elected officials and explain that election integrity is a top concern of yours that you believe needs to be addressed. The survival of our nation is at stake.
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