7/1: This week's top ten states
This week we're looking at our top ten state lineup: the states that received the most social and media engagement over the last week.
Top ten states in the media this week. The x-axis shows the number of news media republishings, while the y-axis shows total social media engagement.
1. Focus on Georgia is back
While attention to Georgia was waning in recent weeks, we see a resurgence of interest this week for a couple of reasons. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the State of Georgia over its recent voting law; a lawsuit that clashes in tone with the other national decision made by the Supreme Court this week (see below). Also, absentee ballot ID and early voting rules, parts of the new voting law, are in effect as of July 1. Parts of the law will have immediate impact with two House runoff elections ongoing this week, but the bigger test will come in November with the Atlanta mayoral election and others across the state.
2. Arizona is a close second, with a major Supreme Court decision a boon to the state GOP
Arizona's GOP has been loud, indignant and proud since the 2020 presidential election results. A controversial, questionably-run election audit continues to unfold, with many Republicans sure it will overturn election results (nationwide, authorities concluded no large-scale election fraud occurred).
In a landmark decision this week, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona voting restrictions that opponents argued predominately impacted people of color. The decision is a blow to voting rights activists nationwide, as it makes it unlikely for similar restrictions being passed in other states to be legally overturned.
3. New York City mishandles ranked-choice voting
The New York City Board of Elections is under fire, not for the first time, after a series of mishaps in the city's first ranked-choice ballot election. Officials released mayoral primary results in a tight race that included over 130,000 test ballots in the count, retracting the results a few hours later. The errors - and slow-paced count - have frustrated New Yorkers and have renewed calls for reform in the elections board that has been accused for years of corruption and nepotism.
4. Colorado talks redistricting, to little social attention
Colorado rounds out our top ten states this week with the release of first-draft new district maps for the Senate and House. We've noticed time and time again that redistricting does not receive social media engagement, and this time is no different: though the maps propose the lines for Colorado's new eighth district due to an increase in population in 2020 census data, to put it bluntly, people pay no attention.
Colorado is the first state to release draft redistricting maps, so we'll see if public interest grows as other states put forth their propositions. As it stands, redistricting is an interesting anomaly in the elections system: it has heavy, long-lasting impact on state and national representation and policy-making, yet manages to avoid public scrutiny.
We'll see you next week.