69 High 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

Pennsylvania has an ISLT score of 69, which means it has a high risk of a Republican-led state legislature passing legislation to swing the state’s 2024 electoral votes toward the Republican presidential nominee. 

Pennsylvania’s margin of victory in the last presidential contest was 1.2%, making it the 4th 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. 

Republicans control the Pennsylvania Senate and Democrats control the Pennsylvania House. 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 49.8% of the Pennsylvania House and 56.0% of the Pennsylvania Senate, which indicates that Republicans do not have a two-chamber 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 1.0% more state house seats and 7.2% more senate seats than expected. This skew toward the GOP indicates that the state legislature, which could be empowered to enact radical federal election law changes under ISLT, may well be insulated from being held accountable by voters.

Pennsylvania’s legislature introduced at least 36 bills during 2021 and 2022 that would suppress votes or interfere with election administration. The vast majority of Republicans in the last Pennsylvania state legislature — 78% — took concrete steps to overturn or discredit the 2020 presidential election results.4

Additional Considerations

2020 Swing State

Pennsylvania 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.


 In 2021 and 2022, Governor Wolf (D) vetoed a total of 1 bill (H1300) that would have suppressed votes or interfered with election administration. Voters in Pennsylvania recently elected Governor Shapiro (D). But under a maximalist version of ISLT, Governor Shapiro 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

Currently, Pennsylvania’s highest court has liberal majority.5 Under a maximalist version of ISLT, the state courts would be unable to review or strike down any federal election-related changes that the state legislature enacts. 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.

1 2020 presidential election data sourced from “2020 Presidential Election Results” Interactive Map, New York Times.
2 2022 midterm election data sourced from “Pennsylvania 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 “Pennsylvania Supreme Court,” Ballotpedia.