ICYMI: Top stories of the week

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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 October 23-October 27.

The 15 battleground districts that will decide Virginia’s legislative elections

Heading into Nov. 7, Republicans have a 48-46 majority—with six vacancies—in the Virginia House of Delegates, while Democrats have a 22-18 majority in the Senate. With each party controlling one chamber and Republican Glenn Youngkin as governor, Virginia has a divided government. Virginia is one of two states—along with Pennsylvania—where one party controls one legislative chamber each.

Ballotpedia has identified 15 battleground elections across both chambers—seven in the House of Delegates and eight in the Senate.

Click here to read more about the battleground districts in the House of Delegates and here to read about our Senate battlegrounds.

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Maine ballot initiative would prohibit foreign election spending

On Nov. 7, Maine voters will decide Question 2, a ballot initiative that would prohibit foreign governments or entities with at least 5% foreign government ownership or control from spending money to influence ballot measures or candidate elections. 

Maine Question 2 was cleared for signature gathering on Oct. 27, 2021. Supporters ultimately gathered the necessary signatures and submitted the measure to the legislature, which approved it. Gov. Mills vetoed the initiative on July 19, 2023, which put the measure on the ballot for voters to decide in November. 

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2023 statewide ballot measures written at graduate school reading level

Since 2017, we’ve reported on ballot measure readability. Our 7th edition of this report assesses the level of education voters would need to understand the ballot titles and summaries of statewide ballot measures. 

This year’s 41 statewide ballot measures, distributed across eight states, have an average reading level of 19 (akin to a third-year graduate school level). This is an increase from the average of 18 years in 2021, the previous odd year.

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