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Ahead of 2024 election, several states overhauled voting laws

As the nation prepares for the 2024 presidential election, debates over changes to voting laws have once again percolated in several state legislatures.

While there are ongoing efforts to make it more difficult to vote in many Republican-controlled states, a research group found there has also been a quiet countermovement to expand access to voting across the country. A new report by the Voting Rights Lab, a nonpartisan group that focuses on analysis that advances free and fair elections, found that nearly a third of legislation passed in statehouses earlier this year makes it easier to vote through policies such as expanding early- and mail—voting opportunities, restoring felon voting rights and providing more time to voters for fixing errors on ballots, among other things.

The study also highlights a rising number of laws passed in the first three months of the year that add greater requirements for mail voting, disempower nonpartisan election officials and add criminal liabilities for election workers for any mistakes.

Many states have fine-tuned or drastically changed their voting laws in recent years, often in response to the coronavirus pandemic and rampant falsehoods about election systems spread by former president Donald Trump and his allies. A movement coalesced in Republican-led state legislatures to enact so-called election security measures that critics feared would restrict access to the ballot.

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