46 Medium Risk
Electoral Votes
2020 Margin1
State Legislature Control2
Voter Suppression and Election Interference Bills3
State Senate GOP Share
State House GOP Share
State Senate GOP Skew
State House GOP Skew

Michigan has an ISLT score of 46, which means it has moderate risk of a Republican-led state legislature passing legislation to swing the state’s 2024 electoral votes toward the Republican presidential nominee. 

Michigan’s margin of victory in the last presidential contest was 2.8%, making it the 7th closest contest. The margin of victory in the state matters because states with the closest margins of victories are more likely to flip as a result of voter suppression bills and other tactics that could be unleashed by a rogue, unaccountable state legislature. 

Currently, the state legislature is controlled by the Democratic Party. The partisan control of the state legislature is included because Republican operatives supported and carried out an insurrectionist coup to undermine democracy in the last election, and have demonstrated a desire to overturn democratic election outcomes if necessary in order to gain power. Republicans control 49.1% of the Michigan House and 47.4% of the Michigan Senate, which indicates that Republicans do not currently have a majority to enact future legislation that could interfere with the 2024 election. We also compared the partisan control of the state legislature to the state’s 2020 presidential results, and found that Republicans control 1.3% more state house seats and do not control more state senate seats than expected. 

Michigan’s legislature introduced at least 26 bills during 2021 and 2022 that would suppress votes or interfere with election administration. Around half of Republicans in the last Michigan state legislature — 48% — took concrete steps to overturn or discredit the 2020 presidential election results.4

Additional Considerations

2020 Swing State

Michigan flipped from red to blue in the 2020 presidential election. Because the state was among the five Biden flipped in his pathway to victory, it is especially vulnerable to election interference attempts.


Voters in Michigan recently re-elected Governor Whitmer (D). In 2021 and 2022, Governor Whitmer vetoed a total of 4 bills (S303, S304, H4127, H4128) that would have suppressed votes or interfered with election administration. But under a maximalist version of ISLT, Governor Whitmer would not be able to act as a check on statutes related to federal elections through a gubernatorial veto. State legislatures could enact radical changes without the governor’s approval — circumventing the usual process required for bills to become law.

State Supreme Court

Michigan selects Supreme Court judges through nonpartisan elections.5 Under a maximalist version of ISLT, the state Supreme Court would be unable to review or strike down any federal election-related changes the state legislature enacted. State legislatures could enact radical changes without state courts or the state constitution checking their authoritarian power. For this reason, the Conference of Chief Justices — which represents chief justices of both parties in all 50 states, took the rare step of filing an amicus brief opposing ISLT.


ISLT could drastically reshape the redistricting process for U.S. House seats, enabling radical state legislatures to gerrymander with impunity. Currently, Michigan uses an independent redistricting commission to apportion U.S. House Districts. If the Supreme Court adopts ISLT, the state legislature could choose to take full control of the redistricting process for U.S. House elections and strip the independent redistricting commission of its authority.

State-Specific Factors

Currently, voters in Michigan have the power to engage in direct democracy — they can directly influence state law through ballot initiatives and voter referendums, which provide a powerful check on the state legislature.6 Voter-initiated legislation in states across the U.S. has addressed matters such as establishing all-mail vote systems, filling vacant U.S. Senate seats through a special election rather than governor appointment, redistricting criteria, and more. Michigan employs voter referendums and ballot initiatives that may allow voters to have a say in how officials conduct federal elections. However, if the Supreme Court adopts ISLT, the Michigan state legislature could strip these powers away from voters for matters related to federal elections and end the federal election-related voter-initiated statutes already in place. All states except Delaware also require voter approval when the state legislature amends the state constitution; under a maximalist version of ISLT, state legislatures could adopt election rules and laws that violate the state constitution without the need to amend it or seek voter approval.

1 2020 presidential election data sourced from “2020 Presidential Election Results” Interactive Map, New York Times.
2 2022 midterm election data sourced from “Michigan Election Results 2022 Midterms,” The New York Times.
3 State legislation data sourced from “Comprehensive Bill Tracker,” Voting Rights Lab (accessed Nov. 7, 2022).
4 Nick Corasaniti, Karen Yourish, and Keith Collins, “How Trump’s 2020 Election Lies Have Gripped State Legislatures,” The New York Times (May 22, 2022). 
5 “Michigan Supreme Court,” Ballotpedia.
6 Direct democracy data sourced from “Forms of direct democracy in the American states,” Ballotpedia, and “Initiative and Referendum Processes,” National Conference of State Legislatures.