Welcome to the Friday, October 7, 2022, Brew.
By: Dave Beaudoin
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- San Francisco voters to decide 14 local ballot measures on Nov. 8
- Ballotpedia is hiring for our Spring 2023 Internship Program
- Tennessee voters to decide right-to-work constitutional amendment
San Francisco voters to decide 14 local ballot measures on Nov. 8
In addition to covering the 137 statewide measures that are certified for the ballot in 37 states this year, Ballotpedia is also tracking local measures for voters within the 100 largest cities in the U.S., within state capitals, and throughout California. In November, this includes measures in 30 states and Washington, D.C. Here’s a peak at what will be on the ballot in San Francisco.
Voters in San Francisco will decide 14 local ballot measures on Nov. 8. Four are citizen initiatives, and the city’s board of supervisors referred 10 to the ballot.
Some specific noteworthy measures include:
- Proposition H, which would change elections for mayor, sheriff, district attorney, city attorney, and treasurer from odd-numbered years to November of presidential election years. It would also change the signature requirements for city ballot initiatives from 5% of votes cast for the mayor to 2% of registered voters.
- Proposition L, which would continue an existing one-half cent sales tax through 2053 for transportation funding and allow the Transportation Authority to issue up to $1.91 billion in bonds for transportation projects. A two-thirds (66.67 percent) supermajority vote is required for approval of this measure.
- Proposition M, which would allow the city to tax owners of vacant residential units in buildings with three or more units if the units have been vacant for more than 182 days in a year. The rate would be between $2,500–5,000 per vacant unit, continuing through 2053, and the revenue would be dedicated to rent subsidies and certain housing entities.
On some topics, voters will decide measures with opposing provisions. For example, Proposition D would expedite the approval of certain housing projects and remove the Board of Supervisors’ approval as a requirement for certain housing projects using city property or city financing. Proposition E would expedite the approval of certain housing projects and continue requiring the Board of Supervisors’ approval for affordable housing projects using city property or city financing.
San Francisco adopted the initiative and referendum process in 1898, more than a decade before California authorized it statewide. Ballot measures can be put before San Francisco voters in one of three ways:
1) the city council may refer them,
2) through a signature petition drive for an initiative, which proposes a new law, or
3) via a referendum, which puts a law that the city council passed before voters.
San Francisco voters decided seven local measures on June 7, approving five and rejecting two. In November 2020, city voters approved 12 of the 13 measures that appeared on the ballot. From 2010 through 2021, San Francisco voters decided 137 local ballot measures—an average of 11.4 per year. Voters approved 94 (68.6%) and defeated 43 (31.4%). The 14 San Francisco measures are among more than 670 total local ballot measures we’ll be covering this November. In addition, California voters will decide seven statewide ballot propositions on Nov. 8.
Ballotpedia is hiring for our Spring 2023 Internship Program
We have a number of 100% remote, part-time internship opportunities open for our Spring 2023 program that runs from Jan. 9 through May 5, 2023. The 2022 election is nearly upon us – so what better time to think about Ballotpedia’s 2023 internship program!
Ballotpedia interns go through a similar onboarding experience to full-time Ballotpedia employees. You will learn how to code the Ballotpedia website, get familiar with Ballotpedia’s style guide, learn how we prevent and detect bias in our resources, and much more. Following orientation, you will join either the Communications, Editorial, External Relations, or Tech teams, working alongside full-time staff members.
Click here to learn more about our current and former interns’ experiences, and use the links below to share or apply for our internship opportunities today!
- External Relations Spring 2023 Internship
- Editorial or Communications Spring 2023 Internship Program
- GIS Analyst Spring 2023 Internship
Tennessee voters to decide right-to-work constitutional amendment
Today is the 29th day of our 50 States in 50 days series, and we’re featuring Tennessee, the Volunteer State.
Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas, Minnesota, West Virginia
Week Five: Vermont, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona, Ohio
Week Six: South Carolina, Iowa, Kansas, Oregon
On the ballot in Tennessee
Tennessee voters will decide elections for all nine U.S. House districts. The race for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District is open with no incumbent running. Across the other races, seven Republican incumbents and one Democratic incumbent are running for re-election.
Governor is the only state executive office on the ballot. Incumbent Bill Lee (R) is running for re-election against Jason Martin (D) and eight independent candidates.
Both chambers of Tennessee’s state legislature are holding elections this year. In the Tennessee Senate, 17 of the 33 seats are up for election. In the Tennessee House of Representatives, all 99 seats are up for election. Across both chambers, 17 races are open.
Tennessee was apportioned nine U.S. House districts after the 2020 census. This was 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 Tennessee:
To use our tool to view Tennessee’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Tennessee redistricting page.
- Both of Tennessee’s U.S. Senators—Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty—are Republicans.
- Tennessee’s U.S. House delegation currently has seven Republicans and two Democrats.
- Republicans hold majorities in both chambers of the Tennessee legislature. In the state Senate, Republicans have a 27-6 majority, and in the state House, Republicans have a 72-24 majority.
- Tennessee has a Republican trifecta, where the governorship and both chambers of the legislature are controlled by Republicans. Republicans gained a trifecta in 2011 after Bill Haslam (R) was elected governor, succeeding Phil Bredesen (D). Before 2011, Tennessee had a divided government.
- Tennessee’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all Republicans, meaning the state is one of 23 with Republican triplex control.
Seats contested by only one major party
In 2022, 72 state legislative seats in Tennessee, or 62% 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 55% of all state legislative races. Fifty-two state legislative seats (45% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate and are likely to be won by a Republican.
Republicans are running in 83% of all state legislative races. Twenty seats (17% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate and are likely to be won by a Democrat.
- Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District election, 2022: Heidi Campbell (D), Andy Ogles (R), and three other candidates are running for Tennessee’s only open U.S. House district. Incumbent Jim Cooper (D) is retiring. Two independent outlets rate the election as Solid Republican, and one rates it as Likely Republican.
- Tennessee voters will decide general election rematches in two U.S. House districts. In Tennessee’s 9th, incumbent Steve Cohen (D) will face Charlotte Bergmann (R) for the third consecutive election. In Tennessee’s 3rd, incumbent Charles J. Fleischmann (R) will face Meg Gorman (D) in a rematch of the district’s 2020 race. In 2020, there were three U.S. House districts in Tennessee that were general election rematches.
Tennessee voters will decide four statewide measures on No. 8. Noteworthy measures include:
- Tennessee Constitutional Amendment 1, Right-to-Work Amendment (2022): This measure would add a new section to the Tennessee Constitution to make it illegal for workplaces to require labor union membership for employees as a condition for employment. Tennessee enacted this policy through legislation in 1947.
- Tennessee Constitutional Amendment 3, Remove Slavery as Punishment for Crime from Constitution Amendment (2022): This amendment would remove language from the Tennessee Constitution that allows the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as criminal punishments. The ballot measure would also state that the language does not prohibit an inmate from working when the inmate has been duly convicted of a crime.
Eleven ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1995 and 2018. All 11 ballot measures were approved.
- On Election Day, polling hours vary by jurisdiction. Most polling places are open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. All precincts close at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and 7:00 p.m. Central. An individual in line at the time polls close must be allowed to vote.
- Tennessee requires voters to present photo identification while voting. Forms of accepted ID include a Tennessee driver’s license, passport, or United States military identification document, among others. For a full list of accepted voter IDs in Tennessee, click here.
- Early voting in Tennessee is available to all voters. Early voting begins on Oct. 19 and ends on Nov. 3.
- The voting registration deadline in Tennessee is Oct. 11. Registration can be done online, in person, or by mail. Tennessee does not allow same-day voter registration.
- Absentee voting is available to select voters. Eligibility reasons include being outside of the country during early voting and election day, having a disability that prevents an individual from voting in person, or being over the age of 60, among others. A full list of eligible reasons for voting absentee can be found here.
- An absentee ballot must be requested in person by Nov. 1, and mailed requests for absentee ballots must be received by Nov. 1. To return a ballot, it must be returned by the close of polls on Nov. 8. Absentee ballots in Tennessee include a return envelope printed with an affidavit that must be signed by the voter.
- To check the status of your absentee 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!
Click below to learn more about Tennessee’s elections.