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What We’ll Be Watching in the 2024 Elections

Our new Election 2024 page that will collect stories that explain, contextualize, and track all the ways state courts and constitutions matter this election season. 


One question I often get is when, where, and how state courts and constitutions will matter for the 2024 elections. State Court Report is planning a lot of coverage this year to answer these questions, and I’m excited to announce a new Election 2024 page that will be a one-stop shop for all of our election content.

Our coverage will be wide-ranging. For one thing, voters around the country will decide whether to amend state constitutions to address abortion rights, voting and representation, and much more. (We already have a great article by the Brennan Center’s Erin Geiger Smith profiling the 14 states where abortion-related amendments could be on the ballot this year.)

We’re also already seeing litigation about the measures that are eligible to make it on the ballot, the processes states use for such initiatives, and the wording used to describe provisions to voters. (Do we have an explainer on how courts oversee ballot initiatives? Yes, we do!) In just the past few weeks, for example, a Nevada trial court permitted a ballot initiative that would impose a photo ID requirement for in-person voting and additional ID requirements for absentee ballots, while a different Nevada trial court barred two initiatives that would establish an independent redistricting commission. All of these measures were challenged under a state constitutional provision barring initiatives with unfunded mandates. Meanwhile, in Arkansas, a trial court recently heard arguments in a state constitutional challenge to a law that requires initiative signatures to be gathered from at least 50 counties, making it harder to put measures on the ballot.

We’re also planning explainers and coverage about all the ways state courts will be major sites for election litigation — both in the lead-up to and in the aftermath of Election Day. A recent study by the State Democracy Research Initiative found that more than 70 percent of election litigation in 2022 took place in state court. Much of that litigation focuses on nuts-and-bolts election administration questions (like ballot signature and date requirements) that can make voting easier or harder — which is frequently the point.

Disputes stemming from election denial, such as legal challenges against state or local officials who refuse to certify election results, are another likely area for litigation. And we’ll continue to track state court litigation challenging voter suppression laws under state constitutions, as well as lawsuits using the growing number of state-level voting rights acts.

And did I mention that most state judges are elected? This year, state supreme court justices are up for election in 33 states. We’ve covered how these races have become increasingly costly and politicized, particularly in the post-Dobbs era. We’ll be featuring pieces throughout the year to contextualize what’s at stake legally in some of the key races, including a new article by State Court Report founding editor Douglas Keith previewing the major races to watch.

In addition to Keith’s piece, we have articles covering how election certification processes work, an analysis of an Arizona ballot measure that would make citizen initiatives harder, and much more. We’ll be here all year to explain, demystify, contextualize, and track what you need to know about state courts, state constitutions, and the 2024 elections.

Alicia Bannon is editor in chief for State Court Report. She is also director of the Judiciary Program at the Brennan Center for Justice.

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A project of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law