Welcome to the Thursday, November 16, 2023, Brew.
By: Juan Garcia de Paredes
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Seven local jurisdictions voted on ranked-choice voting measures in 2023
- Two candidates running in the Alabama Democratic presidential primary, nine running in the Republican primary
- Biden has nominated 189 federal judges, behind Trump, Obama, and Bush at this point in his first term
Seven local jurisdictions voted on ranked-choice voting measures in 2023
In 2023, seven local jurisdictions in five states decided local ballot measures to adopt or repeal ranked-choice voting—the second highest number to do so since 1965.
Ranked-choice voting (RCV) is an electoral system in which voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. There are multiple forms of ranked-choice voting, and different methods are used in different jurisdictions across the United States. Click here to learn more.
Six of the seven measures on the ballot this year were proposals to adopt ranked-choice voting. One, in Minnetonka, Minnesota, was a proposal to repeal it. Voters approved all six measures to adopt RCV, and defeated the measure to repeal it.
Between 1965 and 2023, there were 74 local measures on ranked-choice voting in 18 states. Of that total:
- 67 local ballot measures proposed adopting RCV. Voters approved 52 (78%) and rejected 15 (22%).
- Seven local ballot measures proposed repealing RCV. Voters approved four (57.14%) and rejected three (42.86%).
- California has had the most local RCV ballot measures compared to other states, with 12.
- Nine jurisdictions had ranked-choice voting on their ballots in 2022, the most in a single year.
Let’s look at the seven jurisdictions that voted on RCV measures this year.
On Nov. 7, voters in East Lansing, Kalamazoo, and Royal Oak, Michigan, approved RCV for local offices. Those localities will be able to use RCV if the state passes a law authorizing its use at the local level. Currently, local jurisdictions in Michigan are not authorized to conduct their elections using RCV.
Voters approved each measure by different margins:
- Kalamazoo: Voters approved the initiative by the widest margin, 71%-29%.
- East Lansing: Voters approved Ballot Question 3 52%-48%.
- Royal Oak: Voters approved Proposal B 51%-49%
Two other Michigan jurisdictions have approved RCV and will begin using it if the state law allows: Ferndale in 2004 and Ann Arbor in 2021.
Voters in Easthampton, Massachusetts, approved an advisory measure to adopt multi-winner RCV on Nov. 7. The non-binding question asked voters whether the city council should petition the Legislature to authorize multi-winner RCV for city council elections. Voters approved the measure 62%-38%.
In Minnetonka, Minnesota, voters defeated a ballot measure that would have repealed RCV for mayoral and city council elections 59%-41%. Minnetonka adopted RCV in 2020 with the approval of Question 1 with 55% of the vote.
Vermont and California
Two candidates running in the Alabama Democratic presidential primary, nine running in the Republican primary
The filing deadline for the Alabama Democratic and Republican presidential primaries passed on Nov. 10. Let’s take a look at the candidates who qualified and what comes next.
Two candidates—President Joe Biden and U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips (Minn.)—qualified to appear on the March 5, 2024, ballot.
In order to qualify, candidates had to submit a petition with either 500 signatures from across the state or 50 signatures from each of Alabama’s seven congressional districts and pay a $2,500 filing fee to the state party.
This is the third Democratic presidential filing deadline that has passed, following deadlines in Nevada and New Hampshire in October. No candidates have qualified to participate in all three nominating contests. See the chart below for an overview of the number of candidates who have filed in each Democratic presidential primary contest.
South Carolina’s Democratic presidential primary filing deadline also passed on Nov. 10, but the state party’s executive committee voted on final ballot access certifications on Nov. 13. The next Democratic presidential primary filing deadline will take place in Arkansas on Nov. 14.
On the Republican side, nine candidates qualified to appear on the March 5, 2024, ballot. To qualify, candidates had to submit a petition with either 500 signatures from across the state or 50 signatures from each of Alabama’s seven congressional districts and pay a $20,000 filing fee to the state party.
The following candidates qualified:
- Ryan Binkley
- North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum
- Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
- Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley
- Vivek Ramaswamy
- U.S. Senator from South Carolina Tim Scott
- David Stuckenberg
- Former President Donald Trump
This is the fourth Republican presidential filing deadline that has passed, following deadlines in Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
Binkley, Burgum, Christie, DeSantis, Ramaswamy, and Trump are the only candidates who have qualified to participate in all four contests. Scott, who qualified for three of the four contests, suspended his campaign on Nov. 12
See the chart below for an overview of the number of candidates who have filed in each Republican presidential primary.
The next Republican presidential primary filing deadline will take place on Nov.14, in Arkansas.
Biden has nominated 189 federal judges, behind Trump, Obama, and Bush at this point in his first term
Between Oct. 16 and Nov. 15, President Joe Biden (D) nominated seven new Article III judges, bringing his total since taking office to 189. That’s less than former Presidents Donald Trump (R), Barack Obama (D), and George W. Bush (R) at this point in their first terms.
The U.S. Senate confirmed eight Article III judges between Oct. 16 and Nov. 15, bringing the total number of confirmations to 142.
Article III judgeships refer to federal judges who serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of International Trade, or one of the 13 U.S. courts of appeal or 94 U.S. district courts. These are lifetime presidential appointments subject to Senate confirmation.
Here’s how many Article III judges Biden’s three predecessors sent to the U.S. Senate and how many of those were ultimately confirmed, 1028 days into their presidencies:
The chart below shows the number of confirmed judicial nominations by days in office during the Biden, Trump, Obama, and W. Bush administrations (2001-present).
There are currently 63 Article III vacancies. For upcoming vacancies, the president may submit a nomination to the U.S. Senate before the vacancy occurs.
There are five key steps in the vacancy process: a presidential nomination, a U.S. Senate committee hearing, a Senate committee vote to report the nominee to the full Senate, the full Senate voting on confirmation, and a confirmed nominee taking the judicial oath and receiving a judicial commission.
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