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2019 voting underway in Washington

As of October 18, voters in Washington may cast ballots for the November 5, 2019, elections. Since Washington is a vote-by-mail state, ballots were mailed on Oct. 18 and Accessible Voting Units (AVUs) are available at voting centers. Voting will last through 8:00 p.m. local time on November 5.
 
Washington is holding elections for the following, in addition to other elections beyond Ballotpedia’s coverage scope:
 
  • Fifteen statewide ballot measures
  • Two state legislative seats
    • Washington State Senate District 40
    • Washington House of Representatives District 13-Position 2
  • Three seats on the Washington Court of Appeals
  • Four county commissioners in King County
  • Seven seats on the Seattle City Council
  • Four board seats for Seattle Public Schools
  • King County Proposition 1 related to property taxes
 
The fifteen statewide measures on the ballot in 2019 are more than any other single year since at least 1995. Initiative 976 would limit annual registration renewal fees to $30 for vehicles under 10,000 pounds and enact other restrictions on vehicle taxes and fees. Referendum 88 concerns affirmative action. Senate Joint Resolution 8200 would authorize the legislature to pass laws for government continuation during catastrophic incidents. The other 12 measures on the ballot are mandatory, non-binding advisory questions on bills passed in 2019 that increased tax revenue.
 
The city council elections in Seattle are occurring a year after the repeal of the 2018 head tax proposal, which would have required businesses grossing at least $20 million to pay $275 per employee in order to fund affordable housing programs for the homeless. The city council voted to pass the head tax 9-0 in May 2018 but then repealed it by a 7-2 vote in June 2018. Of the three incumbents running for re-election, Kshama Sawant in District 3 voted against repealing the tax, while District 1’s Lisa Herbold and District 5’s Debora Juarez voted to repeal the tax.


One 2020 Congressional retirement announced last week; 1,748 major party candidates filed for 2020 Congressional races

In the past week, one member of Congress, Republican Rep. Francis Rooney (FL-19), announced he would not run for re-election in 2020. To date, four Senators (three Republicans and one Democrat) and 24 Representatives (18 Republicans and six Democrats) are not running for re-election. In 2018, 55 total members of Congress—18 Democrats and 37 Republicans—did not seek re-election.
 
As of October 21, 2019, 271 candidates are filed with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to run for U.S. Senate in 2020. Of those, 241—128 Democrats and 113 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 527 candidates filed with the FEC to run for U.S. Senate, including 137 Democrats and 240 Republicans.
 
1,608 candidates are filed with the FEC to run for U.S. House in 2020. Of those, 1,507—765 Democrats and 742 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 3,244 candidates filed with the FEC, including 1,566 Democrats and 1,155 Republicans.
 
On November 3, 2020, 35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats are up for election. Of those Senate seats, 33 are regularly-scheduled elections, one is a special election in Arizona, and another is an expected special election in Georgia. Twelve are Democratic-held seats and 23 are Republican-held seats. In the House, where all the seats are up for election, Democrats currently hold a 235-seat majority.
 
Additional reading:


RNC outraises DNC by more than two to one, Democratic House and Senate committees outraise Republican counterparts

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has outraised its Democratic counterpart by more than two-to-one for a fifth consecutive month, while the Democratic Senate committee outraised its Republican counterpart for a third consecutive month, according to campaign finance reports filed with the FEC in October.
 
So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC, NRSC, and NRCC have raised 32.7% more than the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC ($276.8 million to $199.0 million). The Republican fundraising advantage is up from 31.5% in September reports.
 
At this point in the 2016 campaign cycle (the most recent presidential election cycle) the RNC had a smaller 53.3% fundraising advantage over the DNC ($80.7 million to $46.7 million).
 
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $6.8 million and spent $5.3 million in the period, while the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) raised $5.1 million and spent $3.6 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the NRSC has raised 7.1% more than the DSCC ($47.7 million to $44.5 million). The NRSC’s 7.1% fundraising advantage is down from 12.3% in September and 16.6% in August. The DSCC’s $6.8 million is its highest single-month fundraising figure this year. The NRSC’s best month for fundraising was April when it raised $7.5 million.
 
On the House side, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $12.9 million and spent $5.5 million. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised $7.8 million and spent $5.7 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the DCCC has raised 38.4% more than the NRCC ($89.1 million to $60.4 million). The DCCC’s 38.4% fundraising advantage is up from 36.6% in September and 34.6% in August. The DCCC’s $12.9 million fundraising figure is its second-best this year, behind $13.5 million in April. April was also the NRCC’s best month for fundraising with $13.0 million raised.
 
At this point in the 2018 campaign cycle, Democrats led in both Senate and House fundraising, although their advantage in the House was smaller than in this cycle. The DSCC had raised 33.7% more than the NRSC ($40.3 million to $34.4 million), while the DCCC had raised 11.4% more than the NRCC ($81.4 million to $72.6 million).
 
Republicans continue to lead in national committee fundraising. The Republican National Committee (RNC) raised $27.3 million and spent $22.0 million, while the Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised $7.0 million and spent $6.6 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC has raised 88.2% more than the DNC ($168.7 million to $65.4 million). The RNC’s 88.2% fundraising advantage is up from 83.0% in September and 80.0% in August. The RNC’s $27.3 million fundraising figure is its largest this year. The DNC’s best month for fundraising was July when it raised $8.5 million.
 


Andrew Yang leads in pageviews for the first time since September, Tulsi Gabbard has largest week-over-week jump

Each week, we report the number of pageviews received by 2020 presidential campaigns on Ballotpedia. These numbers show which candidates are getting our readers’ attention.
 
Andrew Yang’s campaign page on Ballotpedia received 3,685 views for the week of October 13-19. Yang’s pageview figure represents 14.6% of the pageviews for all Democratic candidates during the week. Elizabeth Warren had 13.5% of the pageviews for the week, followed by Joe Biden with 12.8%. This is Yang’s first time leading in pageviews since the week of September 15-21; Warren led in pageviews for the three weeks after that.
 
Every Democratic candidate received more pageviews last week than the week before. The three greatest week-over-week increases were 125% for Tulsi Gabbard, 84.5% for Cory Booker, and 83.8% for Pete Buttigieg.
 
Andrew Yang remains the leader in overall pageviews this year with 130,933. He is followed by Buttigieg with 124,396 and by Biden with 114,636.


Fed proposes to unilaterally broaden regulatory authority

The Checks and Balances Letter delivers news and information from Ballotpedia’s Administrative State Project, including pivotal actions at the federal and state levels related to the separation of powers, due process and the rule of law.

This edition:

In this edition, we review President Donald Trump’s (R) nominee to serve as the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA); advocacy efforts by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank to address climate change; a Trump administration challenge to the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; a proposed rule from the United States Department of Agriculture to limit states’ expansion of food stamp eligibility; and a series of executive orders from President Trump targeting administrative practices.

At the state level, we review a fight between the Kansas governor and attorney general over the proper means of instituting the state’s strict new online sales tax; a multi-state challenge to new Endangered Species Act rules; and the violation of a court order by a Texas agency.

As always, we wrap up with our Regulatory Tally, which features information about the 159 proposed rules and 276 final rules added to the Federal Register in September and OIRA’s regulatory review activity.

The Checks and Balances Letter

Key readings.jpg

In Washington

Fed proposes to unilaterally broaden regulatory authority

What’s the story? The San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank is preparing to host a November 8th conference on climate change—a subject upon which several of the central banks are increasingly active.
The bank has proposed including what it called green finance in the credits awarded to banks under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The act, passed in 1977, monitors bank lending in low-to-moderate income communities. The proposed climate adaptation loans would be targeted for low-to-moderate income communities to respond to what it calls the “shocks and stresses of climate change.”
The proposal would allow the Fed to reinterpret the scope of its authority under the CRA.
The Federal Reserve Banks of Richmond and Dallas have also been active on climate-related issues. The Richmond Fed issued a report in 2018 claiming that rising summer temperatures could reduce economic growth. The Dallas Fed issued a report in July 2019 arguing that increased severe weather activity could have negative economic consequences.
Want to go deeper?

Trump administration asks SCOTUS to rule on CFPB constitutionality

What’s the story? The Trump administration filed a brief with the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) on September 17 in Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) arguing that the CFPB is unconstitutional and asking the court to weigh in.
The Trump administration asserts in its brief that the CFPB structure violates the separation of powers because it prevents the president from unilaterally firing the agency’s single director.
Selia Law, a national law firm, challenged the constitutionality of the bureau’s structure because its single director is only removable for cause. According to the firm, “the importance of the [separation of powers] question presented [by this case] cannot be overstated.”
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on May 6 upheld the bureau’s structure as constitutional, concluding that the for-cause removal protections are similar to those of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (which were upheld by the United States Supreme Court in the 1935 case Humphrey’s Executor v. United States).
Want to go deeper?

USDA challenges states’ expansion of food stamp eligibility

What’s the story? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) received more than 14,700 public comments by the September 23 deadline on a proposed rule to limit categorical eligibility—a policy that allows recipients of other forms of public assistance to qualify automatically for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.
The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 requires that households receiving means-tested benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program be eligible to also receive federal SNAP benefits.
The USDA claims that some states have broadened the parameters of categorical eligibility to include programs that either do not require means-testing or have requirements that exceed SNAP eligibility. The agency estimates that 3.1 million SNAP recipients in 2020—roughly 8 percent of all SNAP recipients— will qualify through expanded categorical eligibility.
The proposed rule would redefine the type of benefits that confer categorical eligibility; and require state agencies to report all TANF benefits that qualify for categorical eligibility to the USDA.
Opponents argue that the Food and Nutrition Act grants states the authority to confer categorical eligibility, and any change to categorical eligibility would require action by Congress. The USDA asserts that the proposed rule does not change the law, but rather updates the regulations governing categorical eligibility requirements.
Want to go deeper?

Trump nominates new OIRA administrator

What’s the story? President Donald Trump (R) on October 1 announced his nomination Paul Ray to serve as the next administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Ray has been the acting administrator of the office since the departure in March of former OIRA Administrator Neomi Rao (who replaced Brett Kavanaugh on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit).
As the head of OIRA, Ray would oversee the Trump administration’s regulatory review process as well as its information collection requests, statistical practices, and privacy policies. OIRA’s regulatory review responsibilities include reviewing and coordinating significant regulatory actions by federal agencies.
“OIRA’s cost-benefit review ensures that agencies disclose their rules’ anticipated impacts, which is critical for public transparency and accountability,” said Ray at a September 13 administrative law conference at George Mason University’s Antonin Antonin Scalia Law School.
Ray joined OIRA as associate administrator in March 2018. He previously served as counselor to former Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and as an associate with the law firm Sidley Austin LLP. Ray formerly clerked for Justice Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.
Want to go deeper?

Trump issues executive orders to prohibit binding guidance, control agency spending

What’s the story? President Donald Trump (R) issued three executive orders on October 9 and 10 that aim to limit the use of guidance documents by federal administrative agencies, require agencies to provide fair notice of regulations, and control agency spending.
The first executive order prohibits agencies from issuing binding regulations through guidance documents. The order clarifies that agencies can only issue binding regulations through the rulemaking process or case-by-case adjudication.
The second executive order aims to curb what the order refers to as administrative abuses by prohibiting agencies from enforcing rules without first providing advance notice to the public.
The final executive order seeks to restore the principle of administrative pay-as-you-go (PAYGO)—a requirement that agencies include one or more proposals to reduce mandatory spending alongside a proposal to increase discretionary spending—by instructing agencies to submit administrative PAYGO proposals to the director of the Office of Management and Budget for review.
Want to go deeper?

In the States

Kansas officials quarrel over online sales tax

What’s the story? Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R) on September 30 issued a legal opinion calling on Governor Laura Kelly (D) to rescind the state’s new policy for collecting online sales tax. The policy, issued by the Department of Revenue, is considered one of the strictest in the nation because it does not include exemptions for small businesses.
The policy was made to comply with the United States Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc., in which the court held that states can collect online sales tax even if the vendor does not have a physical presence in the state.
Schmidt argues that the Kelly administration exceeded its authority by unilaterally imposing the policy change through a notice. Instead, the agency should have instituted the policy through the rulemaking process, which requires public hearings and review by officials outside the department, Schmidt says.
“This is about protecting our friends and neighbors doing business on Main Street and throughout our local communities across Kansas,” said Kelly in response to Schmidt’s opinion. “They are working hard, playing by the rules and deserve to be on a level playing field with out-of-state retailers.”
Want to go deeper?

Multi-state coalition challenges new Endangered Species Act rules

What’s the story? A coalition of 17 states filed suit against the Trump administration on September 25 claiming that three new rules for enforcing the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are “arbitrary-and-capricious.”
Trump administration officials say that the new rules reduce the regulatory burden of the ESA and increase agency transparency. Opponents argue that the changes limit the authority of agencies to respond to perceived problems.
The Administrative Procedure Act instructs courts reviewing agency actions to invalidate any that they find to be “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.”
The coalition filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The states joined in the lawsuit are California, Massachusetts, Maryland, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
Want to go deeper?

Texas officials admit to violating court order

What’s the story? Bryan Collier, executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), admitted in federal court on September 10 that the agency violated a settlement agreement requiring the placement of some inmates in air conditioned housing.
A group of inmates in the William Pack prison sued the department in 2014 for keeping them in housing where temperatures routinely exceeded 100 degrees. Seventy-five Texas prisons do not have air conditioning in inmate housing.
The state agreed last year to install air conditioning in the Pack prison and to keep the inmates involved in the lawsuit in air conditioned housing even if transferred to other facilities.
But inmates subject to the settlement filed a lawsuit on August 30 asserting that the state had repeatedly violated the court order and attempted to conceal its wrongful actions.
Collier testified that the agency had failed to adhere to the order and that officials were working to achieve compliance.
Ellison gave TDCJ officials 21 days to file a written briefing before determining sanctions against department officials.
Want to go deeper?

Artificial intelligence and agency transparency

A new paper by Michèle Finck, “Automated Decision-Making and Administrative Law,” examines the growing role of artificial intelligence (AI) in administrative law and its potentially negative consequences for transparency. Finck notes that AI tools, such as algorithms and predictive analytics, have been harnessed by administrative agencies to improve operations. However, she argues that the potential for AI to replace human decision making poses challenges for agency transparency. Finck concludes that AI systems can conceal both intentional and unintentional biases, make it difficult for citizens to contest outcomes, and pose security concerns for agencies.

The following excerpt from Finck’s paper highlights potential AI consequences for agency transparency:

“The resulting lack of transparency may prevent citizens from publicly challenging alleged rule violations in the courts, which, in effect, prevents aggrieved citizens from obtaining a legal remedy. Such circumstances are, of course, problematic from the perspective of the citizen but also from the perspective of the overall system of public accountability as those breaching legal principles are no longer held responsible, and the role of judicial review, which also serves as a dynamic feedback loop for lawmakers, is furthermore undermined.
“The transparency gap as a matter of fact risks breaching established administrative law principles in many jurisdictions. In the United States, concerns have been voiced regarding the compatibility of computational learning with constitutional due process guarantees. Here, administrative agencies are required to provide adequate procedural safeguards when taking certain decisions, including securing respect for the right to be heard.22 ADM, however, raises the question of how related procedural guarantees, such as an aggrieved party’s right to cross-examination, could be guaranteed.”
Click here to read the full paper.

Regulatory Tally

Federal Register

  • The Federal Register in September reached 51,936 pages. The number of pages at the end of each September during the Obama administration (2009-2016) averaged 59,770 pages.
  • The September Federal Register included 159 proposed rules and 276 final rules. These included new hour regulations for truck drivers, a defense procurement agreement with Australia, and revised safety standards for infant bath seats, among others.
Want to go deeper?

Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)

OIRA’s September regulatory review activity included:
  • Review of 42 significant regulatory actions. Between 2009-2016, the Obama administration reviewed an average of 45 significant regulatory actions each September.
  • Approved three proposed rules without changes.
  • Recommended changes to 35 proposed rules.
  • Agencies improperly submitted two rules.
  • Agencies withdrew two rules from the review process.
  • As of October 1, 2019, the OIRA website listed 129 regulatory actions under review.
Want to go deeper?


Early voting underway in several states ahead of November 5 election

 The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Tuesday, October 22, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Early voting underway in several states ahead of November 5 election
  2. Rep. Rooney (R-Fla.) is 24th U.S. House member to announce he’s not seeking re-election in 2020
  3. 72% of Brew readers have served on a jury

Early voting underway in several states ahead of November 5 election

Election Day in all states holding statewide contests this year (except Louisiana) is two weeks away, on November 5. Early voting periods in those states allow voters to cast in-person or absentee ballots without providing an excuse for being unable to vote on Election Day.

Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia permit no-excuse early voting. Another three states—Colorado, Oregon, and Washington—use all-mail voting systems, meaning ballots are sent to voters through the mail and most are returned by mail.

The following states permit early in-person voting and are holding statewide elections in November 2019.  

  • Kansas: Early voting begins between Oct. 16 and Oct. 29, varying by county. Early voting ends Nov. 4 at 12 p.m.
  • Maine: Voters may vote absentee 30 days before the election at their municipal clerk’s office until Oct. 31.
  • New Jersey: Voters may apply in person for a mail-in ballot at their county clerk’s office—known as in-person absentee voting—and submit the ballot in person. The deadline to apply in person is Nov. 4 at 3 p.m., and the deadline to return the ballot is Nov. 5 at 8 p.m.
  • Texas: Early voting began Oct. 21 and ends Nov. 1.
  • Colorado and Washington use all-mail voting. In both states, voters may drop off completed ballots or vote in person ahead of Election Day. Ballots were mailed out by Oct. 18.
  • Louisiana holds statewide general elections November 16. Early voting for those races begins Nov. 2 and ends Nov. 9. 

Learn more

Rep. Rooney (R-Fla.) is 24th U.S. House member to announce he’s not seeking re-election in 2020 

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) announced October 19 that he would not seek re-election to the U.S. House in 2020. He was first elected to Congress after winning an open-seat race to replace Rep. Curt Clawson (R) in 2016. Rooney was re-elected in 2018 with 62.3% of the vote. 

In announcing his decision, Rooney said, “I’ve done what I came to do. And I want to be a model for term limits. […] I thought the idea was you came and did your public service and left, you accomplish what you want to accomplish and you left. And that’s what I want to be an example to do. And I’m also really tired of the intense partisanship that seems to stop us from solving the big questions that America needs solved.” 

Twenty-four U.S. House members—18 Republicans and six Democrats—have announced they will not seek re-election in 2020. Six of them—four Republicans and two Democrats—are running for another office.

The chart below shows the number of U.S. House members from each party who did not seek re-election between 2012 and 2018.

Not seeing reelection

Democrats hold a 234-197 majority in the U.S. House with three vacancies and one independent member. In November 2020, all 435 seats will be up for election. 

Learn more→

72% of Brew readers have served on a jury

I’ve really enjoyed the responses to our What’s the Tea? questions over the last few weeks. We’ve been asking Brew readers about their participation in politics and government. In the weeks ahead, we’ll ask whether you’ve ever signed a candidate or initiative petition or attended government meetings at the county, state, or federal level. 

Last week’s question asked whether you have ever served on a jury, and 72% of respondents said they had. It was one of our most-replied to questions since we started this feature, so thanks to everyone for participating! 

 

 



Warren issues $800 billion public education plan

 

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

October 22, 2019: Elizabeth Warren proposed an $800 billion public education plan Monday. Julián Castro said Monday he will end his campaign for president if he does not raise $800,000 before the end of the month. blank    blankblank   


 

Which incumbent president seeking re-election won the smallest share of the Electoral College vote?

Notable Quote of the Day

“If the House votes to impeach President Donald Trump, thereby catalyzing a trial in the Senate, it’ll mark a profound political and historical moment. But it’ll also usher in an extraordinary logistical challenge for the six sitting Democratic Senators duking it out for their party’s presidential nomination in 2020: they may be required in Washington during the peak of the early primary campaign. …

The six Senators’ mandatory Washington interlude may also spark an ad war—on both TV and the Internet—as a proxy for in-person campaign events in Iowa, New Hampshire and beyond. ‘We did not build this into our media budget,’ one campaign aide to a Senator running for President told TIME, referencing an impeachment trial. ‘We had counted on some earned media in-state. Now, we probably won’t even be in the state to earn it.’”

– Philip Elliott, TIME Washington correspondent

Democrats

  • Michael Bennet discussed his plan for Medicare X with The Gazette editorial board Monday.

  • Joe Biden will attend a fundraiser Tuesday in Exeter, Pennsylvania.

  • Cory Booker campaigned in New Hampshire Sunday and Monday.

  • Pete Buttigieg is airing a new ad in Iowa’s Quad Cities market focused on the Rust Belt. Buttigieg will also campaign in Nevada Tuesday and Wednesday.

  • Julián Castro said Monday he will end his campaign for president if he does not raise $800,000 in ten days by Oct. 31. 

  • Tulsi Gabbard tweeted a live stream of her town hall Monday in Grinnell, Iowa.

  • Kamala Harris issued her Native American platform Monday, which includes taking 500,000 acres of federal land into trust for federally recognized tribes.

  • Amy Klobuchar finished her “All of America” bus tour in Iowa Monday. Her campaign also announced it had raised $2 million in the six days since the fourth Democratic primary debate.

  • Beto O’Rourke proposed a constitutional amendment that would prohibit a president from pardoning anyone related to an investigation involving him or his family members. O’Rourke also called for non-financial assistance from a foreign power to be considered an emolument.

  • Bernie Sanders released a new ad in Iowa focused on medical debt Monday.

  • Elizabeth Warren issued her public education plan Monday, proposing $800 billion over 10 years be spent on Title I funding for schools with low-income students, student disability grants, school infrastructure, and other programs.

  • Andrew Yang will campaign across New Hampshire for three days beginning Tuesday, including a speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. He also participated in the Washington Post Live interview series Monday, where he ruled out a third-party or independent presidential run if he did not win the Democratic nomination.

Republicans

  • Mark Sanford campaigned in Utah Monday as part of his “Kids, We’re Bankrupt and We Didn’t Even Know It” Tour. He continues the tour in Las Vegas Tuesday.

  • Donald Trump will be in Pittsburgh at a natural gas industry conference on Wednesday.

  • In a CNN interview Monday, Joe Walsh discussed the impeachment inquiry and Trump’s withdrawn proposal to hold the G7 summit at his Doral resort.

Flashback: October 22, 2015

Hillary Clinton gave 11 hours of testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

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Early voting dates and deadlines in states holding November 2019 elections

Seven states with early in-person voting are holding at least one statewide election during the remainder of 2019. The following list provides start and end dates for early voting by state.
 
Kansas
Election: Nov. 5
Start date: Oct. 16-Oct. 29 (varies by county)
End date: Nov. 4, 12pm
 
Louisiana
Election: Nov. 16
Start date: Nov. 2
End date: Nov. 9
 
Maine
Election: Nov. 5
Start date: The Maine Secretary of State’s office says, “You may vote absentee at the clerk’s office as soon as absentee ballots are available. Absentee ballots are available at least 30 days before the election at the municipal clerk’s office. You don’t need to complete an application if you vote in person at the clerk’s office.”
End date: Oct. 31 (unless special circumstances exist)
 
New Jersey
Election: Nov. 5
End date: Nov. 4-5. New Jersey uses in-person absentee voting, where voters may apply in person for a mail-in ballot and submit the ballot in person. The deadline to apply in person is Nov. 4 at 3 pm, and the deadline to return the ballot is Nov. 5 at 8 pm.
 
Texas
Election: Nov. 5
Start date: Oct. 21
End date: Nov. 1
 
The following states use vote-by-mail systems, meaning ballots are sent to voters through the mail and most are returned by mail. In each state, voters may still vote in person ahead of Election Day.
 
Colorado
Election: Nov. 5
Start date: Oct. 28
End date: Nov. 5
 
Coloradans may cast ballots and register to vote in person at voter service and polling centers (VSPCs). Each county will have at least one VSPC open from Oct. 28 to Nov. 5 (except Sunday, Nov. 3).
 
The deadline for county clerks to mail ballots to eligible voters for the Nov. 5 elections in Colorado was Oct. 18.
 
Washington
Election: Nov. 5
Start date: Oct. 18
End date: Nov. 5
 
Ballots were mailed and Accessible Voting Units (AVUs) became available at voting centers on Oct. 18.
 
Click the links below to learn more:
 


General election for Louisiana House of Representatives will determine whether Republicans secure veto-proof majorities in House and Senate

Heading into the Nov. 16 general election, Republicans are seven seats short of a 70-seat supermajority in the Louisiana House of Representatives.
 
Louisiana has a two-round electoral system, sometimes referred to as a jungle primary or majority electoral system. All candidates, regardless of party affiliation, face off in the primary election. If a candidate receives at least 50 percent of the vote in the primary election, he or she wins outright. If no candidate reaches that threshold, a general election is held between the top two vote-getters.
 
After the Oct. 12 primary election, 63 House seats are guaranteed to Republicans, 33 to Democrats, and one to an independent. Party control of eight House seats will be decided in the general election. Republicans need to win all seven of these general elections where they are on the ballot in order to win a veto-proof House majority. Democrats can prevent a Republican supermajority in the House by winning at least one of the races in which they are facing a Republican opponent.
 
Republicans secured a supermajority in the state Senate in the primary. With supermajorities in the House and Senate, Republicans would have the ability to both override a gubernatorial veto and vote to place a legislatively referred constitutional amendment on the ballot.
 
These are also the last elections before the state government redraws congressional and state legislative districts following the 2020 census. In Louisiana, both congressional and state legislative districts are drawn by the state legislature.
 
The Louisiana gubernatorial general election will also be held on Nov. 16. Incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) and businessman Eddie Rispone (R) advanced from the primary. If Edwards wins, the state will remain under divided government. If Rispone wins, Republicans will have a state government trifecta.
 


Early voting in Texas runs from Oct. 21 through Nov. 1

Early voting in Texas runs from Oct. 21 through Nov. 1. All registered voters may vote at any early voting location in the county in which they are registered.
 
Texas is holding elections for the following offices, in addition to other elections beyond Ballotpedia’s coverage scope. Of the following races, Ballotpedia has designated the Houston mayoral election and Houston Independent School District elections as battleground races.
 
State legislative elections (special)
  • Texas House of Representatives District 28
  • Texas House of Representatives District 100
  • Texas House of Representatives District 148
 
Local elections within Ballotpedia’s coverage scope
  • Counties
    • Bexar County
    • Harris County
  • Cities
    • El Paso (special)
    • Houston (including mayor)
  • School boards
    • Aldine Independent School District
    • Alief Independent School District
    • Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District
    • Houston Independent School District
    • Klein Independent School District
    • Lake Worth Independent School District
    • Richardson Independent School District
    • Spring Independent School District
 
Incumbent Sylvester Turner and 11 challengers will compete in the general election for mayor of Houston, Texas. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two general election candidates will participate in a runoff election on December 14, 2019.
 
Four out of nine seats on the Houston Independent School District (HISD) school board are up for general election. The HISD school board faces the possibility of being replaced by a state-appointed board of managers. If appointed, the board of managers would assume the responsibilities of the elected board, while elected trustees would not have any power until they were reinstated.
 
Texas voters will also decide 10 constitutional amendments put on the ballot by the state legislature. Measures concern taxes, bonds, budgets, law enforcement animals, and municipal governance. Proposition 4 would prohibit the state from levying an income tax on individuals. Ballots will also feature a variety of local measures. Local measures in Irving, El Paso, Harris County, Arlington and Tarrant County, and Austin and Travis County fall within Ballotpedia’s coverage scope for 2019.
 


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