Explore campaign finance figures in Virginia’s House races

Welcome to the Friday, October 22, Brew. 

By: Doug Kronaizl

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Take a deep dive into our coverage of campaign finance in Virginia’s House races
  2. A look back at government responses to the coronavirus pandemic, Oct. 19-23, 2020
  3. #FridayTrivia: By this date in 2011, how many states had enacted congressional redistricting maps?

Take a deep dive into our coverage of campaign finance in Virginia’s House races

Ballotpedia has published a series of articles analyzing candidate fundraising in the 2021 Virginia House of Delegates elections. These articles are part of a larger partnership with Transparency USA to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections.

Collecting campaign finance information for federal elections is a relatively straightforward process: all candidates running for federal office must file with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) which compiles and released data in bulk with a standardized format.

This information is less readily available in state-level elections where each state has its own campaign finance agency with its own standards for reporting, processing, and publishing campaign finance data. Transparency USA, a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3), has streamlined access to this information allowing us to provide a similar level of detailed financial information for state-level races.

As part of a pilot program, we have worked with Transparency USA to collect information in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In 2022, we plan to expand this informative campaign finance coverage to state executive and state legislative races across the country

In Virginia, the only state on the list above holding state legislative elections this year, Democrats have a 55-45 House majority. There are 93 districts with both a Democratic and Republican candidate on the ballot this Nov. 2, a decade high for the chamber. This is also the first election cycle since 1999 with Democrats defending a majority in the chamber.

Ballotpedia has identified 22 battleground districts in the chamber—16 held by Democrats and six by Republicans—shown below:

Here’s a comprehensive list of the items we’ve written on candidate fundraising in these contests:

Plus, we have several more stories planned between now and election day on both Ballotpedia News and here in the Brew.

Keep reading 

A look back at government responses to the coronavirus pandemic, Oct. 19-23, 2020

Although the first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was confirmed on Jan. 21, 2020, it wasn’t until March when the novel coronavirus upended life for most Americans. Throughout the year, states issued stay-at-home orders, closed schools, restricted travel, issued mask mandates, and changed election dates. We periodically look back at what was happening one year ago at this time. 

Here are some of the policy changes that happened one year ago between Oct. 19 and 23. To read more of our past coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, click here

Monday, Oct. 19, 2020

  • Election changes:
    • The North Carolina State Board of Elections directed counties to accept absentee/mail-in ballots received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 12 and postmarked on or before Election Day. The state board of elections also issued new guidance on how voters could resolve problems with their absentee/mail-in ballots.
    • The U.S. Supreme Court declined to block the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s order extending the receipt deadline for mail-in ballots to Nov. 6 for ballots postmarked on or before Election Day.

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020

  • Stay-at-home orders and reopening plans:
    • Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) announced he would extend an executive order allowing local governments to impose mask requirements through the end of the year.
  • Election changes:
    • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit declined to block the extension of North Carolina’s absentee/mail-in ballot return and receipt deadlines. As a result, ballots would be accepted if they were postmarked on or before Election Day and received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 12.

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020 

  • Election changes:
    • The Iowa Supreme Court upheld an Iowa law barring county election officials from sending absentee/mail-in ballots to voters who omitted information on their ballot application forms.
    • The U.S. Supreme Court, on a 5-3 vote, reinstated Alabama’s prohibition against curbside voting.
  • Federal government responses:
    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance changing the definition of close contact for an individual infected with coronavirus. Under previous guidelines, close contact was defined as someone who spent at least 15 consecutive minutes within six feet of a confirmed coronavirus case. The new guidance defined a close contact as someone who was within six feet of a confirmed coronavirus case for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020

  • Stay-at-home orders and reopening plans:
    • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) ordered nursing homes and assisted living facilities to allow children to visit residents indoors. His order also allowed outdoor visits regardless of a facility’s case count, as long as visitors and residents practiced social distancing and wore masks.

Friday, Oct. 23, 2020

  • Election changes:
    • Texas’ Third Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s Oct. 14 ruling that suspended Governor Greg Abbott’s (R) order restricting the number of absentee/mail-in ballot return locations to one per county.
    • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled election officials could not reject a mail-in ballot because the signature on the ballot return documents did not appear to match the voter’s signature on file.

For the most recent coronavirus news, including the latest on vaccines and mask mandates, subscribe to our daily newsletter, Documenting America’s Path to Recovery.

Keep reading 

#FridayTrivia: By this date in 2011, how many states had enacted congressional redistricting maps?

In Wednesday’s Brew, we gave an update on redistricting following the 2020 census. As of Oct. 21, four states—Indiana, Maine, Nebraska, and Oregon—have adopted and enacted new congressional district maps. By this date, Oct. 22, in 2011, following the 2010 census, how many states had enacted congressional district maps?

  1. 3
  2. 48
  3. 13
  4. 24