Reports October 15, 2022

Replacing the Refs

Across the country, politicians who continue to spread lies about our elections are seeking control over future elections. If these Election Deniers succeed, they could have the power to interfere with nonpartisan election administration and put our free, fair, and secure elections at risk.
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Last updated: October 15, 2022

TRACKING THE TREND OF ELECTION DENIERS RUNNING FOR STATEWIDE OFFICE IN 2022

A project of States United Action

Across the country, politicians who continue to spread lies about our elections are seeking control over future elections. If these Election Deniers succeed, they could try to interfere with nonpartisan election administration and put our free, fair, and secure elections at risk.

The Replacing the Refs tracker follows Election Deniers running for governor, secretary of state, and attorney general in 2022. These state officials are the referees of our democracy. They run elections, supervise vote counts, certify results, and defend the will of the voters in court. 

Election Deniers are running on lies and conspiracy theories, and they are a threat to our democracy. The state officials we elect this year will oversee the 2024 election. Giving Election Deniers that power would be like putting arsonists in charge of the fire department.

The data below tracks Election Denier candidates, state by state, heading into the general election.  

The Election Denier Landscape

Elections are national events, but they’re run by the states. That means the state officials who oversee elections—governors, secretaries of state, and attorneys general—are on the front lines of our democracy. 

Campaigning on lies and conspiracy theories, Election Deniers are now seeking these positions across the country in a coordinated attack on the freedom to vote. The stakes for democracy are as high as they were on January 6, 2021.  

This isn’t a partisan issue, and Election Deniers aren’t just a handful of fringe candidates. Incumbents from both parties who did the right thing and defended the legitimate results in 2020 have drawn Election Denier challengers this year. Election lies are showing up in the platforms of politicians with years of government service as well as candidates seeking office for the first time.  

In 2022, 40 states and the District of Columbia have races for governor, attorney general, and/or secretary of state across the country. As of October 15, more than half the country – over 58.5% percent of the population, living in 30 states – has an Election Denier running to oversee their elections. 

Election Deniers are on the ballot for the November election in around half of the races for governor (56 percent) and secretary of state (48 percent), and one-third of the races for attorney general (32 percent). And there are still three states with Election Deniers running for all three top statewide positions—Alabama, Arizona, and Michigan.  

Some Election Deniers were defeated in the primaries. In many cases, Republican incumbents who refused to embrace election lies were able to fend off challenges. But Americans should be concerned that so many Election Deniers advanced to the general election. A single Election Denier in a single state could throw our elections into chaos and confusion. 

The threats to our system of free and fair elections go far beyond the ballot box.  

In state legislatures, partisan politicians are trying to rewrite election rules in hopes of locking in the outcomes they want. As of August, at least 244 bills have been introduced in 33 states that would interfere with nonpartisan election administration. Dozens have already been adopted.

In addition, the Supreme Court is considering a case that could fundamentally change elections. An insider threat is growing as counties refuse to certify valid results. And experienced election officials are being harassed into leaving their jobs.

The anti-democracy playbook is simple: If you change the rules of elections, and you change the referees who oversee elections, you can change the results. But an informed voter is a powerful voter. Pro-democracy candidates of both parties are on the ballot this fall. It’s never been more important for our state leaders to believe in free, fair, and secure elections. 

  • Alabama

    In the Alabama general election, there are three Election Deniers running for governor, attorney general, or secretary of state. Alabama is one of three states where an Election Denier is running for all three positions with election oversight. These candidates, who deny the unquestionable results from 2020, are vying for offices with election administration power. The people elected to these positions will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections.

    Governor

    • James ‘Jimmy’ Blake (L)
    • Yolanda Flowers (D)
    • Kay Ivey (R) – Incumbent + Election Denier 

    Attorney General 

    • Wendell Major (D)
    • Steve Marshall (R) – Incumbent + Election Denier 

    Secretary of State

    • Wes Allen (R) – Election Denier 
    • Pamela Lafitte (D)
    • Jason ‘Matt’ Shelby (L)

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Alabama has had four bills introduced, and one already enacted, that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Alabama votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Alaska

    In the Alaska general election, there are two Election Deniers running for governor. These candidates, who deny the unquestionable results from 2020, are vying for offices with election administration power. The people elected to these positions will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Mike Dunleavy (R) – Incumbent + Election Denier
    • Les Gara (D)
    • Charlie Pierce (R) – Election Denier
    • Bill Walker (O)

    Attorney General

    • NO RACE

    Secretary of State

    • NO RACE

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Alaska has had six bills introduced that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Alaska votes for their next Governor in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Arizona

    In the Arizona general election, there arethree Election Deniers running for governor, attorney general, or secretary of state. Arizona is one of just three states where an Election Denier is running for all three positions with election oversight. These candidates, who deny the unquestionable results from 2020, are vying for offices with election administration power. The people elected to these positions will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Katie Hobbs (D)
    • Kari Lake (R) – Election Denier

    Attorney General

    • Abraham Hamadeh (R) – Election Denier
    • Kris Mayes (D)

    Secretary of State

    • Mark Finchem (R) – Election Denier
    • Adrian Fontes (D)

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the Arizona state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Arizona has had 35 bills introduced, and three already enacted, that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Arizona votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Arkansas

    In the Arkansas general election, there are no Election Deniers running for governor, attorney general, or secretary of state.

    Governor

    • Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. (L)
    • Chris Jones (D)
    • Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R)

    Attorney General

    • Jesse Gibson (D)
    • Tim Griffin (R)

    Secretary of State

    • Anna Gorman (D)
    • John Thurston (R) – Incumbent

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    Arkansas votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • California

    In the California general election, there are no Election Deniers running for governor, attorney general, or secretary of state.

    Governor

    • Brian Dahle (R)
    • Gavin Newson (D) – Incumbent

    Attorney General

    • Ron Bonta (D) – Incumbent
    • Nathan Hochman (R)

    Secretary of State

    • Shirley Weber (D) – Incumbent
    • Rob Bernosky (R)

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    California votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Colorado

    In the Colorado general election, there is one Election Denier running for governor. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Paul Fiorino (O)
    • Heidi Ganahl (R)
    • Danielle Neuschwanger (O) – Election Denier
    • Jared Polis (D) – Incumbent
    • Kevin Ruskusky (L)

    Attorney General

    • John Kellner (R)
    • William Robinson (L)
    • Phil Weiser (D) – Incumbent

    Secretary of State

    • Pam Anderson (R)
    • Amanda Campbell (O)
    • Jena Griswold (D) – Incumbent
    • Jan Kok (O)
    • Walter James Rutledge (L)
    • Gary Swing (O)

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Colorado has had one bill introduced that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Colorado votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Connecticut

    In the Connecticut general election, there isone Election Denier running for secretary of state. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Robert Hotaling (O)
    • Ned Lamont (D) – Incumbent
    • Bob Stefanowski (R)

    Attorney General

    • Jessica Kordas (R)
    • Ken Krayeske (G) 
    • William Tong (D) – Incumbent

    Secretary of State

    • Cynthia Jennings (O)
    • Dominic Rapini (R) – Election Denier
    • Stephanie Thomas (D)

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    Connecticut votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • District of Columbia

    In the Washington, D.C. general election, there are no Election Deniers running for attorney general. 

    Attorney General

    • Brian Schwalb (D)

    Washington, D.C. votes for its next attorney general in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Delaware

    In the Delaware general election, there are no Election Deniers running for governor, attorney general, or secretary of state.

    Governor

    • NO RACE

    Attorney General

    • Kathy Jennings (D) – Incumbent
    • Julianne Murray (R)

    Secretary of State

    • NO RACE

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    Delaware votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Florida

    In the Florida general election, there aretwo Election Deniers running for governor and attorney general. These candidates, who deny the unquestionable results from 2020, are vying for offices with election administration power. The people elected to these positions will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting our future elections. 

    Governor

    • Charlie Crist (D)
    • Ron DeSantis (R) – Incumbent + Election Denier 
    • Carmen Jackie Gimenez (O)
    • Hector Roos (L)

    Attorney General

    • Aramis Ayala (D)
    • Ashley Moody (R) – Incumbent + Election Denier

    Secretary of State

    • NO RACE (DeSantis appointed Cord Byrd)

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Florida has had three bills introduced, and one already enacted, that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Florida votes for its next governor and attorney general in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • Georgia

    In the Georgia general election, there are no Election Deniers running for governor, attorney general, or secretary of state.

    Governor

    • Stacey Abrams (D)
    • Shane Hazel (L)
    • Brian Kemp (R) – Incumbent

    Attorney General

    • Chris Carr (R) – Incumbent
    • Martin Lindsey Cowen (L)
    • Jen Jordan (D)

    Secretary of State

    • Edward ‘Ted’ Metz (L)
    • Bee Nguyen (D)
    • Brad Raffensperger (R) – Incumbent

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the Georgia state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Georgia has had five bills introduced, and one already enacted, that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Georgia votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Hawaii

    In the Hawaii general election, there are no Election Deniers running for governor.

    Governor

    • Duke Aiona (R)
    • Josh Green (D)

    Attorney General

    • NO RACE

    Secretary of State

    • NO RACE

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    Hawaii votes for its next governor in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Idaho

    In the Idaho general election, there is one Election Denier running for attorney general. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Ammon Bundy (O)
    • Chantyrose Davison (O)
    • Stephen Heidt (D)
    • Brad Little (R) – Incumbent
    • Paul Sand (L)

    Attorney General

    • Tom Arkoosh (D)
    • Raúl Labrador (R) –Election Denier

    Secretary of State

    • Shawn Keenan (D)
    • Phil McGrane (R)

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    Idaho votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • Illinois

    In the Illinois general election, there are no Election Deniers running for governor, attorney general, or secretary of state.

    Governor

    • Darren Bailey (R)
    • J.B. Pritzker (D) – Incumbent
    • Scott Schluter (L)

    Attorney General

    • Thomas DeVore (R)
    • Kwame Raoul (D) – Incumbent
    • Daniel Robin (L)

    Secretary of State

    • Dan Brady (R)
    • Alexi Giannoulias (D)
    • Jon Stewart (L)

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the Illinois state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Illinois has had three bills introduced that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Illinois votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Indiana

    In the Indiana general election, there is one Election Denier running for secretary of state. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • NO RACE

    Attorney General

    • NO RACE

    Secretary of State

    • Jeff Maurer (L)
    • Diego Morales (R) –Election Denier 
    • Destiny Wells (D)

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Indiana has had four bills introduced, and one already enacted, that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Indiana votes for its next secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Iowa

    In the Iowa primary, there is one Election Denier running for governor. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections.

    Governor

    • Deidre DeJear (D)
    • Kim Reynolds (R) – Incumbent +  Election Denier 
    • Rick Stewart (L)

    Attorney General

    • Brenna Bird (R)
    • Thomas John Miller (D) – Incumbent

    Secretary of State

    • Joel Miller (D)
    • Paul Pate (R) – Incumbent

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the Iowa state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Iowa has had three bills introduced that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.
    Iowa votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Kansas

    In the Kansas general election, there aretwo Election Deniers running for governor or attorney general. These candidates, who deny the unquestionable results from 2020, are vying for offices with election administration power. The people elected to these positions will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting our future elections. 

    Governor

    • Seth Cordell (L)
    • Laura Kelly (D) – Incumbent
    • Dennis Pyle (O)
    • Derek Schmidt (R) – Election Denier 

    Attorney General

    • Kris Kobach (R) –Election Denier 
    • Chris Mann (D)

    Secretary of State

    • Cullene Lang (L)
    • Jeanna Repass (D)
    • Scott Schwab (R) – Incumbent

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Kansas has had eight bills introduced, and one already enacted, that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Kansas votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • Maine

    In the Maine general election, there is one Election Denier running for governor.This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Sam Hunkler (O)
    • Paul LePage (R) – Election Denier 
    • Janet Mills (D) – Incumbent

    Attorney General

    • NO RACE

    Secretary of State

    • NO RACE

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    Maine votes for its next governor in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • Maryland

    In the Maryland general election, there are two Election Deniers running for governor and attorney general. These candidates, who deny the unquestionable results from 2020, are vying for offices with election administration power. The people elected to these positions will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting our future elections. 

    Governor

    • Dan Cox (R) – Election Denier
    • David Harding (O)
    • David Lashar (L)
    • Wes Moore (D) 
    • Nancy Wallace (G)

    Attorney General

    • Anthony Brown (D)
    • Michael Peroutka (R) – Election Denier

    Secretary of State

    • NO RACE

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    Maryland votes for its next governor and attorney general in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • Massachusetts

    In the Massachusetts general election, there are two Election Deniers running for governor or secretary of state. These candidates, who deny the unquestionable results from 2020, are vying for offices with election administration power. The people elected to these positions will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting our future elections. 

    Governor

    • Geoff Diehl (R) – Election Denier 
    • Maura Healey (D)
    • Dianna Ploss (O)
    • Kevin Reed (L)

    Attorney General

    • Andrea Campbell (D)
    • Jay McMahon (R)

    Secretary of State

    • Rayla Campbell (R) – Election Denier
    • William Galvin (D) – Incumbent
    • Juan Sanchez (O)

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    Massachusetts votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on November 8.

     

  • Michigan

    In the Michigan general, there arefive Election Deniers running for governor, attorney general, or secretary of state.Michigan is one of just three states where an Election Denier is running for all three positions with election oversight. These candidates, who deny the unquestionable results from 2020, are vying for offices with election administration power. The people elected to these positions will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting our future elections. 

    Governor

    • Donna Brandenburg (O) – Election Denier
    • Mary Buzuma (L)
    • Tudor Dixon (R) – Election Denier
    • Kevin Hogan (G)
    • Daryl Simpson (O)
    • Gretchen Whitmer (D) – Incumbent

    Attorney General

    • Matthew DePerno (R) – Election Denier
    • Joe McHugh (L) – Election Denier
    • Dana Nessel (D) – Incumbent
    • Gerald Van Sickle (O)

    Secretary of State

    • Jocelyn Benson (D) – Incumbent
    • Larry Hutchinson (G)
    • Kristina Karamo (R) – Election Denier
    • Christine Schwartz (O)
    • Gregory Stempfle (L)

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Michigan has had 12 bills introduced that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Michigan votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • Minnesota

    In the Minnesota primary, there is one Election Denier running for secretary of state. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to these positions will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting our future elections.

    Governor

    • Scott Jensen (R)
    • James McCaskel (O)
    • Hugh McTavish (O)
    • Steve Patterson (O)
    • Gabrielle Prosser (O)
    • Tim Walz (D) – Incumbent

    Attorney General

    • Keith Ellison (D) – Incumbent
    • Jim Schultz (R)

    Secretary of State

    • Kim Crockett (R) – Election Denier
    • Steve Simon (D) – Incumbent

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Minnesota has had 12 bills introduced that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Minnesota votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • Nebraska

    In the Nebraska general election, there are no Election Deniers running for governor, attorney general, or secretary of state.

    Governor

    • Carol Blood (D)
    • Jim Pillen (R)
    • Scott Zimmerman (L)

    Attorney General

    • Larry Bollinger (O)
    • Mike Hilgers (R)

    Secretary of State

    • Bob Evnen (R) – Incumbent

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the Nebraska state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Nebraska has had two bills introduced that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Nebraska votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Nevada

    In the Nevada general election, there are two Election Deniers running for secretary of state and attorney general.These candidates, who deny the unquestionable results from 2020, are vying for offices with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Ed Bridges (O)
    • Brandon Davis (L)
    • Joe Lombardo (R)
    • Steve Sisolak (D) – Incumbent

    Attorney General

    • Sigal Chattah (R) – Election Denier 
    • Aaron Ford (D) – Incumbent
    • John Kennedy (L)

    Secretary of State

    • Francisco ‘Cisco’ Aguilar (D)
    • Ross Crane (L)
    • Janine Hansen (O)
    • Jim Marchant (R) – Election Denier 

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    Nevada votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • New Hampshire

    In the New Hampshire general election, there is one Election Deniers running for governor. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Karlyn Borysenko (L) –Election Denier  
    • Kelly Halldorson (L)
    • Tom Sherman (D)
    • Chris Sununu (R) – Incumbent

    Attorney General

    • NO RACE

    Secretary of State

    • NO RACE

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. New Hampshire has had eight bills introduced that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    New Hampshire votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • New Mexico

    In the New Mexico general election, there is one Election Denier running for secretary of state. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Karen Bedonie (L)
    • Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) – Incumbent
    • Mark Ronchetti (R)

    Attorney General

    • Jeremy Gay (R)
    • Raul Torrez (D)

    Secretary of State

    • Mayna Myers (L)
    • Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D) – Incumbent
    • Audrey Trujillo (R) – Election Denier 

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    New Mexico votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • New York

    In the New York general election, there is one Election Denier running for governor. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Kathy Hochul (D) – Incumbent
    • Lee Zeldin (R) – Election Denier 

    Attorney General

    • Michael Henry (R)
    • Letitia James (D) – Incumbent

    Secretary of State

    • NO RACE

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. New York has had one bill introduced that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    New York votes for its next governor and attorney general in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • North Dakota

    In the North Dakota general election, there is one Election Denier running for Secretary of State. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections.

    Governor

    • NO RACE

    Attorney General

    • Timothy Charles Lamb (D)
    • Drew Wrigley (R) – Incumbent

    Secretary of State

    • Michael Howe (R)
    • Jeffrey Powell (D)
    • Charles Tuttle (O) —Election Denier 

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    North Dakota votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Ohio

    In the Ohio general election, there is one Election Denier running for Secretary of State. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Michael DeWine (R) — Incumbent
    • Nan Whaley (D)

    Attorney General

    • Jeffrey Crossman (D)
    • Dave Yost (R) — Incumbent

    Secretary of State

    • Chelsea Clark (D)
    • Frank LaRose (R) – Incumbent
    • Terpsehore Maras (O) Election Denier  

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    Ohio votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Oklahoma

    In the Oklahoma general election, there are no Election Deniers running for governor, attorney general, or secretary of state.

    Governor

    • Natalie Bruno (L)
    • Joy Hofmeister (D)
    • Kevin Stitt (R) – Incumbent
    • Ervin Yen (O)

    Attorney General

    • Gentner Drummond (R)
    • Lynda Steele (L)

    Secretary of State

    • NO RACE

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the Oklahoma state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Oklahoma has had seven bills introduced, and one already enacted, that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Oklahoma votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Oregon

    In the Oregon general election, there is one Election Denier running for governor. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections.

    Governor

    • Christine Drazan (R)
    • Betsy Johnson (O)
    • Tina Kotek (D)
    • R. Leon Noble (L)
    • Donice Noelle Smith (O) – Election Denier 

    Attorney General

    • NO RACE

    Secretary of State

    • NO RACE

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    Oregon votes for its next governor in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Pennsylvania

    In the Pennsylvania general election, there is one Election Denier running for governor. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Christina Digiulio (G)
    • Matt Hackenburg (L)
    • Doug Mastriano (R) – Election Denier 
    • Joshua Shapiro (D)
    • Jospeh Soloski (O)

    Attorney General 

    • NO RACE

    Secretary of State

    • NO RACE

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Pennsylvania has had 16 bills introduced, and two already enacted or adopted, that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Pennsylvania votes for its next governor in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • Rhode Island

    In the Rhode Island general election, there is one Election Denier running for governor. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Elijah Gizzarelli (L)
    • Zachary Hurwitz (O)
    • Ashley Kalus (R) 
    • Dan McKee (D) – Incumbent 
    • Paul Rianna Jr. (O) – Election Denier

    Attorney General

    • Charles Calenda (R)
    • Peter Neronha (D) – Incumbent

    Secretary of State

    • Gregg Amore (D)
    • Pat Cortellessa (R)

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Rhode Island has had two bills introduced that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Rhode Island votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the  general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • South Carolina

    In the South Carolina general election, there is one Election Denier running for attorney general. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Joe Cunningham (D)
    • Henry McMaster (R) – Incumbent
    • Bruce Reeves (L)

    Attorney General

    • Alan Wilson (R) – Incumbent + Election Denier 

    Secretary of State

    • Rosemounda Peggy Butler (D)
    • Mark Hammond (R) – Incumbent

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. South Carolina has had six bills introduced, and one already enacted, that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    South Carolina votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • South Dakota

    In the South Dakota general election, there are no Election Deniers running for governor, attorney general, or secretary of state.

    Governor

    • Kristi Noem (R)– Incumbent
    • Tracey Quint (L)
    • Jamie Smith (D)

    Attorney General

    • Marty Jackley (R)

    Secretary of State

    • Tom Cool (D)
    • Monae Johnson (R)

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the South Dakota state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. South Dakota has had two bills introduced, and one already enacted, that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    South Dakota votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

  • Tennessee

    In the Tennessee general, there is one Election Denier running for governor. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Constance Every (O)
    • John Anthony Gentry (O)
    • Bill Lee (R) – Incumbent + Election Denier 
    • Basil Marceaux (O)
    • Jason Martin (D)
    • Charles Morgan (O)
    • Alfred O’Neil (O)
    • Deborah Rouse (O)
    • Michael Scantland (O)
    • Rick Tyler (O)

    Attorney General

    • NO RACE

    Secretary of State

    • NO RACE

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Tennessee has had 18 bills introduced, and three already enacted, that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Tennessee votes for its next governor in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • Texas

    In the Texas general election, there are two Election Deniers running for governor and attorney general. These candidates, who deny the unquestionable results from 2020, are vying for offices with election administration power. The people elected to these positions will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting our future elections. 

    Governor

    • Greg Abbott (R) – Incumbent + Election Denier 
    • Delilah Barrios (G)
    • Beto O’Rourke (D)
    • Mark Jay Tippetts (L)

    Attorney General

    • Mark Ash (L)
    • Rochelle Garza (D)
    • Ken Paxton (R) – Incumbent + Election Denier  

    Secretary of State

    • NO RACE

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    Texas votes for its next governor and attorney general in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • Vermont

    In the Vermont general election, there are two Election Deniers running for governor and secretary of state. These candidates, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, are vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Peter Duval (R)
    • Kevin Hoyt (O) — Election Denier  
    • Bernard Peters (O)
    • Phil Scott (R) – Incumbent
    • Brenda Siegal (D)

    Attorney General

    • Charity R. Clark (D)
    • Michael Tagliavia (R)

    Secretary of State

    • Sarah Copeland Hanzas (D)
    • H. Brooke Paige (R) – Election Denier 

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    Vermont votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • Washington

    In the Washington general election, there are no Election Deniers running for governor, attorney general, or secretary of state.

    Governor

    • NO RACE

    Attorney General

    • NO RACE

    Secretary of State

    • Julie Anderson (O)
    • Steve Hobbs (D)– Incumbent

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Washington has had four bills introduced that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Washington votes for its next secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • Wisconsin

    In the Wisconsin primary, there is one Election Denier running for governor.This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to these positions will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting our future elections. 

    Governor

    • Joan Ellis Beglinger (O)
    • Tony Evers (D) – Incumbent
    • Tim Michels (R) – Election Denier

    Attorney General

    • Josh Kaul (D) – Incumbent
    • Eric Toney (R)

    Secretary of State

    • Neil Harmon (L)
    • Douglas La Follette (D) – Incumbent
    • Amy Loudenbeck (R)
    • Sharyl McFarland (G)

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Wisconsin has had 38 bills introduced, two bills adopted, and seven bills that were adopted but vetoed, that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Wisconsin votes for its next governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

     

  • Wyoming

    In the Wyoming primary, there is one Election Denier running for secretary of state. This candidate, who denies the unquestionable results from 2020, is vying for an office with election administration power. The people elected to any of the three statewide election oversight roles will be responsible for running, overseeing, and protecting future elections. 

    Governor

    • Mark Gordon (R) – Incumbent
    • Theresa A. Livingston (D)

    Attorney General

    • NO RACE

    Secretary of State

    • Chuck Gray (R) – Election Denier 

    The duties and election administration roles of these positions complement each other, so having an Election Denier in any one of these positions can undermine efforts to protect the vote and the will of the people.

    At the same time, Election Denier allies in the state legislature are trying to change how elections are run. Wyoming has had one bill introduced that would politicize, criminalize, or interfere with election administration. It’s all connected, and any American who cares about the freedom to vote should be very concerned.

    Wyoming votes for its next governor and secretary of state in the general election on Nov. 8.

Governors

In 2022, 36 states have contests for governor. As of October 15, more than half of governor races – 20 of 36 races happening in 2022 – currently have an Election Denier candidate on the ballot. Sixteen of the 22 Election Denier candidates are running on a major party’s ticket.

For more information about Election Denier candidates for governor in 2022, and the role of governors in election administration, click here.

Attorneys General

In 2022, 30 states and the District of Columbia have contests for attorney general. As of October 15, around one in three attorney general races – 10 of 31 races happening in 2022 – currently have an Election Denier candidate on the ballot. Ten of the 11 Election Denier candidates are running on a major party’s ticket.

For more information about Election Denier candidates for state attorney general in 2022 and the role of attorneys general in election administration, click here.

Secretaries of State

In 2022, 27 states 1In Illinois and Wisconsin, the Secretary of State signs the certificate of ascertainment but does not oversee election administration. There is a push by a number of Wisconsin candidates running in 2022 to change the duties of the office. In Alaska, the Lieutenant Governor oversees election administration. In South Carolina, the executive director of the South Carolina State Election Commission administers elections. have contests for secretary of state.  As of October 15, almost half of secretary of state races – 13 of 27 races happening in 2022 – currently have an Election Denier candidate on the ballot. Eleven of the 13 Election Denier candidates are running on a major party’s ticket.

For more information about Election Denier candidates for secretary of state in 2022 and the role of secretaries of state in election administration, click here.

Primary Analysis

Primaries are a key part of the democratic process, enabling engaged voters to choose which candidates they want to send to the general election and potentially hold office. In many cases, especially where there is a large majority of voters from one party statewide, the primary is the more competitive race. The lower voter participation in primary elections historically means a smaller subset of voters plays an outsized role in shaping the elections. This year, given the stakes for our democracy, it is more important than ever that people participate in the primary election and pay attention to these critical issues during the general.  

The 2022 primaries had the highest turnout in a primary election in a midterm election year since 2000, with 29 percent of registered voters participating, up from an average of 27 percent. This was also higher than the turnout in most of the presidential election year primaries (behind only 2016 and 2020). While this higher turnout is noteworthy, the turnout did not increase by a large percentage in most states. The average turnout from 2002-2018 for primary elections during midterm election years was 25.5 percent and in 2022 it was 29 percent. 

There are, however, some states where turnout in primaries this year was much higher than expected. Notably, Kansas had a 22 percent increase in voter turnout from the primary in 2018. This is the largest increase in a midterm election in this period, and the highest turnout in any primary (including presidential years) that Kansas has had since 2000. Pennsylvania had a 12.5 percent increase over the 2018 midterm, almost matching turnout for the 2020 primary, a year that had record breaking turnouts. Georgia also saw an increase of 8.7 percent greater turnout than in 2018 and matched their 2020 primary turnout. 

It’s also important to understand the importance of voting for every position on the ballot in primaries and the general election. The data shows that frequently the top of the ticket, usually the governor or U.S. senator in a midterm election, gets more votes than other positions on the ballot, meaning that many voters leave parts of their ballot (often referred to as “down ticket”) empty. This trend likely contributed to increased turnout in Pennsylvania and Georgia, which have Senate elections this year, just as an abortion referendum in Kansas contributed to significant turnout despite lower participation across all of its primary races. 

Overall, this trend predicts that the November 2022 midterm will have slightly higher turnout than the 2018 midterm, and we may see higher turnout in states like Georgia and Pennsylvania, and states where races are tight and where issues like reproductive health care continue to motivate voters. 

To learn more, click here.

The Research

What We Are Tracking: Announced and/or filed candidates running in 2022 for three statewide offices with election administration responsibilities: governor, attorney general, and secretary of state.2In some states, there are candidates with filings/open campaign committees that have not taken any public actions since October 2021 to indicate they are active candidates. They are not included in our tracker. If any one of these candidates take steps that indicate they are actively running this cycle, we will add them.

Methodology:

To qualify as an Election Denier, a candidate must meet one or more of the criteria below:

  • Falsely claimed former President Trump won the 2020 election instead of the legitimate winner, President Joe Biden.
  • Spread lies about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election in public fora, including in social media, press statements, and/or comments to press.
  • Called for a “forensic audit” of the 2020 presidential election after the results were certified and/or officially audited and/or stood up to multiple legal challenges.
  • Promoted conspiracies about the 2020 presidential election in public fora, including in social media, press statements, and/or comments to press.
  • Took actions to undermine the integrity of the 2020 presidential election, including: filed or supported litigation seeking to overturn the results; and/or promoted/participated in a Stop the Steal sponsored/branded event or rally.3Common conspiracies include any host of debunked claims and myths about the 2020 election. These include sharing or liking videos by Project Veritas, amplifying claims that voting machines were tampered with, Dominion Voting Systems’ machines rigging the election, dead people voted, noncitizens and/or foreign countries were involved, voter registration numbers not matching final vote counts, ballot harvesting, and other claims about “stolen elections.”

For more information about the campaign financing of Election Deniers in key states, please see this report from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Sources

  1. In Illinois and Wisconsin, the Secretary of State signs the certificate of ascertainment but does not oversee election administration. There is a push by a number of Wisconsin candidates running in 2022 to change the duties of the office. In Alaska, the Lieutenant Governor oversees election administration. In South Carolina, the executive director of the South Carolina State Election Commission administers elections.

  2. In some states, there are candidates with filings/open campaign committees that have not taken any public actions since October 2021 to indicate they are active candidates. They are not included in our tracker. If any one of these candidates take steps that indicate they are actively running this cycle, we will add them.

  3. Common conspiracies include any host of debunked claims and myths about the 2020 election. These include sharing or liking videos by Project Veritas, amplifying claims that voting machines were tampered with, Dominion Voting Systems’ machines rigging the election, dead people voted, noncitizens and/or foreign countries were involved, voter registration numbers not matching final vote counts, ballot harvesting, and other claims about “stolen elections.”