Battle for the ballot

THE WINNER OF THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION will depend not only on who votes but also on who doesn’t. Four years after 77,744 ballots in three states gave the White House to Donald Trump, state lawmakers are battling over voting rules that will determine whether millions of Americans get a chance to cast a ballot in November.

So far this year, 29 states have introduced at least 188 bills to expand voting rights by making registration and absentee voting easier, and by restoring the vote to former felons. At the same time, legislators in 15 mostly Republican states have introduced at least 35 bills that would make it harder to vote, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice, often by imposing stricter voter-identification requirements.

Key Electoral College states like Florida and Virginia are among those still grappling with questions about ballot access. With the presidency and control of Congress on the line, “This could make or break the election,” says Paul Smith, vice president of the Campaign Legal Center.

In 2018, Florida voters approved an amendment to restore the vote

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