The Ballot Bulletin: Ballotpedia’s Weekly Digest on Election Administration, June 30, 2023

States have enacted more election-related bills this year than at this point last year. In case you missed it, yesterday we released our exclusive report looking back at election administration legislation data from January-May. 

Welcome to The Ballot Bulletin: Ballotpedia’s Weekly Digest on Election Administration. Every Friday, we deliver the latest updates on election policy around the country, including legislative activity, nationwide trends, and recent news. In each issue, you’ll find updates on legislative activity and recent news

Legislative highlights


  • States enacted five bills during the past week. In the same week in 2022, states enacted 12 bills. 
  • States have enacted more than 250 bills in 2023. By this point in 2022, states had enacted 191 bills. 
  • Of the bills active over the past week, Democrats sponsored 19, an 18.8% increase from the 16 Democrat-sponsored bills state legislatures acted on the week before. Republicans sponsored nine of the bills acted on this past week, an 59.1% decrease from the 22 Republican-sponsored bills state legislatures acted on the week before. 
  • The bill topics with the most legislative activity this week were absentee/mail-in voting (9), audits and oversight (9), contest-specific procedures (9), election dates and deadlines (9), voter registration and list maintenance (6).

Recent activity and status changes

We’ve tracked the following election-related bills in 2023: 

  • 249 enacted bills (10 more than in our last edition)
  • 30 that have passed both chambers (+14)
  • 201 that have passed one chamber (-17)
  • 1,676 introduced bills (-33)
  • 417 dead bills (+15)

Enacted bills

States have enacted more than 250 election-related bills in 2023, compared to the 191 bills enacted at this point in 2022. This week, we identified additional election bills that we had not been tracking, and we’re in the process of adding those bills to our database. Our numbers will be updated to reflect those additions next week. Of the 249 enacted bills in our database, Democrats sponsored 52 (20.9%), Republicans sponsored 137 (55%), and 39 (15.7%) had bipartisan sponsorship. Committees or legislators with independent or other party affiliations sponsored the remaining 21 (8.4%) bills. To see all bills approved this year, click here

Bills enacted since our last edition, with their official titles, are listed below. 

Hawaii (Democratic trifecta)

Maine (Democratic trifecta)

  • ME LD764: An Act to Ensure That Effective Dates of First Special Session Direct Initiatives of Legislation Will Occur After the November 2023 Election

South Carolina (Republican trifecta)

Bills that passed both chambers

30 bills have passed both chambers and are awaiting gubernatorial action, compared to 46 bills that had passed both chambers at this point in 2022. To see all bills that have currently passed both chambers, click here.

Bills that passed both chambers since our last edition, with their official titles, are listed below. 

Maine (Democratic trifecta)

  • ME LD769: An Act to Reduce the Enrollment Requirement for Minor Political Parties That Seek Official Party Status

Michigan (Democratic trifecta)

  • MI SB0339: Elections: absent voters; absent voter ballot and application tracking system; create. Amends sec. 764c of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.764c).
  • MI HB4702: Elections: other; precinct size; increase. Amends secs. 658 & 661 of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.658 & 168.661).
  • MI HB4697: Elections: absent voter ballot drop boxes; requirements for absent voter ballot drop boxes; modify. Amends sec. 761d of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.761d).
  • MI HB4696: Criminal procedure: sentencing guidelines; sentencing guidelines for certain early voting violations under the Michigan election law; provide for. Amends sec. 11d, ch. XVII of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 777.11d).
  • MI SB0373: Elections: voters; definition of identification for election purposes; expand. Amends sec. 2 of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.2).
  • MI SB0367: Elections: voting procedures; early voting procedures; provide for and clarify. Amends secs. 662, 668b & 674 of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.662 et seq.) & adds secs. 8, 720a, 720b, 720c, 720d, 720e, 720f, 720g, 720h, 720i & 720j. TIE BAR WITH: SB 0370’23, HB 4697’23
  • MI SB0371: Criminal procedure: sentencing guidelines; sentencing guidelines for certain Michigan election law violations; update references. Amends sec. 11d, ch. XVII of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 777.11d). TIE BAR WITH: SB 0367’23, SB 0370’23

New York (Democratic trifecta)

  • NY S00818: Adjusts the effective date of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York to July 1, 2023.

Oregon (Democratic trifecta)

  • OR HB3073: Relating to public disclosure of voter records; and prescribing an effective date.
  • OR HB2107: Relating to voter registration.
  • OR HB5035: Relating to the financial administration of the Secretary of State; and declaring an emergency.
  • OR SB28: Relating to elections; and declaring an emergency.
  • OR HB2004: Relating to ranked choice voting; and providing that this Act shall be referred to the people for their approval or rejection.

Vetoed bills

Governors have vetoed 30 bills this year, compared to 16 at this point in 2022. To see all bills vetoed in 2023, click here.

No bills were vetoed since our last edition.

Enacted bills by topic and sponsorship, 2022 vs. 2023

Recent activity by topic and sponsorship

The chart below shows the topics of the bills state legislatures acted on since our last edition. Click here to see a full list of bill categories and their definitions.

* Note: Contest-specific procedures refers to primary systems, municipal election procedures, recall elections, special election procedures, and other systems unique to a particular election type. 

All 2023 bills by topic and sponsorship

The chart below shows the topics of a sample of the 2,614 bills we have tracked this year. Note that the sums of the numbers listed do not equal the total number of bills because some bills deal with multiple topics.  

Recent activity by state and trifecta status

Thirty-four (85%) of the 40 bills with activity this week are in Democratic trifecta states, four (10%) are in Republican trifecta states, and two (5%) are in states with divided governments. 

Of the 48 bills acted on in the same week in 2022, 34 (70.8%) were from states with Democratic trifectas, 9 (18.8%) were from states with Republican trifectas, and 5 (10.4%) were from states with divided governments.

The map below shows election-related bills acted on in the past week by state trifecta status.

All 2023 bills by state and trifecta status

Of the total bills introduced in 2023, 1,148 (43.9%) are in states with Democratic trifectas, 1,151 (44%) are in states with Republican trifectas, and 315 (12.1%) are in states with divided governments. 

Texas legislators have introduced the most election-related bills this year (391). Texas holds legislative sessions in odd years only, and so had no activity in 2022. The Texas Legislature is in a special session as of June 29, with the regular session adjourning on May 29. New York was the most active state at this point in 2022, with 416 bills introduced. Texas has enacted the most bills this year (32). In 2022, Louisiana and Tennessee had enacted the most bills at this point, with 17 each. 

The map below shows the number of election-related bills introduced by state in 2023 by state trifecta status.

Recent news

U.S. Supreme Court issues opinion in Moore v. Harper

In a 6-3 decision June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Moore v. Harper that the Constitution’s Elections Clause does not give state legislatures independent authority to regulate federal elections and that the North Carolina Supreme Court could review redistricting maps to ensure they comply with state law. The case originated on Nov. 5, 2021, when a group of voters filed a lawsuit challenging the redrawn congressional districts. The plaintiffs alleged the new districts were an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. In February 2022, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that the maps were unconstitutional. North Carolina House Speaker Timothy K. Moore (R) appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, using the independent state legislature theory to argue that the state supreme court did not have the authority to overrule the legislature’s decisions concerning elections. On April 28, 2023, the state court overturned its previous decision after its partisan balance shifted from a 4-3 Democratic majority to a 5-2 Republican majority as a result of the 2022 election. On May 4, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered all parties in the case to file supplemental letter briefs in the case. 

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said, “The Elections Clause does not vest exclusive and independent authority in state legislatures to set the rules regarding federal elections…When state legislatures prescribe the rules concerning federal elections, they remain subject to the ordinary exercise of state judicial review.” Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Samuel Alito dissented. In the dissenting opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “The issue on which it opines—a federal defense to claims already dismissed on other grounds—can no longer affect the judgment in this litigation in any way. As such, the question is indisputably moot, and today’s majority opinion is plainly advisory. Because the writ of certiorari should be dismissed, I respectfully dissent.”

Arizona governor vetoes more election-related bills

On June 20, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed seven election-related bills. Hobbs has vetoed more election-related legislation this year than any other governor, rejecting a total of 20 bills. Hobbs’ seven most recently vetoed bills are listed below. 

  • AZ SB1095 would have required a disclaimer on mail-in ballot envelopes saying that failure to mail the ballot by the Friday before an election could cause delays in the results. Hobbs said she was “concerned that this bill could have the effect of discouraging voter participation.”
  • AZ SB1175 is an omnibus-style election policy bill that affects a number of different policy areas, including signature verification, counting procedures, and poll observers. Hobbs said, “This bill creates an unfunded mandate for both the State and Counties and, as such, I cannot support it.  
  • AZ SB1332 would have made electronic records of votes cast in each election a public record. Hobbs said, “Any bill that permits releasing the Cast Vote Record must ensure that a voter’s privacy is protected.”
  • AZ SB1471 would have directed officials in Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal counties to hand count ballots. “The 2022 election is settled,” Hobbs said, adding that it was “time to move on.” Sen. John Kavanaugh (R) said hand counting a portion of the ballots “blows away some of the controversy over what’s accurate, what’s not accurate and how long it would take to do a (full) hand-count by using a controlled experiment.”
  • AZ SB1595 would have required voters to present identification if they returned their mail-in ballots after 7 p.m. on the Friday before an election. Hobbs said the bill “fails to meaningfully address the real challenges facing Arizona voters.” Supporters of the bill said it would speed up the vote-counting process. 
  • AZ SB1596 would have required state, county, municipal, and school district offices to provide an area to function as a polling place if asked by an elections official. Hobbs said the bill “creates an unfunded and untenable mandate for schools and communities.”
  • AZ SB1598 would have allowed candidates for federal office to appoint observers at counting centers. Hobbs said, “As it is not clear what problem this bill is attempting to address or if any such problem exists, I cannot support it.” 

Ballotpedia’s State of Election Administration Legislation 2023

State legislators introduce thousands of bills each year affecting the way Americans vote and how our elections are governed. On the first anniversary of the launch of Ballotpedia’s Election Administration Legislation Tracker, we released State of Election Administration Legislation 2023, a report presenting our observations and analysis regarding the election-related state legislation we tracked in the first part of the year. Our intent with this report is to provide a neutral and authoritative summary of that activity. Thanks to our bill tagging system, we are able to analyze trends in election administration legislation in more than 20 broad election policy areas. The report covers selected trends we’ve analyzed this year and highlights legislative activity across various policy subsets. The report also covers current state policy and notable 2023 legislative activity across several policy subsets, including ranked-choice voting, private funding bans, election audits, photo ID requirements for voting, and noncitizen voting.