Welcome to the Monday, December 20, Brew.
By: Samuel Wonacott
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Your 2021 Cookie Election winner
- And on the Sixth Day … Local coverage
- Federal Register weekly update
And your 2021 Cookie Election winner is….
Our 2020 incumbent Sugar Cookie has been recalled in the Official Holiday Cookie election. The recall election was open to voters from Dec. 13 to Dec. 17.
With 69.5% of voters in favor of the recall and 33.2% of the replacement vote, Chocolate Chip Cookie was elected as the 2021 Official Holiday Cookie, and was immediately sworn into office.
When the results were made public, recall supporters celebrated, calling their victory “as sweet as it can get.” The mood among recall opponents was downcast, however, with one voter saying, “we fought hard and ran a campaign—you might call it a refined campaign—we’re proud of. But in the end, this is how the cookie crumbled.”
Voters had to decide two questions: whether Sugar Cookie should be recalled, and, if so, which cookie should replace it. Five cookies ran in the election—Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Peppermint Bark, Gingerbread, Peanut Butter Blossom, and Snickerdoodle. A majority vote was required for Sugar Cookie to be recalled.
Voters supporting the recall cited the lack of sugar in this year’s batch of sugar cookies. One recall supporter said, “Biting into a giant sugar cookie only to get a mouth full of salt is a disaster I wouldn’t wish on my worst political opponent.” Recall opponents cited the deliciousness of last year’s batch when asking voters to give the sugar cookie another chance. “We promise a full audit of how 2021’s catastrophic sugar-salt mix-up happened and guarantee that changes to the by-laws will prevent this issue in the future.”
See the full election results below!
And on the Eighth Day…Local Coverage
It is the Eighth Day of the 12 Days of Ballotpedia!
Each day, we have showcased the different ways Ballotpedia helps people get the information they need about politics and policy. This includes providing coverage for ballot measures and school board elections. The more people understand the issues and candidates on their ballots, the more informed their choices will be.
But our work is not free to produce and we need your help to raise $100,000 in December so we can give all Americans more of the information they need to prepare for the 2022 election season.
Today, we’re highlighting our local coverage.
Just 20 years ago, local news sources provided coverage of local issues. The internet, however, has changed the game. Today, news about politics and elections comes not only from traditional newspapers, but from educational organizations, watchdog groups, political action committees, and of course, from reliable, nonpartisan information resources such as Ballotpedia.
Even so, the internet is not a cure-all. There is a critical gap in our nation today, and it begins with the lack of accessible information at the local level.
Ballotpedia works hard to offer every voter in the country ballot information on presidential candidates down through state legislative races. But there are 14,000 school districts, 19,000 cities or towns and 3,200 counties nationwide. Together, they add up to about 585,000 elected positions, and our goal is to cover them all within the next five years!
That’s why Ballotpedia is focusing so much on local elections. State, county, and municipal elections. School districts. Ballot initiatives. Primary races. These are the laboratories of democracy, the places where civic engagement is happening today.
Too often, these local races are overlooked, and with your support we are determined to make the information voters need at every level of government accessible!
Federal Register update: 21 significant documents added
From Dec. 13 through Dec. 17, the Federal Register grew by 1,104 pages for a year-to-date total of 71,792 pages.
The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity, accounting for both regulatory and deregulatory actions.
The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.
This week’s Federal Register featured the following 553 documents:
- 422 notices
- 7 presidential documents
- 50 proposed rules
- 74 final rules
Nine proposed rules and 12 final rules were deemed significant under Executive Order 12866—defined as having the potential to have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. The rules included proposed federal management regulations for real estate acquisition from the General Services Administration and a final rule relating to the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), which assists overseas service members and citizens with registering to vote. \
The Biden administration has issued 117 significant proposed rules, 148 significant final rules, and four significant notices as of Dec. 17.
Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. The project is a neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic resource that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.