Everything You Need to Know About 2012 State Elections


From legislative races to ballot measures, NCSL’s election team has the answers

On Nov. 6, voters will not only determine the direction of the country, they will also cast ballots in 44 states for 6,034 state legislative seats. In 38 states, voters will decide 174 ballot questions, including 42 citizen initiatives.

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is your comprehensive resource on election night. Just hours after the polls close across the country, NCSL's experts will analyze party control changes, ballot issue results, and trends in the states.

StateVote 2012: The official NCSL election night website--StateVote 2012--contains the most detailed analysis of the 6,034 state legislative elections and 174 ballot measures. Throughout election night, NCSL analysts will update this page with the latest results from across the nation.

What's on the Ballot in My State? You can search NCSL's database by state and topic to find all the measures and voter referenda on state ballots this Election Day. In addition, NCSL's Prop*50 blog will cover the ballot measures taking center stage in many states.

StateVote Webinar: On Friday, Nov. 9, StateVote 2012 will provide the most incisive post-election analysis. NCSL’s election team of Jennie Bowser and Tim Storey will host the webinar, which is free for legislators, legislative staff and platinum Foundation sponsors. Online registration is required.

The Thicket at State Legislatures Magazine: NCSL's elections experts will post periodic updates on our blog and use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to send up-to-the-minute news on election night.

Before election night, check out these NCSL’s resources for nonpartisan information on state election laws:
The Canvass: Election Law Primer: With support from the Pew Charitable Trusts, NCSL's monthly newsletter, The Canvass, summarizes recent changes in state election laws. The October edition examines a range of topics, including voter ID, voting technology, early voting, list maintenance, and the role of the federal government under the Voting Rights Act.

A Complete Guide to Early and Absentee Voting: NCSL offers a complete list of absentee and early voting laws across the country. In 32 states and the District of Columbia, any qualified voter may cast a ballot in person before the election--no excuse necessary. Every state also allows some form of absentee voting, though some require an explanation.

State Voter ID Laws: NCSL has complete coverage of state legislative action on voter ID laws, including the specific requirements in each state. Thirty states will require voters to show ID when they go to the polls. Thirty-three states have passed voter ID laws, but new laws in Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will not be in effect this Election Day. Also, older laws remain in effect in Alabama, South Carolina and Texas while the courts sort out the constitutionality of the new, stricter laws.

State Trends in Online Voter Registration: As technology improves, states are increasingly moving toward online voter registration. Currently, 11 states offer online paperless voter registration. Four more states have passed legislation, but haven't begun registering voters online. NCSL maintains the full list as well as additional resources.

NCSL is the bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staff of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.