CategoryLocal

Coronavirus daily update: April 1, 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 April 1, 2020.
Federal responses
  1. No updates today.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  1. Sixteen states and one territory altered state-level primary or general election dates. Six states postponed municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  2. Seven states adjusted their candidate filing procedures.
  3. Eighteen states implemented changes to their voting procedures. In 17 of those states, the changes involve absentee voting.
  4. Political parties in 10 states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
Details:
  1. Idaho – On March 30, Gov. Brad Little (R) and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney (R) announced that Idaho’s May 19 primary election would be conducted entirely by mail.
  2. Vermont – On March 30, Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed H0681 into law, making a series of temporary changes to the state’s election laws in response to the coronavirus outbreak: suspending candidate petition signature gathering requirements for both the August primary and the November general elections; authorizing local legislative bodies to transition upcoming local elections from floor meetings to Australian ballot (i.e., secret ballot) elections; and authorizing the secretary of state, with the consent of the governor, to enact temporary changes to election procedures (e.g., expanding voting by mail).
  3. Wisconsin – On March 31, in a brief filed in response to a federal lawsuit seeking postponement of the April 7 election, Assistant Attorney General Hannah Jurss indicated that Gov. Tony Evers (D) would deploy members of the National Guard as poll workers.
Ballot measure changes
Overview to date:
  1. Ballotpedia tracked 13 statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
  2. Three states changed ballot measure procedures.
Details:
  1. No updates today.
State legislative responses
Overview to date:
  1. To date, 279 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  2. Fifty significant bills have been enacted into law, about 18 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:
  1. Twenty-five state legislatures suspended their sessions. Three of those (Louisiana, New York, and Vermont) have since reconvened.
  2. Nineteen legislatures either adjourned or are not scheduled to be in regular session this year.
  3. Five state legislatures are in regular session.
  4. One state (Minnesota) partially suspended legislative activity.
Details:
  1. Alabama – The Alabama legislature suspended all legislative activity through April 28.
  2. Arkansas – The Arkansas legislature, after adjourning a special session on March 28, suspended its session through April 8.
  3. Louisiana – The suspension implemented by the Louisiana legislature concluded on March 31.
State court changes
Overview to date:
  1. Thirty-four states suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
  2. Sixteen states suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.
Details:
  1. No updates today. 
Prison inmate responses
Overview to date:
  1. Ten states ordered the release of inmates at the state level.
  2. Twenty-two states ordered the release of inmates on the local level.
  3. Seventeen states have not released inmates due to coronavirus.
  4. One state prohibited the release of certain inmate populations.
Details:
  1. California – According to court filings from California state lawyers, the state plans to release 3,500 inmates early within a few weeks. The inmates considered for early release are serving terms for nonviolent crimes and were due to be released within 60 days.
  2. Missouri – On March 30, Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice George Draper issued a letter to trial court judges clarifying statutes for pre-trial, post-conviction release, and the court’s authority to release an offender sentenced to a term in county jail or on parole.
  3. New York – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on March 31 that 900 inmates have been released to slow the spread of coronavirus in the city’s jails.
  4. Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed an executive order on March 29 prohibiting the release of inmates accused or previously convicted of violent crimes without paying bail.
State stay-at-home orders
Overview to date:
  1. So far, 37 states issued statewide stay-at-home orders. Seven of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 30 announced end dates.
Details:
  1. Florida – Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) issued a stay-at-home order effective from April 2 to April 30. This does not impact schools in the state, which are closed until May 1. DeSantis previously announced a similar order for four counties in southeast Florida.
  2. Illinois – Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced that the statewide stay-at-home order, initially scheduled to end April 7, was extended through April 30.
  3. Maine – Gov. Janet Mills (D) issued a stay-at-home order, effective April 2 through April 30. The order extended the statewide school closure, which was scheduled to end on April 27.
  4. Nevada – Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) issued a stay-at-home order, effective immediately and lasting until April 30. The order extended the statewide school closure, which was scheduled to end on April 16.
  5. Pennsylvania – Gov. Tom Wolf (D) issued a stay-at-home order statewide. Previously, he issued orders on a county-by-county basis. The order is effective from April 1 through April 30. The order does not affect schools, which were already closed indefinitely.
  6. Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued a stay-at-home order, effective April 2 through April 30. As part of the order, Abbott extended the statewide school closure through May 4.
School closures
Overview to date:
  1. Forty-eight states ordered a statewide school closure. The remaining states are leaving school closures up to local officials. Those 47 states served 49.8 million students during the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 98% of the 50.6 million public school students in the United States.
  2. Seven states closed schools for the remainder of the academic year: Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Virginia.
Details:
  1. Maine – Gov. Janet Mills (D) issued a stay-at-home order effective from April 2 to April 30. Although schools in Maine had handled closures at a local level, this order extended closures statewide through April 30.
  2. Nevada – Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) issued a stay-at-home order effective from April 1 to April 30. This extended the statewide school closure, scheduled to end on April 16, through April 30.
  3. Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end April 3, was extended through May 4.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia in the last 24 hours
Federal politicians who tested negative for coronavirus
  1. Rep. Ronald Wright (R-TX)
State politicians who tested positive for coronavirus
  1. State Rep. Reggie Bagala (R-LA)
  2. State Rep. Reginald Murdock (D-AR)
State politicians who tested negative for coronavirus
  1. Gov. Kate Brown (D-OR)


Anchorage to hold elections for city council and school board April 7

The city of Anchorage, Alaska, is holding general elections on April 7 for six city council seats, two school board seats, and 15 special district seats. The elections will be vote-by mail, and all of the races are nonpartisan.

The Anchorage City Council, also known as the Anchorage Assembly, has six of its 11 seats on the ballot in 2020. District 2-Seat C incumbent Fred Dyson was the only assembly incumbent to not file for re-election.
  • District 1 – Seat B: Incumbent Christopher Constant is unopposed in the general election.
  • District 2 – Seat C: Jamie Allard, Roger Branson, and Stephany Jeffers are running in the general election.
  • District 3 – Seat E: Incumbent Austin Quinn-Davidson, Nick Danger, and MoHagani Magnetek are running in the general election.
  • District 4 – Seat G: Incumbent Felix Rivera faces Christine Hill in the general election.
  • District 5 – Seat I: Incumbent Pete Petersen, Monty Dyson, and David Walker are running in the general election.
  • District 6 – Seat K: Incumbent Suzanne LaFrance and Rick Castillo are facing off in the general election.
The Anchorage School District has two of the board’s seven seats on the ballot in 2020. Incumbents Dave Donley and Andy Holleman both filed for re-election.
  • Seat C: Incumbent Dave Donley faces James Smallwood in the general election.
  • Seat D: Incumbent Andy Holleman, JC Cates, and Phil Isley are running in the general election.

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

Additional reading:


Coronavirus daily update: March 31, 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 31, 2020.
Federal responses
  1. President Donald Trump (R) said on Twitter that he supported a $2 trillion infrastructure bill as the next phase of coronavirus relief.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  1. Sixteen states and one territory changed state-level primary or general election dates. Six states changed municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  2. Seven states adjusted their candidate filing procedures.
  3. Eighteen states implemented changes to their voting procedures. In 17 of those states, the changes involve absentee voting.
  4. Political parties in 10 states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
Details:
  1. Iowa – On March 31, Secretary of State Paul Pate (R) announced his office would send absentee ballot applications to all registered voters in the state in advance of the June 2 primary election.
  2. Kansas – On March 30, the Kansas Democratic Party announced its party-administered presidential primary election, scheduled for May 2, would be conducted entirely by mail.
Ballot measure changes
Overview to date:
  1. Ballotpedia tracked 13 statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
  2. Three states changed ballot measure procedures.
Details:
  1. There were no major changes to ballot measures within the last 24 hours.
State legislative responses
Overview to date:
  1. To date, 276 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  2. Forty-eight significant bills have been enacted into law, about 17 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:
  1. Twenty-three state legislatures suspended their sessions. Two of those (New York and Vermont) have since reconvened.
  2. Nineteen legislatures either adjourned or are not scheduled to be in regular session this year.
  3. Seven state legislatures are in regular session.
  4. One state (Minnesota) partially suspended legislative activity.
Details:
  1. Arkansas – The special legislative session convened on March 26 and adjourned on March 28.
  2. Colorado – The state legislature extended its suspension to April 2. The suspension was originally set to extend through March 30.
State court changes
Overview to date:
  1. Thirty-four states suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
  2. Sixteen states suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.
Details:
  1. There were no major changes to State Courts within the last 24 hours.
State stay-at-home orders
Overview to date:
  1. So far, 30 states issued statewide stay-at-home orders. Six of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 24 announced end dates.
Details:
  1. Arizona – Gov. Doug Ducey (R) issued a stay home, stay healthy, stay connected order, effective March 31 to April 30. This order does not affect schools, which were closed for the school year on March 30.
  2. Massachusetts – Gov. Charlie Baker (R) extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 4. It was initially set to expire on April 7.
  3. Tennessee – Gov. Bill Lee (R) issued a safer at home order, effective March 31 to April 14. This order does not affect schools, which are currently closed through April 24.
School closures
Overview to date:
  1. 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.
  2. Seven states closed schools for the remainder of the academic year: Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Virginia.
Details:
  1. Florida – The Florida Department of Education announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end April 14, was extended through May 1.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia in the last 24 hours
Federal politicians who tested positive for coronavirus
  1. U.S. House New York District 12 candidate Suraj Patel (D)
Federal politicians who tested negative for coronavirus
  1. Rep. Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D-TX)
State politicians who self-quarantined for coronavirus
  1. Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell (R-OK)
State politicians who tested negative for coronavirus
  1. Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV)
Local politicians who tested positive for coronavirus
  1. Buffalo City Council President Darius Pridgen (D-NY)
  2. Chula Vista City Council District 4 candidate Andrea Cardenas (CA)
Local politicians who tested negative for coronavirus
  1. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (FL)
Notable influencers who tested positive for coronavirus
  1. CNN anchor Chris Cuomo


Miami Mayor announces second negative COVID-19 result

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced on March 30 that he tested negative for COVID-19 for a second time. Suarez previously tested positive for the virus and has been self-quarantined since March 12.

Ballotpedia is tracking politicians and government officials who have been diagnosed or tested for coronavirus or become quarantined. Suarez is one of at least two Florida officials diagnosed with COVID-19. U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R) announced that he tested positive on March 18.

As of March 31, we have identified:
• Five federal officials diagnosed with coronavirus and 40 federal officials quarantined
• Twenty-six state officials diagnosed with coronavirus and 70 state officials quarantined

Yesterday, March 30, we reported seven politicians who tested positive for the virus, one politician who announced a self-quarantine, and four politicians who tested negative.

To see a history of these announcements, click here.



Coronavirus daily update: March 30, 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 30, 2020.

Federal responses
Read more: Political responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

  • On Sunday, President Donald Trump (R) extended his social distancing guidelines through April. Those social distancing guidelines are to limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people, avoid eating and drinking in bars and restaurants, and avoid unnecessary travel. They were first announced on March 16.
  • On Monday, Glenn Fine, the acting inspector general of the Department of Defense, was selected to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which will oversee the implementation of the third coronavirus relief package. He was selected as chair by the other eight members of the committee, who are all inspectors general of various federal departments and agencies.

Election changes
Read more: Changes to election dates, procedures, and administration in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:

  • Sixteen states and one territory changed state-level primary or general election dates. Six states changed municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  • Seven states adjusted their candidate filing procedures.
  • Eighteen states implemented changes to their voting procedures. In 17 of those states, the changes involve absentee voting.
  • Political parties in nine states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.

Details:

  • Massachusetts – Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed S2608 into law, authorizing municipalities to postpone any elections originally scheduled to take place prior to May 30 to any date on or before June 30. The legislation also extended absentee voting eligibility to “any person taking precaution related to COVID-19” in elections taking place on or before June 30.
  • Nebraska – Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) and Secretary of State Bob Evnen (R) announced that the state’s May 12 primary election would proceed as scheduled, with every eligible voter receiving an absentee ballot application by mail. In-person locations were expected to remain open as planned.
  • North Dakota – Gov. Doug Burgum (R) issued an executive order authorizing counties to conduct the June 9 primary election entirely by mail. The order also directed the secretary of state to send absentee ballot applications to all of the individuals listed in the state’s central voter file.
    North Dakota – The North Dakota Republican Party canceled its in-person state convention, originally scheduled for March 27-28. In lieu of the convention, the party opted to elect delegates to the national nominating convention via mail voting on the part of registered state convention delegates.
  • West Virginia – Secretary of State Mac Warner announced he had directed counties to mail every registered voter in the state an absentee ballot application in advance of the May 12 primary election.
  • New York – Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the postponement of New York’s presidential preference primary to June 23. It was originally scheduled for April 28. The presidential preference primary will now coincide with the primary for state and congressional offices. The postponement also applied to five special elections originally scheduled for April 28: 27th Congressional District, State Senate District 50, State Assembly District 12, State Assembly District 31, State Assembly District 136.

Ballot measure changes
Read more: Changes to ballot measure campaigns, procedures, and policies in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:

  • Ballotpedia tracked 13 statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
  • Three states changed ballot measure procedures.

Details:

  • No updates today.

State legislative responses
Read more: State legislative responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:

  • To date, 268 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  • Forty-two significant bills have been enacted into law, about 16 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
Read more: Changes to state legislative session dates in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:

  • Twenty-three state legislatures suspended their sessions. Two of those (New York and Vermont) have since reconvened.
  • Eighteen 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) has convened a special session.
  • One state (Minnesota) has partially suspended legislative activity.

Details:

  • Illinois – The Illinois legislature extended its suspension through April 21, at which time lawmakers are set to return from a scheduled break. The suspension had originally been set to expire the week of March 23. It was then extended through March 30.
  • Mississippi – The Mississippi legislature extended its suspension indefinitely. The suspension had initially been set to expire April 1.
  • Missouri – The state Senate suspended activity through at least April 3. The state House is currently set to reconvene on April 7.
  • Oklahoma – The Oklahoma legislature extended its suspension through April 3. The suspension had originally been set to continue through March 27.

State court changes
Read more: State court closures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:

  • Thirty-four states suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
  • Sixteen states suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.

Details:

  • New Jersey – The New Jersey Supreme Court extended their suspensions of jury trials and other deadlines through April 26.
  • Oregon– The Oregon Supreme Court extended their previous order and suspended non-essential in-person proceedings and most jury trials through June 1.

State stay-at-home orders
Read more: States with shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:

  • So far, 27 states issued statewide stay-at-home orders. Six of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 21 announced end dates.

Details:

  • Maryland – Gov. Larry Hogan (R) issued a stay-at-home order effective immediately and lasting until the end of the declared state of emergency. Schools are currently scheduled to be closed through April 24 and were not addressed as part of the order.
  • North Carolina – On Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) issued a stay-at-home order effective from March 30 until April 29. This does not impact the statewide school closure, which is set to continue through May 15.
  • Pennsylvania – Gov. Tom Wolf (D) extended any existing county stay-at-home orders and issued orders for four new counties. Twenty-six of the state’s 67 counties are currently under a stay-at-home order.
  • Virginia – Gov. Ralph Northam (D) issued a stay-at-home order effectively immediately and lasting until June 10. Schools were not affected by this order—Northam closed schools for the rest of the year on March 23.

School closures
Read more: School closures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

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.
  • Seven states closed schools for the remainder of the academic year: Alabama, Arizona, Kansas,
  • New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Virginia.

Details:

  • Arizona – Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced that schools would be closed for the remainder of the academic year. Prior to the announcement, schools were scheduled to reopen on April 13.
  • Ohio – Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced that the statewide school closure, initially scheduled to end April 3, was extended through May 1.
  • Pennsylvania – Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced that the statewide school closure would last indefinitely. It was previously scheduled to end on April 8.
  • Vermont – On Friday night, Gov. Phil Scott (R) closed schools for the remainder of the year. Prior to the announcement, schools were scheduled to reopen April 6.

Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia in the last 24 hours
Read more: Politicians, candidates, and government officials diagnosed with or quarantined due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Federal officials who tested positive for coronavirus

  • Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)

Federal officials who quarantined for coronavirus

  • Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)

Federal officials who tested negative for coronavirus

  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)
  • Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)
  • Sen. John Thune (R-SD)

State officials who tested positive for coronavirus

  • State Rep. Brian Miller (R-NY)
  • State Sen. James Seward (R-NY)

Local officials who tested positive for coronavirus

  • Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz (D-NY)
  • Jersey City Councilman Rolando R. Lavarro Jr. (NJ)
  • Jersey City Councilman Michael Yun (NJ)
  • Louisville City Councilwoman Paula McCraney (D-KY)

Local officials who tested negative for coronavirus

  • Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (CO)


Filing period for congressional races to end in six states

The major party filing period for congressional races will end in six states over the next week. These include:
• New Jersey and South Carolina: March 30
• Missouri and South Dakota: March 31
• New York and Tennessee: April 2

All six states will hold U.S. House elections for each of their congressional districts. In addition, New Jersey, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee will hold elections for one seat each in the U.S. Senate.

These filing deadlines have so far not been moved in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Ballotpedia is tracking changes to election dates and procedures.

The general election in each state is scheduled for November 3, 2020. The primaries in New Jersey and South Dakota are scheduled for June 2. The remaining primaries are scheduled as follows:
• South Carolina: June 9
• New York: June 23
• Missouri: August 4
• Tennessee: August 6

These filing deadlines are the 26th through the 31st to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on April 6 in Arizona.

Entering the 2020 election year, the U.S. Senate has 45 Democrats, 53 Republicans, and two independents who caucus with the Democratic Party. Only 33 out of 100 Senate seats are up for regular election, and two are up for special election. A majority in the chamber requires 51 seats. The U.S. House has 232 Democrats, 197 Republicans, five vacancies, and one independent. All 435 seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

Additional reading:
United States House of Representatives elections, 2020
United States Senate elections, 2020
Changes to election dates, procedures, and administration in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020
Ballotpedia’s Elections Analysis Hub, 2020



Mayoral recall election on the ballot in Idaho Springs, Colorado

A recall election against Mayor Mike Hillman is taking place on April 7 in Idaho Springs, Colorado. The recall effort was initiated by residents Amanda Kowalewski, Janet Diederichs, and Candace Voisard in November 2019. Petitions listed the following reasons for recalling Hillman:

  • Significant erosion of public confidence in city government during Hillman’s administration;
  • Failure to adequately supervise planning staff, and, by failing to do so, allowing decisions to be made at staff level without public input or review that profoundly impact the property rights and quality of life of Idaho Springs residents; and
  • Allowing unresolved conflicts of interest by City Council members to occur.

Hillman responded to the recall effort, saying the petitioners were unhappy with residential development in Idaho Springs. He added, “I have poured out my life for the job. They are trying to bring down the (city) council and trying to bring me down. They are trying to break down our community.”

The number of valid signatures required to force a special recall election in Colorado is 25 percent of the votes cast in the last election for the official being recalled. Petitioners were required to submit 77 valid signatures to put the recall on the ballot. There were 150 signatures submitted for verification on December 6. On January 13, after the signatures were verified, the Idaho Springs City Council voted to have the recall election take place on April 7.

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:


New York postpones presidential primary, special elections to June 23, 2020

On March 28, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) issued Executive Order No. 202.12, postponing the state’s presidential preference primary to June 23, 2020. New York’s primary election for congressional, state, and local offices had already been scheduled to take place on June 23, 2020. The presidential preference primary was originally scheduled for April 28, 2020.

Cuomo also postponed five special elections to June 23 from April 28:
• 27th Congressional District
• State Senate District 50
• State Assembly District 12
• State Assembly District 31
• State Assembly District 136

To date, 21 states and one territory have implemented changes to their election dates in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Additional Reading:
Changes to election dates, procedures, and administration in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020



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)


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