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‘In The [One] Year Since the [1/6/2021] Insurrection, [the GOP] Has Introduced 550+ Bills To Restrict The Vote …’

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Claim

"In the 1 year since the Jan 6 insurrection, GOP has introduced 550+ bills to restrict the vote for Black &; brown Americans; 0 bills to hold the white supremacist insurrectionists accountable ..."

Rating

Decontextualized
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Reporting

On January 6 2021, an Imgur user shared a screenshot of the following tweet, which appears to describe the legislative aftermath of the January 6 2021 insurrection:

Marking a year since the events of January 6 2021 (on the same day United States President Joe Biden addressed the intervening year in a speech), @QasimRashid wrote:

In the 1 year since the Jan 6 insurrection, GOP has introduced 550+ bills to restrict the vote for Black & brown Americans & 0 bills to hold the white supremacist insurrectionists accountable. It was never about protecting democracy—it was always about protecting white supremacy.

Neither iteration — the Imgur screenshot nor the tweet — included a link to information about the claim. Rashid described more than 550 purported bills to “restrict the vote” targeting constituents of color ahead of the 2022 midterms and 2024 general election.

Google Trends data for “550 bills” solely turned up results about U.S. football (the Buffalo Bills). An initial search for additional information referencing the specific figure of “550+ bills” didn’t return any relevant results.

A subsequent search for “2021 bills to restrict voting” led to a possible source for the claim, a series of reports by the Brennan Center for Justice. In October 2021, a report (“Voting Laws Roundup: October 2021”) noted:

The 2020 federal election drew the United States’ highest voter turnout in more than a century, breaking records despite the Covid-19 pandemic and efforts to undermine the election process with the Big Lie of a stolen election.

In a backlash to this historic voter participation, many state lawmakers have proposed and enacted legislation to make it harder for Americans to vote, justifying these measures with falsehoods steeped in racism about election irregularities and breaches of election security.

In all but seven states, regular legislative sessions are now over. Between January 1 and September 27, at least 19 states enacted 33 laws that make it harder for Americans to vote.

It concluded with a statistic supporting Rashid’s assertion:

More than 425 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 49 states in the 2021 legislative sessions.

On December 21 2021, the Brennan Center published “Voting Laws Roundup: December 2021.” It began:

In 2021, the state legislative push to restrict access to voting was not only aggressive — it was also successful.

Between January 1 and December 7 [2021], at least 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to voting. More than 440 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 49 states in the 2021 legislative sessions. These numbers are extraordinary: state legislatures enacted far more restrictive voting laws in 2021 than in any year since the Brennan Center began tracking voting legislation in 2011. More than a third of all restrictive voting laws enacted since then were passed this year. And in a new trend this year, legislators introduced bills to allow partisan actors to interfere with election processes or even reject election results entirely.

Unfortunately, the momentum around this legislation continues. So far, at least 13 bills restricting access to voting have been pre-filed for the 2022 legislative session in four states. In addition, at least 88 restrictive voting bills in nine states will carry over from 2021. These early indicators — coupled with the ongoing mobilization around the Big Lie (the same false rhetoric about voter fraud that drove this year’s unprecedented wave of vote suppression bills) — suggest that efforts to restrict and undermine the vote will continue to be a serious threat in 2022.

That December 21 2021 report identified 440 bills aimed at restricting voting, along with 13 “pre-filed” bills, and 88 carryover bills — a total of 541, and a figure that had likely changed as of January 6 2022. Those numbers were echoed in reports from the Voting Rights Lab.

Rashid’s tweet (shared to Imgur) asserted that “550+ bills” designed to “restrict voting” had been introduced in the aftermath of the January 6 2021 insurrection. That statistic aligned with ongoing reporting by the Brennan Center for Justice in its “Voting Laws Roundup” series. As such, we’ve rated the claim Decontextualized, as the underlying investigative reporting served as necessary context to understand the claim.