Political campaigns always take on a chaotic feel around this time, just weeks before Election Day. This year, an extra factor is contributing to the disarray: Courts around the country have made a string of late decisions changing voting rules or election procedures in some key states.

Over the past month, a series of court rulings have impacted voting requirements and whose names appear on the ballot in North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, Texas, and Kansas, providing election officials and voters alike little time to react and potentially causing confusion, with Nov. 4 fast approaching.

It's not all that unusual to have a number of lawsuits popping up near an election, according to Dan Tokaji, a law professor at Ohio State University. But "courts making very late changes to the rules" is out of the ordinary, he said.

And there still could be more to come: Arkansas, for one, is still bracing for a possible on its voter ID law within a month of the election. Wisconsin and Texas just had decisions on theirs this week.

Here's a look at the states that have recently made major preelection adjustments after late court rulings:

TEXAS AND WISCONSIN 

Voters in Texas and Wisconsin will not have to bring a photo ID with them to the polls this fall—at least, for the time being—following separate court rulings that came within hours of each other Thursday night. In the Lone Star State, a federal judge decided Texas's voter ID law could not be enforced in the November elections following a September trial. Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican who is running for governor, plans to appeal the decision.

The U.S. Supreme Court also issued a ruling preventing Wisconsin's voter ID law from going into place for the November election. The law, which Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed in 2011, has yet to be enforced for a major election, but a federal appeals court reinstated the measure in September, which had been stayed pending court arguments over its legality. That left Wisconsin's elections board roughly 50 days to implement the law and some voters with a small window to obtain a valid ID. Following the high court's ruling, Attorney General J.B Van Hollen said he would explore other ways to have the requirement in place for the upcoming election.

The ruling could have an important effect on Walker's reelection battle with Democrat Mary Burke, as polls show a tight race. Despite Democrats' best efforts, the Texas gubernatorial race hasn't proven to be all that competitive. But the decision in that state could impact the 23rd Congressional District, where turnout drops precipitously in midterm elections. Democratic Rep. Pete Gallego is fighting for a second term there.

NORTH CAROLINA

The Tar Heel State also saw a key portion of its election law thrown out the window at the last minute this week, with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday that voters will not be able to register to vote and cast ballots on the same day or vote outside of their precincts. Same-day voter registration and out-of-precinct voting were both eliminated in 2013 as part of a wide-ranging voting law enacted by state Republicans that was challenged in court over a year ago. But in October, a circuit court judge reinstated those voting provisions for the upcoming election.

That could affect voter turnout in one of 2014's marquee Senate contests. Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and GOP state House Speaker Thom Tillis are fighting over a seat that could determine which party controls the upper chamber.

Even after that campaign ends, the battle over the state's voting law will continue—a district judge is slated to hear arguments regarding the constitutionality of the law next July.

OHIO

The Supreme Court also waded into Ohio this fall with a late-September ruling that shrank the early-voting period just one day before it was set to begin. Before the high court's decision, voters would have had 35 days to vote early rather than 28 days, along with more evening and weekend hours to cast ballots early and a seven-day period known as "Golden Week" where they could register and vote at the same time. But the Supreme Court ultimately determined that the law Gov. John Kasich signed in February that cut early voting should be enforced this fall even though it's been challenged in the Court.

A perennial battleground, Ohio finds itself in the rare position of not holding a competitive Senate or gubernatorial election this year. But the high court still must determine the constitutionality of the law, and that decision isn't expected until after the November election, meaning Ohio's election rules could still be in flux heading into 2016 cycle.

KANSAS

Kansas voting laws have remained intact this cycle, unlike in the other states. However, the state Supreme Court did step in at the last minute to remove the Democratic Senate candidate from the ballot, a decision that could have major implications for the balance of power in Washington.

Chad Taylor, the Democratic nominee, dropped out of the race in early September, but Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach initially said Taylor did not meet the requirements to have his name removed from the ballot. The state court disagreed, ordering Kobach to take Taylor's name off the ballot. As a further boon to Democrats, a different court ruled that the party didn't have to name a replacement, either. That decision came after ballots without a Democrat's name on them had already been sent to voters overseas.

The ruling meant that independent candidate Greg Orman got the opportunity to consolidate support against vulnerable GOP Sen. Pat Roberts in a race that has become as contested as any in the country, potentially complicating the Republican Party's path to taking the Senate majority.

WHAT'S NEXT?

There is a possibility that the courts could still hand down a major voting-related ruling in at least one other state before Nov. 4, following this week's Wisconsin and Texas decisions. The Arkansas Supreme Court heard arguments last week on the constitutionality of the state's voter-ID law, which passed last year. In May, a county judge ruled that the law was unconstitutional but still allowed it to remain in effect for the midterm elections, where Sen. Mark Pryor is in a tough reelection battle and an open governor's seat is up for grabs. It's not certain, though, whether the state's high court will decide on the case before voters head to the polls.

This story has been updated with information about Thursday's court decisions affecting Texas and Wisconsin.

TEXAS AND WISCONSIN 

Voters in Texas and Wisconsin will not have to bring a photo ID with them to the polls this fall—at least, for the time being—following separate court rulings that came within hours of each other Thursday night. In the Lone Star State, a federal judge decided Texas's voter ID law could not be enforced in the November elections following a September trial. Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican who is running for governor, plans to appeal the decision.

The U.S. Supreme Court also issued a ruling preventing Wisconsin's voter ID law from going into place for the November election. The law, which Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed in 2011, has yet to be enforced for a major election, but a federal appeals court reinstated the measure in September, which had been stayed pending court arguments over its legality. That left Wisconsin's elections board roughly 50 days to implement the law and some voters with a small window to obtain a valid ID. Following the high court's ruling, Attorney General J.B Van Hollen said he would explore other ways to have the requirement in place for the upcoming election.

The ruling could have an important effect on Walker's reelection battle with Democrat Mary Burke, as polls show a tight race. Despite Democrats' best efforts, the Texas gubernatorial race hasn't proven to be all that competitive. But the decision in that state could impact the 23rd Congressional District, where turnout drops precipitously in midterm elections. Democratic Rep. Pete Gallego is fighting for a second term there.

NORTH CAROLINA

The Tar Heel State also saw a key portion of its election law thrown out the window at the last minute this week, with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday that voters will not be able to register to vote and cast ballots on the same day or vote outside of their precincts. Same-day voter registration and out-of-precinct voting were both eliminated in 2013 as part of a wide-ranging voting law enacted by state Republicans that was challenged in court over a year ago. But in October, a circuit court judge reinstated those voting provisions for the upcoming election.

That could affect voter turnout in one of 2014's marquee Senate contests. Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and GOP state House Speaker Thom Tillis are fighting over a seat that could determine which party controls the upper chamber.

Even after that campaign ends, the battle over the state's voting law will continue—a district judge is slated to hear arguments regarding the constitutionality of the law next July.

OHIO

The Supreme Court also waded into Ohio this fall with a late-September ruling that shrank the early-voting period just one day before it was set to begin. Before the high court's decision, voters would have had 35 days to vote early rather than 28 days, along with more evening and weekend hours to cast ballots early and a seven-day period known as "Golden Week" where they could register and vote at the same time. But the Supreme Court ultimately determined that the law Gov. John Kasich signed in February that cut early voting should be enforced this fall even though it's been challenged in the Court.

A perennial battleground, Ohio finds itself in the rare position of not holding a competitive Senate or gubernatorial election this year. But the high court still must determine the constitutionality of the law, and that decision isn't expected until after the November election, meaning Ohio's election rules could still be in flux heading into 2016 cycle.

KANSAS

Kansas voting laws have remained intact this cycle, unlike in the other states. However, the state Supreme Court did step in at the last minute to remove the Democratic Senate candidate from the ballot, a decision that could have major implications for the balance of power in Washington.

Chad Taylor, the Democratic nominee, dropped out of the race in early September, but Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach initially said Taylor did not meet the requirements to have his name removed from the ballot. The state court disagreed, ordering Kobach to take Taylor's name off the ballot. As a further boon to Democrats, a different court ruled that the party didn't have to name a replacement, either. That decision came after ballots without a Democrat's name on them had already been sent to voters overseas.

The ruling meant that independent candidate Greg Orman got the opportunity to consolidate support against vulnerable GOP Sen. Pat Roberts in a race that has become as contested as any in the country, potentially complicating the Republican Party's path to taking the Senate majority.

WHAT'S NEXT?

There is a possibility that the courts could still hand down a major voting-related ruling in at least one other state before Nov. 4, following this week's Wisconsin and Texas decisions. The Arkansas Supreme Court heard arguments last week on the constitutionality of the state's voter-ID law, which passed last year. In May, a county judge ruled that the law was unconstitutional but still allowed it to remain in effect for the midterm elections, where Sen. Mark Pryor is in a tough reelection battle and an open governor's seat is up for grabs. It's not certain, though, whether the state's high court will decide on the case before voters head to the polls.

This story has been updated with information about Thursday's court decisions affecting Texas and Wisconsin.

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