Arkansas became the latest state to pass a series of election security reforms this week, sending multiple bills to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk.
The bills, overwhelmingly passed by the state’s Republican legislature, deal with in-person and absentee voting, among other issues.
Hutchinson has not publicly said whether he plans to sign them.
The Arkansas Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that prohibits clerks from sending unsolicited absentee ballot applications to voters and requires them to report how many such applications they receive each day.
It also requires voters’ signatures to match the signature given when they first registered to vote.
While advocates have said that signature verification is critical to preventing voter fraud, critics have argued that signatures change over time due to an array of factors including age and injury.
Another bill prohibits people from being within 100 feet of a polling place unless they are there for “lawful purposes,” like voting or tabulating ballots. Supporters say it reinforces efforts to prevent electioneering, which is already illegal under Arkansas state law.
The bill passed the state House on Tuesday 74-23.
The bills are just a few of many election security measures introduced by Republicans in state legislatures across the country. They follow claims by former President Donald Trump and other Republicans of widespread election fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
Hundreds of corporations have criticized the Republican push for election integrity. Major League Baseball even moved its All-Star Game from Atlanta in response to a piece of voting legislation.
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