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Difference between revisions of "Ballotpedia's 2013-2014 state legislative election coverage plan"

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Revision as of 13:09, 1 May 2014

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Welcome to Ballotpedia’s one-stop source for information about the 2013 and 2014 state legislative elections. On this page you can find comprehensive, unbiased coverage of candidates and elections, including links to every state’s general election page on Ballotpedia and unique election reporting.

If you have any questions about state legislative elections please contact Tyler King.

Click here for an index of all State Legislature related Ballotpedia reports.

Our coverage

In 2013, our coverage included elections in New Jersey and Virginia. A total of 220 seats were up for election in the three chambers with elections. Our 2014 coverage will include elections in 87 state legislative chambers in 46 states. Additionally, Ballotpedia will be covering any special elections in 2013 and 2014.

Our candidate pages

There are two types of candidates: current officials who are running for office and new candidates who do not currently hold an office we cover on Ballotpedia. For all candidates we strive to provide you, our reader, with the following information:

  • Clear biographical information, including education
  • Who the candidates is running against and when the elections will be held
  • Photo of the candidate
  • Campaign themes
  • Links including their campaign website, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter campaign accounts, Project Vote Smart, Follow the Money and C-SPAN (where available)
  • Election results

Signature filing deadlines

Each state sets the deadline for when candidates must declare for election. Once the filing deadline passes, the state will verify signatures and issue an official list of candidates document. The timing of a document like this varies for each state. Some states will immediately release a document that is an unofficial list of candidates -- meaning it could contain some candidates who ultimately may either withdraw or be disqualified prior to the primary. In these situations, Ballotpedia staff will be adding links to these lists and adding names of candidates to election pages within 1-2 weeks of the list being released. Profiles will then be built for the final list of candidates.

However, in other situations, states do not release any compiled list of candidates until weeks or even months have elapsed past the deadline. In these situations, Ballotpedia staff will work to build as many candidates profiles based on news reports and direct contact with candidates.

Primary elections

As each primary takes place, Ballotpedia staff will be indicating the winners and losers within 24-48 hours of the primary. Candidates who defeat an opponent in a primary will then have an election box added to the profile.

Example: Mark Frechette

Following the primary, the elections page will be updated to indicate which candidates will appear in the general election. The timing of the results will vary by state.

Example: Virginia State Senate elections, 2011

General election

In the months leading up to the general election, Ballotpedia staff will build profiles of candidates, as well as identify certain “game-changers” or “races to watch.”

On election night, Ballotpedia staff will update election pages with check marks (Approveda) to indicate the winner of the race. We will also indicate which party wins the majority in each of the 86 chambers, with a particular emphasis on the chambers that might have flipped partisan control.

Original analysis

Throughout this presidential election season, Ballotpedia staff will create analysis pages regarding the state legislative races. For example:

  • List of candidates running. This page will display every single candidate who appears on a primary election ballot.
  • List of state legislative incumbents retiring. This page will display all state legislative incumbents who are not seeking re-election to the same chamber.
  • Competitiveness analysis. For the fourth consecutive election, Ballotpedia staff will be conducting our competitiveness analysis. This studies analyzes the lists of candidates in state legislative races and provides a competitiveness rating based on three factors -- whether the incumbent is running; whether the incumbent, if running, will face a primary opponent; and finally, if there is a candidate from both major parties appearing on the general election ballot.

New Jersey

Elections will be held in all 40 of New Jersey's senate districts on November 5, 2013.


Virginia will not hold any state senate elections in 2013.

2013 State Legislative Primary Information
State Signature Filing Deadline Primary Date Notes/Costs for candidates Days between Deadline and Primary
New Jersey 4/1/2013 6/04/2013 Nomination petitions of candidates for Senate and General Assembly must contain the signatures of at least 100 voters in the legislative district. Candidates are required to disclose any criminal convictions.[1] 64
Virginia 3/28/2013 6/11/2013 Nomination petitions must contain the signatures of at least 125 qualified voters in the legislative district. Major party candidates are required to submit a primary filing fee equal to 2% of the annual salary for the office sought in effect in the year in which the candidate files. In 2013, the primary filing fee is $352.80.[2] 74

















Kansas will not hold any state senate elections in 2014.



Louisiana will not hold any state legislative elections in 2014.






Minnesota will not hold any state senate elections in 2014.


Mississippi will not hold any state legislative elections in 2014.





New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Jersey will not hold any state legislative elections in 2014.

New Mexico

New Mexico will not hold any state senate elections in 2014.

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota





Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Carolina will not hold any state senate elections in 2014.

South Dakota






Virginia will not hold any state legislative elections in 2014.


West Virginia



Illinois and Texas opened the 2014 campaign season with filing deadlines in December 2013. The latest filing deadline in 2014 was in New York on July 10.

The 2014 state legislative primaries started in Texas on March 4 and ended on September 9 with a cluster of primaries in Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island.

The state legislative filing deadlines and primary dates listed by month were as follows:

Filing deadlines

The number of days between the candidate filing deadline and primary election vary widely from state to state















Length of primary campaigns

While each state holds a primary, the amount of time between signature filing deadlines can differ greatly. In 2014, candidates running for state legislative office in North Dakota had just 64 days between their filing deadline and primary. Meanwhile, candidates in Missouri had a massive 133 days, more than double that of North Dakota, to campaign for the primary election. On average, candidates were given about 84 days between the filing deadline and primary election to get their message to voters.