Welcome to the Monday, September 12, Brew.
By: Samuel Wonacott
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Six abortion-related measures are on the ballot in 2022—the most on record for a single year
- A look at Rhode Island’s upcoming primaries
- North Carolina voters will decide partisan majority on the state supreme court
Six abortion-related measures are on the ballot in 2022—the most on record for a single year
Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at some of the major statewide ballot issues voters will decide in November. Today, we’re looking at six ballot measures addressing abortion—the most on record in a single year.
In November, measures will appear on the ballot in California, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, and Vermont. Votes on these ballot measures follow the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which held that the U.S. Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.
In August, voters in Kansas rejected one of the six measures. The Kansas measure would have provided that nothing in the state constitution created a right to abortion or required government funding for abortion. Turnout on the amendment was 49%, and the number of votes cast exceeded those in the state’s U.S. Senate and gubernatorial primaries on Aug. 2.
Voters in California, Michigan, and Vermont will be the first to decide on ballot measures to establish state constitutional rights to abortion.
In November, voters will decide the following five abortion-related ballot measures:
- California Proposition 1: Amends the California Constitution to provide that the state cannot “deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions,” including decisions to have an abortion or to choose or refuse contraceptives.
- Kentucky Constitutional Amendment 2: Amends the Kentucky Constitution to state that nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding of abortions.
- Michigan Proposal 3: Amends the Michigan Constitution to provide a state constitutional right to reproductive freedom, defined to include abortion, contraception, and other matters related to pregnancy.
- Montana LR-131: Provides, in state law, that infants born alive at any stage of development are legal persons and requires medical care to be provided to infants born alive after an induced labor, cesarean section, attempted abortion, or another method.
- Vermont Amendment: Amends the Vermont Constitution to provide a state constitutional right to personal reproductive autonomy.
From 1970 to August 2022, there were 48 abortion-related ballot measures, and 41 (85%) of those had the support of organizations that described themselves as pro-life. Voters approved 11 (27%) and rejected 30 (73%) of those 41 ballot measures. The other seven abortion-related ballot measures had the support of organizations that described themselves as pro-choice or pro-reproductive rights groups. Voters approved four (57%) and rejected three (43%).
The map below shows abortion restrictions by state based on the stage of pregnancy when restrictions take effect. Click here to learn more about abortion regulations by state.
Click below to read more about abortion-related ballot measures this year.
A look at Rhode Island’s upcoming primaries
We’re reaching the end of primary season, and the country’s attention is shifting to the Nov. 8 general elections—only 57 days away! But there are still a few more to go. Tomorrow, Rhode Island, Delaware, and New Hampshire will hold statewide primaries. Last week, we previewed primaries in Delaware and New Hampshire. Today, we’re looking at Rhode Island’s primaries.
Rhode Island is one of 16 states not holding U.S. Senate elections this year.
Voters will decide Republican and Democratic primaries for the state’s two U.S. House districts. The 2nd District is open, as incumbent Jim Langevin (D) is not running for re-election.
Voters in Rhode Island will decide Republican and Democratic primaries for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and treasurer.
Incumbent Gov. Daniel McKee (D) took office in March 2021 after former Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) was appointed U.S. secretary of commerce. McKee, Nellie Gorbea, Helena Foulkes, and two other candidates are running in the Democratic primary.
All 38 seats in the state Senate and all 75 seats in the state House are up for election this year. Democrats have a 33-5 majority in the Senate and a 65-10 majority in the House. Overall, 44 primaries are contested this year, including 39 for Democrats and five for Republicans. There are four open seats across the two chambers, meaning 12% of the next legislature will be newcomers.
In Rhode Island, the primary candidate with the most votes wins—even if that candidate receives less than 50% of the total vote. Rhode Island is one of 40 states without primary election runoffs. The state does not cancel uncontested primaries. Write-in candidates do not need to file to run in general elections.
North Carolina voters will decide partisan majority on the state supreme court
Today is the ninth day of our 50 States in 50 days series, and we’re featuring North Carolina, the Tar Heel State.
On the ballot in North Carolina
North Carolina voters will elect one new member to the United States Senate. Incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R) is not seeking re-election.
Fourteen U.S. House districts are up for election. Three Democratic representatives are seeking re-election, six Republicans are seeking re-election. There are five open seats.
All 50 seats in the North Carolina Senate are up for election and all 120 seats in the North Carolina House of Representatives are up for election. Thirty state legislative seats are open.
Voters will also have two partisan North Carolina Supreme Court elections on their ballot this year.
North Carolina was apportioned 14 Districts in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, one more than it received 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 North Carolina:
To use our tool to view North Carolina’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our North Carolina redistricting page.
North Carolina’s current congressional delegation is made up of two Republican Senators, five Democratic U.S. House members, and eight Republican U.S. House members.
Republicans hold majorities in both chambers of General Assembly. Republicans have a 27-22 majority in the North Carolina Senate, with one vacancy. Republicans have a 69-51 majority in the North Carolina House of Representatives.
Governor Roy Cooper is a Democrat, meaning North Carolina has a divided government where no party has trifecta control. North Carolina last had a state government trifecta in 2016, when Republicans controlled the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature.
North Carolina has a Democratic triplex, meaning the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all Democrats.
North Carolina is one of three states, along with Louisiana and Vermont, where the governor and lieutenant governor have different partisan affiliations. North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson is a Republican.
Seats contested by only one major party
In 2022, 51 state legislative seats in North Carolina, 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 76% of all state legislative races. Forty-one state legislative seats (24% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate and are likely to be won by a Republican.
Republicans are running in 94% of all state legislative races. Ten seats (6% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate and are likely to be won by a Democrat.
- United States Senate election in North Carolina, 2022: Former state supreme court justice Cheri Beasley (D), U.S. Rep Ted Budd (R), and seven others are running. Incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R) is not seeking re-election.
- North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District election, 2022: Wiley Nickel (D) and Bo Hines (R) are running in the newly drawn 13th Congressional District. The Cook Political Report rates the district’s partisan lean as R+2, and FiveThirtyEight says the partisan lean is R+3.
- North Carolina Supreme Court elections, 2022: Elections for two Democratic-held seats will decide the partisan makeup of the court. The court’s current partisan balance is four Democrats and three Republicans.
- North Carolina House of Representatives elections, 2022 and North Carolina State Senate elections, 2022: According to Ballotpedia’s 2022 trifecta vulnerability analysis, North Carolina is one of four states with a moderate possibility of a Democratic trifecta pickup. North Carolina has a Democratic governor. Republicans have a 27-22 majority in the state Senate, and a 69-51 majority in the state House.
- On Election Day, polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
- North Carolina’s voter ID requirement is not currently being enforced due to court action. For more information about voter ID requirements in North Carolina, click here.
- Early voting in North Carolina is available to all voters. Early voting begins on Oct. 20, and ends on Nov. 5.
- The voting registration deadline in North Carolina is Oct. 14. Registration can be done online, in person, or by mail. North Carolina only allows same-day voter registration during early voting.
- All North Carolina voters are eligible to cast absentee ballots. Voters can return their ballots in person or by mail. Ballots must be returned in-person on Nov. 8 by 5 p.m. or postmarked by Nov. 8. The deadline to request an absentee or mail-in ballot is Nov. 1. To check the status of your ballot, click here.
Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!