June 25, 2021 NF Legislative Roundup: Voting Rights

Voting rights have been a hot topic in legislatures everywhere, even though they shouldn’t be. Check out these related highlights!

Connecticut

  • SB1202
    • Why we’re watching: After their attempts to do so during regular session failed, Connecticut lawmakers are trying to restore voting rights for people on parole. In addition to this criminal justice-minded reform, their proposal would automatically enroll new voters and give hourly workers time off to cast their ballots.

Maryland

  • HB222
    • Why we’re watching: The biggest group of disenfranchised voters is formerly incarcerated individuals. This bill would require the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to provide voter registration information to all former convicts and inform eligible voters of their rights while incarcerated.
  • SB683
    • Why we’re watching: Purging mail-in voter rolls is a common assault on minority voting rights. To prevent such a move in Maryland, this proposal would create a standing opt-in absentee ballot list. Voters would receive mail-in ballots automatically, boosting turnout when it matters most!
  • SB596/HB206
    • Why we’re watching: One of the biggest barriers to voting is time. Hourly workers, a group that’s mostly minorities, often can’t just take off for 30 minutes or so to cast their ballots. If this bill is signed, the polls would open an hour earlier during general elections to help fix that inequity.

Pennsylvania

  • HB1300
    • Why we’re watching: Pennsylvania state legislators have joined dozens of others that have overhauled voting rights – mainly by limiting them. This 150-page omnibus bill would enact voter ID laws, require stringent signature verification, and limit drop box placement.

What do you think of the bills in this week’s legislative roundup? Did we miss anything? Drop us a line on any of our social channels or hit us up through our contact us form. Let us know what’s happening in YOUR neighborhood!

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