Category2022 elections

Ohio Supreme Court overturns state’s congressional district boundaries; map to still be used for 2022 elections

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled 4-3 on July 19, 2022, that the congressional district boundaries that the Ohio Redistricting Commission adopted on March 2 were unconstitutional. Since the state’s 2022 primary elections were held on May 3 using the overturned districts, this year’s congressional elections will take place using the existing boundaries.

The state supreme court directed the Ohio General Assembly to pass a compliant plan within 30 days. If the general assembly fails to do so, the court ordered the redistricting commission to then adopt a plan within 30 days. The state would use that map for its 2024 congressional elections.

Since the boundaries that the redistricting commission adopted in March 2022 did not receive support from any commission members of the minority party, it would have been in effect for only four years. Under the constitutional amendment establishing the redistricting commission that voters approved in 2018, the commission was required to enact a new map after the 2024 elections.

Justices Maureen O’Connor, Michael Donnelly, and Melody Stewart signed the state supreme court’s majority opinion with Justice Jennifer Brunner filing a concurring opinion. Justices Sharon Kennedy, Pat DeWine, and Pat Fischer wrote or joined dissenting opinions.

The court’s opinion said, “Petitioners have satisfied their burden by showing beyond a reasonable doubt that the March 2 plan unduly favors the Republican Party in violation of Article XIX, Section 1(C)(3)(a) of the Ohio Constitution. Comparative analyses and other metrics show that the March 2 plan allocates voters in ways that unnecessarily favor the Republican Party by packing Democratic voters into a few dense Democratic-leaning districts, thereby increasing the Republican vote share of the remaining districts. As a result, districts that would otherwise be strongly Democratic-leaning are now competitive or Republican-leaning districts.”

The dissenting opinion signed by Justices Kennedy and DeWine said, “We disagree, however, with the majority’s conclusion that the March 2 plan is invalid because it violates Article XIX, Section 1(C)(3)(a) of the Ohio constitution for ‘unduly favor[ing] or disfavor[ing] a political party or its incumbents.’…Therefore, we would hold that the March 2 plan is constitutional and order its use for the 2024 primary and general elections. Because the majority does otherwise, we dissent.”

Governor Mike DeWine (R) first signed a new congressional map into law on November 20, 2021, after the state Senate voted to approve it 24-7 and the state House approved it 55-36. On January 14, the Ohio Supreme Court struck down the state’s enacted congressional map and ordered the legislature to redraw it. The Ohio Redistricting Commission approved redrawn congressional boundaries in a 5-2 vote along party lines.

Additional reading:

Ohio Supreme Court

Mike DeWine

Redistricting in Ohio

Cox wins GOP primary for Maryland governor

Dan Cox defeated Robin Ficker, Kelly Schulz, and Joe Werner in the Republican primary for Maryland governor on July 19, 2022. With 80% of results reported, Cox received 56% of the vote, followed by Schulz with 40%. Incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is term-limited and endorsed Schulz in the primary. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Cox.

Cox served in the Maryland House of Delegates since 2018. In an interview with O’Connor & Company, Cox said he was running to “give freedom back to the people. After two years, we’ve been working to renew a vision of constitutional leadership that our party believes in.”

Schulz served as Maryland’s secretary of commerce from 2019 to January 2022. Schulz said she graduated from college and worked in Maryland and her “campaign is about offering those same opportunities to Marylanders all across the state that deserve the opportunity to exceed and excel.”

Maryland has had a Republican governor since Hogan’s election in 2014. Joe Biden (D) defeated Trump in Maryland in the 2020 presidential election 65% to 32%.

Additional reading:

Maryland 2020 President Results

Previewing Tennessee’s August 4 local ballot measures

Voters in Nashville and Memphis are heading to the polls on August 4 to decide on five amendments to their cities’ charters.

Memphis voters will decide on one charter amendment. If passed, the Memphis measure would increase the term limits of the city council and mayor to three 4-year terms rather than the current two 4-year term limit, allowing them a maximum length in office of 12 years. In 2018, Memphis voters rejected a similar proposal, Ordinance No. 5676, which would have increased the term limits as well. It was defeated by a margin of 60.14% against to 39.86% in favor.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Councilman Martavius Jones support the measure, arguing that another term would allow them to continue their progress and learn more about the mechanics of the offices they hold. Mayor Strickland said, “If the referendum passes, I will run for a third term. Our team has improved city services, and although we have implemented changes that have improved Memphis, there is more to be done and more to fight to achieve.” Michael Nelson, a political analyst for the Memphis-based Action News 5, called the measure a power grab by Memphis officeholders desiring to keep their positions.

Nashville voters will decide on four charter amendments. Charter Amendment 1 would change the number of signatures required for an initiated charter amendment from 10% of votes at the last general election to 10% of registered voters. This would increase the number of required signatures for proposed charter amendments to qualify for the ballot. Additionally, it defines the duties of the Charter Revision Commission, which must review all proposed charter amendments. Metro Councilmember Bob Mendes supports the measure. He said it’s a solution to reduce “litigation costs and uncertainty related to referendums in Nashville.” 

Nashville Charter Amendment 2 would change the physical qualifications for police officers on the Metro Nashville Police. The qualifications are currently based on Army and Navy requirements. MNPD Member Michael Vaughn characterizes them as outdated because the police force is “getting away from being so militaristic.” The Metro Civil Service Commission would designate new standards if the amendment passes.

Nashville Charter Amendment 3 would establish a metropolitan board of health to oversee the metro public health department. It would set new guidelines for who must sit on the board of health, namely, “one doctor, one mental health expert, one nurse, two other medical professionals, and two non-medical professionals.” The chief medical director position would be renamed the director of health. It also would remove the existing requirement for the director of health to be a medical doctor.

Nashville Charter Amendment 4 establishes a city Department of Transportation and a director of transportation in the charter. The department was created a year ago with the adoption of the Metro Nashville Transportation Plan. It replaced the city’s Department of Public Works.

Early voting has begun and ends on July 30. On election day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Pat Ryan and Marc Molinaro are running in the special election for New York’s 19th Congressional District

Pat Ryan (D) and Marc Molinaro (R) are running in the special election to fill the seat representing New York’s 19th Congressional District in the U.S. House on August 23, 2022. Former incumbent Antonio Delgado (D) resigned after Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) selected him as lieutenant governor. The winner of the special election will serve the rest of Delgado’s term that ends on January 3, 2023.

The special election is one of two elections for New York’s 19th District in 2022. The other is the regularly scheduled election on November 8.

The boundaries of the 19th District changed in 2022 due to redistricting. The special election will be held under the old district lines, while the November election will be held in the newly redrawn district. The old district has a partisan lean of R+4, according to FiveThirtyEight, while the redrawn district has a partisan lean of R+1. 

“The current 19th is a swing district, and the special election has outsized national implications, as it will determine the size of the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives for the remainder of the 117th Congress,” said The Times Union’s Timmy Facciola. “The victor will also gain incumbent status before the November midterm elections, for which both Molinaro and Ryan have declared their candidacies in New York’s newly drawn districts,” Facciola added.

Molinaro is running to represent the 19th District in both the special and November general elections. Ryan is running for the 19th District in the special election and for the redrawn 18th District in the November general election.

Ryan has served as Ulster County executive since 2019. A tech entrepreneur and former Army intelligence officer, Ryan has highlighted his military service and business experience. Ryan has also focused on abortion, saying, “I fought to defend the freedoms of this country and access to abortion is a fundamental freedom.” Ryan ran in the 2018 Democratic primary for the 19th District, finishing in second place with 18% of the vote to Delgado’s 22%.

Molinaro has served as Dutchess County executive since 2012 and was the Republican nominee for governor of New York in 2018, losing to incumbent Andrew Cuomo (D) 57% to 36%. Molinaro has highlighted his support for measures that encourage investment in digital assets. Molinaro’s website says, “Blockchain technology […] has the potential to provide a system of online banking to those who have never before had access.”

Both candidates have focused on opioid addiction and mental health issues. Ryan said he directed investments from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to local mental health programs. “We saw suicides in Ulster County during the pandemic double. We saw fatal opioid overdoses up 93 percent,” Ryan said. “So a lot of what we’re doing with the Rescue Plan funds at the local level is reinvesting in mental health,” he added.

Molinaro said he supports expanding access to mental healthcare and addressing “the country’s mental and behavioral health crisis through local community needs.” On opioid addiction, Molinaro said he supports opening crisis stabilization centers, creating a local opioid response grant program, and addressing the trafficking of illegal drugs such as fentanyl. “We can end this epidemic, but we must do so by treating it as [a] public health crisis and the people suffering from it with dignity and care,” Molinaro said.

As of July 16, 2022, 16 special elections have been called during the 117th Congress. From the 113th Congress to the 116th Congress, 50 special elections were held.

Oregon voters to decide on a ballot initiative enacting changes to firearm purchases

On July 18, the Oregon secretary of state reported that a ballot initiative proposing changes to firearm purchases and ammunition magazine limits qualified for a place on the November ballot.

Lift Every Voice Oregon, the campaign behind the initiative, filed a total of 160,498 signatures, of which 131,671 were valid. In Oregon, the number of signatures required to qualify an initiated state statute for the ballot is 6% of the votes cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election, which equaled 112,020 valid signatures.

The initiative (#17) would enact a law outlining a procedure to apply for a permit to purchase a firearm. Permits would be issued by local law enforcement. Applicants would need to pay a fee, submit a photo ID, be fingerprinted, complete approved safety training, pass a criminal background check, and not be prohibited from possessing firearms. Law enforcement would be able to deny a permit to an applicant believed to be a danger to oneself or others. The initiative would also criminalize the manufacture, importation, possession, use, purchase, sale, or otherwise transferring of ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

Existing law requires a seller or transferor to request a background check before firearm purchase.

The campaign has received endorsements from the Oregon Progressive Party, the League of Women Voters of Oregon, and the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety. Rev. Mark Knutson, chief petitioner and pastor at Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland, said, “I hope it shows how residents in a state can come together from many directions and address the public health crisis of gun violence with common sense and well-put-together legislation. I hope that people are inspired to say: We can do this.”

There are currently no committees registered to oppose the initiative. The National Rifle Association-Institute for Legislative Action issued a statement on the initiative: “IP 17 is yet another anti-gun ballot initiative that seeks to further erode Second Amendment rights in Oregon. It imposes a permit requirement in order to exercise the Second Amendment right to acquire a firearm …The permit application process includes a one-size-fits-all training mandate, a subjective mental health review that is ripe for abuse, submission of fingerprints, and payment of a fee – up to $65 to apply, and up to $50 to renew. Issuing authorities have up to 30 days to issue permits to qualified applicants and they must be renewed every five years. Meanwhile, criminals will continue obtaining their firearms illegally.”

Oregon voters will be deciding on three other ballot measures this fall. The state Legislature voted to refer an amendment that would add “affordable health care as a fundamental right” to the Oregon Constitution and an amendment that would repeal language allowing slavery or involuntary servitude as criminal punishment. The third measure is a ballot initiative that would disqualify state legislators from re-election for unexcused legislative absenteeism, such as for legislative walkouts.

Between 2010 and 2020, an average of 64 ballot initiatives were filed in Oregon each election cycle with an average of five making the ballot. In 2022, a total of 60 citizen initiatives were filed for the ballot with two ultimately qualifying.

Additional reading:

Oregon 2022 ballot measures

Cheney, Bouchard, and Hageman run in Republican primary for Wyoming’s At-Large District

Incumbent Liz Cheney, Anthony Bouchard, Harriet Hageman, and two others are running in the Republican primary for Wyoming’s At-large Congressional District on August 16, 2022. According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Cheney, who was first elected to represent this district in 2016, Bouchard, and Hageman lead the primary field in fundraising heading into the final month of the race.

Cheney voted to impeach President Donald Trump (R) on January 13, 2021, for incitement of insurrection in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. She also voted to support the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Cheney said, “I will do everything I can to make sure the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office…We have seen the danger that he continues to provoke with his language…We have seen his lack of commitment and dedication to the Constitution.”

In response, the Republican National Committee and Republican Party of Wyoming voted to censure Cheney. Cheney was also removed from her position as GOP Conference Chair in the U.S. House.

Cheney received 73.5% and 67.2% of the vote in the 2020 and 2018 Republican primaries, respectively. Cheney said she is “honored to represent the people of Wyoming and proud of my strong conservative record. I look forward to an extended public debate about the importance of the rule of law…It is tragic that some in this race have sacrificed those principles, and their duty to the people of Wyoming, out of fear and in favor of loyalty to a former president…” Cheney was endorsed by former President George W. Bush (R), U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R), and U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R). Heading into the final month of the race, Cheney has raised over $10 million in the election.

Hageman founded the Wyoming Conservation Alliance and has worked as an attorney and legal consultant. Former President Trump endorsed Hageman on September 13, 2021. Hageman said she is running because “Wyoming is entitled to a representative in Congress who remembers who sent her there and remembers what their wishes are…Liz Cheney is doing neither, and I will do both.” Hageman worked for Cheney’s unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign in 2014, but said that she is challenging Cheney because of Cheney’s focus on the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. In addition to former President Trump, Hageman was also endorsed by over 100 Republican U.S. House members. Heading into the final month of the race, Hageman has raised over $2 million for this primary.

Bouchard served as a Wyoming state senator from 2016 to 2022, representing the state’s 6th district. He founded Wyoming Gun Owners, an organization that says it is dedicated to “defending and advancing the 2nd Amendment rights of all law-abiding citizens in the state of Wyoming.”

Bouchard called Cheney out of touch with Wyoming voters for voting to impeach President Trump. Bouchard said, “Wyoming was President Trump’s best state both times he ran…That’s because Wyoming voters are strong conservatives who want our leaders to stand up for America, defend our freedoms, fight for our way of life and always put working people first as President Trump did.” Bouchard was endorsed by conservative activist Brent Bozell and, heading into the final month of the race, Bouchard has raised over $600,000 for this primary.

Other candidates on the ballot included Robyn Belinskey and Denton Knapp. Before the primary, the Cook Political Report, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and Inside Elections all rated Wyoming’s At-Large Congressional District as a solid/safe Republican seat.

There are no open U.S. House seats in Washington for the first time in a decade

The filing deadline for candidates running for the U.S. House in Washington was May 20, 2022. This year, 68 candidates are running in Washington’s 10 U.S. House districts, including 37 Republicans, 19 Democrats, seven independents, and five third-party candidates. That’s 6.8 candidates per district, fewer than the 7.3 candidates in 2020, and more than the 4.9 candidates per district in 2018. 

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Washington was apportioned ten districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • All ten incumbents are running for re-election, meaning there are no open U.S. House seats for the first time in a decade. 
  • There are ten contested primaries this year, the same number as in 2020 and two fewer than in 2018, when there were eight contested primaries. 
  • All ten incumbents running for re-election are facing primary challengers this year. In 2020, all nine incumbents who filed for re-election faced primary challengers. In 2018, seven of the nine who filed did. 
  • In Washington’s top-two primary system, all candidates are listed on the same ballot regardless of party affiliation. Two incumbents — Rep. Suzan DelBene (D) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D) — are not facing intra-party primary challengers. DelBene represents the 1st district, and Jayapal represents the 7th.
  • At this point, no districts are guaranteed to either party. Democratic and Republican candidates have filed to run in the primaries in all ten districts. After the primaries take place, some districts may have two candidates of the same party running in the general under Washington’s top-two primary system.
  • Eleven candidates are running in the 8th district, the most candidates running for a seat this year. Three Democrats, including incumbent Kim Schrier (D), five Republicans, one independent, one Libertarian, and one Concordia Party candidate have filed to run. 

Washington and four other states — Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, and Missouri — are holding primary elections on August 2. Washington utilizes a top-two primary system. In a top-two primary system, all candidates are listed on the same ballot. The top two vote-getters, regardless of their partisan affiliations, advance to the general election.

Primary watch: number of contested state legislative primaries is up 26% compared to 2020

There are 26% more contested state legislative primaries this year than in 2020, including 56% more Republican primaries and 8% more top-two/four primaries. Democratic primaries are down 8%.

These figures include elections in 34 states that account for 4,289 of 6,166 state legislative seats up for election this year (70%).

A primary is contested when there are more candidates running than available nominations, meaning at least one candidate must lose.

Since our last update on July 5, we have added post-filing deadline data from Tennessee and Washington. Overall, nine states in this analysis have Democratic trifectas, 19 have Republican trifectas, and six have divided governments.

Of the 34 states in this analysis, 31 are holding partisan primaries. Three states—California, Nebraska, and Washington—use top-two primaries.

The number of Democratic primaries has increased in 11 states, decreased in 16, and remains the same in three. The number of Republican primaries has increased in 28 states and decreased in three. The table below shows partisan statistics for the three states with the largest increases and decreases so far.

In addition to a state’s political makeup and party activity, redistricting is another reason for an increase in primary competitiveness.

After redistricting, some states—like Arkansas—hold elections for every district, while in other years, fewer districts are up each cycle. This creates more opportunities for primaries to occur. Or, like in West Virginia, redistricting creates new districts and, by extension, more primary opportunities. Currently, the total number of possible primaries affected by these changes is up 1.3% compared to 2020.

For states like New Mexico and South Carolina, where only one chamber is up for election every two years, only those chambers holding elections in 2022 that also held elections in 2020 are included.

Ballotpedia will continue to update these figures as information becomes available. In addition to this analysis, Ballotpedia collects competitiveness statistics at all levels of government, available here. This data is calculated following candidate filing deadlines and readjusted at the time of the primary to account for any changes to candidate lists.

18 Missourian candidates completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey since July 7

Below are a selection of responses from the candidates who filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey since July 7. To read each candidate’s full responses, click their name at the bottom of the article.

Kenny Edgar is running for Missouri House of Representatives to represent District 92 and the Democratic primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how Edgar responded to the question “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?”

“Public education. Making sure public sector unions have a strong voice. Keep increasing pay for public sector workers. Improve roads and bridges.”

Click here to read the rest of Edgar’s answers. 

Paul Walker is running for  U.S. House to represent Missouri’s 7th Congressional District and the Republican primary is on Aug. 2. Here’s how Walker responded to the question “Please list below 3 key messages of your campaign. What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?”

“I am a Constitutional Conservative. Less taxes, less spending, less government. We must help our veterans in any way we can.”

Click here to read the rest of Walker’s answers. 

If you’re a Missouri 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 populate the information that appears in our mobile app, My Vote Ballotpedia.

If you’re not running for office but you would like to know more about candidates in Missouri, share the link and urge them to take the survey!

Additional reading:

Signatures submitted for voting policy amendment in Michigan

The Promote the Vote 2022 campaign submitted 669,972 signatures to the secretary of state to qualify for the Michigan ballot this November on July 11. The measure would make multiple changes to voting and elections in Michigan, including policies around absentee voting, early voting, voter identification, and election audits.

The signature requirement to qualify for the ballot is 425,059 valid signatures—which equals 10% of the votes cast for governor in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

“Together, we’re going to ensure that every vote will count, and that Michigan’s elections will continue to be safe, secure, and fair,” said Micheal Davis, the executive director of Promote the Vote 2022.

After being filed with the secretary of state, the measure will go through a process of signature validation, which is done by the board of state canvassers using a random sampling method.

If certified for the ballot and approved by voters this November, the measure would:

  • amend the Michigan Constitution to provide voters with a right to vote without harassment, interference, or intimidation.
  • require military or overseas ballots be counted if postmarked by election day.
  • require photo ID or signed affidavit to vote.
  • provide voters with a right to use a single application to vote absentee in all elections.
  • require state-funded postage for absentee applications and ballots.
  • require one state-funded absentee ballot drop box for every municipality, or one drop box per 15,000 registered voters in larger municipalities.
  • provide that only election officials may conduct post-election audits.
  • require nine days of early in-person voting.
  • allow publicly-disclosed charitable donations and in-kind contributions to fund elections.
  • require canvass boards to certify election results based only on the official records of votes cast.

If the initiative is certified for the ballot, it will join at least one other measure currently on the ballot—a constitutional amendment to change term limits requirements for state legislators and financial disclosure requirements for state executive and legislative officials.

Another campaign, Reproductive Freedom for All, also submitted signatures on July 11 to qualify a constitutional amendment to provide a state constitutional right to abortion in Michigan.

Additional reading:

Michigan 2022 ballot measures