ICYMI: Top stories of the week

Each week, we bring you a collection of the most viewed stories from The Daily Brew, condensed. Here are the top stories from the week of May 15-May 19.

Nearly 1 million residents per Senate district in California

After the 2020 census, California’s 40 state Senators represent an average of 989,419 people per district. Each member of the 31-member Texas State Senate represents an average of 941,396 people. Both of those figures are larger than the average number of people represented by members of the U.S. House of Representatives—761,169 people per district.

The largest population per district ratio among state House districts is also in California, where the Golden State’s 80 Assembly members represent an average of 494,709 people per district. Texas is again in second place as the 151 members of its state House represent an average of 194,555 people.

There are 1,973 state senators nationwide after the 2020 census—which averages to 167,820 Americans per senator. The country’s 5,413 state representatives represent an average of 61,169 people each.

Among state Senates, North Dakota’s senators represent the fewest people per district, an average of 16,589 per senator. Among state Representatives, New Hampshire’s represent the fewest at 3,448 people each.

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Pennsylvania election results

State Supreme Court primaries

Democrat Daniel McCaffery and Republican Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio will face each other in the November 7 general election after they each won their respective primaries on Tuesday.

The general election winner will succeed Justice Max Baer (D), who passed away on September 30, 2022. Baer’s term expired in 2023.

State legislative special elections

Pennsylvania also held two special elections that resulted in Democrats maintaining control of the state house:

  • In House District 108, Michael Stender (R) defeated Trevor Finn (D) and Elijah Scretching (L) with 61% of the vote. The special election was to succeed former Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver (R), who resigned on February 28 after she won a special election in the Pennsylvania State Senate.
  • In House District 163, Heather Boyd (D) defeated Katie Ford (R) and Alfe Goodwin (L) with 60% of the vote. Boyd will succeed Michael Zabel (D) — who resigned on March 16. 

Philadelphia’s Democratic mayoral primary

Cherelle Parker defeated eight other candidates in the Democratic primary for mayor of Philadelphia. She will face David Oh—the only candidate who ran for the Republican nomination—in the general election on November 7. Incumbent Jim Kenney (D), who was first elected mayor in 2015 and re-elected in 2019, is term-limited.

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Enactment rate of single-topic versus omnibus-style election bills on par with 2022

The percentage of enacted election-related bills, regardless of whether they deal with one or multiple topics, has thus far remained consistent this year compared to 2022.

Whenever legislators introduce a new election-related bill, Ballotpedia researchers read through it, provide neutral analyses, and assign it one or more topics out of nearly 100 sub-topics for each relevant area the bill addresses.

At one end, there are bills that address a single topic. At the other end, there are omnibus-style bills, which we define as any bill that addresses five or more topics.

As of the start of May, 61 of this year’s 114 enacted election-related bills (54%) addressed a single topic. This is down from 63% of the 113 bills enacted at this point in 2022 but similar to the year-end total of 158 of the 284 enacted (56%). 

At the other end of the spectrum, lawmakers have enacted eight omnibus-style bills (7% of the year-to-date total), compared to nine (8%) at this point in 2022. By the end of last year, lawmakers enacted 26 (9%).

Ballotpedia’s comprehensive Election Administration Legislation Tracker is the basis for this info and much more! Our user-friendly tracker covers thousands of election-related bills and organizes them by topic with neutral, expert analyses from Ballotpedia’s researchers.

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