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Voters wait in line at a polling site in Toledo, Ohio. Photo: David Greedy/Getty Images

Restrictive voting policies could influence the outcome of 2018 battleground races in at least four states: Georgia, North Dakota, Ohio and Arkansas.

The battle lines: Voting rights advocates say Republicans are trying to prevent minorities, who overwhelmingly vote Democratic, from casting ballots. But Republicans argue that their efforts are meant to increase voter confidence, modernize elections and combat rampant voter fraud — even though numerous studies have found no evidence of widespread voter irregularities in the U.S.

State of play: In North Dakota, Native Americans are working to minimize the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the state’s voter ID law, which requires voters to provide identification with their residential address rather than a P.O. box number.

  • Critics said the high court’s move harms Native American voters who live on reservations, where residential addresses largely do not exist. It also threatens the reelection of Heidi Heitkamp, one of the Senate’s most vulnerable red-state Democratic incumbents, who has received broad support among Native American voters in the past.

In Georgia, a coalition of civil rights groups sued Brian Kemp, the secretary of state and Republican nominee for governor, last week for placing more than 53,000 voter applications on a “pending” list. The list — created by the voter verification method called “exact match,” which requires voter applications be perfectly matched with information on file — has a disproportionately high number of black voters.

  • Kemp’s spokeswoman, Candice Broce, denied accusations of voter suppression and said those affected will be allowed to cast ballots if they show a photo ID that proves they are eligible to vote.

In Ohio, a voting rights group recently appealed a federal judge’s decision to uphold the state’s aggressive efforts to purge its voting rolls. The system, which disproportionately affects minorities and the poor, kicks people off the rolls if they skip a few elections and fail to respond to a notice from election officials. 

  • The appeal seeks to allow purged voters to cast ballots next month in a state that features high-profile races for governor, the U.S. Senate and a few key House seats.

In Arkansas, where Democrats hope to flip a Republican-held House seat, the state’s highest court upheld a voter ID law that requires residents to show photo identification before voting. But voters can cast provisional ballots without an ID if they sign a sworn affidavit.

Go deeper

Cuomo: "No way I resign" after sexual harassment accusations

Cuomo at a Feb. 24 press conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was defiant on Sunday, stating again that he would not resign even as more former aides have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

The big picture: Cuomo has denied all sexual harassment allegations against him and said that he "never inappropriately touched anybody." He acknowledged in a statement that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation." Some of the calls for Cuomo to resign have come from within the Democratic party.

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between his reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.

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