States have enacted 78 more bills this year than at the same point in 2022.
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.
- States enacted four bills during the past week. In the same week in 2022, states enacted two bills.
- States have enacted 280 bills in 2023. By this point in 2022, states had enacted 202 bills.
- Democrats sponsored 15 of the bills active over the past week, an 11.8% decrease from the 17 Democrat-sponsored bills state legislatures the week before. Republicans sponsored seven of the bills acted on this past week, a 133.3% increase from the three Republican-sponsored bills state legislatures acted on the week before.
- The bill topics with the most legislative activity this week were contest-specific procedures (8), ranked-choice voting (8), absentee/mail-in voting (4), audits and oversight (4), counting and certification (3), and voter qualifications (3).
- Of the eight ranked-choice voting bills acted on this week, Democrats sponsored all eight.
Recent activity and status changes
We’ve tracked the following election-related bills in 2023:
- 280 enacted bills (11 more than in our last edition)
- 28 that have passed both chambers (-3)
- 198 that have passed one chamber (+1)
- 1,836 introduced bills (+65)
- 498 dead bills (+16)
States have enacted 280 election-related bills in 2023, compared to the 202 bills enacted at this point in 2022. Of these bills, Democrats sponsored 59 (21.1%), Republicans sponsored 150 (53.6%), and 43 (15.4%) had bipartisan sponsorship. Committees or legislators with independent or other party affiliations sponsored the remaining 28 (10%) bills. To see all bills approved this year, click here.
Bills enacted since our last edition, with their official titles, are listed below. These bills all deal with municipal district boundaries and election procedures.
Florida (Republican trifecta)
- FL H0945: Jupiter Inlet District, Palm Beach County
- FL H1175: Sarasota County
- FL H1565: Town of Fort White, Columbia County
- FL H1611: City of Bartow, Polk County
Bills that passed both chambers
28 bills have passed both chambers and are awaiting gubernatorial action, compared to 44 bills that had passed both chambers at this point in 2022. To see all bills that have currently passed both chambers, click here.
No bills passed both chambers since our last edition.
Governors have vetoed 33 bills this year, compared to 17 at this point in 2022. To see all bills vetoed in 2023, click here.
No bills have been 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 2,868 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
Fifteen (62.5%) of the 24 bills with activity this week are in Democratic trifecta states, four (16.7%) are in Republican trifecta states, and five (20.8%) are in states with divided governments.
Of the 16 bills acted on in the same week in 2022, 12 (75%) were from states with Democratic trifectas and four (25%) 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, 1,303 (45.4%) are in states with Democratic trifectas, 1,226 (42.7%) are in states with Republican trifectas, and 339 (11.8%) are in states with divided governments.
Texas legislators have introduced the most election-related bills this year (396). 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 July 13, 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 (33). In 2022, Louisiana and Arizona had enacted the most bills at this point (18).
The map below shows the number of election-related bills introduced by state in 2023 by state trifecta status.
Group challenges North Dakota mail-in ballot counting procedures
On July 5, the Public Interest Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit in federal court against North Dakota Election Director Erika White seeking an injunction to block the counting of mail-in ballots received after Election Day. The group, which describes itself as existing to “assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections,” filed the lawsuit on behalf of Burleigh County Auditor Mark Splonskowski. The plaintiffs argue, “Despite federal law assigning one day as Election Day, North Dakota law allows ballots to arrive and be counted up to 13 days after Election Day,” and “because federal and state law conflict on the day the ballots must be turned in, [Splonskowski] faces an impossibility in enforcing the law.” Splonskowski said, “What I am trying to do is be proactive and trying to ensure that future elections are as secure as possible and try to do anything I can proactively to ensure that our elections are secure and bolster public confidence in our election system.” McKenzie County Auditor/Treasurer Erica Johnsrud, who was asked by foundation representatives to join the lawsuit but declined to participate, said, “I believe North Dakota has great election laws in place, and we have a great relationship with the secretary of state’s office, and it just didn’t feel it was in the best interests of my county or my citizens.”
Oklahoma implements online voter registration
On July 11, Oklahoma became the 41st state to allow online voter registration. Previously, residents had to register in person at a county election board office or at a voter registration drive, or mail an application to their county election board. Oklahoma passed legislation in 2015 allowing online voter registration, but State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said in 2022 that the system’s implementation was “dependent upon technical issues that are outside the control of the State Election Board.” According to the State Election Board’s website, to be eligible for online registration, an applicant must be a U.S. citizen, a state resident, at least 18 years old by Election Day, have a valid Oklahoma driver’s license or ID card, and have a digital signature on file. Ziriax said, “Oklahoma’s new Online Voter Registration System allows citizens to securely complete and submit a Voter Registration Application electronically from a desktop or mobile device. Best of all, the system has undergone rigorous testing to ensure it is safe and secure.” League of Women Voters Tulsa Chapter President Lynn Staggs said the new system will increase voter registration and turnout: “It’s more efficient, more accessible, more secure for all of those eligible citizens that want to register to vote.” Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming do not allow online voter registration. Maine passed legislation in 2021 to allow online registration, which will take effect on Nov. 1, 2023. The map below shows online voter registration by state.