How voting laws are changing in four swing states in 2024

In several key swing states, voting laws have changed heading into the 2024 election, which could affect how pivotal races in those states end up.

The race for the White House between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will likely be decided by various states that have changed laws aimed at either improving accessibility or security. Here are four states where the voting laws have changed.

North Carolina

In the Tar Heel State, voters will have to show a photo ID for the first time to participate in elections. The law, which was passed in 2018 but was only allowed to go into effect recently, makes North Carolina one of more than a dozen states that require a photo ID to cast a ballot in the presidential election.

Another change the legislature has pushed despite Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D-NC) veto is to the way the state’s election board is selected.

The law would change the board’s makeup from five governor appointees, with three from the executive’s party, to eight members appointed by the legislature based on the suggestions from top party officials in the state legislature.

A North Carolina superior court blocked the law last month, and it appears unlikely to go into effect for the 2024 election.

Michigan

Michigan lawmakers made several changes to the state’s election laws in the lead-up to the 2024 election, beginning with new laws enshrined by voters in 2022.

Proposal 2, in the 2022 general election, created a nine-day early voting period, along with requiring voters to sign an affidavit or provide photo identification when voting or applying for an absentee ballot in the state.

The state also passed several other measures in 2023, including allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to preregister to vote for future elections.

Georgia

The Peach State implemented some of the most controversial changes to its voting systems in 2021, which garnered criticism from several prominent Democrats, including Biden.

The measures passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) with Senate Bill 202 solidified early and mail-in voting while also implementing other measures, such as requiring a photo ID to apply for an absentee ballot and blocking advocates from giving food, drink, and gifts to voters in line.

Another measure, which could be implemented for the 2026 elections in the Peach State, would prevent ballots from being counted using a QR code, instead having to be counted with marks or using text. It has yet to be signed into law by Kemp.

Pennsylvania

In the Keystone State, one of the biggest changes to election law came in 2023 when Gov. Josh Shapiro (D-PA) rolled out automatic voter registration in September.

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The system allows citizens who are getting or renewing their driver’s license at the Department of Motor Vehicles to be registered to vote unless they opt out.

A recent court case in Pennsylvania ruled the state may not count undated mail-in ballots, possibly invalidating a handful of ballots in a state that is expected to be tightly contested in November.

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