The Ballotpedia Podcast…brought to you by GivingTuesday

Welcome to the Tuesday, November 30, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. The Ballotpedia Podcast…brought to you by GivingTuesday
  2. One week until the recall election for Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant
  3. Elections tonight in Georgia and Massachusetts

The Ballotpedia Podcast…brought to you by GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday 2021 is here! During the next 24 hours, people around the world are coming together to celebrate causes near and dear to their hearts and make a difference. We hope you will choose Ballotpedia as your cause and help us launch an exciting new dimension to our platform.

In an effort to expand into the audience of politically involved individuals who prefer to get their information by listening, we are excited to announce the upcoming launch of a Ballotpedia podcast.

With your support, this podcast will enable us to share our content in a new way and engage with new and existing audiences on a deeper level. It will bring our content to life, including in-depth conversations on the stories we’re watching; interviews with noted scholars, political experts, and special guests; and, deep dives into the context surrounding current events with the same neutrality Ballotpedia is known for.

Today only, your gift can go TWICE as far, thanks to a generous donor who will match the first $10,000 raised!

Please click the link below and help us launch this groundbreaking new podcast today.

Donate today! 

One week until the recall election for Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant

On Dec. 7, 2021, voters in Seattle, Wash., will decide whether to recall District 3 City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant.

Sawant is a member of the Socialist Alternative Party and, upon her election in 2013, was the first socialist elected to Seattle city government in 97 years.

Petitioners allege three grounds for recalling Sawant: misusing city funds for electioneering purposes, disregarding regulations related to the coronavirus pandemic, and misusing her official positions. Sawant said the recall effort was politically motivated and asked a state superior court to dismiss the petition. The Washington Supreme Court ultimately ruled the recall could proceed.

Ballotpedia has tracked 324 recall efforts against 491 officials in 2021. City council recalls made up around 25% of that total with 80 efforts targeting 140 city council members. Thus far, 27 city council members’ recalls made it to the ballot: 14 were removed from office and 13 kept their seats. Looking just at the 100 largest cities, there have been 12 recall efforts against city council members in 2021. In addition to Sawant’s, two recalls in Anchorage, Alaska, made it onto the ballot, both of which were defeated.

Both opponents and supporters of the recall collected signatures to place the election on the ballot. 

Sawant’s supporters, who oppose the recall, gathered signatures in an effort to place the election on the Nov. 2 general election ballot, which typically sees higher turnout. Sawant said recall organizers did not want the recall to be held on Nov. 2 “because they don’t want ordinary working people to vote.” 

The recall’s official organizers, who support the effort, said they welcomed Sawant’s assistance but added they were “concerned that third parties who collect signatures are confusing the voters.” King County election officials said it was legal for Sawant’s supporters to gather signatures, but that those signatures needed to be given to the official recall organizers for submission. The official organizers submitted signatures on Sept. 8.

As of Nov. 17, the Kshama Solidarity Campaign, which opposes the recall, had raised $844,362. The two groups registered as supporting the recall had raised $825,375.

Since Ballotpedia began tracking recalls in 2008, we have not tracked a successful recall of a city council member in Washington.

Keep reading 

Elections tonight in Georgia and Massachusetts

Elections take place all year long! Ballotpedia is covering a series of municipal runoff elections in Atlanta, Ga., and a special state legislative election in Massachusetts tonight. Here’s a closer look:

Atlanta, Ga. is holding 10 runoff elections following the city’s Nov. 2 general election. In Atlanta, if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the general election, the top-two finishers advance to a runoff. Voters will decide two school board races, seven city council races, and the mayorship. In the mayoral race, City Councilman Andre Dickens and City Council President Felicia Moore, both Democrats, are seeking the city’s top spot. Last May, incumbent Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) announced she would not seek re-election, making her the first Atlanta mayor since World War II to choose not to seek a second term. 

In Massachusetts’ House 4th Essex District, voters will cast ballots in a special state legislative election to select the replacement for Rep. Bradford Hill (R), who resigned earlier this year after being appointed to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Jamie Zahlaway Belsito (D) and Robert Snow (R) won their respective party primaries on Nov. 2 in order to appear on the Nov. 30 ballot.

As a reminder, you can view all of the upcoming elections covered by Ballotpedia using our elections calendar.

Keep reading