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 July 10-14.

A primer on primaries

The laws governing primary elections vary from state to state and can even vary within states by locality and political party. That’s become particularly evident in Idaho, where disagreement over a primary election ballot measure turns, at least in part, on terminology.

On June 30, Attorney General Raúl Labrador (R) released a title for a new initiative that would replace partisan primaries with top-four primaries for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, state legislature, and other offices. This measure would also establish ranked-choice voting (RCV) in general elections.

Click here to read about the Idaho initiative. Click below to read more about types of primary elections.

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Half of state supreme court retirements have been mandatory in 2023  

Halfway through 2023, state supreme courts have had an equal number of mandatory and voluntary retirements, following last year’s upward trend in the percentage of mandatory retirements relative to 2019-2021.

From 2019 to 2021, about one in every four retirements were mandated, while the remaining were voluntary. In 2022, mandatory retirements increased to one in three. This is the first time there’s been an even split between mandatory and voluntary retirements on state supreme courts since 2019. 

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have set mandatory retirement ages for state court judges. 

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Eleven states require more than a simple majority to approve a constitutional amendment. Ohio could become the 12th. 

On Aug. 8, Ohio voters will decide Issue 1, a state constitutional amendment that would establish a 60% vote requirement to approve future state constitutional amendments. If approved, Ohio would become the 12th state to require more than a simple majority to approve a constitutional amendment. 

Of the 49 states that require voter approval for constitutional amendments, 11 require an explicit number above a simple majority. Thirty-eight states, including Ohio, require a simple majority to approve a constitutional amendment. 

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