Election 2013: Voting Laws Roundup

In 2013, state legislators continue to push laws that would make it harder for eligible American citizens to vote. At the same time, others are pressing measures to improve elections.

Below you will find a regularly-updated, comprehensive roundup of where restrictive laws were introduced, where they are pending, where they are active, and where they have passed thus far.

Click here to read a detailed summary of all passed and pending restrictive legislation proposed nationwide in the 2013 state legislative sessions (as of April 5th).

Numbers Overview

Since the beginning of 2013,

  • At least 80 restrictive bills were introduced in 31 states.
  • Of those, 66 restrictive bills are still pending in 26 states.
  • Of those, 27 restrictive bills are currently active in 14 states, in that there has been legislative activity beyond introduction and referral to committee (such as hearings or votes).
  • Two states have already passed 3 restrictive bills this session — Virginia and Arkansas both passed restrictive legislation requiring a photo ID to vote, and Virginia passed legislation making voter registration harder.

But there’s good news, too. More than 150 affirmative reform bills have been introduced across the country, including measures to expand early voting, and modernize the voter registration process through online registration and other steps. A more detailed analysis of refVoting Restrictions Passed in 2013


  • Photo ID required to vote (legislature overrode gubernatorial veto)


  • Photo ID required to vote (signed into law)
  • Restrictions on Third Party Registration (signed into law)

Summary of Pending Restrictive Voting Laws (see a detailed list of passed/pending 2013 bills)

  • Identification laws
    • Photo ID laws. At least 22 states have introduced legislation requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls in 2013.[1] Photo ID bills were already signed into law in Virginia and Arkansas this session.
  • Proof of citizenship laws. At least 9 states have introduced legislation requiring proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, to register or vote.[2]
  • Making voter registration harder. At least 9 states have introduced bills to end Election Day and same-day voter registration, limit voter registration mobilization efforts, and reduce other registration opportunities.[3] Virginia has passed a law restricting voter registration drives.
  • Reducing the early voting period. At least 7 states have introduced bills to reduce their early voting or in-person absentee voting periods.[4]
  • Making it harder to restore voting rights. At least 3 states introduced legislation that would further restrict the right to vote to persons with criminal convictions.[5]

Pushback Against Voting Restrictions

On April 2, 2013, voters in Wisconsin overwhelmingly supported an advisory referendum to keep the state’s highly-popular same-day registration law.

On March 21, 2013, the New Hampshire House voted to stop implementation of more restrictive voter ID requirements pending an impact study by state officials.

On March 5, 2013, the Florida House voted to reverse the early voting restrictions it adopted prior to the 2012 election.


[1] Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, Wyoming

[2] Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, Texas, Virginia

[3] Alabama, California, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas

[4] Arizona, Indiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin

[5] North Carolina, Maine, Virginiaorm bills is forthcoming.