Welcome to the Friday, September 9, Brew.
By: Samuel Wonacott
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- North Dakota term limits initiative certified for November ballot
- A look at New Hampshire’s upcoming primaries
- Montana voters to elect two U.S. House members for first time since 1990
North Dakota term limits initiative certified for November ballot
Voters in North Dakota will decide on an initiative to establish term limits for state legislators and the governor in November.
In March, the Secretary of State Al Jaeger (R) announced that proponents did not submit enough valid signatures. Proponents appealed to the North Dakota Supreme Court. On Sept. 7, the court found that more than 15,000 invalidated signatures should have been certified and ruled 5-0 that the initiative must be placed on the Nov. 8 ballot. North Dakota for Term Limits, the campaign behind the measure, submitted 46,366 signatures. To qualify for the ballot, 31,164 of the signatures needed to be valid.
In our 2020 study of state supreme court partisanship, we found that North Dakota was one of 27 states with Republican-controlled courts. The study presented Confidence Scores that represented our confidence in each justice’s degree of partisan affiliation, based on a variety of factors. We assigned three North Dakota justices a score of “Mild Republican,” and one a score of “Strong Republican.” We did not find enough information on one justice to assign him a confidence score.
The initiative would limit the governor to two terms. It would limit state legislators to eight years in the state House and eight years in the state Senate. A member of the House or Senate could not serve a term or remaining portion of a term if it would cause the legislator to have served more than eight years in the chamber. The measure would only apply to individuals elected after approval of the amendment. The measure also stipulates that only a citizen initiative, not the legislature, can change the amendment’s provisions.
State legislators in 15 states are subject to term limits. Five of those states impose a lifetime limit, meaning once a legislator has served the maximum allowable number of terms in a particular legislative chamber, they may never again run for or hold office in that particular chamber. Governors in 36 states are subject to some type of term limits. Eight states have lifetime limits for governors.
So far this year, 134 statewide ballot measures have been certified for the ballot in 37 states.
Click below to learn more about the North Dakota Term Limits for Governor and State Legislators Initiative.
A look at New Hampshire’s upcoming primaries
On Sept. 13, New Hampshire, Delaware, and Rhode Island will hold statewide primaries. Yesterday, we previewed Delaware’s primaries. Today, let’s turn our attention north to the Granite State.
Voters in New Hampshire will elect one U.S. Senator and two U.S. Representatives. Incumbent U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, Paul Krautmann and John Riggieri are running in the Democratic primary. Hassan, New Hampshire’s former governor, was first elected in 2016 when she defeated then-incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) 48% to 47.9%. Ten candidates are running in the Republican primary.
Voters will decide Republican and Democratic primaries for two U.S. House districts. Both of the state’s U.S. Representatives—Chris Pappas and Annie Kuster—are Democrats. Both Pappas, who represents the 1st Congressional District, and Kuster, who represents the 2nd Congressional District election, are running in uncontested Democratic primaries. Ten candidates are running in the Republican primary for the 1st Congressional District, while seven candidates are running in the Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional District.
New Hampshire is one of 36 states holding gubernatorial elections this year. Incumbent Gov. Chris Sununu (R) and five other candidates are running in the Republican primary. Sununu was first elected governor in 2016. State Sen. Tom Sherman (D) is the only candidate running in the Democratic primary.
Voters will also decide Republican and Democratic primaries for five seats on the New Hampshire Executive Council. The five-member council approves the majority of expenditures in the state budget and oversees receipts and spending for state departments and agencies. The council also approves gubernatorial appointments. Currently, Republicans hold a 4-1 majority on the council.
All 24 state Senate districts and all 400 state House districts are up for election this year. Overall, 89 state legislative primaries are contested, which is 20% of the total number of possible primaries and a 31% increase from 2020. One hundred sixteen incumbents—26 Democrats and 90 Republicans—face primary challenges, representing 38% of all incumbents running for re-election. This is higher than in 2020 and 2018, but lower than 2016 when 41% of incumbents faced contested primaries. One hundred twenty-six seats are open, meaning no incumbents filed. This guarantees that newcomers will represent at least 30% of the legislature in 2023, the largest such percentage since at least 2014.
In New Hampshire, the primary candidate with the most votes wins—even if that candidate receives less than 50% of the total vote. New Hampshire is one of 40 states without primary election runoffs. The state does not cancel uncontested primaries. Write-in candidates are not required to file.
Click below to learn more about New Hampshire’s upcoming primaries.
Montana voters to elect two U.S. House members for first time since 1990
Today is the eighth day of our 50 States in 50 days series, and we’re featuring Montana, the Treasure State.
On the ballot in Montana
At the federal level, Montana voters will elect two U.S. Representatives. At the state executive level, two seats on the public service commission and two seats on the state supreme court are up for election.
Voters will elect legislators from 25 of the state Senate’s 50 districts and all 100 state House of Representatives districts.
There are 40 open seats in the state legislature this year.
Montana was apportioned two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, a net gain of one seat as compared to apportionment after the 2010 census. Montana last elected two U.S. Representatives in 1990.
State legislative elections use district lines established after the 2010 census because Montana has not yet performed legislative redistricting. The Montana constitution requires the state’s redistricting commission submit proposed legislative maps to the Legislature before they are enacted. In 2021, the Legislature adjourned on Apr. 29, before the U.S. Census Bureau delivered redistricting data to the states. The Legislature’s next session will take place in 2023.
Congressional 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 Montana:
To use our tool to view Montana’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Montana redistricting page.
- One of Montana’s U.S. Senators—Jon Tester—is a Democrat and the other—Steve Daines—is a Republican.
- Republican Matt Rosendale represents the state’s lone congressional district in the U.S. House.
- Republicans have a 31-19 majority in the state Senate and a 67-33 majority in the state House. Because the governor is also Republican, Montana is one of 23 states with a Republican trifecta. It has held this status since 2021.
- Montana’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are Republicans. This makes Montana one of 22 states with a Republican triplex.
Seats contested by only one major party
In 2022, 38 state legislative seats in Montana, or 30% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either the Democratic or Republican parties runs for a state legislative seat, the seat is all but guaranteed to be won by that party.
Democrats are running in 72% of all state legislative races. Thirty-five state legislative seats (28% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate. A Republican is likely to win.
Republicans are running in 98% of all state legislative races. Three seats (2% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate and a Democrat is likely to win.
Montana’s 1st Congressional District election, 2022: Monica Tranel (D), Ryan Zinke (R), and John Lamb (L) are running. Montana added a congressional district after the 2020 census. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale (R) is running in the state’s 2nd Congressional District.
Montana’s Supreme Court elections, 2022: Justices James Rice and Ingrid Gayle Gustafson are running for re-election. Rice was originally appointed by Gov. Judy Martz (R) in 2001. Gustafson first joined the court after being appointed by Gov. Steve Bullock (D) in 2017. Heading into the 2022 elections, the state supreme court had four judges who were originally elected in nonpartisan elections, two who were Democratic gubernatorial appointees, and one who was appointed by a Republican governor.
There are two statewide ballot measures in Montana in 2022.
The Search Warrant for Electronic Data Amendment would amend the state constitution to require a search warrant to access electronic data or electronic communications.
The Medical Care Requirements for Born-Alive Infants Measure would state that infants born alive at any stage of development are legal persons and require that medical care be provided to infants born alive after an induced labor, cesarean section, attempted abortion, or another method.
Ninety-nine ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2020. Fifty-eight ballot measures were approved and 41 were defeated.
- On Election Day, polling place hours vary throughout the state. Most polling places open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. Mountain Time, although some polling places may open as late as 12:00 p.m.. An individual in line at the time polls close must be allowed to vote.
- Montana requires all voters to present identification when voting. Accepted forms of ID include a valid driver’s license, a U.S. passport, and a Montana concealed-carry permit. For more information about voter ID requirements in Montana, click here.
- Early voting in Montana is available to all voters. Early voting begins on Oct. 11 and ends on Nov. 7.
- The regular voter registration deadline in Montana is Oct. 11. Registration can be done in person or by mail. If done by mail, registration forms must be postmarked by Oct. 11. Late registration is available at county election offices or other designated locations until noon on Election Day.
- All Montana voters are eligible to cast absentee ballots. Voters can return their ballots in person or by mail. A returned absentee ballot must be postmarked on or before Nov. 8 in order to be counted. The deadline to request an absentee or mail-in ballot is noon on Nov. 7.
- According to the Montana Secretary of State’s website, “If you request an absentee ballot because of a sudden illness or health emergency occurring between 5 p.m. of the Friday preceding the election and before close of polls on election day, you may ask your county election administrator to have a special absentee election board bring an absentee ballot to you.”
Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!