The Daily Brew: The progression of state vaccine eligibility

Ballotpedia's Daily Brew

Welcome to the Friday, April 23, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Recapping coronavirus vaccine eligibility over time (March 15-April 19) + vaccination rates by state
  2. Judge dismisses recall charges against Seattle school board members
  3. #Friday trivia: Special House elections

Recapping coronavirus vaccine eligibility over time (March 15-April 19) + vaccination rates by state

On Monday, April 19, everyone 16+ became eligible to receive coronavirus vaccines in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The data in the map above show the loosest restrictions in each state on the date specified and may not reflect statewide accessibility at the time.

Alaska was the first state to offer vaccines to all residents 16+ on March 9. The final six states that opened eligibility on April 19 were:

  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

On April 18, the CDC announced that 50.4% of American adults over the age of 18 had received at least one dose of a vaccine. 

As of April 22, the states with the highest vaccination rates (including those who have received at least one dose) as a percentage of total population—children included—were:

  • New Hampshire (Republican governor): 59%
  • Connecticut (Democratic governor): 51%
  • Massachusetts (Republican governor): 51%
  • Maine (Democratic governor): 51%
  • Vermont (Republican governor): 49%

The states with the lowest rates were:

  • Mississippi (Republican governor): 30%
  • Alabama (Republican governor): 31%
  • Louisiana (Democratic governor): 31%
  • Idaho (Republican governor): 33%
  • Tennessee (Republican governor): 33%

Want daily updates about changes to government policies regarding vaccine eligibility, travel restrictions, and more? Our Documenting America’s Path to Recovery newsletter delivers the latest coronavirus-related updates to our subscribers’ inboxes each weekday. Click here to subscribe.

Read on

Judge dismisses recall charges against Seattle school board members

On April 19, a King County Superior Court judge dismissed recall charges against six of seven Seattle Public Schools school board members. Recall supporters filed the charges last month. The school board voted to appoint District IV representative Erin Dury on March 24—after the charges were filed.

Recall supporters said the board failed to transition to in-person instruction in a timely manner. Seattle Public Schools started out the 2020-2021 school year in remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The board voted on March 24 to move pre-K through fifth-grade students into in-person instruction starting in April 2021. School board members did not publicly respond to the recall effort.

Judge Mafé Rajul said the decision to close schools was a “discretionary act and members of a school board cannot be recalled unless they arbitrarily or unreasonably exercised such discretion.” Rajul said the board members had not acted arbitrarily or unreasonably when they voted to close schools.

Article I, §33 of the Washington Constitution says a recall can only occur if the targeted public official has engaged in the “commission of some act or acts of malfeasance or misfeasance while in office, or who has violated his oath of office.” If the judge had approved the charges, recall supporters would have had to collect signatures equal to 25% of the votes cast in the last election for each official.

Twelve of the 19 school board recall efforts we’re tracking so far this year are related to COVID-19. In 2020, nine of the 26 school board recalls we tracked were related to COVID-19. 

In Washington last year, seven elected officials were the subject of recall efforts. None of those recalls qualified for the ballot.

Read on 

#Friday trivia: Special House elections

This week, we’ve written in the Brew about two upcoming special elections: one for Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District (April 24) and one for Texas’ 6th Congressional District (May 1). These are two of seven special House elections happening—so far—for the 117th Congress.

How many U.S. House special elections took place for the 116th Congress?

  1. 2
  2. 8
  3. 11
  4. 15

Read more