Author

Samuel Wonacott

Samuel Wonacott is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Help Desk answers your general election questions

Welcome to the Monday, September 26, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. The answer to your questions about the general election
  2. Five party committees report largest spending numbers of 2022 election cycle in August 
  3. Vermonters to vote on first ballot measures since 2010

The answer to your general election questions

Election Day is only 43 days away! Many readers will have questions about what to expect in elections at all levels of government, from casting ballots to certifying final results. Ballotpedia’s 2022 Election Help Desk is here to help.

The Help Desk contains articles answering frequently asked questions about elections and election administration. Topics include: 

General election information: Election rules and processes vary widely from state to state, and sometimes among localities within states. We’ve got information on how elections are run, how voting works, and more. Examples of frequently asked questions include: 

Important dates and deadlines: We’ve collected information on the deadlines every voter needs to know, including: 

Absentee-mail-in voting: Can’t make it to the polls on Election Day? Every state has a process for voters to cast their ballots early or absentee. We have the information you need to do both:

Reporting and certifying election results: A lot of work goes on after all the ballots are cast and before a winner is officially declared. We’ve got information that will help you understand what happens when the polls close, including:

Disputing election results: Not every election goes to plan, leading to disputes, challenges, recounts, and even legal action. We have information that can help you understand what it all means: 

We will add articles to the Help Desk as the election cycle progresses. If you have a question you’d like to see answered, contact our team.

Check out the Help Desk at the link below!

Keep reading

Five party committees report largest spending numbers of 2022 election cycle in August 

Here’s the latest on Republican and Democratic Party committee fundraising. These committees exist to help party candidates run their campaigns. 

The Republican National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and National Republican Congressional Committee all reported their highest disbursement numbers of the cycle in August.

Six party committees have raised a combined $1.4 billion so far in the 2022 election cycle. According to the August FEC reports, the committees raised $84 million in August.

Combined, the Republican National Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee, and National Republican Congressional Committee have raised 1.9% more than the  Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ($711.1 million to $697.7 million). The Republican committees’ fundraising advantage is up from 1.1% last month.

Let’s break the numbers down by type of committee.

Senatorial campaign committees

In August, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $12.6 million and spent $20.9 million. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) raised $12.6 million and spent $19.8 million. 

So far this cycle, the NRSC has outraised the DCCC, $194.1 million to $184.8 million.

At this point in the 2020 election cycle, the NRSC had raised$167.7 million to the DSCC’s $165.2 million. 

Congressional campaign committees

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $15.5 million and spent $23.6 million in August. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRSC) raised $15.6 million and spent $12.5 million. So far this cycle, the DCCC has raised $268.4 million to the NRCC’s $240.5 million. 

At this point in the 2020 cycle, the DCCC had raised $248.8 million and the NRCC had raised $191.0 million.

National committees

In August, the Republican National Committee (RNC) raised $17.2 million and spent $26.6 million, while the Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised $10.9 million and spent $14.5 million. So far in the 2022 election cycle, the RNC has raised $276.4 million to the DNC’s $244.4 million. 

At this time in the 2020 election cycle, the RNC had raised $532.7 million to the DNC’s $281.0 million.

You can read more about Republican and Democratic committee fundraising at the link below. 

Keep reading 

Vermonters to vote on first ballot measures since 2010

Today is the 20th day of our 50 States in 50 Days series, and we’re featuring Vermont, the Green Mountain State.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas, Minnesota, West Virginia

On the ballot in Vermont

One of Vermont’s U.S. Senate seats and its at-large congressional district are up for election this year. Both races are open, as the current incumbents did not seek re-election. 

Vermont is also holding elections for the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, and auditor.

All 30 seats across Vermont’s 13 state Senate districts as well as all 150 state House seats are up for election. Fifty-seven state legislative races are open.

Redistricting highlights

Vermont as a whole continues to make up a single congressional district following the 2020 census. 

State legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. To use our tool to view Vermont’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Vermont redistricting page

Partisan balance

  • Vermont has one Democratic Senator (Patrick Leahy, who isn’t seeking re-election), one independent Senator (Bernie Sanders, whose seat isn’t up for election), and one Democratic U.S. Representative (Peter Welch, who isn’t seeking re-election).
  • The Vermont Senate has 21 Democrats, seven Republicans, and two members of the Vermont Progressive Party. The state House has  93 Democrats, 46 Republicans, five Vermont Progressives, and five independents. 
  • The state does not have a trifecta, or single-party control of the legislature and governorship, as Democrats have majorities in both legislative chambers and the governor is a Republican. The state’s Democratic trifecta ended in 2017 when incumbent Gov. Phil Scott (R) took office.
  • Democrats hold the offices of attorney general and secretary of state, meaning the state does not have a triplex, or single-party control of the top three state executive offices, since the governor is a Republican.
  • Vermont’s lieutenant governor, Molly Gray, is a Democrat. Of the 17 states that elect governors and lieutenant governors separately, Vermont is one of three (alongside Louisiana and North Carolina) whose governor and lieutenant governor have different party affiliations.

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 111 state legislative seats in Vermont, or 62% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition

Democrats are running in 83% of all state legislative races. Thirty state legislative seats (17% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate.

Republicans are running in 54% of all state legislative races. Eighty-three seats (46% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate.

Key races

Two state House districts had races with margins of victory of less than 0.5 percentage points in 2020 and have contested elections this year. 

  • Vermont House of Representatives Orange-1 District: A two-member district before redistricting, Orange-1 is now a single-member district. Incumbent Samantha Lefebvre (R) faces Carl Demrow (D) in November. In 2020, Rodney Graham (R) and Lefebvre were elected with 26.0% and 21.3%. Kate MacLean (D) placed third with 20.8%. MacLean received 40 fewer votes than Lefebvre. Graham is running in Vermont’s Orange-3 District this year.
  • Vermont House of Representatives Rutland-2 District: Incumbents Tom Burditt (R) and Arthur Peterson (R) are running for re-election in this two-member district. Ken Fredette (D) and Dave Potter (D) are running in the election. Burditt and Peterson won with 28.1% and 25.4% in 2020. Then-incumbent Dave Potter (D) had received 24.9%. Potter had 42 fewer votes than Peterson.

Ballot measures

Vermont voters will decide two statewide measures on Nov. 8. The 2022 amendments are the first in 12 years on Vermont ballots.

  • The Vermont Right to Personal Reproductive Autonomy Amendment would add language to the Vermont Constitution stating that “an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course.” The ballot measure would prohibit the constitutional right from being denied or infringed unless there is a compelling state interest, which would need to be achieved using the least restrictive means.
  • The Vermont Prohibit Slavery and Indentured Servitude Amendment would add language to the Vermont Constitution that says, “slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited.” The ballot measure would repeal language stating that persons could be held as servants, slaves, or apprentices with the person’s consent or “for the payments of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like.” 

Six ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2018. Five ballot measures were approved, and 1 ballot measure was defeated.

Voting

  • Polls open between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
  • Vermont does not require voters to present identification while voting, in most cases. First-time voters who registered by mail are required to present identification at the polls.
  • Early voting is open from Sept. 24 to Nov. 7.
  • Vermonters can register to vote online, by mail, or in person. The deadline is Election Day, Nov. 8. Mailed registrations must be received by Nov. 8. For more information about voter ID requirements in Vermont, click here.
  • All Vermonters may vote absentee/by mail. Ballots for the general election will be automatically mailed to active registered voters by Oct. 1. The request deadline is Nov. 7. 
  • The Secretary of State office says that “ballots must be returned to the town clerk’s office before the close of the office on the day before the election, or to the polling place before 7 p.m. on the day of the election, in order to be counted.” Mailed ballots must be received by Nov. 8. Voters must sign a certificate on an envelope included with their absentee/mail ballot in order for their ballot to be valid. To check the status of your ballot, click here.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!  

Learn more about Vermont’s elections at the link below.

Keep reading



Monitor the intersection of politics and business with our Economy and Society newsletter

Welcome to the Thursday, September 22, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Monitor the intersection of politics and business with our Economics and Society newsletter
  2. Battleground preview: Evers, Michels running for Wisconsin governor  
  3. Minnesota’s Democratic triplex at stake with voters deciding gubernatorial, attorney general, and secretary of state elections

Monitor the intersection of politics and business with our  Economy and Society newsletter

Business and politics have long been among the most powerful forces in our society. The relationships between the two are constantly changing – reflecting both the dynamism of the U.S. economy and the political response to it.

We’ve seen instances of this evolving relationship in recent news stories. In some states, executive branch officials are questioning the use of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) investment strategies in their public pension plans. Elsewhere, the owner of outdoor outfitter Patagonia transferred control of the company to a trust that will use all future profits to fight climate change.

Making sense of the latest news, policies, regulations, legal challenges, and more has been a huge challenge. But we’re here to help.

Our free, weekly newsletter, Economy and Society, is designed to help government relations and financial professionals, scholars, and the general public understand the issues, policies, and politics that shape the nexus between business and politics.

In every issue of Economy and Society our expert policy team brings you the latest news and insights on issues like:

  • Corporate activism and the political responses to it
  • The politics surrounding ESG
  • The role of public pension funds in social debates
  • Curated selections of the latest scholarship and research on political economy
  • And much more!

The bottom line: Economy and Society is your go-to source for the information you need to understand the politics of corporations, and the business of politics.

Best of all, Economy and Society is produced the Ballotpedia way – factual, neutral, and comprehensive.

Want to sample the newsletter before subscribing? Check out our archive of recent issues, which covered such topics as:

Subscribing is easy and, as always, free of charge. To start your subscription, just click the link below.

Subscribe here 

Battleground preview: Evers, Michels running for Wisconsin governor  

We’re previewing pivotal battleground elections across the country between now and election day. Today, we’re looking at the Wisconsin gubernatorial election—one of 12 gubernatorial battlegrounds this year. 

Incumbent Gov. Tony Evers (D) and Tim Michels (R) are running in the election. 

Evers was elected in 2018, defeating then-Gov. Scott Walker (R) 49.5% to 48.4%. Before becoming governor, Evers served 10 years as the Wisconsin superintendent of public instruction and as deputy superintendent for eight years before that. Evers’ campaign website says he has “worked to bring people together around common sense solutions that make Wisconsin stronger” and names “signing a bipartisan income tax cut, fixing thousands of miles of roads and bridges, investing in apprenticeships and job training programs, and increasing resources for our public schools” among his accomplishments. Evers was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Michels, a 12-year U.S. Army veteran, is co-owner and vice president of an energy and infrastructure construction company. Michels says he is “a businessman, not a politician.” After winning the Republican nomination, Michels said, “[T]his race has always been about … standing up for the hard-working people of Wisconsin. They’ve been left behind by the Democratic Party that just wants to focus on the social issues. From my first day in office to my very last day as governor, jobs and the economy are going to be my number one priority.”

Independent forecasters consider the election a toss-up. Post-primary polls have not shown either candidate with a statistically significant lead. As of July 25, the last date for which campaign finance data is available, Evers has raised $21,708,994 to Michels’ $12,018,573.

Politically, Wisconsin is one of the most competitive states in the country. Four of the six presidential elections since 2000 have been decided by less than one percentage point. Wisconsin has a Democratic triplex and a divided trifecta. The Democratic Party controls the offices of governor, secretary of state, and attorney general. The Republican Party controls both chambers of the state legislature. When Evers was elected in 2018, Republicans had controlled state government for eight years. Before that, Democrats had a trifecta for two years. Democrats gained a triplex in Wisconsin in 2018 when Democratic candidates defeated Republican incumbents in the elections for governor and attorney general, and the Democratic secretary of state was re-elected.

Wisconsin is one of seven states where the lieutenant governor is nominated in a separate primary but runs on a single ticket with the gubernatorial nominee in the general election. State Sen. Roger Roth (R) and state Assembly member Sara Rodriguez (D) are running for lieutenant governor.  

Click below to read more about Wisconsin’s gubernatorial election.

Keep reading 

Early voting for the general election in Minnesota begins Sept. 23

Today is the 18th day of our 50 States in 50 Days series, and we’re featuring Minnesota, the North Star State. 

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas

On the ballot in Minnesota

At the federal level, Minnesota voters will elect eight U.S. Representatives. Minnesota is one of 15 states that does not have a U.S. Senate seat up for election this year. At the state level, voters will elect a governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and auditor. 

In the state legislature, all 67 districts in the state Senate and all 134 districts in the state House of Representatives are up for election. Sixty-three districts across both chambers are open. That represents 31% of the state’s legislature, an increase compared to the preceding four election cycles.

Additionally, two seats on the state supreme court are up for election. Minnesota is one of 30 states holding elections for state supreme court.

Redistricting highlights

Minnesota was apportioned eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, the same number it received after the 2010 census.

Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in Minnesota:  

To use our tool to view Minnesota’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Minnesota redistricting page

Partisan balance

  • Minnesota’s U.S. Senators—Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith—are Democrats.
  • Minnesota’s U.S. House delegation is split 4-4 between Republicans and Democrats.
  • Republicans hold a 34-31 majority in the state Senate. One state senator is an independent, and there is currently one vacancy. Democrats have a 69-63 majority in the state House. One state representative is an independent, and there is currently one vacancy. 
  • Minnesota has had a Democratic governor since 2011.
  • Because the governor is a Democrat, Minnesota is one of 13 states with divided government, where neither party holds trifecta control. Minnesota has had a divided government since 2014 after the Republican Party captured the state House, breaking the state’s Democratic trifecta.
  • Along with the governor, the secretary of state and attorney general are also Democrats, making the state one of 18 with a Democratic triplex among those offices.

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 26 state legislative seats in Minnesota, or 13% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either the Democratic or Republican parties runs for a state legislative seat, the seat is all but guaranteed to be won by that party.

Democrats are running in 96% of all state legislative races. Eight state legislative seats (4% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate and a Republican is likely to win.

Republicans are running in 91% of all state legislative races. Eighteen seats (9% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate and a Democrat is likely to win.

Key races

  • Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District: Incumbent Angie Craig (D) is running against Tyler Kistner (R) and Paula Overby (Legal Marijuana Now Party). Craig was first elected in 2018. Craig defeated Kistner in 2020 48.2% to 45.9%. 
  • Minnesota gubernatorial election: Incumbent Gov. Tim Walz (D), Scott Jensen (R), Steve Patterson (Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party of Minnesota), Hugh McTavish (Independence Party of Minnesota), James McCaskel (Legal Marijuana Now Party), and Gabrielle Prosser (Socialist Workers Party) are running for governor. Walz was first elected in 2018. Since 1990, Minnesota has had two Democratic governors, two Republican governors, and one Reform Party governor. The two most recent presidential elections in Minnesota, both of which were won by Democrats, were decided by seven percentage points or less. Tim Pawlenty (R), who served from 2003 to 2011, was Minnesota’s last Republican governor.  
  • Minnesota Attorney General election: Incumbent Keith Ellison (D) is running against Jim Schultz (R). Ellison, a former U.S. Representative, was first elected attorney general in 2018. 
  • Minnesota Secretary of State election: Incumbent Steve Simon (D) is running against Kim Crockett (R) in the general election. Simon was first elected in 2014. 

Voting

  • Polling locations open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. 
  • Minnesota does not require voters to present identification while voting. For more information about voter ID requirements in Minnesota, click here.
  • Early voting runs from Sept. 23 through Nov. 7. 
  • The in-person voter registration deadline is Nov. 8. The deadline to register by mail or online is Oct. 18.
  • There are no eligibility requirements to vote absentee in Minnesota. There is no specific deadline for applying for an absentee ballot. A completed ballot must be returned on or before Election Day for it to be counted. To check the status of your ballot, click here.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool! 

Keep reading



Incumbent Kildee, Junge, Canny, and Goodwin running for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District

Incumbent Dan Kildee (D), Paul Junge (R), David Canny (L), and Kathy Goodwin (Working Class Party) are running in the general election for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District on November 8, 2022.

Bloomberg Government’s Emily Wilkins said, “Kildee, first elected a decade ago, is one of a handful of lawmakers who became GOP targets thanks to redistricting. His once-safe district, which includes Flint and Saginaw, became more Republican with the addition of Midland. And as one of more than two dozen endangered incumbent Democrats, the House majority will be decided in his own backyard.”

Kildee represents Michigan’s 5th Congressional District, a position to which he was first elected in 2012. Kildee has campaigned on bringing jobs back to Michigan and raising worker wages, lowering insurance premiums and the price of prescription drugs, and clean water. Kildee has referenced his record in the U.S. House, saying, “I’m focused on fighting inflation and lowering the cost of gas, groceries and prescription drugs. I’ve worked to support our local law enforcement and pass bipartisan legislation, supported by Republicans and Democrats, to reduce crime. And I’ve helped pass new laws, like the bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the CHIPS and Science Act, to support Michigan jobs and grow our economy.” In the 2020 general election, Kildee defeated Tim Kelly (R) 54.5% to 41.7%.

Junge is a former prosecutor and news anchor who worked in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under President Donald Trump (R). Junge has campaigned on opposing tax increases, cutting spending, banning sanctuary cities, and securing elections. Junge said, “by stopping the failed Biden-Kildee agenda and returning to the successful policies of the Trump Administration, we will strengthen our economy, lower gas prices, secure the border, and expand opportunities for every American.” In 2020, Junge ran in the general election for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District and lost to incumbent Elissa Slotkin (D) 50.9% to 47.3%.

Daily Kos calculated what the results of the 2020 presidential election in this district would have been following redistricting. Joe Biden (D) would have received 50.3% of the vote in this district and Trump would have received 48.2%.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 districts in the House are up for election. As of September 13, 2022, Democrats hold a 221-212 advantage in the U.S. House with two vacancies. 



Part 2 – Analysis of statewide major party candidates on the primary ballot

Welcome to the Thursday, September 15, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Part 2 – Analysis of major party candidates on the primary ballot
  2. Sept. 13 primary election results 
  3. Organized labor amendment on the ballot in Illinois becomes the state’s 12th ballot measure since 1995

Part 2 – Analysis of major party candidates on the primary ballot

Yesterday, we kicked off our analysis of the numbers behind this year’s primary season with a look at major party congressional candidates. We found that more Republicans are running for Congress this year than in either 2020 or 2018, and that Republicans make up a larger percentage of major party congressional candidates than in either year.  

Like the story that played out this year in congressional primaries, we found that the proportion of candidates running as Republicans in state executive and state legislative primaries has increased while the proportion running as Democrats has decreased. The percentage of Democratic candidates running for state executive offices has fallen from 49% in 2018 to 40.6% in 2022, a decline of 17%. The percentage of Republican candidates running for state executive offices, on the other hand, increased from 51% in 2018 to 59.4% today, an increase of 16%. Similarly, the percentage of Democrats running in state legislative primaries has fallen since 2018, while the reverse is true for Republican state legislative candidates. 

Since 2018, the number of Republican state executive and state legislative candidates has increased while the number of Democratic candidates has decreased. 

State executive offices

This year, 1,140 major party candidates were on the primary ballot for 304 state executive offices—including 36 gubernatorial offices, 30 lieutenant gubernatorial offices, 30 attorney general offices, and 26 secretary of state offices. 

Of the major party candidates on the ballot, 463, or 40.6%, were Democrats, and 677, or 59.4%, were Republicans.

Since 2018, the percentage of Democrats among major party state executive candidates has fallen. In 2020, 46.3% of major party state executive candidates were Democrats. In 2018, that percentage was 49.0%. On the other hand, the percentage of Republican major party state executive candidates has increased since 2018. In 2020, that percentage was 53.8%. And in 2018, it was 51.0%. 

The number of candidates per state executive office tells a similar story. An average of 1.69 Republicans filed to run per state executive office in 2020 and 2018. In 2022, however, 2.23 Republican candidates filed to run per state executive office—a 32% increase! For Democrats, the number of candidates on the ballot per state executive office this year was higher than in 2020 but lower than in 2018. 

State legislative primaries

This year, 13,491 major party candidates were on the primary ballot for 6,278 state legislative seats around the country. Of those candidates, 6,063, or 44.9%, were Democrats, and 7,428, or 55.1%, were Republicans.

There were 2,824 major party state senate candidates, and 44.4% were Democrats, while 55.6% were Republicans. Since 2018, the percentage of Republican state senate candidates has increased, while the percentage of Democratic state senate candidates has decreased. 

In state house races, there were 10,667 major party candidates on the primary ballot this year, and 45.1% were Democrats while 54.9% were Republicans. Once again, the percentage of Republicans running for state house districts has increased since 2018, while the percentage of Democrats running in those races has decreased. 

State judicial seats

This year, there were 88 state judicial positions up for partisan election. This includes seats on state supreme courts, intermediate appellate courts, and other state courts. In most states, judges do not run in partisan elections. For example, state supreme court candidates run in partisan elections in only eight states. Click here to learn more about state judicial selection methods.

One-hundred sixty major party candidates were on the primary ballot for those 88 positions, including 72 Democrats, or 45% of all major party candidates who ran, and 88 Republicans, or 55% of all major party candidates who ran.

The percentage of major party state judicial candidates this year who ran as Democrats was lower than in 2020 but higher than in 2018. The percentage of major party candidates who ran as Republicans this year was higher than in 2020 but lower than in 2018. 

This year, there were 0.82 Democratic candidates on the ballot per state judicial seat and one Republican candidate on the ballot per state judicial seat.

You can read more about the number of Democratic and Republican candidates on the ballot for federal and state offices at the link below. 

Keep reading

Sept. 13 primary election results 

On Sept. 13, Delaware, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire held primaries, effectively closing out a primary season that began all the way back in March (Louisiana is the only state that has yet to hold primaries, and it will do so on Nov. 8). Let’s take a look at some of the key races. 

Rhode Island

In the Rhode Island Democratic gubernatorial primary, incumbent Dan McKee defeated Helena Foulkes, Nellie Gorbea, Matt Brown, and Luis Daniel Muñoz. McKee won  32.8% of the vote to Foulkes’ 30.1%. McKee, Gorbea, and Foulkes had led in polling and endorsements. The Rhode Island Democratic Party endorsed McKee. Former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) and Jorge Elorza, the mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, endorsed Foulkes. 

New Hampshire

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) defeated Paul Krautmann and John Riggieri in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Hassan was elected in 2016. On the Republican side, Don Bolduc leads Chuck Morse and 10 other candidates. At the time of this writing, the race had not been called, but Morse conceded the race to Bolduc Wednesday morning. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) endorsed Morse. Former President Donald Trump (R) did not make an endorsement in the race, but said Bolduc was a “strong guy, tough guy.” Election forecasters  consider the general election Lean Democratic or Tilt Democratic. 

State legislative primaries—big picture

Since the primaries began in earnest, we’ve tracked how many state legislative incumbents have lost. With the conclusion of this year’s primary election cycle, 216 state legislative incumbents—63 Democrats and 153 Republicans—lost to primary challengers, representing 4.5% of incumbents running for re-election.

In New Hampshire’s Sept. 13 elections, seven incumbents lost—two Democrats and five Republicans. 

These numbers will likely change. There are 12 Democratic and 24 Republican primaries featuring incumbents across these three states that remain uncalled in addition to three uncalled Democratic primaries with incumbents on the ballot in states that held elections earlier this year.

This year, Republican incumbents have lost at a higher rate than Democrats. Overall, 6% of Republican incumbents who filed for re-election lost. Only 2.8% of Democratic incumbents have lost. 

Click below to see all Sept. 13 election results. 

Keep reading 

Organized labor amendment on the ballot in Illinois becomes the state’s 12th ballot measure since 1995

Today is the 13th day of our 50 States in 50 days series, and we’re featuring Illinois, the Prairie State.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota

Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana

Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico

On the ballot in Illinois

Illinois voters will elect one member to the U.S. Senate and 17 members to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Six state executive offices are on the ballot this year: governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, and comptroller.

All 59 seats in the Illinois Senate and all 118 seats in the Illinois House of Representatives are up for election this year.

Three seats on the Illinois Supreme Court are up for election. Two of the elections are partisan, contested elections, while the third is a retention election. Fourteen seats across the five districts of the Illinois Appellate Court are up for election this year.

Voters in Cook County will vote for 56 officials. The offices on the ballot are: county assessor, board of commissioners president, county clerk, county sheriff, county treasurer, three members of the board of review, 17 members of the county commission, four members of the water reclamation district, and 27 seats on the circuit court.

Redistricting highlights

Illinois lost one congressional district after the 2020 census, going from 18 in 2020 to 17 this year. 

Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in Illinois:  

To use our tool to view Illinois’ state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Illinois redistricting page

Partisan balance

  • Both of Illinois’ U.S. Senators—Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin—are Democrats.
  • Illinois’ U.S. House delegation consists of 13 Democrats and five Republicans.
  • Democrats hold a 41-18 majority in the state Senate and a 73-45 majority in the state House. Because the governor is a Democrat, Illinois is one of 14 Democratic trifectas. It has held this status since 2019.
  • Illinois has had a Democratic governor since 2019. Its last Republican governor was Bruce Rauner.
  • Along with the governor, the secretary of state and attorney general are also Democrats, making the state one of 18 with a Democratic triplex.

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 102 state legislative seats in Illinois, or 58% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either the Democratic or Republican parties runs in a state legislative district, that candidate is all but guaranteed to win the district.

Democrats are running in 72% of all state legislative races. Forty-nine state legislative seats (28% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate and are likely to be won by a Republican.

Republicans are running in 70% of all state legislative races. Fifty-three seats (30% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate and are likely to be won by a Democrat.

Key races

  • U.S. House, Illinois District 17: Eric Sorensen (D) and Esther Joy King (R) are running in the general election. The current incumbent, Rep. Cheri Bustos (D), did not seek re-election. Bustos defeated King 52% to 48% in the 2020 general election. Three independent election forecasters rate the race Toss-up.
  • Governor of Illinois: Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), first elected in 2018, is running for re-election. He faces state Rep. Darren Bailey (R) in the general election. Three independent election forecasters rate the race Solid Democratic or Safe Democratic. Pritzker won his first term by 15.7%.

Ballot measures

One measure will be on the ballot this year:

  • Amendment 1: Would create a state constitutional right for employees to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their choosing to negotiate “wages, hours, and working conditions and to protect their economic welfare and safety at work.”

Between 1995 and 2020, 11 ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots. Eight (72.7%) ballot measures were approved, and three (27.3%) ballot measures were defeated. 

Voting

  • Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time.
  • Illinois generally does not require identification to vote. To read about the specific case where voter identification may be required, click here.
  • Early voting sites open on Sept. 29 and close on Nov. 7.
  • The voter registration deadline is Oct. 11. Registration can be done in-person, by-mail, or online, with mailed forms received by the deadline.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool! 

Keep reading



Hall Pass: Your Ticket to Understanding School Board Politics, Edition #30

Ballotpedia's Hall Pass

Welcome to Hall Pass, a newsletter written to keep you plugged into the conversations driving school board politics and governance. 

In today’s edition, you’ll find:

  • On the issues: The debate over Pennsylvania’s proposed Lifeline Scholarship Program 
  • In your district: Choosing curricular materials and library books
  • Here are the education-related measures voters will decide in November
  • Extracurricular: education news from around the web
  • Candidate Connection survey
  • School board candidates per seat up for election

Reply to this email to share reactions or story ideas!

On the issues: The debate over Pennsylvania’s proposed Lifeline Scholarship Program

In this section, we curate reporting, analysis, and commentary on the issues school board members deliberate when they set out to offer the best education possible in their district.

Pennsylvania HB 2169 aims to establish a scholarship program that would give the parents of some children, including the parents of children in the lowest-performing 15% of school districts, around $6,800 to spend on education-related expenses. The state Senate is considering the bill, which the state House passed 104-98 on April 27, 2022. State Rep. Clint Owlett (R) introduced HB 2169. Republicans hold a 113-89 majority in the House. 

Jackie Huff writes that HB 2169 would exacerbate problems facing underperforming schools by reducing their funding and redirecting it to private schools if students spend their Lifeline Scholarship funds outside the public school system. Huff says public schools are underfunded and would be worse for the 90% of students who attend public schools if the bill passes.

Laurie Todd-Smith writes that HB 2169 would largely benefit minority students and poorer students and families. Todd-Smith says students should not be trapped in the lowest-performing 15% of public schools in the state and says HB 2169 and the Lifeline Scholarship Program would give families the ability to choose a better education.  

Op-Ed: Voucher Bill Has Dire Consequences for Pennsylvania Public Schools | Jackie Huff, StateCollege.com

“[T]hese Lifeline Scholarships will rob resources from districts that need them the most. If a student elects to leave public school X and uses a Lifeline Scholarship to attend a private school, the funds given to the parents of the student to spend on “qualified education expenses” will come out of the budget for the public school X. Pennsylvania has been chronically underfunding school districts for decades—so taking additional funds away from districts that are being underfunded already is only going to exacerbate the problem. In recent polling, nearly two-thirds of Pennsylvania parents with children in K-12 schools supported providing struggling schools with additional resources and supports. The voucher bill would do the opposite and continue to squeeze districts that are fighting to make ends meet and get the services that their students deserve. … We should focus taxpayer money on public schools, where over 90% of Commonwealth students go. Private schools can pick the students they want and reject the ones they don’t want. Public schools accept every child.”

Pennsylvania’s legislature should throw a lifeline to low-income students in failing school districts | Opinion | Laurie Todd-Smith, PennLive

“For many families with at-risk children stuck in low-performing schools, school choice offers what may be the only avenue to a high-quality education. Fortunately for Pennsylvania families, the state legislature has introduced House Bill (HB) 2169 amending the Public-School Code of 1949 to establish a Lifeline Scholarship Program. Lifeline Scholarships help children in the bottom 15% of performing school districts in the state. As a result, low-income students trapped in the worst-performing schools will have access to better educational opportunities and a real chance at a prosperous future. … Eighty percent of students who attend Pennsylvania’s bottom 15% of public district schools are students of color and low-income children. Furthermore, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, minority students suffered the greatest during the pandemic. As a result, neighboring districts have radically different levels of academic achievement. These drastic achievement gaps must be closed by empowering families to make the best decision for their children. As we emerge from the pandemic, we must protect the future of our communities, our children, and their pathway to prosperity.”

In your district: Choosing curricular materials

School districts around the country face diverse issues and challenges. We want to hear what’s happening in your school district. Complete the very brief survey below—anonymously if you prefer—and we may share your response with fellow subscribers in an upcoming newsletter.

Today’s question:

School boards are responsible for setting policies around books—including which books to select and whether to ban or prohibit certain books. What are your views about how school boards should set policy surrounding books in school districts?

Click here to respond!

Seven education-related ballot measures voters will decide in November

Voters in many states on Nov. 8 will decide ballot measures on a wide range of subjects, from abortion to election administration and beyond. Today, we’re going to look at the education-related measures voters will decide in November. 

Thus far, 137 statewide ballot measures have been certified in 37 states. Seven of those measures are related to education. In 2020, eight education-related measures appeared on the ballot. Voters approved two and defeated six.

Click on the titles below to learn more about each measure.

New Mexico Constitutional Amendment 1, Land Grant Permanent Fund Distribution for Early Childhood Education Amendment

Constitutional Amendment 1 is a legislatively referred constitutional amendment. Constitutional Amendment 1 would allocate 1.25% of the five-year average of year-end market values of the money in the Land Grant Permanent Fund to early childhood education (60% of the allocation) and public education (40% of the allocation). The Land Grant Permanent Fund (LGPF) is also known as the Permanent School Fund. Revenue in the LGPF comes from leases and royalties on non-renewable natural resources, such as oil and gas, and returns on invested capital. It was established when New Mexico became a state in 1912.

Arizona Proposition 308, In-State Tuition for Non-Citizen Residents Measure 

Proposition 308 is a legislatively referred state statute. Proposition 308 would allow non-citizen students, except those considered to be nonresident aliens under federal law, to receive in-state college tuition when a student (a) attended school in Arizona for at least two years and (b) graduated from a public school, private school, or homeschool in Arizona. Proposition 308 would repeal provisions of Proposition 300, which voters approved in 2006. Proposition 300 said non-citizens could not receive certain state-subsidized services, benefits, or financial aid or in-state tuition rates.

Massachusetts Question 1, Tax on Income Above $1 Million for Education and Transportation Amendment 

Question 1 is a legislatively referred constitutional amendment. Question 1 would create an additional 4% tax on the portion of income above $1 million to fund public education, roads and bridges, and public transportation. The tax would be in addition to the state’s 5% flat income tax, for a total tax rate of 9% on income above $1 million. 

West Virginia Legislative Approval of the State Board of Education Rules Amendment

This amendment, a legislatively referred constitutional amendment, would require the State Board of Education to submit its rules or policies to the Legislature for approval, amendment, or rejection. The State Board of Education is a nine-member board with nine-year terms. The governor appoints board members and the Senate confirms them.

Colorado Reduce Income Tax Deduction Amounts to Fund School Meals Program Measure

This measure, a legislatively referred state statute, would reduce income tax deduction amounts for those earning $300,000 or more from $30,000 for single filers and $60,000 for joint filers to $12,000 for single filers and $16,000 for joint filers. The measure would also create and fund the Healthy School Meals for All Program to provide free school meals to all students in Colorado public schools, provide local food purchasing grants, and increase wages for employees who prepare and serve food.

California Proposition 28, Art and Music K-12 Education Funding Initiative

This initiated state statute would require a minimum source of annual funding for K-12 public schools, including charter schools, to fund arts education programs. The annual minimum amount would be equal to, at minimum, 1% of the total state and local revenues that local education agencies received under 1988’s Proposition 98 during the previous fiscal year. 

Idaho Income and Corporate Tax Changes and Education Funding Advisory Question

This is a non-binding question, meaning that the outcome will not result in a new, changed, repealed, or rejected law or constitutional amendment. This advisory question is a provision of House Bill 1 (HB1). In September, during a special session, the Idaho legislature passed HB1, which creates a flat rate tax on income and corporate tax rate and allocates $410 million of the state’s sales tax revenue annually to the public school income fund. HB1 is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 3, 2023. The advisory question allows voters to indicate their support or opposition to the tax changes and education funding enacted by the state legislature.

Before the legislature passed HB1, Proposition 1 would have appeared on the November ballot as an initiated statute. Proposition 1 would have created new tax brackets and tax rates for individuals, trusts, estates, and corporations and established the Quality Education Fund for education funding. 

Following HB1’s passage, the campaign behind Proposition 1 requested the secretary of state withdraw the initiative. 

Luke Mayville, who founded the group that sponsored the initiative, said, “There are two ways a ballot initiative can win. One way is by securing a majority of the vote at the ballot box. Another way is by forcing the Legislature to do something they would never have otherwise done. By placing the Quality Education Act on the ballot, the citizens of Idaho have forced the Legislature to make the largest investment in Idaho public schools in a generation.”

Click here to read more about education-related ballot measures. 

Extracurricular: education news from around the web

This section contains links to recent education-related articles from around the internet. If you know of a story we should be reading, reply to this email to share it with us! 

Take our Candidate Connection survey to reach voters in your district

Today, we’re highlighting survey responses from the Nov. 8 general election for Seminole County School Board District 5 in Florida. Dana Fernandez and Autumn Garick advanced from the Aug. 23 primary. 

Three seats on the board are up for election this year. 

Here’s how Fernandez answered the question “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?


“I would like to see the politics out of our schools. It is essential that we restore the power where it belongs, back to the parents. I will do everything in my power to make sure that happens. I also believe very strongly that the students have been negatively impacted by the school closures and mandates. I will never, ever vote to close down the schools again and certainly will never, ever support any mandate.”

Click here to read the rest of Fernandez’s responses. 

Here’s how Garick answered the question “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?

“As an involved parent of three who attended elementary, middle and high school in Seminole County I have always been passionate about providing the very best education opportunities not just for my own children, but for every student, every school. This means knowing the issues, the schools and building relationships in the system and community. I do my homework. Though I was the third candidate to enter this race I was the first to attend open budget workshops, committee meetings and policy discussions at the county level. I have met with voters, students, teachers, staff and district personnel to learn the specific challenges facing our district at this time and I am active in the classroom. I’m proud to share that my work has earned the endorsement of the Orlando Sentinel as well as teachers and staff. Our students, teachers/staff and families deserve a full time advocate and I’m prepared to serve.”

Click here to read the rest of Gerick’s responses. 

If you’re a school board candidate or incumbent, click here to take the survey. If you’re not running for school board but there is an election in your community this year, share the link with the candidates and urge them to take the survey!



Here’s where voters will decide six abortion-related measures this year

Welcome to the Monday, September 12, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Six abortion-related measures are on the ballot in 2022—the most on record for a single year
  2. A look at Rhode Island’s upcoming primaries 
  3. North Carolina voters will decide partisan majority on the state supreme court

Six abortion-related measures are on the ballot in 2022—the most on record for a single year

Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at some of the major statewide ballot issues voters will decide in November. Today, we’re looking at six ballot measures addressing abortion—the most on record in a single year.

In November, measures will appear on the ballot in California, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, and Vermont. Votes on these ballot measures follow the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which held that the U.S. Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.

In August, voters in Kansas rejected one of the six measures. The Kansas measure would have provided that nothing in the state constitution created a right to abortion or required government funding for abortion. Turnout on the amendment was 49%, and the number of votes cast exceeded those in the state’s U.S. Senate and gubernatorial primaries on Aug. 2. 

Voters in California, Michigan, and Vermont will be the first to decide on ballot measures to establish state constitutional rights to abortion. 

In November, voters will decide the following five abortion-related ballot measures:

  • California Proposition 1: Amends the California Constitution to provide that the state cannot “deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions,” including decisions to have an abortion or to choose or refuse contraceptives.
  • Kentucky Constitutional Amendment 2: Amends the Kentucky Constitution to state that nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding of abortions.
  • Michigan Proposal 3: Amends the Michigan Constitution to provide a state constitutional right to reproductive freedom, defined to include abortion, contraception, and other matters related to pregnancy.
  • Montana LR-131: Provides, in state law, that infants born alive at any stage of development are legal persons and requires medical care to be provided to infants born alive after an induced labor, cesarean section, attempted abortion, or another method.
  • Vermont Amendment: Amends the Vermont Constitution to provide a state constitutional right to personal reproductive autonomy.

From 1970 to August 2022, there were 48 abortion-related ballot measures, and 41 (85%) of those had the support of organizations that described themselves as pro-life. Voters approved 11 (27%) and rejected 30 (73%) of those 41 ballot measures. The other seven abortion-related ballot measures had the support of organizations that described themselves as pro-choice or pro-reproductive rights groups. Voters approved four (57%) and rejected three (43%).

The map below shows abortion restrictions by state based on the stage of pregnancy when restrictions take effect. Click here to learn more about abortion regulations by state.

Click below to read more about abortion-related ballot measures this year. 

Keep reading

A look at Rhode Island’s upcoming primaries 

We’re reaching the end of primary season, and the country’s attention is shifting to the Nov. 8 general elections—only 57 days away! But there are still a few more to go. Tomorrow, Rhode Island, Delaware, and New Hampshire will hold statewide primaries. Last week, we previewed primaries in Delaware and New Hampshire. Today, we’re looking at Rhode Island’s primaries.

Rhode Island is one of 16 states not holding U.S. Senate elections this year. 

Voters will decide Republican and Democratic primaries for the state’s two U.S. House districts. The 2nd District is open, as incumbent Jim Langevin (D) is not running for re-election.

Voters in Rhode Island will decide Republican and Democratic primaries for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and treasurer. 

Incumbent Gov. Daniel McKee (D) took office in March 2021 after former Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) was appointed U.S. secretary of commerce. McKee, Nellie Gorbea, Helena Foulkes, and two other candidates are running in the Democratic primary.

All 38 seats in the state Senate and all 75 seats in the state House are up for election this year. Democrats have a 33-5 majority in the Senate and a 65-10 majority in the House. Overall, 44 primaries are contested this year, including 39 for Democrats and five for Republicans. There are four open seats across the two chambers, meaning 12% of the next legislature will be newcomers.

In Rhode Island, the primary candidate with the most votes wins—even if that candidate receives less than 50% of the total vote. Rhode Island is one of 40 states without primary election runoffs. The state does not cancel uncontested primaries. Write-in candidates do not need to file to run in general elections. 

Keep reading 

North Carolina voters will decide partisan majority on the state supreme court

Today is the ninth day of our 50 States in 50 days series, and we’re featuring North Carolina, the Tar Heel State.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota

Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana 

On the ballot in North Carolina

North Carolina voters will elect one new member to the United States Senate. Incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R) is not seeking re-election. 

Fourteen U.S. House districts are up for election. Three Democratic representatives are seeking re-election, six Republicans are seeking re-election. There are five open seats.

All 50 seats in the North Carolina Senate are up for election and all 120 seats in the North Carolina House of Representatives are up for election. Thirty state legislative seats are open.

Voters will also have two partisan North Carolina Supreme Court elections on their ballot this year. 

Redistricting highlights

North Carolina was apportioned 14 Districts in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, one more than it received after the 2010 census.

Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in North Carolina:

To use our tool to view North Carolina’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our North Carolina redistricting page

Partisan balance

North Carolina’s current congressional delegation is made up of two Republican Senators, five Democratic U.S. House members, and eight Republican U.S. House members. 

Republicans hold majorities in both chambers of  General Assembly. Republicans have a 27-22 majority in the North Carolina Senate, with one vacancy. Republicans have a 69-51 majority in the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Governor Roy Cooper is a Democrat, meaning North Carolina has a divided government where no party has trifecta control. North Carolina last had a state government trifecta in 2016, when Republicans controlled the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature.

North Carolina has a Democratic triplex, meaning the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all Democrats.

North Carolina is one of three states, along with Louisiana and Vermont, where the governor and lieutenant governor have different partisan affiliations. North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson is a Republican.

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 51 state legislative seats in North Carolina, or 30% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either the Democratic or Republican parties runs for a state legislative seat, the seat is all but guaranteed to be won by that party.

Democrats are running in 76% of all state legislative races. Forty-one state legislative seats (24% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate and are likely to be won by a Republican.

Republicans are running in 94% of all state legislative races. Ten seats (6% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate and are likely to be won by a Democrat.

Key races

Voting

  • On Election Day, polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time. 
  • North Carolina’s voter ID requirement is not currently being enforced due to court action. For more information about voter ID requirements in North Carolina, click here
  • Early voting in North Carolina is available to all voters. Early voting begins on Oct. 20, and ends on Nov. 5.
  • The voting registration deadline in North Carolina is Oct. 14. Registration can be done online, in person, or by mail. North Carolina only allows same-day voter registration during early voting.
  • All North Carolina voters are eligible to cast absentee ballots. Voters can return their ballots in person or by mail. Ballots must be returned in-person on Nov. 8 by 5 p.m. or postmarked by Nov. 8. The deadline to request an absentee or mail-in ballot is Nov. 1. To check the status of your ballot, click here

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!  

Keep reading



North Dakota term limits initiative certified for November ballot

Welcome to the Friday, September 9, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. North Dakota term limits initiative certified for November ballot
  2. A look at New Hampshire’s upcoming primaries 
  3. Montana voters to elect two U.S. House members for first time since 1990

North Dakota term limits initiative certified for November ballot

Voters in North Dakota will decide on an initiative to establish term limits for state legislators and the governor in November. 

In March, the Secretary of State Al Jaeger (R) announced that proponents did not submit enough valid signatures. Proponents appealed to the North Dakota Supreme Court. On Sept. 7, the court found that more than 15,000 invalidated signatures should have been certified and ruled 5-0 that the initiative must be placed on the Nov. 8 ballot. North Dakota for Term Limits, the campaign behind the measure, submitted 46,366 signatures. To qualify for the ballot, 31,164 of the signatures needed to be valid. 

In our 2020 study of state supreme court partisanship, we found that North Dakota was one of 27 states with Republican-controlled courts. The study presented Confidence Scores that represented our confidence in each justice’s degree of partisan affiliation, based on a variety of factors.  We assigned three North Dakota justices a score of “Mild Republican,” and one a score of “Strong Republican.” We did not find enough information on one justice to assign him a confidence score.  

The initiative would limit the governor to two terms. It would limit state legislators to eight years in the state House and eight years in the state Senate. A member of the House or Senate could not serve a term or remaining portion of a term if it would cause the legislator to have served more than eight years in the chamber. The measure would only apply to individuals elected after approval of the amendment. The measure also stipulates that only a citizen initiative, not the legislature, can change the amendment’s provisions.

State legislators in 15 states are subject to term limits. Five of those states impose a lifetime limit, meaning once a legislator has served the maximum allowable number of terms in a particular legislative chamber, they may never again run for or hold office in that particular chamber. Governors in 36 states are subject to some type of term limits. Eight states have lifetime limits for governors.

So far this year, 134 statewide ballot measures have been certified for the ballot in 37 states. 

Click below to learn more about the North Dakota Term Limits for Governor and State Legislators Initiative.

Keep reading

A look at New Hampshire’s upcoming primaries 

On Sept. 13, New Hampshire, Delaware, and Rhode Island will hold statewide primaries. Yesterday, we previewed Delaware’s primaries. Today, let’s turn our attention north to the Granite State. 

Congressional elections

Voters in New Hampshire will elect one U.S. Senator and two U.S. Representatives. Incumbent U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, Paul Krautmann and John Riggieri are running in the Democratic primary. Hassan, New Hampshire’s former governor, was first elected in 2016 when she defeated then-incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) 48% to 47.9%. Ten candidates are running in the Republican primary.

Voters will decide Republican and Democratic primaries for two U.S. House districts. Both of the state’s U.S. Representatives—Chris Pappas and Annie Kuster—are Democrats. Both Pappas, who represents the 1st Congressional District, and Kuster, who represents the 2nd Congressional District election, are running in uncontested Democratic primaries. Ten candidates are running in the Republican primary for the 1st Congressional District, while seven candidates are running in the Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional District.

State elections

New Hampshire is one of 36 states holding gubernatorial elections this year. Incumbent Gov. Chris Sununu (R) and five other candidates are running in the Republican primary. Sununu was first elected governor in 2016. State Sen. Tom Sherman (D) is the only candidate running in the Democratic primary. 

Voters will also decide Republican and Democratic primaries for five seats on the New Hampshire Executive Council. The five-member council approves the majority of expenditures in the state budget and oversees receipts and spending for state departments and agencies. The council also approves gubernatorial appointments. Currently, Republicans hold a 4-1 majority on the council. 

All 24 state Senate districts and all 400 state House districts are up for election this year. Overall, 89 state legislative primaries are contested, which is 20% of the total number of possible primaries and a 31% increase from 2020. One hundred sixteen incumbents—26 Democrats and 90 Republicans—face primary challenges, representing 38% of all incumbents running for re-election. This is higher than in 2020 and 2018, but lower than 2016 when 41% of incumbents faced contested primaries. One hundred twenty-six seats are open, meaning no incumbents filed. This guarantees that newcomers will represent at least 30% of the legislature in 2023, the largest such percentage since at least 2014.

In New Hampshire, the primary candidate with the most votes wins—even if that candidate receives less than 50% of the total vote. New Hampshire is one of 40 states without primary election runoffs. The state does not cancel uncontested primaries. Write-in candidates are not required to file. 

Click below to learn more about New Hampshire’s upcoming primaries. 

Keep reading 

Montana voters to elect two U.S. House members for first time since 1990

Today is the eighth day of our 50 States in 50 days series, and we’re featuring Montana, the Treasure State.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota

Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas

On the ballot in Montana

At the federal level, Montana voters will elect two U.S. Representatives. At the state executive level, two seats on the public service commission and two seats on the state supreme court are up for election.

Voters will elect legislators from 25 of the state Senate’s 50 districts and all 100 state House of Representatives districts. 

There are 40 open seats in the state legislature this year. 

Redistricting highlights

Montana was apportioned two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, a net gain of one seat as compared to apportionment after the 2010 census. Montana last elected two U.S. Representatives in 1990. 

State legislative elections use district lines established after the 2010 census because Montana has not yet performed legislative redistricting. The Montana constitution requires the state’s redistricting commission submit proposed legislative maps to the Legislature before they are enacted. In 2021, the Legislature adjourned on Apr. 29, before the U.S. Census Bureau delivered redistricting data to the states. The Legislature’s next session will take place in 2023.

Congressional elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in Montana:

To use our tool to view Montana’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Montana redistricting page

Partisan balance

  • One of Montana’s U.S. Senators—Jon Tester—is a Democrat and the other—Steve Daines—is a Republican.
  • Republican Matt Rosendale represents the state’s lone congressional district in the U.S. House.
  • Republicans have a 31-19 majority in the state Senate and a 67-33 majority in the state House. Because the governor is also Republican, Montana is one of 23 states with a Republican trifecta. It has held this status since 2021.
  • Montana’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are Republicans. This makes Montana one of 22 states with a Republican triplex.

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 38 state legislative seats in Montana, or 30% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either the Democratic or Republican parties runs for a state legislative seat, the seat is all but guaranteed to be won by that party.

Democrats are running in 72% of all state legislative races. Thirty-five state legislative seats (28% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate. A Republican is likely to win.

Republicans are running in 98% of all state legislative races. Three seats (2% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate and a Democrat is likely to win.

Key races

Montana’s 1st Congressional District election, 2022: Monica Tranel (D), Ryan Zinke (R), and John Lamb (L) are running. Montana added a congressional district after the 2020 census. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale (R) is running in the state’s 2nd Congressional District.

Montana’s Supreme Court elections, 2022: Justices James Rice and Ingrid Gayle Gustafson are running for re-election. Rice was originally appointed by Gov. Judy Martz (R) in 2001. Gustafson first joined the court after being appointed by Gov. Steve Bullock (D) in 2017. Heading into the 2022 elections, the state supreme court had four judges who were originally elected in nonpartisan elections, two who were Democratic gubernatorial appointees, and one who was appointed by a Republican governor.

Ballot measures

There are two statewide ballot measures in Montana in 2022. 

The Search Warrant for Electronic Data Amendment would amend the state constitution to require a search warrant to access electronic data or electronic communications.

The Medical Care Requirements for Born-Alive Infants Measure would state that infants born alive at any stage of development are legal persons and require that medical care be provided to infants born alive after an induced labor, cesarean section, attempted abortion, or another method.

Ninety-nine ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2020. Fifty-eight ballot measures were approved and 41 were defeated.

Voting

  • On Election Day, polling place hours vary throughout the state. Most polling places open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. Mountain Time, although some polling places may open as late as 12:00 p.m.. An individual in line at the time polls close must be allowed to vote. 
  • Montana requires all voters to present identification when voting. Accepted forms of ID include a valid driver’s license, a U.S. passport, and a Montana concealed-carry permit. For more information about voter ID requirements in Montana, click here
  • Early voting in Montana is available to all voters. Early voting begins on Oct. 11 and ends on Nov. 7.
  • The regular voter registration deadline in Montana is Oct. 11. Registration can be done in person or by mail. If done by mail, registration forms must be postmarked by Oct. 11. Late registration is available at county election offices or other designated locations until noon on Election Day.
  • All Montana voters are eligible to cast absentee ballots. Voters can return their ballots in person or by mail. A returned absentee ballot must be postmarked on or before Nov. 8 in order to be counted. The deadline to request an absentee or mail-in ballot is noon on Nov. 7. 
  • According to the Montana Secretary of State’s website, “If you request an absentee ballot because of a sudden illness or health emergency occurring between 5 p.m. of the Friday preceding the election and before close of polls on election day, you may ask your county election administrator to have a special absentee election board bring an absentee ballot to you.”

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!  

Keep reading



A sampling of elections where all candidates completed the Ballotpedia candidate survey

Welcome to the Thursday, September 8, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Candidate Connection helps voters understand more about the people and issues on their ballots
  2. Nearly half of Texas state legislative seats lack major party competition
  3. ​​A look at Delaware’s upcoming primaries

Candidate Connection helps voters understand more about the people and issues on their ballots 

If you’re a regular reader of the Daily Brew, then you’ve probably heard us talk about our Candidate Connection survey. We created the survey to help solve the ballot information problem, because we believe that everyone deserves meaningful, reliable, trustworthy information about their candidates. The survey allows voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them to run for office.

In races with a 100% survey completion rate, voters get a unique opportunity to compare and contrast their candidates’ platforms and visions. So far, nine races on the ballot this November have seen all candidates complete the survey.

Today, we’re taking a look at two state legislative races in California and Alabama where all candidates have completed the survey. If you’d like to learn more about your candidates, you can ask them to fill out the survey here

Alabama

Both of the candidates running in the Nov. 8 general election for Alabama House of Representatives District 3Wesley Thompson (D) and Kerry Underwood (R) completed the survey. The incumbent is Andrew Sorrell (R), who is running for Alabama Auditor. In 2018, Sorrell defeated Chad Young (D) 52.5% to 47.4%. District 3 is near Alabama’s northwest corner. 

Here’s how Thompson and Underwood answered the question: What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office? 

Thompson:

  • “Small Businesses, Economic Growth, and Jobs: I believe in the dignity of a hard day’s work, but right now, hard working families are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. 
  • “Education: Kids in the Shoals, whether they’re Black, Brown, or White, rich or poor, deserve the best education possible. We owe it to our kids to make sure they’re ready for what the future holds. 
  • “Healthcare: I believe we can repair a healthcare system that leaves thousands across the Shoals unable to afford to go to the doctor or fill a prescription. It is time we prioritize investment in the lives of Alabamians, in the lives of the people of the Shoals. 

Underwood: 

  • “I will connect this district by my working relationships with local elected officials at city and county levels and work to help them achieve their priorities for your communities.”
  • “I will continue to recruit industry into the area for good employment as I have for six years from my position on Shoals EDA board as Mayor.”
  • “I will work to improve our mental health / addiction model at the State level to improve a person’s chances to become productive members of our community.”

California

Gail Pellerin (D) and Liz Lawler (R) are running in the general election for California Assembly District 28. The incumbent is Evan Low (D). Low is running for re-election in District 26. In 2020, Low defeated Carlos Rafael Cruz (R) 71.6% to 28.4%. District 28 covers an area south of San Jose. 

Here’s how Pellerin and Lawler answered the question: What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?

Pellerin: “Tackling the Housing Shortage and Homelessness Stimulating Jobs, Wages and our Economy Addressing Environmental Impacts and Climate Change Investing in Quality Affordable Education Fighting for Equality Strengthening Public Safety Improving Physical and Mental Healthcare Protecting Voting Rights and Fighting for Democracy”

Lawler: “I am passionate about education, public safety, mental health and fiscal accountability. Our schools are failing our most vulnerable students, and a good education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty and opens doors for life. Providing school choice and reforming our public system will help our children succeed.”

Click below to see all races with a 100% survey response rate. 

Keep reading

Nearly half of Texas state legislative seats lack major party competition 

Today is the seventh day of our 50 States in 50 days series, and we’re featuring Texas, the Lone Star State.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota

Week Two: California, Georgia

On the ballot in Texas

Voters in Texas will elect 38 U.S. Representatives. At the state level, Texans will vote for the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller, agriculture commissioner, public lands commissioner, railroad commissioner, and for seven seats on the State Board of Education. 

Both chambers of the state legislature are up for election this year. All 31 seats are up for election in the Texas Senate, and all 150 seats are up for election in the Texas House of Representatives. Voters will also elect candidates for the state supreme court, court of criminal appeals, and district court of appeals. 

There are six open U.S. House seats in Texas and 30 open seats in the state legislature.

At the municipal level, Ballotpedia is covering elections in Houston, Garland, Irving, Austin, El Paso, Arlington, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and Lubbock.

Redistricting highlights

After the 2020 census, the number of U.S. House districts in Texas increased from 36 to 38. 

Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in Texas:

To use our tool to view Texas’ state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Texas redistricting page

Partisan balance

Republicans hold both of Texas’ U.S. Senate seats. In the U.S. House, 12 of Texas’ representatives are Democrats and 26 are Republicans.

Republicans also hold majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, with 18 Republicans and 13 Democrats in the Texas State Senate and 83 Republicans and 65 Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives. Texas has been a Republican trifecta since 2003.

The state is also a Republican triplex, meaning the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all Republicans. 

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 81 state legislative seats in Texas, or 45% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either the Democratic or Republican parties runs for a state legislative seat, the seat is all but guaranteed to be won by that party.

Democrats are running in 72% of all state legislative races. Fifty state legislative seats (28% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate and are likely to be won by a Republican.

Republicans are running in 83% of all state legislative races. Thirty-one seats (17% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate and are likely to be won by a Democrat.

Key races

Ballot measures

There are no statewide ballot measures in Texas on Nov. 8. 

Because the legislature convenes regular sessions in odd-numbered years but not even-numbered years, most amendments have been referred to ballots in odd-numbered years. Between 1995 and 2018, 157 of 159 statewide ballot measures appeared on odd-numbered year ballots.  

In Texas, a total of 280 ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2022. Two hundred forty-seven ballot measures were approved, and 33 ballot measures were defeated.

Voting

  • On Nov. 8, polls in Texas will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
  • Texas requires voters to present photo identification (ID) while voting. Accepted forms of ID include Texas driver’s licenses, U.S. passports, and Texas handgun licenses. For more information about voter ID requirements in Texas, click here
  • Early voting starts on Oct. 24 and ends on Nov. 4. 
  • The voter registration deadline is Oct. 11 for both in-person and mail-in registrations. Texas does not offer automatic registration, online registration, or same-day registration. Prospective voters must reside in the county in which they are registering to vote.
  • The absentee/mail-in ballot request deadline in Texas is Oct. 28. Texas voters are eligible to vote absentee in an election if:
    • They cannot make it to the polls on Election Day because they will be away from the county on Election Day and during early voting;
    • They are sick or disabled;
    • They are 65 years of age or older; or
    • They are confined in jail.
  • To vote absentee, a request must be received by county election officials no later than close of regular business on the eleventh day before the election. The completed ballot must then be returned by the close of polls on Election Day. To check the status of your ballot, click here

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool! 

Keep reading 

A look at Delaware’s upcoming primaries

The 2022 election cycle began in March with statewide primaries in Texas. Six months later, we’ve nearly reached the end of the primary season. We’ve only got four more states to go! On Sept. 13, Rhode Island, Delaware, and New Hampshire will hold primaries (the final state to hold primaries, Louisiana, will do so on Nov. 8). 

Let’s take a look at what’s on the ballot in Delaware—the First State!

Congressional elections

Delaware is one of six states that elects a single at-large representative. U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D) is the incumbent. However, the Republican and Democratic primaries and Rochester and Lee Murphy (R) automatically advanced to the Nov. 8 general election. Cody McNutt (L) and David Rogers (Nonpartisan Party) are also running in the general election. 

State elections

Delaware has a Democratic trifecta and a Democratic triplex. The Democratic Party controls the offices of governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and both chambers of the state legislature.

Delaware voters will decide state executive elections for the following offices—attorney general, treasurer, and auditor

All 21 districts in the state Senate and all 41 districts in the state House are up for election. Democrats have a 14-7 majority in the Senate and a 26-15 majority in the House. There are 14 contested state legislative primaries across both chambers this year, an 8% increase from 2020. Of the 14 contested primaries, there are 11 for Democrats and three for Republicans. For Democrats, this is down from 12 in 2020, an 8% decrease. For Republicans, the number is up 67% from one in 2020.

In Delaware, the primary candidate with the most votes wins—even if that candidate receives less than 50% of the total vote. Delaware is one of 40 states without primary election runoffs. The state cancels uncontested primaries. Write-in candidates can only run in general elections. 

Click below to learn more about Delaware’s primaries. 

Keep reading



Hall Pass: Your Ticket to Understanding School Board Politics, Edition #29

Ballotpedia's Hall Pass

Welcome to Hall Pass. This newsletter keeps you plugged into the conversations driving school board politics and governance. Each week, we bring you a roundup of the latest on school board elections, along with sharp commentary and research from across the political spectrum on the issues confronting school boards in the country’s more than 13,000 school districts. We’ll also bring you the latest on school board elections and recall efforts, including candidate filing deadlines and election results.

In today’s edition, you’ll find:

  • On the issues:  The debate over student discipline and restorative justice
  • School board filing deadlines, election results, and recall certifications
  • State boards of education set education content standards in 36 states
  • Maryland high court rules student school board members can vote
  • Extracurricular: education news from around the web
  • Candidate Connection survey
  • School board candidates per seat up for election

Reply to this email to share reactions or story ideas!

On the issues: The debate over student discipline and restorative justice

In this section, we curate reporting, analysis, and commentary on the issues school board members deliberate when they set out to offer the best education possible in their district.

One topic of debate is how schools should approach student discipline. Proponents of what is called restorative justice say discussions, mediation, and other non-adversarial methods of conflict resolution can address the root of school community problems. They argue traditional methods of punishment such as suspension can make behavioral problems worse and disadvantage minority students. Proponents of traditional discipline methods are necessary to maintain order in schools and that restorative justice practices do not sufficiently restrict bad behavior. 

Joe Herring writes that restorative justice and the movement away from traditional discipline have caused increased violence and criminality in schools. Herring says restorative justice advocates deemphasize and redefine infractions to support the idea that restorative practices lead to better outcomes. He also says restorative justice supporters often encourage school crime victims not to file police reports, creating an environment of unaccountability.

Linda Stamato and Sandy Jaffee write that traditional methods of discipline, like suspensions, are inequitable, fail to address root causes of bad behavior, and can cause problems to escalate. Stamato and Jaffee write that restorative justice practices help students learn negotiation and problem-solving and teach them how to resolve disputes positively and creatively. 

From the penitentiary to the public school: Restorative Justice warps discipline | Joe Herring, The Lion

“Restorative justice programs have been adopted across the country by school systems struggling to maintain order following the expulsion of School Resource Officers (SRO) in the wake of the George Floyd riots and related protests. When students returned to in-person schooling after the COVID lockdowns, many found hallways unmonitored with the SRO gone. The spike in violence and other criminality has been stunning. … Wokeism is indeed evident in many education decisions, specifically regarding the intersections of race, violence, criminality and poor achievement. Circumstances that indicate the failure of restorative justice are glossed over by the redefining of offenses – deemphasizing many of the unlawful behaviors by encouraging victims to refrain from filing police reports, opting instead to engage in restorative practices with their tormentors, facilitated by a restorative coordinator. … Consequences are muted to provide a favorable look, but the underlying behaviors remain unaffected, at the expense of the safety of students and society both.”

Suspending students isn’t the answer. Restorative justice programs in schools are a better solution. | Opinion | Linda Stamato and Sandy Jaffee, NJ.com

“Suspensions raise a number of issues, not least how to deal with disruptive behavior, equitably and effectively, to understand its causes, and to identify and address conditions that may be contributing factors. … There is hope for change on the horizon, though, as more schools experiment with variations on the theme of “restorative justice.” This concept refers to a range of dispute resolution programs that include student-run courts, group sessions, restorative circles (in which all those involved in a dispute participate in discussions about the harm done and devise steps to deter future harm), and, mediation. Restorative justice attempts to reach beyond punitive measures to solve problems before they escalate and threaten the fabric of the school community. … Educational programs that expose students to negotiation and conflict-resolution processes, and teach them problem-solving skills, help to reduce reliance on formal and adversarial processes to deal with disputes and disruptive behavior; they place more emphasis on positive, creative ways to handle conflict.”

School board update: filing deadlines, election results, and recall certifications

Ballotpedia has historically covered school board elections in about 500 of the country’s largest districts. We’re gradually expanding the number we cover with our eye on the more than 13,000 school districts with elected school boards.

Election results from the past week

Idaho

We covered school board general elections in Boise on Sept. 6. Five seats were up for election, including special elections for three at-large seats. 

State boards of education set education content standards in 36 states

State content standards are education learning and achievement goals state education officials either require or recommend local schools meet in K-12 instruction. Content standards are not curriculum. Rather, education officials develop content standards in order to facilitate curriculum development. 

Who sets state content standards for K-12 public education?

  • In 36 states, the state board of education sets education content standards. In the majority of states, the governor appoints state board of education members
  • In 10 states, the state department of education sets education content standards. 
  • In Florida, Massachusetts and Minnesota, the education commissioner sets education content standards. 
  • In Montana, the superintendent of public instruction sets education content standards. 

State statutes or regulations may require or recommend the use of K-12 education content standards in public instruction.

  • In 39 states, the entity that develops standards issues requirements
  • In 11 states, the entity setting standards issues recommendations
  • Of the 36 state boards of education that set content standards, nine issue recommendations and 27 issue requirements. 
  • Of the 10 state education departments that set content standards, nine issue requirements and one issues recommendations. 
  • Content standards are issued as requirements in Florida, Massachusetts and Minnesota, where the education commissioner sets the standards. 
  • In Montana, the superintendent of public instruction issues recommendations. 

To read more about who sets state K-12 education content standards in your state, click here

Maryland high court rules student school board members can vote

On Aug. 25, the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled a state law allowing the student board member on the Howard County Board of Education to vote does not violate the Maryland Constitution.

The Maryland Court of Appeals is the state’s court of last resort and has seven judgeships. One judge on the court was appointed by a Democratic governor and six judges were appointed by a Republican governor.

The 2007 law, Education § 3-701, gives student board members on the Howard County Board the right to vote on some matters. The law says a student member must be a Howard County resident and a junior or senior in a public high school. The law also says that only students in grades six through 11 can vote for a student member candidate. 

In 2020, the Howard County Board of Education held several votes to resume in-person instruction, all of which failed. In each case, the vote was 4-4, with the student member voting against reopening schools. Two parents of students in the district, Traci Spiegel and Kimberly Ford, sued the Board, alleging Maryland Constitution does not permit people under 18 to vote or hold public office. 

Spiegel said, “the student member doesn’t have the ability to vote on budget or personnel, but for some reason had the ability to vote on going back to school virtual or nonvirtual, and I found that disconcerting.”   

The Howard County Circuit Court ruled against the parents in March 2021. The Court of Appeals later granted the parents an appeal. 

In its ruling, the Court of Appeals distinguished between elected offices created by the state Constitution and elected offices created by the General Assembly—offices that include local school boards. 

The Court said: “The General Assembly has broad discretion to control and modify the composition of local boards of education, which includes the creation and selection process of student board members as it sees fit…the General Assembly had they Constitutional authority to create a student member position for the Howard County Board, establish a process for the election of such members by students in the Howard County public school system, and grant such student member voting rights.”

The eight-member Howard County Board of Education is one of eight school boards in the state that allow student members to vote alongside the elected adult members.

According to Education Week’s Stephen Sawchuk, “there is no database detailing how many of the nation’s thousands of districts grant student board members voting rights. But the bits and pieces of available information suggest it’s rare. Most of the time, student board members serve in an advisory-only capacity.” Education Week found in 2019 found that only student board members in California and Maryland had voting rights. 

Extracurricular: education news from around the web

This section contains links to recent education-related articles from around the internet. If you know of a story we should be reading, reply to this email to share it with us! 

Take our Candidate Connection survey to reach voters in your district

Everyone deserves to know their candidates. However, we know it can be hard for voters to find information about their candidates, especially for local offices such as school boards. That’s why we created Candidate Connection—a survey designed to help candidates tell voters about their campaigns, their issues, and so much more. 

In the 2020 election cycle, 4,745 candidates completed the survey. 

If you’re a school board candidate or incumbent, click here to take the survey.

The survey contains over 30 questions, and you can choose the ones you feel will best represent your views to voters. If you complete the survey, a box with your answers will display on your Ballotpedia profile. Your responses will also appear in our mobile app, My Vote Ballotpedia.

And if you’re not running for school board, but there is an election in your community this year, share the link with the candidates and urge them to take the survey!

School board candidates per seat up for election

Since 2018, we’ve tracked the ratio of school board candidates to seats up for election within our coverage scope. Greater awareness of issues or conflicts around school board governance can result in more candidates running for each office. Click here to see historical data on this subject.  

This year, 2.46 candidates are running for each seat in the 1,321 school board races we are covering in districts where the filing deadline has passed. The 2.46 candidates per seat is 24% more than in 2020.



Two candidates running in the Nov. 8 general election for California’s 22nd Congressional District

California State Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D) and U.S. Rep. David Valadao (R) are running in the general election for California’s 22nd Congressional District on November 8, 2022. Heading into the election, the incumbent is Republican Connie Conway, who was first elected in a special election on June 7, 2022, to replace Devin Nunes. Conway chose not to run for a full term.

The Bakersfield Californian’s Sam Morgan has written, “Salas and Valadao have positioned themselves as independent-minded politicians in an effort to appeal to undecided and centrist voters.”

Salas is a member of the California State Assembly, a position to which he was first elected in 2011. Salas has run on his record in the Assembly, saying, “I’ve proven over the last decade that I’ve been able to deliver for Central Valley families. Whether that’s direct funding in million of dollars to expand nursing programs, bring new buildings, public safety, clean drinking water. There is a big difference between me and my opponents: I’ve been able to deliver on these things.” Salas has said he was the only Democrat to vote in 2017 against increasing the gasoline tax, saying, “I’m always going to do what I feel is right for Central Valley families, whether that a Democratic idea, a Republican idea, an independent idea.”

Valadao is a member of the U.S. House, representing the 21st Congressional District. Valadao represented the 21st Congressional District from 2013 to 2019. He lost in the 2018 general election but ran for his old seat in 2020 and won. Valadao said, “I’ll continue to be an independent member of Congress who will stand up to the divisive partisanship in Washington D.C., get things done to grow our local economy, and deliver more water for our farmers and communities.” Valadao has campaigned on protecting the Central Valley’s water supply and agricultural industry and ensuring veterans have “access to high quality healthcare, or education and employment opportunities here at home.” Valadao was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump (R) for incitement of insurrection following the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol.

California’s 22nd Congressional District boundaries changed following redistricting. According to Roll Call’s Kate Ackley, about 55% of the 22nd District’s population comes from the old 21st District, the district to which Valadao was elected in 2020.