Is Your State Changing Its Voting Rules?

October 5, 2022

Cows voting

Can you feel it? The leaves are starting to change, the days are cooler, colorful campaign signs are popping up in people’s yards—yup, there’s definitely a historic-midterm-election-is-right-around-the-corner kind of electricity in the air. 

We know you want to be a voter this November, but far-right politicians have passed a lot of new, restrictive voting laws in a lot of states that may make it harder for you to cast a ballot. Don’t worry, though: We’ve got you covered. Here are some of the most notable changes that will impact voting this year, plus state-by-state resources for finding out everything you need to know before heading to the polls.

Voter Suppression Has Gone Viral

According to the Brennan Center, since the beginning of 2021, 18 states have passed 34 restrictive voting laws, which data shows disproportionately impact Black and Brown voters. Here are some of the states that have practically made voter suppression an artform: 

  • Georgia took a comprehensively anti-democratic approach to ensuring that voters (especially Black voters) in their state have a much harder time casting a ballot in November than they did in 2020. They reduced the number, and accessibility, of voting drop boxes, especially in the most populous counties; limited absentee voting; instituted restrictive voter ID requirements; changed the law to allow partisan appointees to gain control of independent election boards; purged voters from voting lists; and even made it illegal to give food or water to anyone waiting in line at a polling station. 

  • Not to be outdone by Georgia’s draconian measures, Florida… pretty much cut-and-pasted them into its own legislation. Its new laws tighten ID requirements for absentee voting and generally make it harder to vote by absentee ballot; restrict the number, and placement of, ballot drop boxes; allow partisan appointments to local election boards; and, for good measure, appear to ban giving food and water to voters waiting in line. The governor also created an election crimes police squad, even though actual voter fraud in Florida and everywhere else is virtually nonexistent

  • Fueled by conspiracy theorists and proponents of the Big Lie, Arizona is making a bid to become the state least friendly to democracy. The headline voter-suppression effort here is a new requirement that people must prove their citizenship before they can vote in a presidential election, a measure that could keep tens of thousands of (predominantly Black and Brown) Arizonans from voting, not because they aren’t citizens, but because they don’t have access to papers that prove they are. The Justice Department has already sued the state over this law. 

  • Montana enacted voting restrictions that make it far more difficult for Indigenous people to cast a ballot. Among a number of anti-voting measures, the biggest changes include new rules about acceptable voter IDs and the elimination of same-day voter registration on Election Day. Both disproportionately impact Indigenous people, who often do not have the required forms of ID and live very far away from voter-registration/polling sites. The potential good news? Montana’s Supreme Court recently temporarily blocked the laws from being implemented. A final decision is expected soon.

State Voting Guidelines

That was just a taste of the kinds of things far-right politicians have done recently to restrict voting. Before you request an absentee ballot or head to your polling place this November, check out our Voter Resource Page or find your state in the chart below and make sure you understand the rules where you live. Remember, your vote is your voice—your vote is your power!