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 March 25-March 29.

Three school board recalls have centered on district book policies since 2006

In a review of nearly 500 school board recall efforts since 2006, Ballotpedia found that three have centered on disagreements over district book or school library policies. All three recall efforts occurred in the last two years.

For context, between 2009 and 2023, there was an average of 35 recall efforts against an average of 81 school board members each year. About 19% of the school board members facing recall efforts faced recall elections. About 10% were ultimately removed from office.

Voters can recall school board members in 23 of the 39 states that allow voters to recall elected officials. 

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Twenty-four states have adopted 59 election-related laws this year

Through nearly three months of 2024, legislators have introduced more than 2,500 new election-related bills, with 24 states adopting 59 new election-related laws. 

Of the 59 passed bills, Democrats sponsored 13, and Republicans sponsored 23. Sixteen bills had bipartisan sponsorship, and the remaining seven bills were introduced without partisan sponsorship.

The most common topics among active election-related bills in 2024 are voter registration, followed by municipal election procedures, ballot access for candidates, and in-person voting and polling places. 

This update comes from our second monthly analysis of state legislative election administration bill activity in 2024. The report pulls from our free Election Administration Legislation Tracker, which allows users to follow election administration bills in all 50 states through every step of the legislative process.

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California Proposition 1 is the eighth-closest statewide ballot measure election since at least 1908, with a margin of 0.38 percentage points

On March 5, California voters approved Proposition 1, a measure changing how the state funds mental healthcare, by a margin of .38 percentage points—the eighth-closest California ballot measure election since at least 1908. As of March 28, “yes” votes lead “no” votes 50.19% to 49.81% (election officials are still processing mail-in ballots).

The Associated Press called the measure 15 days after the election.

California has a long history of ballot measures, and through our Historic Ballot Measures project (HBM), we’ve set out to document it all. This ongoing research effort will provide an unparalleled resource for researchers, reporters, and the voting public on how ballot measures have evolved, the issues they’ve covered, and their role in our civic life. 

Our California dataset is complete back to 1908. 

Proposition 1 joins 16 other California statewide measures decided by a margin of less than 0.5 percentage points of the vote. 

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