State primary elections and Trump rallies in Wisconsin and Michigan

In this 2020 photo, people vote at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex in Franklin, Wisconsin.
In this 2020 photo, people vote at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex in Franklin, Wisconsin. Morry Gash/AP/File

Republican lawmakers and activists in several presidential battlegrounds are pushing ballot measures to change how elections are run in their states. Critics say those efforts, if successful, could make it harder to administer voting in places that could decide key political contests.

Today, Wisconsin voters are deciding whether to alter the state’s constitution and ban any private money in elections, one of two GOP-backed measures on the ballot focused on election administration. In Nevada, meanwhile, a GOP-aligned group is collecting signatures in the hopes of establishing new voter ID requirements in the Silver State.

And in Arizona, a so-called ballot referral moving through the Republican-controlled Legislature would upend the state’s widely used, no-excuse vote-by-mail system. The measure, which recently cleared a key Senate committee, also would effectively sideline the use of so-called vote centers in the state’s largest counties.

Opponents say that will set off a costly scramble to find additional polling places and workers. In Wisconsin and Arizona, Republican lawmakers, who have seen Democratic governors veto their election proposals, are leading the efforts to go the ballot measure route and avoid veto pens. Constitutional amendments in Wisconsin and ballot referenda in Arizona are not subject to the approval of governors in those states.

“This is the national conservative strategy now: If you can’t get it done through the legislative process, put in on the ballot,” said Jay Heck, who runs Common Cause in Wisconsin and opposes the ballot measures that go before voters Tuesday.

Read more about the ballot measures.

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