Lawmakers in more than a dozen states are trying to increase voter participation by targeting young people. Their bills are among nearly 500 pieces of legislation introduced around the country this year to make voting easier, according to a March analysis by New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice.
While Republican-leaning states have moved to tighten voting rules — nearly 90 such bills have been introduced — those efforts have been outstripped by the number of bills seeking to expand access to the polls.
Democrats and Republicans have supported efforts to expand access, particularly online registration. But it’s mostly Republicans who are pushing restrictions such as requiring photo identification at the polls.
Roughly 20 states are considering voter ID laws this year that supporters say prevent fraud and boost public confidence in elections. Critics say such laws target minorities and the poor, who might not have driver’s licenses and find it difficult to obtain them.
Recent voting expansion efforts include automatic registration and extending absentee voting opportunities.