A handful of states hold odd-year elections, and in 2023 we'll see major elections in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia, along with a handful of statewide ballot measures and many local-level elections.
Currently, Republicans hold 26 gubernatorial seats and Democrats hold 24 seats. Three states -- Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi -- are holding gubernatorial elections in 2023. Louisiana and Mississippi have open races after an incumbent Democrat and Republican, respectively, are term-limited, and in Kentucky Democratic incumbent Andy Beshear is up for reelection. Kentucky will be the race to watch this year.
Currently, Republicans have majorities in both legislative chambers in 28 states, while Democrats hold majorities in both chambers in 19 states. Three states (Alaska, Virginia, and Pennsylvania) have split control of state legislative chambers. In 2023, four states will see both legislative chambers up for election for a total of 578 of the country's 7,386 state legislative seats (7.8%). Virginia is the only set of legislative elections where control over the legislature is expected to be competitive this year.
So far, 31 ballot measures have been certified to appear on the ballot in 8 states this year. Expect this number to grow over the summer. Major ballot measures include a constitutional amendment to raise the threshold for voters to enact initiatives in Ohio from 50% to 60%. In March, voters in Oklahoma rejected a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana use.