2,000+ election-related bills so far in 2024

Welcome to the Friday, February 23, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Eight states have adopted 14 election-related laws this year
  2. South Carolina GOP presidential primary happens tomorrow  
  3. #FridayTrivia: In how many states have filing deadlines passed for statewide and presidential candidates?

Eight states have adopted 14 election-related laws this year 

Every year, state legislators introduce thousands of bills that affect the most basic functions of our civic life. From how we register to vote, when elections will be held, how candidates can get on the ballot and more, these bills determine how our democracy works.

Hot off the presses, we released our monthly analysis of state legislative election administration bill activity. The report pulls from our free Election Administration Legislation Tracker, which allows users to follow election administration bills in all 50 states through every step of the legislative process.

Our first report covers the first six weeks of 2024. More than 2,000 election-related bills have been introduced this year.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • Fourteen new laws have been enacted in eight states—higher than at the same time in 2022 and 2023. 
  • 45% of all bills have come from states with Democratic trifectas, while 39% have come from states with Republican trifectas.
  • The most active topics so far are ranked-choice voting (RCV), voter registration, post-election audits, election dates, and noncitizen voting. 

You can read highlights from our report below. Be sure to click the link at the bottom of the story to access our full report.  

Fourteen new laws enacted in eight states  

Lawmakers have enacted 14 election-related bills in eight states so far this year. At the same time last year, six bills had been enacted. In 2022, that number was 12. 

Lawmakers in states with Democratic and Republican trifectas each passed six bills—but more Republican trifecta states approved legislation. Two states with divided governments have also passed a bill.

Most of the newly adopted bills alter election procedures in specific local jurisdictions or make small administrative changes to election administration. The most consequential change adopted so far comes from Louisiana’s HB17, which creates closed partisan primaries and primary runoffs for Congress, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Louisiana Public Service Commission and Louisiana Supreme Court beginning in 2026.

Last year, Republican trifecta states passed four bills in the same period while Democratic trifecta states passed three. In 2022, states with Democratic trifectas were more active early in the year, passing six bills to Republicans’ two, while states with divided governments passed four. 

Finally, of the 14 bills passed, four had Democratic sponsorship while three had Republican sponsorship. Of the remaining seven bills, four had bipartisan sponsorship and three were introduced without partisan sponsorship. 

Overview of introduced legislation

In total, lawmakers have acted upon 2,055 bills this year, with more bills introduced in Democratic trifectas than Republican trifectas and states with divided governments.

The most common topic among active bills in 2024 is Voter registration (120), followed by Municipal election procedures (109), Ballot access for candidates (101 bills), and Election dates (76). To learn more about Ballotpedia’s election-related legislation topic categories, see here

What’s moving and where?

One hundred ninety-eight election-related bills have passed at least one chamber of a legislature this year. Legislators in Virginia have moved the most legislation (45 bills), followed by New York (29) and Georgia (19). 

The most frequent topic of these bills is Municipal election procedures, with 30 such bills, followed by Ballot access for candidates (20 bills), and Election dates (14). 


Our report includes a deep dive into legislation on ranked-choice voting (RCV), voter registration, post-election audits, and changes to election dates. 

Here’s a quick look at RCV legislation this year.

  • Legislators in 11 states have introduced legislation that would ban ranked-choice voting in their states.
    • Notable examples included Georgia’s SB355, which passed the Georgia Senate 31-19 on Jan. 26th, and Wisconsin’s AJR101. Since 2021, five states have passed legislation banning or prohibiting ranked-choice voting (RCV), including three states that did so last year. 
    • Lawmakers in Alaska and Maine have introduced legislation to repeal the use of RCV. In Alaska, AB4 would repeal that state’s use of ranked-choice voting and an open top-four primary system originally established by Alaska Ballot Measure 2 in 2020. The bill was voted out of committee with a favorable recommendation on Jan. 18 this year. 
    • Every state to ban or prohibit ranked-choice voting has done so with a Republican trifecta in control of state government. 
  • Bills proposing to adopt or expand RCV outnumber prohibitions more than 2-to-1. Of the 95 currently active RCV bills, 60 allow or require a new use of RCV. That includes S1522 which would overturn Florida’s existing ban on RCV, and bipartisan efforts in South Carolina (H4022) and Wisconsin (AB563).
    • Two bills passed the Virginia Senate on Feb. 12th, SB270 and SB248, which would expand that state’s use of RCV. The first would allow presidential primaries to use ranked-choice voting, while the second would permit RCV for any local or constitutional office. Both bills passed by a vote of 21-19. 

Click the link below to read more from our report. We’ll be back in mid-March with another update.  

Keep reading

South Carolina GOP presidential primary happens tomorrow  

South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary will take place on Feb. 24, marking the final early Republican presidential primary contest. Seven candidates will appear on the ballot, including Ryan Binkley, Nikki Haley, David Stuckenberg, and Donald Trump. The other candidates who will appear on the ballot—Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, and Vivek Ramaswamy—have withdrawn from the presidential race.

Trump has won all of the delegate-allocating Republican presidential nominating contests so far, having been awarded an estimated 63 delegates. Haley follows with 17, DeSantis with 9, and Ramaswamy with 3. 

Since 2008, only one other presidential primary candidate who was not a current presidential officeholder has won Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada—U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I). Sanders won all three of those states in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, while Joe Biden (D) won South Carolina. The table below provides an overview of presidential election results in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina in competitive presidential primaries since 2008 without an incumbent in the race:

In five of the six competitive presidential primaries since 2008, the candidate who won the most early presidential primary states went on to win both a majority of Super Tuesday states and their party’s eventual nomination. The only time this wasn’t the case was in 2020, when Sanders won three of the four early presidential primaries, but went on to lose to Biden on Super Tuesday and, eventually, at the Democratic National Convention in August.

Click the link below to learn more about South Carolina’s Republican primary. 

Keep reading 

#FridayTrivia: In how many states have filing deadlines passed for statewide and presidential candidates?

It can be a dizzying experience trying to keep track of the political dates and deadlines in a presidential election year. That’s why we’re regularly running stories that help you make sense of the welter of primary dates, filing deadlines, early voting periods, and more. 

Earlier this week, we looked at the states with candidates filing deadlines through March 5 (Super Tuesday!), identifying four such states—Alabama, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Utah.  

In how many states have filing deadlines passed for statewide and presidential candidates?

  1. 19
  2. 45
  3. 34
  4. 22