ICYMI: Top stories of the week


Thirteen gubernatorial battleground elections this year

Of the 36 states that will hold elections for governor in 2022, we’ve identified 13 as general election battlegrounds—elections we expect to have a meaningful effect on the balance of power in governments or to be particularly competitive or compelling.

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Five measures certified for statewide ballots last week

Seventy-seven statewide measures have been certified for the ballot in 31 states so far this year, one measure less than the average number certified at this point in other even-numbered years from 2010 to 2020. 

Here’s an update on the latest ballot measure activity:

Five new legislatively referred measures were certified for the ballot last week:

Signatures have been submitted and are pending verification for one initiative in North Dakota:

Enough signatures were verified for five initiatives to certify them to state legislatures. If the legislature doesn’t enact them, proponents will either need to gather a second round of signatures in Massachusetts and Ohio or, in Alaska, the measure will be certified for the ballot: 

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Twenty-four of the largest 100 cities are holding mayoral elections this year

Twenty-four of the 100 largest U.S. cities by population are holding mayoral elections this year. In 15 of those cities, the incumbent is a Democrat. Five incumbents are Republicans, one is independent, and three are nonpartisan. Democrats currently hold 62 of the mayorships in the country’s largest cities and Republicans have 26.

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Redistricting update: Louisiana enacts state legislative maps

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) vetoed the state legislature’s proposed Congressional district map on March 9. Louisiana’s state legislative maps took effect on March 14 without Edwards’ signature. Here’s what happened. 

Congressional districts

Edwards said part of the reason he vetoed the congressional remap was because it “does not include a second majority African American district, despite Black voters making up almost a third of Louisianans per the latest U.S. Census data. This map is simply not fair to the people of Louisiana and does not meet the standards set forth in the federal Voting Rights Act.”

Edwards is the sixth governor —all in states with divided governments—to veto at least one redistricting map. Legislators overrode these vetoes in three states—Kansas, Kentucky, and Maryland—and courts assumed control of the process in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Legislative districts

The state enacted new state legislative district boundaries on March 14 when Edwards allowed Senate Bill 1—detailing the new state Senate boundaries—and House Bill 14—detailing the new state House boundaries—to take effect without his signature. Louisiana holds regular state executive and legislative elections in odd-numbered years, so these maps take effect for the 2023 elections.

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