Ballotpedia’s new weekly podcast, “On the Ballot”

Welcome to the Thursday, September 1, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. Smart political talk finally has a home—Ballotpedia’s new weekly podcast, “On the Ballot” 
  2. 131 statewide measures certified for this year’s ballot
  3. On the ballot in Nebraska

Smart political talk finally has a home—Ballotpedia’s new weekly podcast, “On the Ballot” 

Ballotpedia’s new podcast—“On the Ballot”—is now available for you to listen to on Spotify and other major streaming platforms. New episodes are posted every Thursday afternoon.

Each week, host Victoria Rose will sit down with Ballotpedia writers and researchers to discuss the latest political news, explore exclusive Ballotpedia research, and much more. “On the Ballot” is a quick hitting, fact-based show–no spin, and no agenda. 

Among the topics we’ve covered so far:

  • The key issues and marquee races in the August primaries
  • A deep dive on what’s at stake in state legislative and statewide officer elections
  • Abortion on the ballot in several states

And a lot more!

Here’s a listing of the episodes currently available:

Our goal is to provide the context that’s all too often lacking in most political, policy, and legal coverage. “On the Ballot” gives you the relevant facts, the crucial data, and the essential backstory that connects them.

But it’s not all serious talk, all the time. Ballotpedia is always working to take you to places most mass media political coverage ignores. One way the show will do that? Through “Footnote Facts,” a regular feature that will test your knowledge of political trivia and curiosities—the things that make American politics unlike any other.

We hope you’ll tune in, subscribe, and share the show with your friends, family, and colleagues. And let us know how we’re doing, or share ideas for future show segments (and your trivia questions, too!).

Click below to listen to our first episodes. 

Listen to our podcast

131 statewide measures certified for this year’s ballot

As we mentioned above, ballot measures are one of the topics you’ll hear a lot about on our new podcast. Here’s an update on this year’s certified ballot measures. 

As of Aug. 30, 131 statewide measures have been certified for the ballot in 37 states. That’s 29 less than the average number certified at this point in other even-numbered years from 2010 to 2020. 

Five new measures were certified for the ballot last week:

Signatures have been submitted and are pending verification for six initiatives: 

From 2010 to 2020, there was an average of 164 measures certified for the ballot in even-number years. By this time during even-numbered years from 2010 through 2020, an average of 160 statewide measures had been certified for the ballot. 

Click below to learn more about this year’s statewide ballot measures. 

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Explore Nebraska elections

Let’s continue our journey looking at elections in all 50 states. Today–the Cornhusker State!

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota

On the ballot in Nebraska

At the federal level, Nebraska voters will elect three U.S. Representatives. At the state executive level, the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state treasurer, and state auditor offices are up for election this year. Voters will elect four members of the state board of education, two members of the state board of regents, and two members of the state public service commission. Also, four Nebraska Supreme Court justices and four Nebraska Court of Appeals judges face retention elections.

Nebraska is the only state in the U.S. with a unicameral, or single-chamber, state legislature. Twenty-four of the state Senate’s 49 districts are up for election. 

There are 13 open seats in the legislature this year.

Redistricting highlights

  • Nebraska was apportioned three seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census. 
  • Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in Nebraska:

To use our tool to view Nebraska’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Nebraska redistricting page

Partisan balance

  • Both of Nebraska’s U.S. Senators—Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse—are Republicans.
  • Republicans represent all three U.S. House districts in the state.
  • There are no formal party alignments or groups within the Nebraska Senate. Senators and candidates are listed on the ballot as nonpartisan, but almost all of the members of the Legislature are affiliated either the Democratic or the Republican Party and both parties explicitly endorse candidates. 
  • Republicans have a 32-17 majority in the state Senate. Because the governor is also Republican, Nebraska is one of 23 states with a Republican trifecta. It has held this status since 1999.
  • Nebraska’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are Republicans. This makes Nebraska one of 22 states with a Republican triplex.

Seats contested by only one major party

Nebraska uses a top-two primary system for state legislative races. In 2022, three of the 24 districts holding legislative elections will have only one candidate on the general election ballot.

A Democratic candidate is on the ballot in half of all state legislative elections. Twelve state legislative elections do not have a Democratic candidate in the general election. A Republican, third-party, or nonpartisan candidate is guaranteed to win one of those elections.

A Republican candidate is on the ballot in all but one state legislative election.

Key races

Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District election, 2022: Incumbent Mike Flood (R) and Patty Pansing Brooks (D) are running. Flood defeated Pansing Brooks, 53% to 47%, in a special election on June 28, 2022, that filled the vacancy left by Jeffrey Fortenberry’s  (R) March resignation of .

Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District election, 2022: Incumbent Don Bacon (R) and Tony Vargas (D) are running. Bacon defeated Kara Eastman (D), 51% to 46%, in the 2020 general election.

Ballot measures

There is one statewide ballot measure in Nebraska in 2022. Voters will decide whether to amend the state constitution to authorize any city, county, or other political subdivision that operates an airport to spend revenue on developing commercial air travel at the local airport. 

One hundred three ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2020. Sixty-two ballot measures were approved, and 41 ballot measures were defeated.


  • On Election Day, polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time. An individual in line at the time polls close must be allowed to vote. 
  • Nebraska does not require identification to vote in most cases, except for some first-time voters. First-time voters who registered by mail and did not provide identification will be asked for an ID on election day. For more information about voter ID requirements in Nebraska, click here
  • Early voting in Nebraska is available to all voters. Early voting begins on Oct. 11 and ends on Nov. 7.
  • The voter registration deadline in Nebraska is Oct. 21. Registration can be done online, in person, or by mail. Nebraska does not allow same-day voter registration.
  • All Nebraska voters are eligible to cast absentee ballots. Voters can return their ballots in person or by mail. In both cases, ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 8. The deadline to request an absentee or mail-in ballot is Oct. 28. 
  • Absentee ballots in Nebraska include a return envelope that must be signed by the voter for the ballot to be counted.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool! 

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