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Republicans press ahead with voting restrictions in key states, even as legal fights mount over new Georgia law

Published on March 31, 2021 2:20 AM
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Republicans press ahead with voting restrictions

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(CNN)Republicans in key electoral states continue to advance bills to clamp down on ballot access, even as voting and civil rights groups move to challenge new voting restrictions in the battleground state of Georgia.

Arizona, Texas, Michigan and Florida are among the states where lawmakers are pushing restrictions, many of them citing former President Donald Trump's false claims of election fraud as a reason to tighten the rules around voting -- moves that would also hinder Democratic-leaning voters.

In Arizona, which like Georgia was crucial to President Joe Biden's victory last November, pending bills would repeal the state's permanent early voting list and require identification when submitting absentee ballots. In Texas, lawmakers want to ban drive-through voting and bar election officials from sending unsolicited absentee ballot applications to voters. And in Michigan, a package of nearly 40 bills touches on nearly every aspect of elections -- from imposing new identification requirements on absentee ballot requests to overhauling the canvassing boards that certify election results.

Republicans in Michigan say they are discussing possibly deploying an obscure state law on petition initiatives to bypass a likely veto of their election restrictions by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Bills pushed by Republicans in Florida would set new restrictions on drop boxes and mail-in voting.

These efforts all come on the heels of Georgia last week rushing through a sweeping law that limits ballot boxes, grants the state legislature more power over the state board of elections and makes it a misdemeanor to approach voters as they wait in line with food and water.

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