Updated: Jan 27, 2019
Mother Jones journalist Ari Berman, author of Give Us the Ballot, says that many of the restrictions are part of a broader Republican strategy to tighten access to the ballot — an effort that was bolstered in 2013 by the Supreme Court's Shelby County v. Holder ruling.
"[That] decision," Berman explains, "said that those states with the longest histories of discrimination no longer had to approve their voting changes with the federal government."
You're seeing a national effort by the Republican Party to try to restrict voting rights, and it's playing out in states all across the country.
Ari Berman, author of 'Give Us the Ballot'
As a result, Berman says, "You're seeing a national effort by the Republican Party to try to restrict voting rights, and it's playing out in states all across the country."
Many of the new voting restrictions are occurring in states like Georgia, North Dakota and Kansas, which have critical races in the 2018 midterms. Berman says that it's still unclear what the impact of the restrictions will be on the upcoming elections, but he remains hopeful that the tide might be shifting on voter restrictions.
Berman points out that an amendment to Florida's 2018 ballot would restore voting rights to more than 1 million former felons who are currently disenfranchised in the state.