The Ballot Bulletin: Ballotpedia’s Weekly Digest on Election Administration, December 15, 2023

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 nationwide trends, legislative activity, and updates on notable lawsuits and policy changes. 

This is a special edition of The Ballot Bulletin, detailing our newly-released end-of-the year State of Election Administration Legislation Year-End Report. We’ll be back on Jan. 5, 2024, with the first regular edition of the new year. 

State of Election Administration Legislation Report 

Ballotpedia’s election legislation database includes 3,199 bills from 2023, an increase of 27% from the 2,561 bills in 2022.

The State of Election Administration Legislation Year-End Report contains Ballotpedia’s observations and analysis of the election-related state legislation we tracked in 2023, and updates trends tracked and takeaways from the June 2023 State of Election Administration Legislation Mid-Year Report marking the one-year anniversary of Ballotpedia’s Election Administration Legislation Tracker.

State legislators introduce thousands of bills each year affecting the way Americans vote and how our elections are governed. This report provides a neutral and authoritative summary of that activity. 

In 2023:

  • There was a 25% increase in total election-related legislation across the country from last year. 
  • Republican lawmakers (1,406 bills) introduced slightly more legislation than Democratic (1,351) legislators this year.
  • On a per-legislator basis, Democratic lawmakers were more likely to introduce an election-related bill than Republicans. Democrats hold 44.3% of state legislative seats nationwide and introduced 0.41 bills per legislator, while Republicans hold 54.5% of seats and introduced 0.35 bills per legislator. 
  • Democratic and Republican trifectas both adopted more new laws in 2023 than in 2022. Democratic trifecta states adopted 124 bills this year, a 59% increase from 2022. Republican trifecta states passed 207 new laws, a more than 100% increase from last year. 
  • Republican-sponsored legislation was more likely to be adopted than Democratic-sponsored legislation. For Republican–sponsored legislation, 13% of introduced bills were eventually enacted, while 9.1% of Democratic-sponsored bills were enacted. 
  • Bills introduced with bipartisan sponsorship were significantly more likely to advance than partisan legislation; 23.1% of these introduced bills were ultimately adopted. 

For more takeaways, including analysis of notable 2023 legislative activity across several policy areas such as voter ID, ranked-choice voting, private funding bans, and election audits, as well details on national trends and developments, check out the full report!