America’s Next Top Pet Tournament
We’re down to the top 4 in our second annual presidential pet bracket competition! Take a look at the pet profiles here, and be sure to vote your favorite on to the next round to see who will be our 2022 chamPAWion.
The busiest month for candidate filings ends with S.C. and S.D.
Voters in South Carolina and South Dakota came one step closer to knowing who is on their ballots this week. The filing deadlines for major party candidates in both states passed on March 29 (South Dakota) and March 30 (South Carolina). These cap off the busiest month for filing deadlines in the 2022 election cycle. Nineteen states’ candidate filing deadlines came and went in March.
The country’s last statewide mask mandate has ended
On Saturday, March 26, the last statewide mask requirement in the country came to an end when Hawaii lifted its masking rules. This marks the first time since April 8, 2020 – a period of 720 days – in which no state has had a mask mandate in place.
Redistricting news from Maryland to Wyoming and more
Redistricting has been completed for 86.7% of U.S. House seats, 79.3% of state House seats, and 84.9% of state Senate seats.
Here’s an update on news from the past week.
Maryland Circuit Court Senior Justice Lynne Battaglia ruled on March 25 that the state’s new congressional district boundaries were unconstitutional due to partisan gerrymandering. Battaglia gave the Maryland General Assembly until March 30 to adopt a new plan.
Michigan’s new congressional and legislative district boundaries became law on March 26 – 60 days after the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) published its report on redistricting plans with the secretary of state.
The MICRC approved the state’s congressional map on Dec. 28, 2021, by a vote of 8-5. Two Democrats, two Republicans, and four nonpartisan members backed the plan. The five remaining members voted for other plans.
The Ohio Redistricting Commission approved new state legislative district boundaries 4-3 on March 28, the deadline the Ohio Supreme Court set for the state to adopt new maps. Gov. Mike DeWine (R), Secretary of State Frank La Rose (R), state Senate President Matt Huffman (R), and state House Speaker Bob Cupp (R) voted to approve the new boundaries, while House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D), State Sen. Vernon Sykes (D), and state Auditor Keith Faber (R) voted against.
On March 23, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision that enacted that state’s new legislative district boundaries. The court sent the case back to the Wisconsin Supreme Court for further proceedings, writing, “Summarily correcting the error gives the court sufficient time to adopt maps consistent with the timetable for Wisconsin’s August 9th primary election.”
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R) allowed the state’s legislative district boundaries to become law on March 25 without signing the bill (HEA 62/HB 100) lawmakers approved on March 11. The bill adds one Senate and two House districts to the legislature, bringing the totals to 31 senators and 62 representatives. Wyoming was apportioned one at-large district in the U.S. House of Representatives, meaning that no congressional redistricting is required.
Statewide ballot measure certifications lag behind recent even-numbered years
Seventy-eight statewide measures have been certified for the ballot in 31 states so far this year, five 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:
- One new measure was certified for the ballot last week:
- One measure was removed from the ballot due to a court ruling:
- Enough signatures were verified for five initiatives in Alaska, Massachusetts, and Ohio to certify them to the legislature:
- Alaska State Recognition of American Indian Tribes Initiative (2022)
- Massachusetts App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative (2022)
- Massachusetts Changes to Alcohol Retail Licensing Initiative (2022)
- Massachusetts Medical Loss Ratios for Dental Insurance Plans Initiative (2022)
- Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative (2022)