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Any registered voter who didn't cast a ballot in Iowa last year will be labeled inactive. Above, a voter leaves Ray Lounsberry's Shed in Nevada, Iowa, on Election Day 2020.

1 in 8 Iowans targeted for an eventual purge under first GOP voting curbs of 2021

Iowa is already seeing the effects of the year's first Republican-driven curbs on voting. The state's elections administrator has told 294,000 Iowans they've been targeted for an eventual purge from the registration list — simply because they did not vote last year.

GOP Secretary of State Paul Pate's office revealed this week that postcards have been mailed to more than 13 percent of the state's electorate telling them they are "inactive" voters because they did not cast any ballot in 2020. The list includes about 400 teenagers who were allowed to register even though they turned 18 after Election Day.

Pate was required to act under the sweeping tightening of election rules approved by the Republican-controlled General Assembly in February, despite united Democratic opposition. Like fellow Republicans nationwide, the GOP acted in the name of preventing the sort of election cheating that Democrats accurately describe as almost non-existent.

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"Although Kansans have cast millions of ballots over the last decade, there remains no evidence of significant voter fraud," said Gov. Laura Kelly.

GOP crusade to curb voting runs into blockade in ruby red Kansas

The sprawling Republican effort to make voting more difficult has been derailed for the first time by a Democratic governor.

Laura Kelly of Kansas has vetoed two bills, one curbing the number of ballots third parties may collect and deliver and the other giving the Legislature total control over election rules. Both were drafted in response to developments in other states last year — decisions by courts and governors to ease access to the ballot during the pandemic, and Donald Trump's baseless claims that widespread fraud had robbed him of a second presidential term.

The measures now return to the capital, where both have more than enough support for a veto override in the Senate but appear to be a handful of votes short of the necessary two-thirds majority in the House. Kansas' 2021 legislative session lasts three more weeks.

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Voters line up to cast early ballots in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The window to do has been shortened by a new law.

GOP completes multipronged curbs on access to the vote in Iowa

Iowa has become the first state this year making it much tougher to vote. It's the vanguard of a nationwide Republican effort to curtail access to the ballot box in response to last year's record turnout, central to both President Biden's election and former President Donald Trump's baseless claims of fraud.

GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds on Monday signed a sweeping set of tightened election rules pushed through the General Assembly two weeks ago without a single Democratic supporter.

The law reduces in-person early voting to 20 days, from 29, and shortens the time the polls are open Election Day by 60 minutes, to 13 hours. Local officials are now barred from proactively sending out vote-by-mail application forms. And absentee ballots arriving after the polls close will be discarded, eliminating a six-day grace period for Postal Service delays.

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An Arizona law disqualifies ballots cast at the wrong polling place. It's impact is felt most strongly by minority communities.

In Arizona election rules case, Supreme Court mulls what's left of Voting Rights Act

The Supreme Court on Tuesday will take up its most consequential case since the election about the future of a functional and fair democracy.

Hanging in the balance are the most meaningful remaining voting rights protections for minority groups under federal law. But even if the justices don't make a sweeping ruling upholding or eliminating those, their decision in a dispute over election restrictions in battleground Arizona will shape the fate of similar rules across the country.

Arizona disallows ballots cast at the wrong precinct and also bars so-called ballot harvesting, the term for campaign operatives or community activists collecting and delivering others' sealed vote envelopes. Last year a federal appeals court ruled that both laws violate the Voting Rights Act because they disproportionately disadvantage Black, Latino and Native American voters.

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