For 2020 election, states debate who’s allowed to vote

Pennsylvania Capital-Star,  January 31, 2020

"The 2020 presidential election is just months away and state legislators, courts and election officials are making final changes to policies governing access to the ballot.

States remain divided along partisan lines on expanding and tightening voting laws. In Democratic-controlled states, lawmakers are going even further this year in enfranchising formerly incarcerated felons, expanding early voting and implementing automatic voter registration.

But in Republican-controlled states, lawmakers are shuttering polling places on college campuses and imposing new rules on students who want to vote; limiting early voting and vote-by-mail opportunities; and adding new voter ID requirements. Voting rights groups are suing to prevent many of those laws from going into effect before November.

Any changes to ballot access, especially in pivotal swing states, could shape the outcomes in November, said Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of Law.

'It’s going to be a big year that’s going to be focused on election systems,” she said. “There’ll be a lot of changes between now and the election.' "

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Hannah Piercey