Five new measures were certified for the ballot within the past week

Welcome to the Friday, August 19, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. The number of certified statewide ballot measures remains lower than the decade-average
  2. Previewing the Republican primary in New York’s 23rd Congressional District
  3. #FridayTrivia: How many states do not have a lieutenant governor?

The number of certified statewide ballot measures remains lower than the decade-average

As of Aug. 16, 123 statewide ballot measures have been certified for the ballot in 37 states. This is the same number that were certified at this point in the 2020 election cycle, but 31 fewer than the average number certified at this point in other even-numbered years from 2010 to 2020.

Five new measures were certified between Aug. 9 and Aug. 16.

This includes three measures regarding the legalization of recreational marijuana in Arkansas, Missouri, and North Dakota. All three states previously legalized medical marijuana via ballot initiatives. Arkansas and North Dakota rejected recreational legalization in 2012 and 2018, respectively.

These three measures were all citizen-initiated, meaning campaigns gathered signatures to place the measures on the ballot. The measures in Arkansas and Missouri would amend their respective constitution, while the measure in North Dakota would amend state law.

The other two new measures are advisory questions in Washington regarding the taxation of aircraft fuel and transportation network companies

Advisory questions are non-binding, meaning, if passed, the legislature would be advised to enact the given provisions but would not be obligated to do so.

Both measures were automatically placed on the ballot under a law approved by voters in 2007 that requires an advisory vote concerning any laws passed by the legislature that create or increase taxes or fees in Washington.

Campaigns have submitted signatures for 14 measures pending verification across five states: Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

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Previewing the Republican primary in New York’s 23rd Congressional District

While the primary calendar is coming to a close, there are still a handful of battleground races we are following closely. Today, we are looking at one of those races: the Republican primary in New York’s 23rd Congressional District, located outside and to the south of Buffalo.

This is an open seat. Former U.S. Rep. Tom Reed (R) resigned on May 10. U.S. Rep. Chris Jacobs (R) initially filed to run in this primary but withdrew in June amid pressure from party officials over his support for legislation regulating firearm ownership.

That leaves two candidates running for the Republican nod: Nicholas Langworthy, chairman of the state Republican Party, and Carl Paladino, a real estate developer who ran for governor in 2010.

The Buffalo News’ Robert McCarthy said Langworthy and Paladino are “expected to result in a lively race, pitting against each other two well-known conservatives and allies of former President Donald Trump in an overwhelmingly Republican and pro-Trump district.”

Both candidates have touted their ties to former President Donald Trump (R). Langworthy was an executive committee member for Trump’s 2016 presidential transition, and Paladino co-chaired the former president’s 2016 campaign in New York.

Langworthy said he chose to run in response to Paladino’s candidacy, saying, “the three-ring circus that he brings to the table, with the way that he handles things and himself, will basically be held against every candidate in the state.”

Paladino said Langworthy’s candidacy negatively affects the party due to his role as state party chairman, saying, “Nick is causing division and is distracted from his duty of electing a Republican governor, and Republican candidates up and down the ballot.”

Regardless of the outcome of this primary, Langworthy has already qualified for the general election ballot. New York allows fusion voting, where candidates can receive nominations from multiple parties. Langworthy received the Conservative Party nomination. 

Some voters will also elect a new representative to fill the existing vacancy in the district on Aug. 23. Neither Langworthy nor Paladino is running in that special election, which will be held along the existing district lines instead of the newly-drawn lines. 

The winner of that special election will serve until January, after which the winner of the regularly-scheduled general election in the new district will assume office for a two-year term.

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#FridayTrivia: How many states do not have a lieutenant governor?

In the Tuesday Brew, we told you about a ballot initiative in Arizona that, if passed, would create a lieutenant governorship in the state. Arizona is one of a number of states that do not have that office in their government.

How many states do not have a lieutenant governor?

  1. 19
  2. 8
  3. 11
  4. 5

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