The Ballot Bulletin: Ballotpedia’s Weekly Digest on Election Administration, January 19, 2024

Half of the bills acted on this week are in states with Democratic trifectas. 

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.

Legislative highlights


  • No bills have been approved since our last edition. No bills were enacted in the same period in 2023, and in 2022, two bills were enacted. 
  • One bill had been enacted by this point in 2023, while seven bills had been enacted by this point in 2022.
  • Democrats sponsored 20 (40%) of the 50 bills active over the past week, and Republicans sponsored 20 (40%) bills. Seven (14%) bills had bipartisan sponsorship. Three (6%) bills had sponsors other than Democrats or Republicans, such as nonpartisan lawmakers or committee sponsorship. 
  • Twenty-five (50%) of these bills are in states with Democratic trifectas, 15 (30%) are in states with Republican trifectas, and 10 (20%) are in states with a divided government. 
  • Of the 25 bills in states with Democratic trifectas, Democrats sponsored 18 (72%). Of the 15 bills in states with Republican trifectas, Republicans sponsored 11 (73.3%).
  • The bill topics with the most legislative activity this week were election types and contest-specific procedures (28), ballot verification (26), absentee/mail-in voting (22), voter registration and list maintenance (19), and ballot access (18).

Recent activity and status changes

Here is the current status of this year’s election-related bills:

  • 0 enacted bills 
  • 3 that have passed both chambers 
  • 90 that have passed one chamber 
  • 1,403 introduced bills 
  • 0 dead bills 

Enacted bills

States have not approved any election-related bills in 2024. One bill had been enacted at this point last year, and seven bills had been enacted by this point in 2022. To see all enacted bills, click here

Bills that passed both chambers

Three bills have passed both chambers and are awaiting gubernatorial action, compared to no bills awaiting gubernatorial action at this point last year and seven bills at this point in 2022. To see all bills that have currently passed both chambers, click here.

Vetoed bills

Governors have not vetoed any bills this year, nor any at this point in 2023 or 2022. To see all vetoed bills, click here.

Recent activity by topic and sponsorship

The chart below shows the topics and partisan sponsorship of the bills with legislative activity since our last edition. Click here to see a full list of bill categories and their definitions.

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

All 2024 bills by topic and sponsorship

The chart below shows the topics of a sample of the 1,496 bills we’ve followed 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.  

Enacted bills by state and trifecta status

Recent activity by state and trifecta status

Of the 50 bills with activity this week, 25 (50%) are in states with Democratic trifectas, 10 (20%) are in states with Republican trifectas, and 15 (30%) are in states with a divided government. 

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 all the election-related bills introduced this year, 828 (55.3%) are in states with Democratic trifectas, 401 (26.8%) are in states with Republican trifectas, and 267 (17.8%) are in states with divided governments. 

The map below shows the number of election-related bills introduced by state and trifecta status this year.

Recent news

Minnesota Supreme Court to hear challenge of new felon voting law 

The Minnesota Supreme Court will hear a challenge to a new law that automatically restores voting rights to people convicted of a felony who are still on parole, probation, or supervised release in the state. On March 3, 2023, Governor Tim Walz (D) signed House File 28 into law. Previously in Minnesota, the state restored voting rights to people convicted of a felony after they completed all aspects of their sentence, including parole or probation. In June 2023, the Minnesota Voters Alliance, which describes itself as an “organization focusing primarily on election integrity, research, voter education, and advocacy,” challenged the new law’s constitutionality in state court. They alleged, “The Constitution does not create legislative authority to restore the singular right to vote before all civil rights are restored to an individual convicted of a felony.” In December 2023, a state judge dismissed the case. The Minnesota Voters Alliance appealed the decision and asked that the Minnesota Supreme Court hear the case directly, skipping the state Court of Appeals. On Jan. 16, 2024, Chief Justice Natalie Hudson issued an order granting the appeal and scheduled oral arguments for April 1. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in February 2023 that the previous law—barring those convicted of a felony who had not completed parole, probation, or other elements of their sentence from voting—was constitutional. After the ruling, the Minnesota legislature adopted the new law through HF 28. To read more about voting rights for people convicted of a felony, click here.

Voters ask court to overturn Wisconsin congressional maps

On Jan. 17, a group of Democratic voters filed a lawsuit asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to overturn the state’s congressional district maps. The Elias Law Group, which describes itself as “a mission-driven firm committed to helping Democrats win, citizens vote, and progressives make change,” filed the lawsuit on behalf of the voters. The suit argues that the Court’s earlier decision overturning the state’s state legislative maps should also apply to its congressional districts. In a 4-3 decision on Dec. 22, 2023, the Court ruled that the state’s legislative maps violated the state constitution and ordered the state legislature to draw new maps for the 2024 elections. Plaintiffs said that allowing new congressional map submissions “will fulfill this Court’s constitutional duty to independently adjudicate the validity of Wisconsin’s congressional maps,” and that “[f]ailing to act will double down on a now-discredited legal principle and subject Wisconsin voters to a full decade under congressional maps that lack any basis in Wisconsin law.” Republican Party of Wisconsin Chair Brian Schimming said, “The newly bought and paid for liberal majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court faces yet another test of the public’s trust: do the right thing by leaving the current, constitutional maps in place, or once again abandon sound judgment by catering to their left-wing out-of-state donors.” U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D) said, “Wisconsin is a purple state, but our current congressional district maps don’t reflect that.” Pocan added that new maps would “make our congressional districts fair to all Wisconsinites.” To learn more about ongoing redistricting litigation in Wisconsin and other states after the 2020 census, click here.

Republicans seek to join New Hampshire lawsuit 

On Jan. 17, the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the New Hampshire GOP filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit challenging a voter ID law in New Hampshire. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) filed the lawsuit on Dec. 22, 2023, challenging the constitutionality of New Hampshire SB418, which Gov. Chris Sununu (R) signed into law on June 22, 2022. The law requires voters without a photo ID who register on election day to provide documentation proving citizenship within seven days in order to have their ballot counted. The DNC argued that the law violated the New Hampshire Constitution’s due process clause and the requirement that local officials report election results within five days. In the motion to intervene, the RNC argues that overturning the law would make the state’s elections less secure. RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said, “It speaks volumes that as Americans struggle with an unprecedented border crisis and crushing inflation, the Biden campaign and DNC are laser-focused on gutting voter ID in New Hampshire.” In a statement released last month, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison and New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley said Democrats “are continuing our fight to protect our democracy and every Americans’ right to vote, and New Hampshire’s law is yet another shameless attempt to undermine democracy and voting access by today’s extreme MAGA GOP.” To learn more about voting laws in New Hampshire, click here.