Breaking down election administration laws enacted in 2022

Welcome to the Thursday, June 30, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Breaking down election administration laws enacted in 2022
  2. Reviewing this week’s election results
  3. An update on recent statewide ballot measure activity

Breaking down election administration laws enacted in 2022

Yesterday, Ballotpedia launched our Election Administration Legislation tracker. This tool allows you to quickly and easily track election-related legislation in all 50 states, with access to easy-to-digest bill tags and summaries written and curated by our election administration experts.

In addition to our onsite tracker, we’re providing a weekly digest summarizing noteworthy election-related legislation from across the country, including a breakdown of recent activity on bills and a look at the bigger picture. Click here to sign up for the free weekly digest.

Today, let’s take a look at some of the data at your fingertips using the tracker. As of this week, state legislatures in 33 states and the District of Columbia have enacted 162 election bills during the 2022 calendar year. Five of these states have enacted more than 10 election bills each: Louisiana (17), Tennessee (15), West Virginia (13), Rhode Island (12), and Arizona (11). 

States with Republican trifectas (i.e., states in which Republicans hold the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature) have seen the greatest number of enacted bills: 81 (50.0 percent of the total). States with Democratic trifectas have enacted 39 bills (24.1 percent of the total). States with divided governments (i.e., states where the governor belongs to a different party than that which has a majority in the state legislature) have enacted 42 bills (25.9 percent of the total). 

Of the 162 enacted bills, 83 (51.2 percent) were sponsored exclusively by Republicans, 38 (23.5 percent) by Democrats, and 24 (14.8 percent) by bipartisan coalitions. Sponsorship of the remaining 17 bills (10.5 percent) was not specified. 

The chart below identifies the 10 most common subject areas dealt with in the enacted bills. The number listed on the blue portion of each bar indicates the number of Democratic-sponsored bills dealing with the subject in question. The number listed on the red portion of the bar indicates the number of Republican-sponsored bills. The purple and gray portions of the bar indicate the number of bipartisan-sponsored bills and bills with unspecified sponsorship, respectively. Note that the numbers listed here will not, when summed, equal the total number of enacted bills because some bills deal with multiple subjects.

Stay tuned for more data in tomorrow’s Brew.

Keep reading

Reviewing this week’s election results

Statewide primaries and primary runoffs took place in six states Tuesday, including 16 races we identified as battlegrounds. Here’s a look at nine races:

  • Joe O’Dea wins Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Colorado: Joe O’Dea defeated Ron Hanks in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Colorado, winning 55% of the vote to Hanks’ 46%. O’Dea and Hanks differed on their stance regarding the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, with O’Dea saying Joe Biden (D) had won and Hanks saying Donald Trump (R) had won.
  • Darren Bailey wins Republican nomination for governor of Illinois: Darren Bailey defeated five other candidates to win the Republican nomination for governor of Illinois. Bailey had 58% of the vote to runner-up Jesse Sullivan’s 16%. Bailey’s endorsers included President Trump (R) and U.S. Rep. Mary Miller (R).
  • Sean Casten defeats Marie Newman: U.S. Rep. Sean Casten defeated fellow incumbent Marie Newman in the Democratic primary in Illinois’ 6th Congressional District. Newman and Casten were placed in the same district under new lines adopted following the 2020 census. Casten had 68% of the vote to Newman’s 29%. The two had differed on a vote last year to provision more Iron Dome missile defense systems for Israel, with Casten voting in favor of the proposal and Newman voting against it.
  • Mary Miller defeats Rodney Davis: In Illinois’ other incumbent-versus-incumbent post-redistricting primary, U.S. Rep. Mary Miller defeated fellow incumbent Rodney Davis in the Republican nomination for Illinois’ 15th Congressional District. Miller had 58% of the vote to Davis’ 43%. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Miller, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed Davis.
  • Michael Guest wins re-nomination in runoff: U.S. Rep. Michael Guest defeated challenger Michael Cassidy in the Republican primary runoff in Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District, with 67% of the vote to Cassidy’s 33%. Guest was one of 35 House Republicans who voted in favor of establishing a bipartisan commission to investigate the Capitol breach on January 6, 2021.
  • Steven Palazzo loses re-nomination in runoff: U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo lost to challenger Mike Ezell in the Republican primary runoff in Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District. Ezell had 54% of the vote to Palazzo’s 46%. Ezell accused Palazzo during the primary of having misused campaign funds for personal expenses and referred to a 2020 House Ethics Committee investigation into the claims.
  • Kathy Hochul wins nomination for full term as governor of New York: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who ascended to the post following Andrew Cuomo’s (D) resignation last year, won the Democratic nomination for a full term as governor over two challengers. Hochul had 67% of the vote to runner-up Jumaane Williams’ 20%.
  • Markwayne Mullin, T.W. Shannon advance to U.S. Senate runoff: No candidate won the 50% of the vote necessary to receive the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Oklahoma’s special election Tuesday. The top two finishers, U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin and businessman and former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon, will advance to an August 23 runoff. Mullin had 44% of the vote to Shannon’s 18%. The winner will face Kendra Horn (D), Robert Murphy (L), and Ray Woods (I) in the November 8 general election.
  • Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor loses re-nomination: Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor lost the Republican primary for a full term to challenger Gentner Drummond. O’Connor was appointed to the post last year following Mike Hunter’s (R) resignation. Drummond had run against Hunter for the GOP nomination in 2018, losing the primary runoff that year by a 273-vote margin. O’Connor said he was a stronger supporter of former President Donald Trump’s (R) than Drummond, saying that Trump had nominated him for a federal judgeship and accusing Drummond of having donated $1,000 to Joe Biden’s (D) 2020 campaign. Drummond said the donation had been made by his wife on a shared card and that he had obtained a refund.

Keep reading 

An update on recent statewide ballot measure activity

This is the time of year when legislatures are wrapping up sessions – which usually means a flurry of ballot measure activity. As of June 28, 115 statewide measures have been certified for the ballot in 35 states for elections this year. Between 2010 and 2020, the average number of statewide measures certified for the ballot in an even-numbered year was 164. Here’s a look at some recent developments in 2022’s statewide ballot measure landscape:

  • Arizona voters to decide on sales tax to finance fire districts: The Arizona House of Representatives voted 34-25 on June 22 to place a measure related to fire district financing on this November’s ballot, clearing the measure’s last hurdle following state senate approval in February. The 34 votes in favor included 28 Democrats and six Republicans. All 25 votes against were cast by Republicans. If enacted, the measure would implement a statewide 0.1% sales tax for 20 years beginning on December 31, 2022. Proceeds from the tax would go towards funding the state’s fire districts.
  • Arizona voters to consider property tax exemptions measure: Also June 22, the Arizona House voted 58-0 with two Democrats abstaining to put a measure related to property tax exemptions on the ballot following state senate approval of the same measure in February. The measure would consolidate the existing property tax provisions in the state constitution into a single provision and would allow the state legislature to enact exemptions from property tax for specific groups.
  • Arizona approves vote on change to ballot measure procedures: On June 23, the Arizona State Senate voted 16-12 to put a measure related to ballot measure laws on the November ballot. All 16 of the chamber’s Republicans voted in favor of the measure, while Democrats cast all 12 votes against it. The state house had earlier approved the measure in February. The measure would require that any future statewide ballot measures in Arizona receive a 60% supermajority of votes in favor in order to pass. Currently, ballot measures in Arizona require a 50% majority of votes in favor. There are 11 states where voters must approve a constitutional amendment by more than a simple majority or by some rule that combines different criteria besides just the vote total in favor. Both Illinois and Florida require that a ballot measure win at least a 60% supermajority. The highest margin required for a ballot measure to be approved is 67% in New Hampshire.
  • Arizona voters to decide on creating an office of Lieutenant Governor: The Arizona House voted 43-15 in favor of placing an amendment to create an office of lieutenant governor on the November ballot, following the state senate’s approval of the measure in March. The 43 votes in favor included 30 Republicans and 13 Democrats, while the 15 votes against included 14 Democrats and one Republican. The lieutenant governor would be elected on a ticket with the governor and would succeed to the governor’s office in the event of a vacancy. Arizona is currently one of five states without a lieutenant governor; in the event of a vacancy in the governor’s office, the secretary of state succeeds to the position.
  • California voters will consider online sports betting: On June 27, the California Secretary of State announced that the campaign in favor of an initiated constitutional amendment allowing for legalized sports betting had obtained enough signatures to put the amendment on the November ballot. If passed, the amendment would legalize online and mobile betting on sports for those 21 and older and would implement a 10% tax on bets. Revenues from the tax would be allocated towards homelessness programs and tribes that chose not to operate sports betting.
  • Colorado campaign submits signatures in support of psychedelics measure: A ballot measure campaign in Colorado submitted 222,648 signatures to the Colorado Secretary of State on June 27 to place a measure related to psychedelics on the November ballot. The campaign would need 124,632 of those signatures (56%) to be valid for the amendment to make it onto the ballot. If enacted, the amendment would decriminalize the personal usage of a number of psychedelic substances for those over 21 and would create a program allowing for the supervised administration of such substances.

Keep reading