PRIMARY UPDATE: States United Action Releases New Data on Election Deniers Running for Statewide Offices that Run, Oversee, and Protect Our Elections

“Replacing the Refs” Tracker Emphasizes Primary Urgency; Four States with Election Deniers Running in Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State Contests Have May Primaries

Published: 5.6.22

Washington, D.C. States United Action today released updated data on candidates running for statewide office that include election oversight who deny the results of the 2020 election. The updated Replacing the Refs tool tracks the trend of Election Deniers running for Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General — the statewide offices that run, oversee, and protect our elections.

The May update indicates that there are still nine states with Election Deniers running for all three top statewide positions – and four of those primaries will take place in May in Alabama, California, Georgia, and Idaho.

As of May 4, 2022, in two out of three governor and secretary of state contests, there is an Election Denier running. This is true for nearly half of attorney general contests as well.

Other key data updates:

  • Races for all three statewide positions include at least one Election Denier in nine states (AL, AZ, CA, GA, ID, KS, MI, MN, WI); Idaho was added in the May update.
  • At least 50 Election Deniers are running for Governor in 24 states.
  • At least 22 Election Deniers are running for Secretary of State in 17 states.
  • At least 15 Election Deniers are running for Attorney General in 14 states.

“Too many of us don’t think about voting or elections until the fall, but we cannot afford to sit these races out anymore with our democracy under attack. Our research shows that there’s a trend across the country of Election Deniers on the ballot who could interfere with future elections if they are chosen to represent their party and go-on to win a general election,” said Thania Sanchez, Senior Vice President of Research and Policy Development at States United Action. “The issues we all care about most deeply depend on the freedom to vote and those votes being counted fairly. With election lies and conspiracy theories becoming a prominent issue on the campaign trail, voters need to know what is at stake heading into the primaries.”

The May data comes ahead of 19 primaries in May and June where an Election Denier is running for at least one statewide position that oversees elections, including 14 Gubernatorial races, 6 state Attorney General races, and 9 races for Secretary of State. The update also incorporates information about voter participation in primaries as compared to the general election in November in the 2018 midterms.

States United Action is updating the Replacing the Refs tracker, first released February 1, each month throughout this election cycle to account for state filing deadlines, candidate announcements, candidate dropouts, and primary results.

Learn more about the anti-democracy playbook and the election subversion trend in the states here.


About States United Action

States United Action is a nonpartisan section 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization with a mission to protect our elections and our democracy. States United Action advocates for policies that protect election integrity, hold democracy violators accountable, and prevent political violence that threatens to undermine the will of the American people, and amplifies the voices of state leaders and law enforcement leaders who share these values.