Election legislation roundup: Iowa State Senate

As of May 7, Ballotpedia has tracked six election-related bills in the Iowa State Senate since the beginning of the year. Of the six, Ballotpedia tracked two from May 1-7. Republicans sponsored one bill, while the other did not list sponsors. The two bills are below:

IA SSB 1035: A bill for an act relating to the conduct of election recounts, providing penalties, and including effective date provisions, no sponsors listed.As introduced, this bill:Outlines procedures for implementing a recount requested by a candidate and increases the number of designees from one to two for counties with larger populations, and the number of precinct election officials from one to three for larger counties.Strikes the provision allowing election officials to meet to canvass the vote on a Monday, thereby allowing the canvass meeting to be only on Tuesday.Modifies the deadline for filing a request for a recount from the third day following the canvass to the second day following the canvass, and stipulates that the recount will be conducted in all specified election precincts.Outlines required content for a written recount request.Outlines procedures for when a recount request is received, including verification of a request for a hand recount and associated penalties, timelines, and notification requirements.Click the hyperlinked bill number above for more information.IA SF23: A bill for an act requiring primary elections for the nomination of candidates for city, school district, and merged area elections, and including applicability provisions, Sen. Brad Zaun (R).As introduced, this bill:Requires partisan primary elections to be held to nominate candidates for city, school district, and merged area elections.Adds stipulations regarding school district candidates to existing law about nomination objections. Applies laws governing certain city primaries to all city and school district primaries.Establishes ballot access requirements for school district candidates. Candidates must file nomination papers with the secretary of the school board at least 40 days before the primary. To be included on the ballot, candidates for at-large seats must submit petitions with the signatures of at least 25 eligible voters, while candidates for director district seats must submit petitions with the signatures of at least 10 eligible voters.Applies laws governing ballot vacancies to all city and school district elections.Click the hyperlinked bill number above for more information.

During the week of May 1-7, Ballotpedia tracked 14 Senate election-related bills nationally. As of May 7, Ballotpedia has tracked 945 Senate bills nationally. Ballotpedia tracked the most Senate bills this year in the New York State Senate with 140, while Ballotpedia tracked the fewest Senate bills in the Massachusetts State Senate with zero.

As of May 7, Ballotpedia has tracked 438 Senate bills in Democratic trifectas and 389 Senate bills in Republican trifectas. A trifecta is when one political party holds the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. Ballotpedia has tracked 118 Senate bills in states where neither party holds trifecta control.

The Iowa Senate was scheduled to be in session from Jan. 9 to April 28 this year. In 2022, Ballotpedia tracked nine Senate bills related to election administration. Two of these bills passed both chambers and both were enacted into law. Iowa is a Republican trifecta.

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