As part of Ballotpedia’s coverage on the coronavirus pandemic, we are compiling a daily summary of major changes in the world of politics, government, and elections happening each day. Here is the summary of changes for March 25, 2020.
Fourteen states and one territory changed state-level primary or general election dates. Six states changed municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
Five states adjusted their candidate filing procedures.
Ten states implemented changes to their voting procedures.
Political parties in nine states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
The Democratic Party of Alaska canceled in-person voting in its presidential preference primary, originally scheduled for April 4, opting instead to conduct all voting by mail. The vote-by-mail deadline was extended to April 10.
Delaware postponed its presidential preference primary election, originally scheduled for April 28, to June 2. Delaware also postponed several local-level elections and expanded its definition of sick or physically disabled for the purposes of determining absentee voter eligibility.
Iowa’s secretary of state announced absentee voting in the June 2 primary election would open on April 23, 40 days before the primary election, an extension over the period required by state statutes. The secretary of state also announced the postponement of three special municipal elections to July 7.
Michigan’s secretary of state announced that the state would mail absentee ballot applications to all voters in municipal elections scheduled for May 5.
Nevada’s secretary of state announced plans to conduct all voting in the June 9 primary election by mail.
Ballotpedia tracked ten statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
Two states changed ballot measure procedures.
Michigan – Fair Tax Michigan announced it was suspending efforts to place an initiative to establish graduated income tax rates on the ballot for November 3, 2020. Instead, Fair Tax Michigan will aim to place the initiative on the ballot for 2022.
To date, 242 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
Twenty-eight significant bills have been enacted into law, roughly 12 percent of the total number that have been introduced. This total omits ceremonial resolutions and legislation providing for procedural changes to legislative business. For a complete list of enacted legislation, see here.
Thirty-three states suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
Sixteen states suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.
One state had no change to their court schedule.
The Alaska Supreme Court suspended all trial court proceedings and civil marriage ceremonies through May 1, except priority hearings. The court further ordered that all civil and criminal proceedings be held via telephone or video conference.
The California Supreme Court suspended all jury trials for the next 60 days. The court stated that trials could be conducted earlier if good cause is shown or through video or teleconference.
The Florida Supreme Court extended their March 13 order suspending all face-to-face legal proceedings in the state through April 17.
The Idaho Supreme Court suspended civil trials until further notice and criminal trials through April 30.
46 of 50 states ordered a statewide school closure. The remaining states are leaving school closures up to local officials. Those 46 states served 48.7 million students during the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 96.2% of the 50.6 million public school students in the United States.
Maryland – State Superintendent Karen Salmon announced the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 27, was extended through April 24.
Montana – Gov. Steve Bullock (D) announced the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 27, was extended through April 10.