After Record Turnout, Republicans Are Trying to Make It Harder to Vote

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After Record Turnout, Republicans Are Trying to Make It Harder to Vote


Bills in Arizona, Mississippi and Wisconsin would end the practice of awarding all electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the statewide vote. Instead, they would be allotted according to votes in congressional districts — which in Republican states are generally gerrymandered to favor Republicans. In Arizona, the Legislature also would choose two electors.

In the last election, the moves would have reduced Mr. Biden’s electoral vote total by 11 votes.

Nebraska, on the other hand, would do the reverse with a similar partisan outcome: The state now awards presidential electors by congressional district, but legislation would move the state to the winner-take-all system. One of Nebraska’s three House districts voted for Mr. Biden in November.

Even Republicans in states where the November election was not close are proposing to tighten voting laws. In Texas, a state with perhaps the nation’s strictest voting rules and one of the lowest levels of turnout, the state party has declared “election integrity” the top legislative priority. Among other proposals, legislators want to cut the time allotted for early voting, limit outsiders’ ability to help voters fill out ballots and require new voters to prove they are citizens.

Republicans who control the Pennsylvania Legislature have mounted one of the most aggressive campaigns, even though any laws they enact probably would have to weather a veto by the state’s Democratic governor.

A handful of Republican state lawmakers want to abolish no-excuse absentee voting only 15 months after the Legislature approved it in an election-law package backed by all but two of its 134 G.O.P. members who cast votes. The main supporter of the bill, State Senator Doug Mastriano, has claimed that Mr. Biden’s victory in the state is illegitimate, and spent thousands of dollars to bus protesters to the Jan. 6 demonstration that ended in the assault on the Capitol.

Rolling back the law appears a long shot. But there seems to be strong Republican support for other measures, including eliminating drop boxes for absentee ballots, discarding mail-in ballots with technical errors and ending a grace period for receiving ballots mailed by Election Day.

State Representative Seth Grove, the Republican chair of the committee holding 14 hearings into election practices, said at the initial gathering on Jan. 21 that he was not interested in dwelling on the 2020 election. “We want a better process going forward, and we’re committed to that,’’ Mr. Grove said.



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