Author

Roneka Matheny

Roneka Matheny is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Tallying error in Oakland, Calif., led to inaccurate election results

On December 28, 2022, the Alameda County Registrar of Voters acknowledged in a press release that the initial certified results were incorrect for the school director race in District 4 of the Oakland Unified School District in California.

Although Nick Resnick was certified as the winner of the race in November, Mike Hutchinson, who originally finished third, says he was later told by election officials that he won: “Without being cynical, I now believe in holiday miracles. So it was very shocking to wake up this morning and receive a phone call at 10:30 a.m. from the Alameda County head of elections informing me that I had actually won the election.” Hutchinson filed a petition in Alameda County Superior Court on December 29, 2022, asking a judge to overrule the prior certification and name him the official winner.

According to the press release from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters:

“The ROV learned that its RCV tally system was not configured properly for the November 2022 General Election. It should have been configured to advance ballots to the next ranking immediately when no candidate was selected for a particular round. … After reviewing the election data and applying the correct configuration, the ROV learned that only one outcome was affected: Oakland School Director, District 4, for the Oakland Unified School District. No other result for any RCV election in any jurisdiction was changed.”

California Ranked Choice Voting Coalition and FairVote, two organizations that supported the use of ranked-choice voting in California, discovered the error while auditing the election results. They found that county officials used the wrong method to tally votes that did not include a first choice candidate. Sean Dugar, consulting executive director of the California Ranked Choice Voting Coalition, said, “In Alameda County, the correct setting should have advanced the second choice to become the first choice … The algorithm and the election officials almost always get it right. In this instance, it was simply a button that was left checked in the menu option for the algorithm.”

Resnick’s attorney responded to the developments in a letter to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, saying, “We are not aware of any legal authority… which allows the registrar’s office to retabulate election results or take any other actions vis-a-vis the results of an election after it completes the official canvass and the results are certified by the local governing body.” 

As of January 2023, litigation was ongoing. Resnick was officially sworn into the position of District 4 Oakland school director on January 9, 2023.



Incumbent Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D) defeated Audrey Mendonca-Trujillo (R) and Mayna Myers (L) in the general election for New Mexico Secretary of State on November 8, 2022

Incumbent Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D) defeated Audrey Mendonca-Trujillo (R) and Mayna Myers (L) in the general election for New Mexico Secretary of State on November 8, 2022.

Toulouse Oliver was first elected to this position in 2016. According to The Albequerque Journal, her campaign focused on “voter accessibility, campaign finance transparency, and fighting election disinformation.”

Mendonca-Trujillo, whose campaign was endorsed by former President Donald Trump (R), focused on what she called election integrity and said, “The core of a strong nation is free and fair elections, which we don’t have anymore — Republican or Democrat.”

This was one of 27 elections for secretary of state taking place in 2022. Click here for an overview of these races. All but three states have a secretary of state. Although the specific duties and powers of the office vary from state to state, secretaries of state are often responsible for the maintenance of voter rolls and for administering elections. Other common responsibilities include registering businesses, maintaining state records, and certifying official documents. At the time of the 2022 elections, there were 27 Republican secretaries of state and 20 Democratic secretaries of state.

A state government triplex refers to a situation where the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all members of the same political party. Heading into the 2022 elections, there were 23 Republican triplexes, 18 Democratic triplexes, and nine divided governments where neither party held triplex control.

New Mexico is a Democratic triplex.



Seth Magaziner (D) defeated Allan Fung (R) and Bill Gilbert (I) in the general election to represent Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District

Seth Magaziner (D) defeated Allan Fung (R) and Bill Gilbert (I) in the general election to represent Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives on November 8, 2022. Incumbent Jim Langevin (D) announced on January 18, 2022, that he would not seek reelection after eleven consecutive terms in office, creating an open seat.

According to The Providence Journal, “The unusually competitive race has been a nail-biter for Democrats, who came close to losing a seat that they have held for over 30 years. In the lead-up to the election, national outlets such as the New York TimesWashington Post and Wall Street Journal highlighted Fung’s lead in the polls, suggesting that it was emblematic of the gains that Republicans stood to make in [the] year’s midterm elections…Fung, well known from his 11 years as mayor of Cranston and past campaigns for governor, focused almost exclusively on inflation, especially high energy prices. Magaziner, the two-term state treasurer, argued that electing Fung would help Republicans gain control of Congress. The main point of disagreement between the two candidates boiled down to whether Fung could accurately be called a ‘moderate’ and if he’d vote in lockstep with the rest of his party…”

The outcome of this race affected the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 House districts were up for election.

Daily Kos calculated what the results of the 2020 presidential election in this district would have been following redistricting. Joe Biden (D) would have received 56.1% of the vote in this district and Donald Trump (R) would have received 42.4%.



Seven new U.S. senators and 77 new U.S. representatives won election to the 118th Congress

As of November 16, 2022, 84 new members have won election to the 118th Congress, including seven U.S. senators and 77 U.S. representatives. For comparison, 71 new members were elected to Congress in the 2020 election and subsequent runoffs, including nine U.S. senators and 62 U.S. representatives. 102 new members were elected to Congress in the 2018 election and subsequent runoffs, including nine U.S. senators and 93 U.S. representatives.

All seven new U.S. senators elected in 2022—one Democrat and six Republicans—replaced retiring incumbents from the same party. Twenty-four of the new U.S. representatives elected in 2022—12 Democrats and 12 Republicans—replaced 16 Democratic incumbents and eight Republican incumbents who either announced they would not seek re-election in 2022, withdrew from their races, or passed away while in office. 

Eighteen of the new U.S. representatives elected in 2022—eight Democrats and ten Republicans—replaced ten Democratic incumbents and eight Republican incumbents who ran for other offices instead of running for reelection. 

Due to redistricting, 14 incumbent U.S. representatives—eight Democrats and six Republicans—sought re-election in different congressional districts in 2022 than they represented in 2020. In addition, five of the seven new congressional districts created during the reapportionment process after the 2020 U.S. Census resulted in the election of new members. To fill these 19 seats, nine Democrats and eight Republicans were elected in 2022. As of November 16, 2022, two races that may result in new members of Congress due to redistricting remain uncalled.

16 incumbents—six Democrats and ten Republicans—lost their races for re-election in 2022 in either the primary or general election. Six Democrats and ten Republicans were elected to fill these seats. 



Monica De La Cruz (R) defeated Michelle Vallejo (D) and Ross Lynn Leone (L) in Texas’ 15th Congressional District

Monica De La Cruz (R) defeated Michelle Vallejo (D) and Ross Lynn Leone (L) in the general election for Texas’ 15th Congressional District on November 8, 2022. De La Cruz is the first Republican to be elected to represent the district since it was created following the 1990 Census.

Texas’ 15th district was redrawn during redistricting after the 2020 Census to include a region of South Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley. The New York Times called it “the only competitive House seat left in Texas.” Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed De La Cruz. Her campaign focused on border security and opposition to abortion. De La Cruz discussed cultural issues as well, saying, “South Texas is not woke, but they are awakened.”

Matthew Choi and Stephen Neukam of The Texas Tribune wrote, “In the most competitive congressional race in the state, De La Cruz pushed ahead to victory, riding the momentum of a better-than-expected run in 2020 and a wave of outside funding from national Republicans eager to gain new ground in the region…De La Cruz defeated Democrat Michelle Vallejo, a political newcomer who ran on a platform of progressive social policy and close family ties to the region. Vallejo had run an aggressive ground operation and was able to rally handsome donations from across the state. But she faced a death knell after less-than-favorable forecasts led national Democrats to dedicate their resources to protecting incumbents and supporting more promising races.”

Daily Kos calculated what the results of the 2020 presidential election in this district would have been following redistricting. Joe Biden (D) would have received 48.1% of the vote in this district and Donald Trump (R) would have received 51.0%.



Incumbent Jocelyn Benson (D), Kristina Karamo (R), and three others are running for Michigan Secretary of State

Incumbent Jocelyn Benson (D), Kristina Karamo (R), and three others are running for Michigan Secretary of State on November 8, 2022.

A dispute between Benson and former President Donald Trump (R) about the outcome of the 2020 election has brought national attention to this race. According to the Detroit Free Press, “In 2020, Trump blasted Benson’s decision to mail absentee ballot applications to every voter in Michigan during the COVID-19 pandemic, shining a spotlight on her office. She has vigorously defended how the election was administered that year and spoken out against lies and misinformation attacking its legitimacy.”

Benson has served as secretary of state since 2017. She worked with the Democratic National Committee and the Michigan Democratic Party to develop training programs for election law attorneys from 2004 to 2008, and she wrote a book that she says is about the role secretaries of state play in defending democracy. Benson says she is “[c]ommitted to the nonpartisan operation of the Secretary of State’s Office” and says she “transformed its operations to provide faster and more convenient service for every Michigander…while ensuring that elections are free, fair, secure and accurate, and fighting to protect voting rights for all Michigan voters whether Republicans, Democrats or Independents.”

Karamo is a community college educator and podcast host. After serving as a poll challenger during the 2020 election, Karamo says she witnessed fraud on Detroit’s absentee counting board, which motivated her to run for secretary of state. Karamo criticizes Benson’s performance in office, saying, “Our voting rights consist of ballot access, ballot security, and preventing illegal ballots from being injected into the system and the current officeholder has not done a sufficient job in protecting our voting rights.” If elected, Karamo said she will audit the state’s voter registration list, “With so many people voting absentee we have to make sure that that voting list is accurate because we open the door for individuals to request ballots for people who are not Michigan citizens [or] do not exist…”

Minor party, independent, and write-in candidates include Larry Hutchinson, Jr. (G), Gregory Stempfle (L), and Christine Schwartz of the U.S. Taxpayers Party.

This is one of 27 elections for secretary of state taking place in 2022. All but three states have a secretary of state. Although the specific duties and powers of the office vary from state to state, secretaries of state are often responsible for the maintenance of voter rolls and for administering elections. Other common responsibilities include registering businesses, maintaining state records, and certifying official documents. There are currently 27 Republican secretaries of state and 20 Democratic secretaries of state.

A state government triplex refers to a situation where the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all members of the same political party.

As of October 31, 2022, there are 23 Republican triplexes, 18 Democratic triplexes, and 9 divided governments where neither party holds triplex control.

Michigan is a Democratic triplex.



Cisco Aguilar (D), Jim Marchant (R), Ross Crane (L), and Janine Hansen (I) are running for Nevada secretary of state on November 8, 2022

Cisco Aguilar (D), Jim Marchant (R), Ross Crane (L), and Janine Hansen (I) are running for Nevada secretary of state on November 8, 2022. Incumbent Barbara Cegavske (R) can not run for re-election due to term limits. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, this race is “arguably the most important on the statewide ballot in November, outside of only the races for U.S. Senate and governor, as the victor will be able to exert control over how elections are conducted in Nevada for the next four years.”

Aguilar worked as special legal counsel to the chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education and the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. Former governors Jim Gibbons (R) and Brian Sandoval (R) both appointed Aguilar to the Nevada Athletic Commission as a boxing and mixed martial arts regulator. Aguilar says he is running for secretary of state because “[m]ore than ever, we need to defend every eligible American’s right to vote, remove barriers to voter participation, and make our elections as transparent as possible to maintain the public trust…I am committed to building on the work that many have started in a bi-partisan way, including modernizing, safeguarding and strengthening our democracy, our elections process and the voting rights of every Nevadan.” Aguilar has said Marchant would “use this position in a political way, and that’s detrimental…It really should be neutral, it should be impartial, it should be nonpartisan.”

Marchant represented District 37 in the Nevada State Assembly from 2017 to 2021. Marchant says he is running for secretary of state because “Nevadans want to see the Secretary of State address their concerns about doing business and conducting fair and transparent elections in our state. I’m listening.” Marchant’s campaign website says, “In 2020 [he] ran for Congress for Nevada’s Congressional District 4 and was a victim of election fraud.” According to Marchant, “We haven’t, in Nevada, elected anybody since 2006…They have been installed by the deep state cabal.” If elected, Marchant says his “number one priority [would] be to overhaul the fraudulent election system in Nevada” by repealing universal mail-in voting, requiring voter ID, allowing candidates to request election audits at their own expense, and mandating the use of paper ballots instead of electronic voting machines.

This is one of 27 elections for secretary of state taking place in 2022. All but three states have a secretary of state. Although the specific duties and powers of the office vary from state to state, secretaries of state are often responsible for the maintenance of voter rolls and for administering elections. Other common responsibilities include registering businesses, maintaining state records, and certifying official documents. There are currently 27 Republican secretaries of state and 20 Democratic secretaries of state. Click here for an overview of all 27 secretary of state elections taking place in 2022.

A state government triplex refers to a situation where the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all members of the same political party.

As of October 17, 2022, there are 23 Republican triplexes, 18 Democratic triplexes, and 9 divided governments where neither party holds triplex control. Nevada does not have a state government triplex.



Incumbent Brad Raffensperger, Bee Nguyen, and two others are running for Georgia secretary of state

Incumbent Brad Raffensperger (R), Bee Nguyen (D), Ted Metz (L), and Brenda Nelson-Porter (write-in) are running for Georgia secretary of state on November 8, 2022.

Raffensperger was elected secretary of state in 2018 after serving two terms in the Georgia House of Representatives. His dispute with former President Donald Trump (R) about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia has drawn national attention to this race. According to Raffensperger, “When Georgia’s election results were questioned in 2020, The system [I] deployed was proven accurate after two recounts and a full audit…For the first time, it was possible to recount Georgia’s vote by hand, if necessary.” Raffensperger’s campaign has focused on the new election policies enacted during his time in office and his response to the public pressure and national scrutiny he received after the 2020 election.

Nguyen has represented District 89 in the Georgia House of Representatives since 2017. Nguyen replaced gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D) in the 89th district. Nguyen says “Raffensperger is no election hero” and criticizes his support for election policies like exact match voter registration, which she says she fought to overturn in the state House of Representatives. According to Nguyen, “What we’re looking at here is a secretary of state who talks out of both sides of his mouth.” Nguyen says that if elected she will uphold the law and protect the freedom to vote in Georgia. A win would make Nguyen the first Asian-American to win statewide election in Georgia.

Metz, a libertarian, and Nelson-Porter, a nonpartisan write-in candidate, are also running in this race.

This is one of 27 elections for secretary of state taking place in 2022. All but three states have a secretary of state. Although the specific duties and powers of the office vary from state to state, secretaries of state are often responsible for the maintenance of voter rolls and for administering elections. Other common responsibilities include registering businesses, maintaining state records, and certifying official documents. There are currently 27 Republican secretaries of state and 20 Democratic secretaries of state. Click here for an overview of all 27 secretary of state elections taking place in 2022.

A state government triplex refers to a situation where the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all members of the same political party.

As of October 4, 2022, there are 23 Republican triplexes, 18 Democratic triplexes, and 9 divided governments where neither party holds triplex control.

As of 2022, Georgia was both a Republican trifecta and a Republican triplex.



31 states release the partisan affiliations of registered voters: 39% are Democrats, 29% are Republicans, and 29% are independents

Thirty-three U.S. states and territories report the party affiliations of registered voters as indicated on their voter registration forms. In states with closed primaries, affiliation with a political party can be a condition of participation in that party’s primaries. The remaining states either do not request partisan affiliations on their registration forms or they do not report the totals publicly.

The map below shows the 33 states and territories that display voter registration figures publicly. Note that the U.S. Virgin Islands does not appear on this map.

In 23 of the 33 included states and territories, no single partisan affiliation included the majority of registered voters. Democrats were the majority of registered voters in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands and were the largest plurality of registered voters in nine other states. Republicans were a majority of registered voters in Idaho, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming and were the largest plurality of registered voters in eight other states. 

The majority of registered voters were independents or unaffiliated with any political party in Alaska, Arkansas, and Massachusetts. Independents were the largest plurality in six other states. Members of other political partieswere neither a majority nor the largest plurality in any of the states or territories covered.

The table below provides a detailed breakdown of the partisan affiliations of registered voters in the states and territories that publicly report these figures.

In the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden (D) received a combined 53.5% of the vote to Donald Trump’s (R) 44.7% across the 33 included states and territories. Nearly 124 million registered voters reside in these areas. According to Ballotpedia’s analysis, 48 million registered voters in these areas identified themselves as Democrats. At 38.78%, Democrats represented the single largest share of registered voters in the included states and territories. A total of 36.4 million registered voters identified themselves as Republicans, representing 29.42% of registered voters in the included areas. Approximately 4 million registered voters identified themselves as members of other political parties. This amounted to 3.25% of registered voters in these areas.

A total of 35.3 million registered voters identified themselves as independents or unaffiliated with any political party. This amounted to 28.55% of registered voters in the included areas. Independent and third-party voters were 31.80% of all registered voters in these areas. For context, independent and third-party presidential candidates received about 1.9% of the vote nationwide.



Incumbent Janet Mills (D), Paul LePage (R), and Sam Hunkler (I) are running in the general election for governor of Maine

Incumbent Janet Mills (D), Paul LePage (R), and Sam Hunkler (I) are running in the general election for governor of Maine on November 8, 2022.

Mills was first elected governor in 2018 and is seeking a second term. LePage served as governor from 2011 to 2019 and is seeking a third term. Mills is the state’s first female governor and a LePage win would make him the longest-serving governor in state history.

Mills was elected governor after serving as Maine’s attorney general for eight years during LePage’s administration. Mills also served four terms as the district attorney for Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford counties. She was the first woman elected to each of these positions. Mills says that she has worked across the aisle to deliver progress as governor and would continue to address the following issues in a second term: expanding health care, fully funding Maine’s public schools, preserving Maine’s lands and waters, and fighting climate change.

LePage was elected governor after serving as the mayor of Waterville, Maine, for seven years. He also served two terms on the Waterville City Council. LePage criticizes Mills’ performance as governor and highlights his own record, saying that his vision for Maine is “to create prosperity through a lower overall tax burden for residents and businesses; a smaller, more efficient state government that we can all afford; protecting our most vulnerable populations (our children, our seniors and persons with disabilities), empowering parents’ rights to decide their children’s future, and managing a welfare system that serves as a safety net for the truly needy – not a free for all.”

Both candidates responded to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court decision on abortion by clarifying their positions on the issue. Mills says, “Maine, our only chance at defending the right to safe and legal abortion will be this November at the ballot box. If given a chance, my opponent will dismantle reproductive rights across Maine. We must vote like our freedom to choose is on the line — because it is.”

LePage says, “As the child of a severely dysfunctional family, with domestic abuse that left me homeless, I know my mother faced difficult decisions and I am glad she chose life. The federal government has regularly prohibited taxpayer abortion funding, except in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger; and I have supported that policy and would continue to do so.”

This is one of 36 gubernatorial elections taking place in 2022. The governor serves as a state’s top executive official and is the only executive office that is elected in all 50 states. There are currently 28 Republican governors and 22 Democratic governors. 

Maine has had both a Democratic trifecta and a Democratic triplex since 2019. As of September 6, 2022, there are 23 Republican trifectas, 14 Democratic trifectas, and 13 divided governments where neither party holds trifecta control.

A state government trifecta refers to a situation where one party controls a state’s governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. A state government triplex refers to a situation where the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all members of the same political party.