2021 Election Enactments

4/22/2021

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The unprecedented attention on our election systems that began in 2020 has continued into 2021. Due to the pandemic, a smaller number of bills than average were introduced and enacted in 2020, but this year legislatures have been working hard to catch up.

All 50 states have introduced election-related bills so far this year. Many states have debated whether to make permanent policies that were temporary adjustments for 2020 and the most popular topics under consideration are increasing or limiting absentee and mail voting, ballot drop boxes and voter identification requirements.

This webpage tracks significant election enactments is not intended to be comprehensive. For detailed information on pending election legislation, please see our database.

2021 Election Enactments

Arizona

  • HB 2054 requires the secretary of state to compare death records with the statewide voter registration database. 
  • SB 1002 specifies that absentee ballot envelopes must not reveal the voter’s political party affiliation. 

Arkansas

  • HB 1112 amends the state’s current voter ID law to require voters casting provisional ballots to show photo ID by noon on the Monday following Election Day. Previously, voters without an ID could cast provisional ballots and sign a sworn statement for their votes to be counted.
  • HB 1715 implements stricter limits on absentee ballot collection and prohibits election officials from distributing unsolicited absentee ballot applications, among other changes.

California

  • SB 29 extends the state’s temporary adoption of all-mail voting in 2020 through 2021.

Georgia 

  • SB 202 is an omnibus bill that makes a number of changes, including requiring ID to request and return absentee ballots, establishing guidelines for ballot drop boxes and giving the State Election Board more power over county election administration.

Illinois

  • HB 1871 allows HAVA funds to be used for ballot drop boxes, adds provisions related to drop boxes, permits curbside voting and requires ballots returned without postage to be accepted. 
  • HB 3653 requires that the Department of Corrections provide information about voter registration to citizens when they are released and allows the department to participate in the automatic voter registration program. 

Iowa

  • SB 413 makes several changes, including reducing the early voting period from 29 days to 19 days, requiring that absentee ballots be received by the close of polls on Election Day and creating penalties for election officials who willfully fail to perform their duties. 

Kentucky

  • SB 1 limits the effective dates of executive orders issued by the governor to 30 days unless an extension is approved by the General Assembly and prohibits the governor from issuing a new executive order relating to the same emergency without the approval of the General Assembly. 
  • HB 574 establishes three days of early voting, allows vote center polling places, creates an online absentee ballot request portal and allows voters to cure signatures on absentee ballots. 

Maine

  • HB 68 allows the processing of absentee ballots to begin seven days before Election Day.

Maryland

  • SB 683 creates a permanent absentee ballot list, requires that absentee ballot applications be sent to each eligible voter before a primary election and establishes provisions governing ballot drop box locations. 
  • HB 745 adjusts requirements for the number of early voting centers to allow a greater number of early voting centers in certain counties.

Massachusetts

  • HB 73 extends temporary mail-in voting expansions passed in 2020 through June 2021.

Montana

  • SB 15 requires election officials to provide accessible voting locations for disabled voters during elections conducted primarily by mail. 
  • SB 170 requires voter list maintenance processes to be conducted annually, rather than every other year. 

New Jersey

  • AB 5373 allows county board of elections to determine the location of ballot drop boxes under certain circumstances.  
  • SB 3203 requires counties to hold nine days of early, in-person voting ending the Sunday before Election Day in November; primaries will have fewer days of in-person voting: three for a non-presidential primary and five in a presidential election year. 

New York

  • AB 2574 adds the State University of New York as a designated voter registration agency for automatic voter registration. 

South Dakota

  • SB 102 allows voters to apply to the secretary of state to protect their voter record from public access under certain conditions. 
  • SB 184 allows the county auditor to direct the county board of elections to meet on Election Day prior to the closing of the polls to review absentee voters' affidavits, if the auditor deems this procedure necessary due to the number of absentee ballots received. 

Utah

  • HB 12 requires that deceased voters be removed from the voter rolls and that the lieutenant governor enforce these provisions.
  • HB 70 creates an online system for voters to track their mail ballots and receive text or email notifications regarding their ballot’s status. 

Virginia

  • HB 1888 requires the establishment of ballot drop boxes and makes various changes to absentee ballot processing, including verifying the correct completion of the voter affirmation statement, and allows absentee voters to correct the statement in certain circumstances.
  • HB 1968 permits localities to provide absentee voting in person in the office of the general registrar or voter satellite office on Sundays.
  • HB 2125 permits a person who is 16 years of age or older, but who will not be 18 on or before the day of the next general election, to preregister to vote.
  • SB 1097 eliminates the requirement for a witness signature on absentee ballots during states of emergency.
  • SB 1331 requires the Department of Elections to create a tool to allow voters with a visual impairment or print disability to electronically receive and mark absentee ballots. 

Washington

  • HB 1078 restores voting rights to citizens on parole.

Wyoming

  • HB 75 requires voters to show an accepted form of ID to vote in person; acceptable forms include a driver's license, state or tribal ID, passport, military ID or a Wyoming public school, university or community college IDs.