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.
Michigan HB6071: This bill would make the following changes to state laws regarding polling locations:
- Prohibits the use of a polling station in a building belonging to a candidate.
- Removes conflicting language regarding establishment of polling place locations.
- Authorizes the use of a privately owned banquet hall or similar facility if another suitable location is not available, but the facility may not belong to a candidate or a sponsor of a political committee.
- Outlines procedures for using the facility.
- Authorizes a legislative body to establish a central polling place and outlines related procedures.
Legislative history: The state Senate approved the final version of the bill by unanimous vote on Sept. 28. Later that same day, the state House approved the bill by a vote of 97-7. It now awaits gubernatorial action.
Political context: Michigan operates under a divided government. Republicans control majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, but the governor (Gretchen Whitmer) is a Democrat.
Since September 23, 15 bills have been acted on in some way (representing a 114.3 percent decrease as compared to last week’s total of 7 bills). These 15 bills represent 0.6 percent of the 2,520 bills we are tracking. Of these 15 bills, 6 (40.0 percent) are from states with Democratic trifectas and 9 (60.0 percent) are from states with divided governments.
The bar chart below compares recent activity on a week-to-week basis over the last eight weeks.
- 3 bills were introduced (or saw pre-committee action).
- Democratic trifectas: 1.
- Divided governments: 2.
- 1 bill advanced from committee (or saw post-committee action).
- Divided governments: 1.
- 2 bills passed one chamber (or saw pre-adoption action in the second chamber).
- Divided governments: 2.
- 4 bills passed both chambers (or saw pre-enactment action).
- Divided governments: 4.
- MI HB4491: Elections: election officials; authority for county clerks to remove deceased individuals from the qualified voter file; provide for. Amends sec. 509o & 510 of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.509o & 168.510).
- MI HB6071: Elections: polling places; polling place locations; expand.
- MI SB0008: Elections: absent voters; definition of United States Department of Defense verified electronic signature; provide for. Amends 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.1 – 168.992) by adding sec. 18a.
- MI SB0311: Elections: absent voters; electronic return of absentee ballots by military voters using Department of Defense Common Access Cards; allow. Amends sec. 759a of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.759a) & adds sec. 18a.
- Divided governments: 4.
- 3 bills were enacted.
- 2 bills died.
- Democratic trifectas: 2.
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 2,520 election-related bills. This represents a marginal decrease as compared to last week’s total (owing to the exclusion of one irrelevant bill). 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.