CategoryLocal

Daily coronavirus update: March 27, 2020

As part of Ballotpedia’s coverage on the coronavirus pandemic, we are compiling a daily summary of major changes in the world of politics, government, and elections happening each day. Here is the summary of changes for March 27, 2020.
Federal responses
  • President Donald Trump (R) signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. The U.S. House approved the relief package earlier in the day by a voice vote. The legislation includes $2 trillion in relief funds, and a $1,200 payment to individuals making less than $75,000 per year.
  • Trump announced that he would use the Defense Production Act to compel General Motors to produce ventilators.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  • Fifteen states and one territory changed state-level primary or general election dates. Six states changed municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  • Six states adjusted their candidate filing procedures.
  • Twelve states implemented changes to their voting procedures.
  • Political parties in nine states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
Details:
  • Montana – Gov. Steve Bullock (D) issued a directive authorizing counties to conduct upcoming elections entirely by mail.
  • Ohio – Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed HB 197 into law, rescheduling the state’s primary election for April 28.
  • Pennsylvania – Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed a bill into law postponing the state’s primary election to June 2. It was originally scheduled for April 28.
  • Utah – Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed an executive order authorizing candidates and/or their campaigns to send petition sheets to voters electronically. The order also authorized voters to return signed petition sheets electronically or by mail.
Ballot measure changes
Overview to date:
  • Ballotpedia has tracked 14 statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
  • Three states changed ballot measure procedures.
Details:
  • Arizona – The campaign for an initiative to establish a right to know the original source of campaign media spending suspended its signature drive. At least two other previously active Arizona initiative petition drives have suspended signature gathering as well: one concerning voting and campaign finance policies, and one to enact hospital worker minimum wage and insurance regulations.
  • Oklahoma – The Oklahoma Secretary of State officially paused the signature gathering window for initiative petitions until the governor lifts the state’s emergency declaration.
  • Oregon –  The campaign for an initiative to decriminalize drugs and establish an addiction treatment program suspended in-person signature gathering efforts.
State legislative responses
Overview to date:
  • To date, 261 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  • Thirty-one significant bills have been enacted into law, about 12 percent of the total number that have been introduced. This total omits ceremonial resolutions and legislation providing for procedural changes to legislative business.
State legislative session changes
Overview to date:
  • Twenty-three state legislatures suspended their sessions. Two of those (New York and Vermont) have since reopened.
  • Thirteen legislatures have either adjourned or are not scheduled to be in regular session this year.
  • Seven state legislatures are in regular session. One state (Arkansas) is in a special session.
  • One state (Minnesota) has partially suspended legislative activity.
Details:
  • Arkansas – Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) issued a proclamation convening a special session of the state legislature to begin March 26 and continuing indefinitely.
State court changes
Overview to date:
  • Thirty-four states suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
  • Sixteen states suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.
Details:
  • Wyoming – Effective March 23, the Wyoming Supreme Court suspended in-person proceedings through at least April 10, except in certain specified instances. The court encouraged judges to use video or telephone when possible, and to reschedule civil trials and criminal trials “subject to the requirement that defendants be provided speedy trials as required by law.”
  • Idaho  – The Idaho Supreme Court ordered only emergency hearings and proceedings be conducted, suspended civil trials, and delayed criminal trials at least 30 days from their original start date.
  • Kentucky – The Kentucky Supreme Court extended their original order limiting in-person court proceedings through April 24.
  • Michigan – In a joint statement by Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack and the Executive Director of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association, judges, law enforcement, and prosecutors are encouraged to coordinate the expanded use of appearance citations and summons, when appropriate and legally permissible, rather than custodial arrests and arrest warrants to proactively reduce the risk posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Maine – The Maine Supreme Court has suspended all grand and petit jury proceedings for the months of April and May.
  • Mississippi – The Mississippi Supreme Court ordered the suspension of a criminal procedure rule that prohibited the use of interactive equipment for probation violation hearings and felony sentencing.
State stay-at-home orders
Overview to date:
  • So far, 23 states issued statewide stay-at-home orders. Five of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 18 announced end dates.
Details:
  • Oklahoma – Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) issued a safer at home order, effective March 25 to April 15. Schools were already closed through the end of the academic year so they were not impacted by this order.
School closures
Overview to date:
  • Forty-seven states ordered a statewide school closure. The remaining states are leaving school closures up to local officials. Those 47 states served 49.6 million students during the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 98% of the 50.6 million public school students in the United States.
  • Five states closed schools for the remainder of the academic year: Alabama, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Virginia.
Details:
  • Alabama – Gov. Kay Ivey (R) announced that schools statewide would remain closed for the remainder of the academic year. Prior to the announcement, schools were scheduled to reopen on April 6.
  • New Mexico – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced that schools would be closed for the remainder of the academic year. Prior to the announcement, schools were scheduled to reopen on April 6.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia in the last 24 hours
Federal officials who tested positive for coronavirus
  • Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC)
Federal officials who self-quarantined for coronavirus
  • Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)
  • Rep. Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D-TX)
Federal officials who tested negative for coronavirus
  • Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA)
State officials who tested positive for coronavirus
  • State Rep. Matthew Gambill (R-GA)
  • State Rep. Tyrone Carter (D-MI)
  • State Sen. Bruce Thompson (R-GA)
State officials who self-quarantined for coronavirus
  • All 56 members of the Georgia State Senate.


Daily coronavirus update: March 26, 2020

As part of Ballotpedia’s coverage on the coronavirus pandemic, we are compiling a daily summary of major changes in the world of politics, government, and elections happening each day. Here is the summary of changes for March 26, 2020.
Federal responses
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the House would move to approve the third coronavirus relief package on Friday. The U.S. Senate passed the legislation by a 96-0 vote on Wednesday night. The legislation includes $1,200 in direct payments to individuals making up to $75,000 annually.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  • Fourteen states and one territory changed state-level primary or general election dates. Six states changed municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  • Five states adjusted their candidate filing procedures.
  • Eleven states implemented changes to their voting procedures.
  • Political parties in nine states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
Details:
  • The Indiana Election Commission authorized the temporary suspension of the state’s statutory absentee voting eligibility requirements, allowing all voters to cast their ballots by mail in the June 2 primary election.
  • On Wednesday, Ohio lawmakers unanimously approved legislation extending mail-in voting in the state’s primary election to April 28 and canceling in-person voting entirely. The governor indicated he intends to sign the bill into law. Ohio’s primary was originally scheduled for March 17.
  • Also on Wednesday, Pennsylvania lawmakers unanimously approved a bill postponing the state’s primary election, originally scheduled for April 28, to June 2. The governor said he intends to sign the bill.
Ballot measure changes
Overview to date:
  • Ballotpedia tracked 10 statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
  • Three states changed ballot measure procedures.
Details:
  • Oregon – Henry Wessinger, who filed an initiative petition on behalf of State of Safety Action, announced that the campaign would not circulate its initiative petition targeting the 2020 ballot due to the coronavirus pandemic. The initiative would have provided regulations regarding firearms and firearm storage.
State legislative responses
Overview to date:
  • To date, 253 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  • Twenty-nine significant bills have been enacted into law, about 11 percent of the total number that has been introduced. This total omits ceremonial resolutions and legislation providing for procedural changes to legislative business. For a complete list of enacted legislation, see here.
State legislative session changes
Overview to date:
  • Twenty-three state legislatures suspended their sessions.
  • Two states (Maine and Maryland) adjourned early.
  • Four states implemented partial suspensions.
Details:
  • The Connecticut State Legislature extended its suspension, originally set to expire at the end of this month, to April 13.
  • The Minnesota State Legislature reconvened its session on March 26. The session was previously suspended through April 14.
State court changes
Overview to date:
  • Thirty-three states suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
  • Sixteen states suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.
  • One state had no change to their court schedule.
Details:
  • The Maryland Court of Appeals extended its previous March 13 order restricting in-person proceedings and jury trials through May 1.
  • The Tennessee Supreme Court extended its original March 14 order through April 30. They further ordered local presiding judges to develop a written plan to address issues regarding the incarceration of nonviolent offenders to reduce the jail population by March 30.
  • The Vermont Supreme Court extended restrictions for public access to court proceedings.
State shutdowns
Overview to date:
  • So far, 22 of the 50 states issued statewide shutdown orders. Six of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 16 announced end dates.
Details:
  • Colorado – Gov. Jared Polis (D) issued a stay-at-home order, effective from March 26 to April 11. This does not affect the statewide school closure, which lasts through April 17.
  • Minnesota – Gov. Tim Walz (D) issued a stay-at-home order, effective from March 27 to April 10. The statewide school closure, initially scheduled to end March 27, was extended.
  • New Hampshire – Gov. Chris Sununu (R) issued a stay-at-home order, effective from March 27 to May 4. The statewide school closure, initially scheduled to end April 3, was extended.
School closures
Overview to date
  • 46 of 50 states ordered a statewide school closure. The remaining states are leaving school closures up to local officials. Those 46 states served 48.7 million students during the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 96.2% of the 50.6 million public school students in the United States.
Details:
  • Georgia – Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 31, was extended through April 24.
  • Massachusetts – Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end April 6, was extended through May 4.
  • Minnesota – Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 27, was extended through May 1.
  • New Hampshire – Gov. Chris Sununu (R) issued a stay-at-home order, extending the statewide school closure through May 1. Prior to the order, schools were scheduled to reopen on April 6.
  • The Oklahoma Department of Education announced that schools would remain closed for the remainder of the academic year. It became the third state to close schools for the rest of the year.
  • West Virginia – Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced that all schools would remain closed through April 20. The school closure was initially announced to be indefinite.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia in the last 24 hours
Federal officials who self-quarantined for coronavirus
  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)
  • Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM)
  • Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY)
State officials who tested positive for coronavirus
  • State Rep. Michael Day (D-MA)
  • State Rep. Clinton Calabrese (D-NJ)
  • State Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R-GA)
State officials who self-quarantined for coronavirus
  • State Sen. William Ligon (R-GA)
  • State Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-GA)
  • State Sen. Frank Ginn (R-GA)
  • State Sen. Carden Summers (R-GA)
Local officials who self-quarantined for coronavirus
  • Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn (D-CA)


Daily coronavirus update: March 25, 2020

As part of Ballotpedia’s coverage on the coronavirus pandemic, we are compiling a daily summary of major changes in the world of politics, government, and elections happening each day. Here is the summary of changes for March 25, 2020.
Federal responses
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said they reached an agreement on the third coronavirus relief bill, though no vote took place.
  • “At last we have a deal. … The Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement,” McConnell said on the Senate floor at 1:30 a.m.
  • “This bill is far from perfect, but we believe the legislation has been improved significantly to warrant its quick consideration and passage,” Schumer said.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  • Fourteen states and one territory changed state-level primary or general election dates. Six states changed municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  • Five states adjusted their candidate filing procedures.
  • Ten states implemented changes to their voting procedures.
  • Political parties in nine states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
Details:
  • The Democratic Party of Alaska canceled in-person voting in its presidential preference primary, originally scheduled for April 4, opting instead to conduct all voting by mail. The vote-by-mail deadline was extended to April 10.
  • Delaware postponed its presidential preference primary election, originally scheduled for April 28, to June 2. Delaware also postponed several local-level elections and expanded its definition of sick or physically disabled for the purposes of determining absentee voter eligibility.
  • Iowa’s secretary of state announced absentee voting in the June 2 primary election would open on April 23, 40 days before the primary election, an extension over the period required by state statutes. The secretary of state also announced the postponement of three special municipal elections to July 7.
  • Michigan’s secretary of state announced that the state would mail absentee ballot applications to all voters in municipal elections scheduled for May 5.
  • Nevada’s secretary of state announced plans to conduct all voting in the June 9 primary election by mail.
Ballot measure changes
Overview to date:
  • Ballotpedia tracked ten statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
  • Two states changed ballot measure procedures.
Details:
  • Michigan – Fair Tax Michigan announced it was suspending efforts to place an initiative to establish graduated income tax rates on the ballot for November 3, 2020. Instead, Fair Tax Michigan will aim to place the initiative on the ballot for 2022.
State legislative responses
Overview to date:
  • To date, 242 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  • Twenty-eight significant bills have been enacted into law, roughly 12 percent of the total number that have been introduced. This total omits ceremonial resolutions and legislation providing for procedural changes to legislative business. For a complete list of enacted legislation, see here.
State legislative session changes
Overview to date:
  • Twenty-three state legislatures suspended their sessions.
  • Two states (Maine and Maryland) adjourned early.
  • Three states implemented partial suspensions.
Details:
  • The Arizona State Legislature suspended its session, effective March 24 through April 13.
  • The Oklahoma State Legislature suspended its session, effective March 23 through March 27.
State court changes
Overview to date:
  • Thirty-three states suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
  • Sixteen states suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.
  • One state had no change to their court schedule.
Details:
  • The Alaska Supreme Court suspended all trial court proceedings and civil marriage ceremonies through May 1, except priority hearings. The court further ordered that all civil and criminal proceedings be held via telephone or video conference.
  • The California Supreme Court suspended all jury trials for the next 60 days. The court stated that trials could be conducted earlier if good cause is shown or through video or teleconference.
  • The Florida Supreme Court extended their March 13 order suspending all face-to-face legal proceedings in the state through April 17.
  • The Idaho Supreme Court suspended civil trials until further notice and criminal trials through April 30.
State shutdowns
Overview to date:
  • So far, 19 of the 50 states issued statewide shutdown orders. Six of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 13 announced end dates.
Details:
  • Vermont – Gov. Phil Scott (R) issued a stay-at-home order, effective from March 25 to April 15. The order did not explicitly mention schools, which are closed statewide until April 6.
  • Idaho – Gov. Brad Little (R) issued a stay-at-home order, effective from March 25 to April 15. Schools in the state were already scheduled to remain closed until April 20.
School closures
Overview to date
  • 46 of 50 states ordered a statewide school closure. The remaining states are leaving school closures up to local officials. Those 46 states served 48.7 million students during the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 96.2% of the 50.6 million public school students in the United States.
Details:
  • Maryland – State Superintendent Karen Salmon announced the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 27, was extended through April 24.
  • Montana – Gov. Steve Bullock (D) announced the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 27, was extended through April 10.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians
Federal officials who entered quarantine
  • Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)
  • Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Federal officials who tested negative
  • White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham
  • Rep. Andrew Kim (D-NJ)
  • Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX)
State officials who tested positive
  • State Sen. Paul Rosino (R-OK)
  • State Rep. Jason Lowe (D-OK)
  • State Sen. Lester Jackson (D-GA)
State officials who entered quarantine
  • State Rep. Angelika Kausche (D-GA)
State officials who tested negative
  • State Rep. Holly Schepisi (R-NJ)


Coronavirus daily update: March 24, 2020

As part of Ballotpedia’s coverage on the coronavirus pandemic, we are compiling a daily summary of major changes in the world of politics, government, and elections happening each day. Here is the summary of changes for March 24, 2020.
Federal responses
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced it would officially use the Defense Production Act to acquire 60,000 coronavirus testing kits.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  • Thirteen states and one territory changed state-level primary or general election dates. Four states changed municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  • Five states adjusted their candidate filing procedures.
  • Six states implemented changes to their voting procedures.
  • Political parties in seven states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
Details:
  • Georgia’s secretary of state announced that election officials would mail absentee ballot request forms to all active voters for the May 19 primary election.
  • Illinois exempted candidates for state-level office from filing statements of economic interests for the duration of the governor’s disaster proclamation period and for 30 days thereafter.
  • Massachusetts postponed four special state legislative elections, originally scheduled for March 31: Senate 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District and Senate Plymouth and Barnstable District were postponed to May 19; House 3rd Bristol District and House 37th Middlesex District were postponed to June 2.
  • Texas’ secretary of state extended the petition deadline for independent candidates for non-presidential office to August 13.
Ballot measure changes
Overview to date:
  • Ballotpedia tracked nine statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
State legislative responses
Overview to date:
  • To date, 222 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  • Twenty-seven significant bills have been enacted into law, 12 percent of the total number that have been introduced. This total omits ceremonial resolutions and legislation providing for procedural changes to legislative business. For a complete list of enacted legislation, see here.
State legislative session changes
Overview to date:
  • Twenty-one state legislatures suspended sessions in at least one chamber.
  • Two states (Maine and Maryland) adjourned early.
  • Five states implemented partial suspensions.
Details:
  • Alabama’s House of Representatives announced a partial suspension of legislative activity, canceling all meetings scheduled for March 25. The House was scheduled to meet on March 26, but a quorum was not expected.
  • Minnesota’s state legislature suspended legislative business until April 14.
  • South Carolina’s state legislature suspended its session, effective this week and continuing indefinitely.
  • Tennessee’s state legislature suspended its session until June 1.
State court changes
Overview to date:
  • Thirty-three states suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
  • Sixteen states suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.
  • One state had no change to their court schedule.
Details:
  • The Louisiana State Supreme Court instructed all courts to limit access to courtrooms and other spaces to the maximum number of people allowed per guidelines set by the CDC, President Donald Trump, and Gov. John Bel Edwards. They further ordered that all essential court functions be conducted through video or telephone whenever possible.
  • The New Jersey Supreme Court issued an order that will suspend or commute county jail sentences for low-risk inmates due to the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The New Mexico Supreme Court ordered all judges to conduct civil and criminal proceedings by video and teleconference, except in cases where an emergency in-person appearance is required.
State shutdowns
Overview to date:
  • So far, 17 of the 50 states have issued statewide shutdown orders. Six of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 11 have announced end dates.
Details:
  • Hawaii – Gov. David Ige (D) issued a stay-at-home order from March 25 through April 30. Local news reports said that no decision had been made yet on schools, although they are scheduled to open April 7, and the governor sees education as essential according to reports.
  • Pennsylvania – Gov. Tom Wolf (D) issued a stay-at-home order for seven counties, which includes some of the states largest. Residents of Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Monroe, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties were ordered to stay home from March 23 to April 6.
School closures
Overview to date
  • 46 of 50 states have ordered a statewide school closure. The remaining states are leaving school closures up to local officials. Those 46 states served 48.7 million students during the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 96.2% of the 50.6 million public school students in the United States.
Details:
  • Idaho – The Idaho State Department of Education ordered schools statewide to close to students from March 24 to April 20. This made Idaho the 46th state to order a statewide school closure.
  • Pennsylvania – Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 31, was extended to April 10.
  • South Carolina – Gov. Henry McMaster (R) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 30, was extended to April 30.
  • Utah – Gov. Gary Herbert (R) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 31, was extended to May 1.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians
Federal officials and noteworthy figures who tested negative
  • First lady Melania Trump
  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT)
State officials who have tested positive for coronavirus
  • State Sen. Jim Smallwood (R-CO)
Here is a list of political figures not detailed in this project, due to the scope of our coverage, that did self-quarantine or test for the virus:
  • Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Mayor John Cruikshank tested positive.
  • Snoqualmie, Washington, Mayor Matt Larson tested positive.
  • Grovetown, Georgia, Mayor Gary Jones entered a self-quarantine.


Recall effort rejected in Bell Gardens, California

An effort to recall Mayor Alejandra Cortez and city council members Pedro Aceituno and Marco Barcena in Bell Gardens, California, was rejected by the city clerk. Recall organizers submitted notices of intent to recall in late February. The notices were rejected on the grounds that they did not include Section 11023 of the Elections Code, which covers the handling of statements of defense.

Recalls of local officials in California start with notices of intent to targeted officials. Each notice requires signatures from 10 city residents, the name of the targeted official, and reasoning for the recall that cannot exceed 200 words. A copy of the notice is delivered to the city clerk, who publishes the notice in at least three public places. Targeted officials have seven days following receipt of their notices to issue statements of defense. A recall petition can be circulated against each targeted official once the notice of intent is published. Recall efforts can be started from the beginning of the process after notices of intent are rejected.

The recall effort against Cortez, Aceituno, and Barcena was initiated in response to issues surrounding real estate development and cannabis businesses.

Aceituno was elected to the city council in a 1999 recall election that saw the removal of Mayor Joaquin Penilla, Mayor Pro Tem David Torres, and Councilman Salvador Rios. Aceituno received the most votes to replace Torres.

In 2019, Ballotpedia covered a total of 151 recall efforts against 230 elected officials. Of the 66 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 34 were recalled for a rate of 52%. That was lower than the 63% rate and 57% rate for 2018 and 2017 recalls, respectively.

Additional reading:
Laws governing recall in California
Political recall efforts, 2020



Coronavirus daily update: March 20, 2020

As part of Ballotpedia’s coverage on the coronavirus pandemic, we are compiling a daily summary of major changes in the world of politics, government, and elections happening each day. Here is the summary of changes for March 20, 2020, as of Friday afternoon.
Federal responses
  • Last night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced S.3548, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). According to The Hill, the CARES Act includes the following provisions:
    • $1,200 in direct cash payments for individuals making up to $75,000 annually, with an additional $500 per child
    • Delay the federal tax filing deadline to July 15
    • $208 billion in loans for major industries
    • $300 billion in loans for small businesses
    • Delay payments on federal student loans for three months, with a possible extension of another three months
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the federal tax filing deadline would be delayed to July 15.
  • The United States and Mexico mutually agreed to close the border to non-essential traffic.
Election changes
  • Overview to date:
    • Twelve states have changed primary, municipal, or special election dates.
    • One state (New York) has adjusted candidate filing requirements.
    • Four states have either implemented or attempted to implement changes to voting procedures.
    • Political parties in six states have made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
  • Details:
    • Indiana postponed its primary election to June 2.
    • North Carolina postponed the Republican primary runoff for the 11th Congressional District to June 23.
    • Texas postponed the special election for Texas Senate District 14 to July 14.
    • The Virginia Department of Elections announced that all voters will be eligible to vote absentee in May’s municipal elections.
State legislative changes
  • Overview to date:
    • Sixteen state legislatures have suspended their sessions.
    • Two (Maine and Maryland) have adjourned early.
    • Five have implemented partial suspensions.
  • Details:
    • The Delaware General Assembly suspended its session for an indefinite period. The suspension had initially been scheduled to last through March 24.
    • Oklahoma State Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat (R) announced a partial suspension of legislative activity in the State Senate beginning March 18 and ending March 20.
State court changes
  • Overview to date:
    • Thirty-two states have suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
    • Sixteen states have suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.
    • Two states, West Virginia and Wyoming, have made no changes to their court schedules on the state or local level due to coronavirus.
  • Details:
    • The Alaska Supreme Court is suspending all superior and district court proceedings until April 3.
School closures
  • Overview to date:
    • Forty-five of 50 states have ordered a statewide school closure. The remaining states are leaving school closures up to local officials. Those 45 states served 48.4 million students during the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 95.7 percent of the 50.6 million public school students in the United States.
  • Details:
    • California – Gov. Gavin Newsom’s shelter-in-place order Thursday night closed the schools that remained open in the state. Newsom did not announce an end date for the order.
    • Hawaii – The Hawaii Department of Education announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 30, was extended to April 7.
    • Missouri – Gov. Mike Parsons announced that all schools in the state had closed. The schools were closed by local action rather than statewide announcement.
    • Chicago – Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that Chicago Public Schools would remain closed from March 30 to April 20. At the time of the announcement, all schools in Illinois were closed until March 30.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians
Federal officials who have entered quarantine
  • U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi (R-NY)
  • U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)
  • U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC)
  • U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS)
  • U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ)
  • U.S. Rep. David Price (D-NC)
State officials who have tested positive for coronavirus
  • State Rep. Jane Garibay (D-CT)
  • State Rep. Kimberly Jean-Pierre (D-NY)
  • State Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet (D-CO)
  • State Sen. Clarence Nishihara (D-HI)
Local officials who have entered quarantine
  • Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (WI)
  • Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (D-PA)

Additional reading:



A preview of local charter amendments, school bonds, and taxes that were scheduled for the March 17 ballot in Ohio

Voters in Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, and Hamilton County were scheduled to decide eight local ballot measures on March 17, 2020.

On March 16, 2020, Ohio Governor Mark DeWine announced that polls would be closed on March 17, 2020, by the order of the state department of health due to the coronavirus. In-person voting was postponed to June 2.

Three charter amendments—Issues 5, 6, and 7—are on Cleveland ballots. Issue 5 would amend the city charter to allow votes to be counted using Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Systems instead of manual ballot tabulation. DRE systems employ computers that record votes directly into the computers’ memory.

Issue 6 would amend the city charter to limit the annual salary increase of city council members to the salary increase percentage of a majority of city recognized unions. In 2018, the Cleveland City Council received a raise of 4% and earned on average $83,370.

Issue 7 would amend the city charter to allow the first city council meeting in January to be held on the first business day if the first Monday is on a legal holiday.

Cleveland Issues 3 and 4, which concerned reducing the size and salary of the city council, were withdrawn in February by supporters. They will still appear on ballots, but votes for the measures will not be counted.

In Columbus, voters will decide on Columbus State Community College Issue 21, which would authorize the college to issue $300 million in bonds and require an average tax rate of $65 per $100,000 in assessed value. In terms of market value, the average annual tax to repay the bonds was estimated at $22.75 per $100,000 of market value.

Certain voters in Columbus will also decide South Western City School District Issue 20, which would renew a property tax at the rate of $100 per $100,000 of assessed property value to help fund Southwest Public Libraries.

Hamilton County Issue 7 would impose a 0.8% sales tax for 25 years to raise revenue for infrastructure improvements and the Metro transportation system operations.

In Toledo, voters will decide Issue 1, which would authorize the city to increase the local income tax from 2.25% to 2.75% for 10 years beginning July 1, 2020, through December 31, 2030.

Ballotpedia covers local ballot measures on the ballot for voters within the top 100 largest cities in the U.S. Ballotpedia also covers all local measures in California and all statewide ballot measures.

Additional reading:


Virginia local election filing deadline preview

The filing deadline to run for elected office in the city of Richmond and school boards in Virginia is on March 26, 2020.

Ballotpedia is covering local elections in the following areas:
  • Richmond, Virginia (mayor and city council)
  • Chesapeake Public Schools (4 seats)
  • Norfolk Public Schools (2 seats)
  • Virginia Beach City Public Schools (4 seats)

The primary in Virginia is scheduled for June 9, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.

The filing deadline for other local offices in the cities of Chesapeake and Norfolk was on March 3. The general election for those elections is scheduled for May 5.

In 2020, Ballotpedia is covering elections in 52 of America’s 100 largest cities by population.

Additional reading:


Coronavirus daily update: March 19, 2020

As part of Ballotpedia’s coverage on the coronavirus pandemic, we are compiling a daily summary of major changes in the world of politics, government, and elections happening each day. Here is the summary of changes for March 19, 2020.

Federal responses
  1. Last night, President Donald Trump signed H.R. 6201, the second coronavirus relief bill. It passed the Senate earlier in the afternoon by a 90-8 vote and passed the House on Monday by a 363-40 vote. Lawmakers are expecting to work out another bill in the coming days that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said should include direct payments to individuals.
  2. Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Steven Daines (R-Mont.), and Angus King (I-Maine) filed legislation seeking to delay the federal tax filing deadline for 90 days to align with the move made on March 17 by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to delay the payment of taxes 90 days. House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) sent Mnuchin a letter requesting the same.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  1. Nine states changed primary or municipal election dates.
  2. One state (New York) adjusted its candidate filing requirements.
  3. Three states have either implemented or attempted to implement changes to its voting procedures.
  4. Political parties in six states have made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
Details:
  1. Connecticut – Governor Ned Lamont (D) announced the postponement of the state’s presidential preference primary to June 2.
  2. Minnesota – The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party voted to conduct all local and district-level caucuses online. The Republican Party voted to conduct local conventions online.
  3. Missouri – The Missouri GOP voted to cancel its county caucuses.
State legislative changes
Overview to date:
  1. Sixteen state legislatures have suspended their sessions.
  2. Two states (Maine and Maryland) have adjourned early.
  3. Four states have implemented partial suspensions.
Details:
  1. Mississippi – The Mississippi State Legislature suspended its session, effective March 18, through April 1.
  2. New Hampshire – The New Hampshire General Court announced it would extend the suspension of its session through April 10. The suspension was originally set to end on March 20.
State court changes
  1. Arizona – The Arizona Supreme Court updated its order from March 16 to recommend that all proceedings be avoided to the greatest extent possible until further notice. The court also ordered new petit juries scheduled from March 18 to April 17 be rescheduled.
  2. Kansas – The Kansas Supreme Court issued an order that suspended all jury trials and restricted courts to emergency operations.
  3. Washington – The Washington Supreme Court suspended all criminal and civil jury trials until after April 24.
School closures
Overview to date
  1. Forty-three of 50 states have ordered a statewide school closure. The remaining states are leaving school closures up to local officials. Those 43 states served 41.2 million students during the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 81.4% of the 50.6 million public school students in the United States. California accounts for 6.3 million of the 9.4 million students in a state without statewide closures.
Details:
  1. Texas – Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed an executive order closing schools statewide from March 20 until April 3. Texas was the 42nd state to order statewide closures. It served 5.4 million public school students during the ’16-’17 school year.
  2. Indiana – Governor Eric Holcombe (R) signed an executive order closing schools statewide until May 1. Previously, Holcombe granted schools a 20-day waiver that allowed school districts to close on days of their choosing. Indiana was the 43rd state to order statewide closures. It served 1 million public school students during the ’16-’17 school year.

Diagnosed or quarantined politicians

Utah – U.S. Representative Ben McAdams (D) announced on March 18 that he had tested positive for coronavirus.

Florida
  1. U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R) announced on March 18 that he tested positive for coronavirus.
  2. U.S. Representative Frederica Wilson (D) announced on March 19 that she was entering a self-quarantine after contact with another member of the U.S. House who later tested positive for coronavirus.
  3. U.S. Representative Stephanie Murphy (D) announced on March 18 that she was entering a self-quarantine after learning another member of Congress tested positive for coronavirus.
  4. U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (D) announced on March 18 that he was entering a self-quarantine after learning he had been in contact with a family friend who tested positive for coronavirus.
Georgia
  1. State Senator Brandon Beach (R) announced on March 18 that he tested positive for coronavirus.
  2. U.S. Representative Drew Ferguson (R) announced on March 18 that he was entering a self-quarantine after learning he had been in contact with a member of Congress who tested positive for coronavirus.
  3. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) announced a self-quarantine on March 18 after learning Brandon Beach tested positive for coronavirus. He recommended Georgia lawmakers enter a quarantine until March 30.
  4. State Senators Renee Unterman (R) and Randy Robertson (R) also decided to self-quarantine.

Kansas – Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple (D) announced on March 18 that he, along with City Council members Brandon Johnson, Becky Tuttle, and James Clendenin, would enter self-quarantine due to possible exposure from a conference they attended in Washington D.C.

Louisiana – U.S. Representative Steve Scalise (R) announced on March 18 that he was entering a self-quarantine for two weeks after learning U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart tested positive for coronavirus.

Missouri – U.S. Representative Ann Wagner (R) announced on March 18 that she was entering a self-quarantine after a colleague tested positive for coronavirus.

New York – U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D) announced on March 18 that she was entering a self-quarantine after learning she had been in contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

Oklahoma – U.S. Representative Kendra Horn (D) announced on March 19 that she was entering a self-quarantine after contact with another member of the U.S. House who later tested positive for coronavirus.

Read more:
  1. Political responses to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020
  2. Changes to election dates, procedures, and administration in response to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020
  3. Federal, state, and local government policy changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020
  4. Political incumbents, candidates, and government officials diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined due to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020
  5. Changes to state legislative sessions in response to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020
  6. School closures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020
  7. State court closures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020
  8. Changes to ballot measure campaigns, procedures, and policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020


Kim Foxx wins Cook County state’s attorney Democratic primary

Incumbent Kim Foxx won the Cook County state’s attorney Democratic primary Tuesday. With 97% of precincts reporting, Foxx received 50.2% of the vote. Bill Conway followed with 31.3%. Four candidates ran.

In the 2016 state’s attorney election, Foxx defeated incumbent Anita Alvarez (D) in the primary and won the general election with 72% of the vote.

The election took place a year following national attention around the case of former Empire actor Jussie Smollett, who filed a police report January 2019 alleging he was attacked. Smollett was later charged with multiple counts related to filing a false police report. Foxx dropped the charges against Smollett in March 2019 in favor of an alternative prosecution program. Foxx’s 2020 Democratic primary challengers criticized her handling of the case, while she said it was treated the same as others of its kind.

Conway raised $11.4 million to Foxx’s $3.6 million as of March 7.

Cook County also held primary elections for clerk of the circuit court, county board of review commissioner, county water reclamation district board member, circuit court judgeships, and subcircuit court judgeships on Tuesday.

Additional Reading:
Municipal elections in Cook County, Illinois (2020)



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