Topline

A number of senators who opposed President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory last month now want to “restore confidence” in the US election with a long-running bill severely restricting voting as part of a national campaign by GOP politicians to reduce expanded access to the vote.

Highlights

The invoicecalled the Safeguarding Democracy Actis presented by Sens. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) — who voted to maintain at least one objection to Biden voters on Jan. 6 — as well as Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).

The bill would institute several new registration requirements for access to the ballot, including verification of citizenship and social security numbers, while prohibiting automatic voter registration, a mechanism enacted by 17 States and the District of Columbia.

It would also undo the mail-in ballot extensions that former President Donald Trump has railed against, setting restrictions on who can submit mail-in ballots, and where and when they can be submitted.

The bill requires states to stop automatically mailing mail-in ballots to every voter, a system adopted by 9 states, including 5 – Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington – that run elections primarily by mail .

Finally, the bill would establish new regulations on how votes are counted, requiring uninterrupted vote counting, expanded access to poll monitoring for campaign officials, and audits of vote tabulation systems — all the key tenets of Trump’s argument that the 2020 election was “rigged”. ” against him.

Scott said in a statement that the bill would “restore confidence in our elections” by creating “consistency” in election laws and ensuring “accurate and timely election results.”

Large number

253. The number of vote-restricting bills that have been introduced in 43 state legislatures as of Feb. 19, according to new data from the Brennan Center. These bills range from voter roll purges to new voter ID laws to restrictions on mail-in voting, with a bill in Georgia eliminating early voting on Sundays, when many black churches hold voting campaigns.

crucial quote

“The November 3 election was the safest in American history,” reads one statement from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and other election security groups in November. The statement took direct aim at the conspiracy theories Trump has seized upon to back up his stolen election claims, saying: “There is no evidence that any voting system has removed or lost votes, changed votes or been compromised in any way.”

Key context

Republican voter confidence in the election has been hit hard since Trump began making baseless claims that the election was stolen. Only 32% of Republican voters in a Morning Consult survey last month said they thought the 2020 election was free and fair, compared to 92% of Democrats.

To monitor

The bill is unlikely to make it to the Democratic-controlled Senate floor, let alone pass — though it represents the direction in which most Republicans are headed toward electoral reform. Democrats have instead focused their attention on the For the People’s Lawthat would expand voter registration, information and eligibility, as well as mail-in voting, while imposing new restrictions on political spending and campaign communications.