Voters in blue states supported voting in connection with the extension of suffrage, while voters in red states voted for stricter rules.
In several states, voters were asked on Tuesday to consider measures that could both expand and restrict access to choice – from Voter Registration Laws in North Carolina and Arkansas to automatic and same-day voter lists in Nevada and Maryland. In Florida, voters decided to restore access for some convicted offenders.
On election day, growing concern over voting itself emerged. The Georgian governorship competition brought the voting questions into the foreground. Partly because Democrat Stacey Abrams has made access to the ballot one of her core issues, but also because her Republican opponent Brian Kemp, who also serves as Foreign Minister, is accused of restricting minority access to the ballot.
In other countries, the voter identification laws endorsed by the courts in North Dakota and Arkansas have many fearing that some minority voices will be suppressed. The same applies to a voter injury confirmed by the Ohio Supreme Court. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, there were restrictions in nine states that were not present in the last elections.
Access to the ballot has also been extended in several states. Since 2013, around 25 states have expanded voter access, including 16 states that have expanded access since the 2016 elections.
The full extent of the impact of these changes on the elections remains to be seen. What we do know, however, is how voters commented on the voting and voting changes.
North Carolina needs a Voter ID
On Tuesday, North Carolina voters voted to amend the constitution and request that voters produce a photo ID when making a personal vote. The state legislature will meet later this month. During the session, legislators are expected to define which ID types are acceptable. The Voter Id question was one of six electoral questions that North Carolina voters considered on Tuesday.
It's a long way to go for voter identification laws in the state of Tar Heel. A 2013 law, which included voter identification and other provisions that make it difficult for some residents to vote, was downed by a federal court because in 2016 it targeted "black" voters with "almost surgical precision" ID requirements are required to prevent fraud in personal voters, although fraud is very rare among those affected. Proxy representatives have argued that the real purpose of the law is the suppression of voter turnout among minority voters.
Arkansas needs a Voter ID
As in North Carolina, Arkansas had difficulty issuing a voter ID request. In 2014, the state Supreme Court ruled that a law that requires voters to present a passport at elections is unconstitutional. In 2017, the state legislature passed another eligibility code that was in place for 2018 midterm elections, despite some legal challenges. Those without identification may issue provisional ballots in the state.
The electoral ID battle, however, reached a critical turning point on Tuesday as voters decided to change the state's constitution to require voters to submit a voter ID to the polls. After the change, the state would have to provide voters with free IDs without them.
Nevada votes on automatic voter registration
Nevada voters will decide whether their state should join the 13 others who have voter registration. Under the initiative, known as Nevada Question 5, eligible citizens are automatically registered for voting when applying for or renewing a license or changing their address through the State Motor Vehicle Authority. The support for the initiative has largely declined across the parties – when Republican Governor Brian Sandoval defended the measure and forced a public vote, he said the automatic registration "wiped out a fundamental, individual decision".
"The core freedom to decide if you want to get voters registered belongs to the individual, not the government," he said.
Michigan facilitates the vote
Michigan voters favored an amendment that added eight voting provisions to the constitution. Changes include voter registration on the same day, voting for a direct ticket, automatic registration of voters and voting without absence among others.
Maryland allows voters to register the same day
Maryland will join 16 states and D.C. by allowing voters to register for voting and to vote immediately on election day. An electoral question from Maryland voters asked voters if they supported or disapproved. State voters were able to register by the end of the early voting period, but this electoral measure changes the state constitution to allow voters to register until election day.
Florida gives offenders the right to vote
More than 1 million Floridians could have their voting rights re-established in Florida, where voters approved Amendment 4 of the state. An inappropriate number of African American and Democratic voters may be affected by the restoration, according to the Tampa Bay Times/Miami herald Analysis.
According to the proposed amendment, convicted offenders could vote following their sentence. However, those convicted of murder and crime for sexual offenses would not vote. Prominent groups on both sides of the political spectrum – from the American Civil Liberties Union to Koch-backed Freedom Partners – and celebrities such as John Legend and Rihanna were in favor of the amendment.