Welcome to the Friday, September 10, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Louisiana Governor delays fall election dates in response to Hurricane Ida
- Virginia and Maryland add new state court judges
- #FridayTrivia: Which of these states voted for the winning candidate in five of the six previous presidential elections?
Louisiana Governor delays fall election dates in response to Hurricane Ida
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) issued an executive order on Thursday delaying the state’s fall elections from Oct. 9 to Nov. 13 in response to damage caused by Hurricane Ida. Nov. 13 was the date originally scheduled for any runoff elections. Under the new schedule, any runoff elections will now be held on Dec. 11.
In a Sept. 7 press release outlining his recommendation for the postponements, Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin (R) said, “A number of issues stemming from Hurricane Ida’s devastation, including questions about nursing home operations, postal service delivery, extensive power outages, polling location damages, and election commissioners and staff members still displaced, would make holding the election on its original dates virtually impossible without impairing the integrity of the election.”
Louisiana’s fall ballot includes three special state legislative elections, municipal elections in New Orleans, four constitutional amendments, and several local ballot initiatives.
This election date change is the second for Louisiana voters in the past two years. In 2020, Louisiana ultimately postponed its presidential preference primary from April 4 to July 11 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Nineteen other states also rescheduled primary or runoff elections during the 2020 election cycle, shown below:
For New Orleans voters, in particular, a postponed election in response to a hurricane is not unheard of. In 2006, Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D) rescheduled the city’s mayoral and city council primaries from Feb. 4 to April 22 due to lingering damage following Hurricanes Katrina (Aug. 2004) and Rita (Sept. 2005). According to congressional reports, these storms displaced roughly half of the city’s voters and destroyed 295 of its 442 polling places.
Here’s a quick list of some other election date changes in response to emergencies over the past two decades:
- 2018: The Northern Marianas Islands postponed its general election from Nov. 6 to Nov. 13 after Super Typhoon Yutu hit the territory on Oct. 24. Yutu was the strongest typhoon ever recorded in the territory.
- 2006: New Orleans’ postponed its mayoral and city council primaries from Feb. 4 to April 22 due to lingering damage following Hurricanes Katrina (Aug. 2004) and Rita (Sept. 2005).
- 2001: New York City postponed its municipal primary from Sept. 11 to Sept. 25 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks that took place on the morning of the election. Polls opened at 6:00 a.m. with any votes cast before the postponement nullified.
The Louisiana majority-vote system differs from those used in the other 49 states. In Louisiana, all candidates running for a local, state, or federal office appear on the same ballot in either October (in odd-numbered years) or November (in even-numbered years), regardless of their partisan affiliations. If a candidate wins 50% of the vote plus one, he or she wins the election outright. If no candidate meets that threshold, the top two finishers, regardless of their partisan affiliations, advance to a second election. In that election, the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes wins.
Virginia, Maryland add new state court judges
State courts in Virginia and Maryland are welcoming new judges to the bench following elections and vacancy appointments. Here’s a look at what’s changing:
Seven new judges joined the Virginia Court of Appeals on Sept. 1. The Virginia General Assembly elected eight judges to the court on Aug. 10 with the eighth, Dominique Callins, scheduled to take office on Nov. 1, following the retirement of Judge William Petty.
This large number of new judges comes as a result of legislation passed by the General Assembly earlier this year that increased the number of judges on the Court of Appeals from 11 to 17.
Virginia and South Carolina are the two states that use legislative elections to select judges. This method is unique among selection types in that neither the governor (via appointment powers) nor the public (via direct elections) has a role in the selection process.
On Sept. 3, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) appointed Steven Gould to succeed Chief Justice Mary Ellen Barbera on the Maryland Court of Appeals, the state’s court of last resort. Barbera, who reached the state court’s mandatory retirement age of 70 years, is set to step down today, Sept. 10.
Gould, a judge of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, is Hogan’s fifth nominee to the seven-member supreme court.
Hogan also announced the appointment of Justice Joseph Getty to the chief justice position. Getty will reach the mandatory retirement age in 2022.
State supreme court vacancies so far:
In 2021, there have been 16 state supreme court vacancies in 14 of the 29 states where replacement justices are appointed instead of elected. All 16 vacancies have been caused by retirements.
Nine vacancies—in Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas—are in states where a Republican governor appoints the replacement. The other seven vacancies—in Colorado, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Oregon—are in states where a Democratic governor appoints the replacement.
#FridayTrivia: Which of these states voted for the winning candidate in five of the six previous presidential elections?
Thirty-five states voted for the winning candidate in three of the six presidential elections from 2000 to 2020. Another 10states voted for the winning candidate in four. Five states were the most accurate, voting for the eventual winner in five of those six elections. One of those five states is listed below.
Which of these states voted for the winning candidate in five of the six previous presidential elections?