Brennan Center’s “Voting Laws Roundup: June 2023”

Here. Main takeaway: red states and blue states are moving in opposite directions in the regulation of election administration, with red states becoming more restrictive as blue states are becoming more expansive. This could be viewed as a problem, reflecting increasing (even accelerating) partisan polarization over the rules of the voting process itself. Or it could be viewed as consistent with federalism and the basic principle that, as long as all states meet a minimum national threshold commitment to the equal right of all citizens to participate in elections, states are entitled to considerable latitude in the details of administering the electoral process. In this regard, it’s worth recalling Bruce Cain’s useful construct, set forth in his important book Democracy More or Less, that there can and should be pluralism about the procedures of democracy within a range of reasonable alternatives, as long as no election falls below the threshold of minimally acceptable procedures for free and fair elections. It would be helpful, at least to me, if reports like this distinguished between developments viewed as falling below the minimally acceptable threshold versus policy choices within the zone of reasonable procedural pluralism for democracies even if those policy choices might be viewed as disfavored by the particular policy advocates.

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