VERIFY Fact Check: No, the federal government doesn’t run elections – states do.

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October 26, 2022
Election Reformers Network

ERN's research was cited in this factchecking piece which appeared in multiple outlets across the United States. It was produced by VERIFY, a project of TEGNA.

“…The state’s right to run their own elections was granted under the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution. According to the National Constitution Center, the Elections Clause gives each level of state and local government the authority to enact a complete code for elections, including rules for election protocols like voter registration, fraud prevention, vote counting, and determination of election results.

Who oversees the election in the state – known more commonly as the chief election officer – also varies depending on state law. In 38 states, that obligation falls to the secretary of state. In 31 of those states, the secretary of state is elected. In the other seven states, the position is appointed by the governor or state legislature, according to the Election Reformers Network.

In 10 states, the chief election officer is appointed by a board of elections or election commission. In 8 states, a board works with a secretary of state to regulate elections.

In Alaska and Utah, an elected Lieutenant Governor serves as chief election officer.”

(See our map detailing state election control here.)

Photo by Wasted Time R (talk), CC BY 3.0,