Here is our weekly round-up on election-related legislation. In it, you’ll find the following information:
- Noteworthy bills: Here, we identify and report on the contents and legislative status of noteworthy bills.
- Recent activity: Here, we report on the number of bills acted on within the past week.
- The big picture: Here, we look at the bills in the aggregate.
- Legislative status: How many bills have been introduced, voted upon, or enacted into law?
- Concentration of activity: What states have seen the highest concentration of legislative activity?
- Partisan affiliation of sponsorship: How many bills have been sponsored by Democrats vs. Republicans?
- Subject: What subjects are most commonly addressed in the bills?
This part of our report highlights recent activity on specific noteworthy bills. A bill is noteworthy if it meets one or more of the following criteria:
- It has been enacted into law.
- It is poised to be enacted into law.
- It is the subject of significant debate in the legislature.
- It is the subject of significant commentary by activists, journalists, etc.
California SB103: This bill requires that presidential electors and alternate electors pledge to cast their electoral ballots for the presidential and vice presidential candidates to whom they are pledged or who are the candidates of the political party that nominated them. This bill provides that any elector who violates this requirement would be automatically removed as an elector. This bill also requires the secretary of state to preside over the meeting of electors.
Legislative history: On April 26, the state Senate approved SB103 unanimously. On August 11, the state Assembly approved the bill, also unanimously. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed SB103 into law on August 29.
Political context: California is a Democratic trifecta, meaning that Democrats control the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.
Since August 26, 7 bills have been acted on in some way (representing a 36.4 percent decrease as compared to last week’s total of 11 bills). These 7 bills represent 0.3 percent of the 2,521 bills we are tracking. Of these 7 bills, all 7 (100 percent) are from states with Democratic trifectas.
The bar chart below compares recent activity on a week-to-week basis over the last eight weeks.
- 6 bills passed both chambers (or were acted upon in some way after passing both chambers).
- 1 bill was enacted.
- Democratic trifectas: 1.
- CA SB103: Uniform Faithful Presidential Electors Act.
- Democratic trifectas: 1.
The map below visualizes the concentration of this recent activity across the nation. A darker shade of yellow indicates a higher number of relevant bills that have been acted upon in the last week. A lighter shade of yellow indicates a lower number of bills that have been acted upon in the last week.
The big picture
To date, we have tracked 2,521 election-related bills. This represents a marginal decrease as compared to last week’s total, owing to the removal of three irrelevant bills. These bills were either introduced this year or crossed over from last year’s legislative sessions.
The pie charts below visualize the legislative status of the bills we are tracking. The following status indicators are used:
- Introduced: The bill has been pre-filed, introduced, or referred to committee but has not otherwise been acted upon.
- Advanced from committee: The bill has received a favorable vote in committee. It has either advanced to another committee or to the floor for a vote.
- Passed one chamber: The bill has been approved by one legislative chamber.
- Conference committee: Differing versions of the bill have been approved by their respective chambers and a conference committee has been appointed to reconcile the differences.
- Passed both chambers: The bill has cleared both chambers of the legislature.
- Enacted: The bill has been enacted into law, by gubernatorial action or inaction or veto override.
- Vetoed: The bill has been vetoed.
- Dead: The bill has been defeated in committee or by floor vote.
The pie charts below visualize the legislative status of bills in Democratic and Republican trifectas, respectively.
Concentration of activity
The map below visualizes the concentration of legislative activity across the nation. A darker shade of yellow indicates a higher number of relevant bills that have been introduced. A lighter shade of yellow indicates a lower number of relevant bills.
Partisan affiliation of sponsor(s)
The pie chart below visualizes the partisan affiliation of bill sponsors.
The bar chart below visualizes the correlation between the partisan affiliation of bill sponsors and trifecta status (e.g., how many Democratic-sponsored bills were introduced in Democratic trifectas vs. Republican trifectas).
Bills by topic
The chart below presents information on the total number of bills dealing with particular topics. 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 bills because some bills deal with multiple topics.