ICYMI: Top stories of the week


Ballotpedia report provides first-ever comprehensive breakdown of U.S. school board members

A new Ballotpedia report provides objective, comprehensive data about all public school districts in the country. Here’s what we found:

  • There are 13,194 public school districts in the country
  • Around 82,423 elected school board members represent those districts. 
  • The average number of school board members per district ranges from 3.45 in West Virginia to 9.97 in Connecticut. Hawaii, with one overarching school district across seven islands, has nine board members.
  • Nationwide, 52.15% of school board members are male, while 43.29% are female.

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A look at the Aug. 23 primaries and runoffs

Voters in three states—Florida, New York, and Oklahoma—cast ballots on Aug. 23. Here are some highlights:

  • Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial primary: U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist defeated Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and two others with 60% of the vote. Cristi served as Florida’s governor from 2007 to 2011 as a Republican before switching parties. He will face Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in the general election
  • New York’s 19th Congressional District special general election: Pat Ryan (D) defeated Marcus Molinaro (R) to serve in Congress until January, filling a vacancy left by Antonio Delgado’s (D) appointment as lieutenant governor. Ryan is running for a full term in the 18th District while Molinaro is the Republican nominee in the 19th District’s general election.
  • New York’s 23rd Congressional District Republican primary: State GOP Chair Nicholas Langworthy defeated Carl Paladino 52% to 47%. The district is currently vacant.

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The number of U.S. House incumbents defeated in primaries reaches 20-year high

U.S. Reps. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) lost in their respective primaries on Aug. 23, bringing the total number of U.S. House incumbents defeated in primaries this cycle to 15, a 20-year high. Primary defeats tend to increase in election cycles following redistricting as incumbents often run against other incumbents under newly-drawn lines.

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Initiative to change election and voting policies certified for Arizona ballot

The Arizona secretary of state’s office announced on Aug. 24 that the Arizona Election and Voting Policies Initiative qualified for the ballot. Among other things, the initiative would make changes to early voting policy and repeal the existing law that makes it a felony to collect another person’s ballot. If approved, Arizona would become the 21st state to enact automatic voter registration policies.
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