Press "Enter" to skip to content

Voting Laws Are At Stake in Midterms

While the midterm elections in November will decide control of Congress and some governors’ offices, there are other far-reaching issues at stake. Among them: the fate of voter ID rules, early voting expansion and ranked-choice voting.

Ballot measures on these issues will appear in several battleground states, where most of the attention has been on marquee races, with a blizzard of campaign ads dominating the airwaves.

But the outcome of those measures could weigh significantly on the 2024 presidential election, as Republicans and Democrats haggle over the guardrails of voting.

Here is a roundup of ballot measures facing voters across the United States:

Under a ballot measure embraced by Republicans, voters would be required to present photo identification when casting ballots in person. If it passes, the state would no longer accept two nonphoto forms of identification — such as a motor vehicle registration and a utility bill — in place of a government-issued ID card or a passport.

Nevada voters will decide whether to adopt ranked-choice voting for the general election and to overhaul the state’s primary system.

Under a proposed constitutional amendment, primaries for statewide and federal offices, but not for president, would be open to all voters, with the top five vote-getters advancing to the general election. The law currently stipulates that voters must be registered as Democrats or Republicans in order to participate in their parties’ primaries

If approved in November, the measure would be placed on the ballot again in 2024 for voters to decide. The earliest that the changes could take effect would be in 2025.

In a ranked-choice system during the general election, voters list candidates in order of preference. If no candidate receives a majority, officials would eliminate the last-place finisher and reallocate his or her supporters’ votes to their second choices until one candidate has at least 50 percent of the votes.

Alaska recently adopted ranked-choice voting, and some Republicans blamed that system for the defeat of Sarah Palin, a former governor and the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee, in a special House election in August.

New York, Maine and Utah also have some form of ranked-choice voting, as do dozens of American cities.

Cities and towns in Ohio would be barred from allowing non-U.S. citizens to vote in state and local elections under a constitutional amendment that seeks to rein in the home rule authority of municipalities.

Opponents contend that federal law already bars noncitizens from voting in federal elections. But the measure’s supporters say that an explicit prohibition is needed at the state level, despite instances of voter fraud proving to be rare.

The issue arose after voters in Yellow Springs, Ohio, a small village east of Dayton, voted in 2019 to allow noncitizens to vote for local offices. None have registered since then, though, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Emulating other red states, Nebraska could require voters to present photo ID at the polls under a constitutional amendment supported by Gov. Pete Ricketts, a term-limited Republican who is leaving office in January. Critics say the rule change would disenfranchise voters.

Connecticut is one of a handful of states that do not offer early in-person voting, but a proposed constitutional amendment could change that.

The measure directs the Legislature to create a mechanism for early voting, which would be separate from accepting absentee ballots before Election Day. The timing and details would be decided by lawmakers, who could enact the changes by the 2024 election.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *