One week to go until the U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia

Welcome to the Tuesday, November 29, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. One week to go until the U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia
  2. Candidate filing deadline in Chicago passes with campaigns for local offices underway
  3. The Federal Register has reached over 70,000 pages since the beginning of the year

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One week to go until the U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia

Once again, all eyes are on Georgia as voters and candidates gear up for a general runoff election for the U.S. Senate on Dec. 6.

Incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R) advanced to a runoff after neither candidate received the majority needed on Nov. 8 to win outright. Warnock led Walker 49.4% to 48.5% with the remaining votes going to Chase Oliver (L).

This is the second cycle in a row where a U.S. Senate race in Georgia advanced to a runoff. In 2020, both Warnock—running in a special election—and Jon Ossoff (D)—in a regular election—defeated incumbent U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R) and David Perdue (R), respectively.

Warnock and Loeffler advanced out of a 20-candidate field. Warnock won 32.9% of the vote to Loeffler’s 25.9%. Warnock then defeated Loeffler in the runoff, 51% to 49%.

The results of those runoffs won Democrats control of the U.S. Senate in 2020. This year, the stakes are a bit different.

Democrats have already maintained their majority in the U.S. Senate, holding 50 seats with Vice President Kamala Harris (D) serving as a tie-breaker.

But the outcome in Georgia could determine how likely that tie-breaking is needed. If Warnock wins, Democrats will have a 51-seat majority. If Walker wins, the chamber will, again, be evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.

There are several other between this year’s runoff and those in 2020 due to the passage of Senate Bill 202 in 2021, which changed provisions of Georgia election law. 

Senate Bill 202 shortened the time between the general election and runoff from nine weeks to four.

The timing change also indirectly affected who can vote in the runoff. In Georgia, you must register to vote at least 30 days before the election. Since the period between the general election and runoff is now 28 days, voters would have needed to register before the Nov. 8 election to participate in the runoff.

Voters who registered by Nov. 7 or were registered but did not vote on Nov. 8 are eligible to vote in the runoff.

Including this year, there have been five U.S. Senate runoffs in Georgia, three of which resulted in an incumbent defeat. In 1992, incumbent Wyche Fowler (D) lost to Paul Coverdell (R), and then Loeffler and Perdue lost in 2020. In 2008, incumbent Saxby Chambliss (R) won re-election in a runoff.

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Candidate filing deadline in Chicago passes with campaigns for local offices underway

The deadline to run for municipal offices in Chicago passed yesterday, Nov. 28. 

The following positions will appear on the city’s Feb. 28, 2023, ballots:

  • Mayor: Incumbent Lori Lightfoot (D) is running for a second term and could face at least eight other challengers who also submitted paperwork, including U.S. Rep. Chuy Garcia (D), state Rep. Kam Buckner (D), and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson (D).
  • Aldermanic council: This is Chicago’s version of a city council. All 50 spots are up for election. At least 36 incumbents filed re-election paperwork as of noon on Nov. 28.
  • Clerk: This official retains city records and documents. Incumbent Anna Valencia (D) is running for re-election. No challengers had filed as of noon on Nov. 28.
  • Treasurer: This official manages the city’s cash, investments, and employee pension funds. Incumbent Melissa Conyears-Ervin (D) is running for re-election. No challengers had filed as of noon on Nov. 28.
  • Police district council: This is a newly-created office. Voters in each of the city’s 22 police department districts will elect three members for a total of 66 council members, responsible for building connections between police and the community, accepting public input on policing policies, and developing and expanding restorative justice programs.

Chicago’s municipal elections are officially nonpartisan, meaning all candidates’ names appear on the same ballot without party labels.

For every office apart from the police district council, a candidate must receive at least 50% of the vote on Feb. 28 to win outright; otherwise, the top-two finishers advance to an April 4 runoff.

For the police district council, the top-three finishers win in each district. There are no runoffs for this office.

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The Federal Register has reached over 70,000 pages since the beginning of the year

Between Nov. 14 and 25, the Federal Register added 4,840 pages for a year-to-date total of 72,858 page, making this the fourth-most active year since 2016 with fives weeks to go.

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity, accounting for both regulatory and deregulatory actions.

The Biden Administration has added an average of 1,550 pages to the Federal Register each week this year. At that rate, the total number of pages added is projected to reach 80,608, which would make 2022 the third-most active year since 2016.

The most recent additions to the Federal Register included 920 notices, nine presidential documents, 70 proposed rules, and 134 final rules.

Certain rules are classified as significant, meaning they have the potential to have large effects on the economy, environment, public health, or state/local governments.

The Biden administration has issued 206 significant proposed rules, 228 significant final rules, and four significant notices as of Nov. 25.

Some of those significant additions include:

  • New emission standards and test procedures for certain classes of aircraft engines from the Environmental Protection Agency;
  • Amendments to regulations under the Privacy Act of 1974 from the Homeland Security Department; and,
  • Revisions to natural disaster procedures from the Engineers Corps.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of our Administrative State Project, a neutral encyclopedic resource that analyzes the administrative state, its philosophical origins, legal precedents, and scholarly examinations. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.

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