Governors in states with divided government vetoed the most election legislation in 2023

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) vetoed more election-related bills than any other governor in 2023 in terms of total bills and the percentage of election-related bills introduced in her state. Hobbs vetoed 21 bills, or 29% of all election-related bills introduced in the Arizona legislature last year. Arizona has a divided government, with Republicans controlling both chambers of the legislature and Democrats maintaining control of the governorship. 

Bills Hobbs vetoed include SB1265, which would have banned ranked-choice voting in the state, and HB2308, which would have required the secretary of state to recuse his or herself from administration and oversight of any portion of an election in which they are a candidate. 

States with divided governments make up the top-four states in terms of vetoed election-related legislation. 

In addition to Arizona, only two other governors vetoed more than 10% of election-related bills introduced. Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) of Nevada vetoed seven election-related bills, or 17% of those introduced. Former Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) of Louisiana vetoed three bills, or 12% of those introduced. Both Nevada and Louisiana had divided governments in 2023. 

In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers (D) vetoed three election bills, or 4% of those introduced. Due to the nature of Wisconsin’s legislative calendar, the Republican-controlled legislature may still attempt to override Evers’ vetoes.

In North Carolina, the Republican-controlled legislature overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D) two vetoes of election-related bills. Republicans control both chambers of the legislature in North Carolina. 

Only one governor in a state with a partisan trifecta, Gavin Newsom (D) of California, vetoed more than one election-related bill last year. Newsom vetoed two bills (3% of all introduced) related to local redistricting. 

In Republican trifecta states, Gov. Doug Burgum (R) of North Dakota vetoed the highest percentage of introduced election bills despite only vetoing one bill. Burgum vetoed HB1273, a bill that would have banned approval and ranked-choice voting in the state.  

More links: 

State government trifectas

Veto overrides in state legislatures