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Trump responds to criticism from Mattis

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
June 4, 2020: Trump responded to criticism from former U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Biden’s campaign is running a new digital ad in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Ballotpedia is monitoring changes made to election dates and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. blank    blankblank   


Daily Presidential News Briefing, Campaign Ad Comparison Feature, 2020

Daily Presidential News Briefing campaign ad comparison feature, 2020 - "Build The Future" - Joe Biden For President

Daily Presidential News Briefing campaign ad comparison feature, 2020 - "MAKE SPACE GREAT AGAIN!" - Donald J Trump

Notable Quote of the Day

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”

– Statement by James Mattis, former U.S. secretary of defense

Election Updates

  • Joe Biden’s campaign is running a new ad on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The ad features clips from his June 2 speech in Philadelphia.

  • Donald Trump responded to the above statement from Mattis: “Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was ‘Chaos’, which I didn’t like, & changed to ‘Mad Dog’ … His primary strength was not military, but rather personal public relations. I gave him a new life, things to do, and battles to win, but he seldom ‘brought home the bacon’. I didn’t like his ‘leadership’ style or much else about him, and many others agree. Glad he is gone!”

  • Trump said in a phone call to the Brian Kilmeade Show, “I have other polls where I’m winning, and you’ve seen them too, I guess. But, I have polls. Just like last time, I was losing to Hillary in every state, and I won every state, OK. I won Michigan, I won Wisconsin, I won places that they didn’t even think were pollable, they didn’t even want to go bother. …  I saw another poll where I’m winning every swing state, substantially. And why wouldn’t I?”

Flashback: June 4, 2016

Ahead of the final primaries of the 2016 election, Bernie Sanders said, “The media is in error when they lump superdelegates with pledged delegates. … Hillary Clinton will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to win the Democratic nomination at the end of the nominating process on June 14. Won’t happen. She will be dependent on superdelegates. … The Democratic National Convention will be a contested convention.” He said, “And what I hope that the delegates going to the Democratic National Convention understand is that in virtually every state poll we do much better against Trump than does Secretary Clinton.”blank

Click here to learn more.



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: June 3, 2020

Each day, we:

  • Track the status of reopening in all 50 states.
  • Compare the status of one industry or activity across the country.
  • Provide in-depth summaries of the latest reopening plans.
  • Give you the latest stories on other reopening plans and ideas.

Want to know what happened yesterday? Click here.

The next two days

What is reopening in the next two days? Which stay-at-home orders will expire?

June 4

  • Delaware (Democratic trifecta): Personal care services will be allowed to expand capacity to 50% occupancy or 50 individuals, whichever is fewer, on June 4. Also on that day, child care facilities will be allowed to operate at their full occupancy. Gov. John Carney (D) announced on June 2 that the state would enter Phase Two of its reopening plan on June 15. At that time, Restaurants, retail stores, and malls may increase capacity from 30% to 60%. Personal care services and gyms will remain at 30% occupancy.
  • Michigan (divided government): Retail stores statewide will be allowed to reopen on June 4. Capacity will be limited to 25% for stores with less than 50,000 square feet of customer floor space. For larger stores, the number of customers cannot exceed 4 per 1,000 square feet of customer floor space.
  • Oregon (Democratic trifecta): On June 4, Gov. Kate Brown will announce a list of counties that have been approved to enter the second phase of the state’s reopening plan. Phase Two will allow recreational sports and businesses like movie theaters, bowling alleys, and pools to begin reopening.
  • Pennsylvania (divided government): The state’s stay-at-home order is set to expire on June 4, which will make Pennsylvania the 36th state to lift a stay-at-home order. The 10 remaining red-phase counties are expected to enter the yellow phase on June 5. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced a phased reopening plan for K-12 schools in the state that will allow yellow and green phase counties to start opening schools on July 1.

June 5

  • Louisiana (divided government): Louisiana will move into Phase 2 of its reopening plan on June 5. In Phase 2, the following businesses will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity: restaurants and coffee shops; shopping malls; gyms and fitness centers; barbershops and nail salons; movie theaters; racetracks (without spectators); museums, zoos, and aquariums; bars and breweries with food permits; massage services; spas; tattoo parlors; esthetician services; pool halls, bowling alleys, and skating rinks; event centers and wedding venues; and outdoor playgrounds and play centers. Phase 2 will last at least 21 days.
  • Vermont (divided government): Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced at a press conference on June 3 that he hopes to reopen restaurants to indoor dining on June 5. He also said he was working on a change to the quarantine requirement for out-of-state visitors and would say more about that plan on June 5.
  • Virginia (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced that much of the state would advance to Phase 2 of the reopening plan. Northern Virginia, the city of Richmond, and Accomack County will remain in Phase 1. Northam said he would provide more guidance for areas entering Phase 2 on June 3.
  • West Virginia (Republican trifecta): Movie theaters and casinos may reopen on June 5. Both types of businesses will need to limit their capacity to 50%.

Since our last edition

Have any states opened? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here. For our last edition, click here.

  • Florida (Republican trifecta): Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced that beginning on June 5 bars may reopen at 50% capacity inside and full capacity outside, with service only for seated patrons. Movie theaters and bowling alleys can reopen at 50% capacity on that day. The new rules apply to all counties except Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach.
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): On June 2, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that summer day camps can reopen on June 29. The Capital region entered Phase 2 of Cuomo’s reopening plan, “NY Forward,” on June 3. It is the seventh region to move into that phase, out of 10 regions in the state. Under Phase 2, the following businesses and activities can resume: offices (50% occupancy), real estate, in-store retail (50% occupancy), vehicle sales, leases and rentals, retail rental, repair and cleaning, commercial building management (50% occupancy), and salons and barbershops (50% occupancy).
  • North Carolina (divided government): Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said on June 2 that North Carolina was not yet ready to move into Phase 3 of the reopening plan, based on recent health and hospital data. Phase 2 will run through at least June 26 unless changed or canceled by state officials.
  • Ohio (Republican trifecta): Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said on June 2 that he plans to address the reopening of large-attractions, such as museums and zoos, in a briefing on June 4.
  • Washington (Democratic trifecta): Following the expiration of the stay-at-home order on May 31 and the transition to a fully regional approach to reopening, three counties on June 3 applied to advance to Phase 3 of the reopening plan. Counties must stay in Phase 2 for three weeks before they can apply to move to the next stage. In Phase 3, theaters and gyms can reopen at 50% capacity, and public gatherings can include up to 50 people.

Update on stay-at-home orders

Forty-three states issued orders directing residents to stay home except for essential activities and the closure or curtailment of businesses each state deemed nonessential. Seven states did not.

As of June 3, stay-at-home orders have ended in 35 states. Eighteen of those states have Republican governors and 17 have Democratic governors (including Wisconsin, where the state Supreme Court invalidated the stay-at-home order).

Of the eight states with active stay-at-home orders, seven have Democratic governors and one has a Republican governor. They are (with expiration date):

  • Pennsylvania (June 4, Democratic governor)
  • New Hampshire (June 15, Republican governor)
  • New York (June 27, Democratic governor)
  • New Mexico (June 30, Democratic governor)
  • California (no set expiration date, Democratic governor)
  • Kentucky (no set expiration date, Democratic governor)
  • New Jersey (no set expiration date, Democratic governor)
  • Oregon (no set expiration date, Democratic governor)

The chart below shows when stay-at-home orders ended in other states.

Tracking industries: Places of worship

All 50 states have reopened in some way. Here, we give the status of one industry or activity across the states. Today’s question: in which states may you attend an indoor religious service?

New Jersey is the only state that does not allow indoor religious services at places of worship, in any regions or counties. Services must be held outdoors and patrons must remain in their vehicles. If cars cannot be spaced six feet apart, windows must remain closed.

Here are examples of other rules in place around religious services:

  • Rules vary by region in some states, like Pennsylvania and Washington. For example, some counties only permit outdoor or drive-up religious services.
    • In Pennsylvania, places of worship in counties in the red phase of the reopening plan are permitted only to hold drive-up services. Ten counties are in the red phase, though they are expected to move to the yellow phase by June 5. In the yellow phase, places of worship may open for up to 25 people. In the green phase, there are no restrictions except requiring individuals to follow CDC and Pennsylvania Health Department guidelines.
    • In Washington, places of worship in counties in Phase 1 of the reopening plan may hold outdoor services only with up to 100 people. Phase 2 permits houses of worship to hold indoor services with 25% capacity or 50 people, whichever is less.
  • Places of worship in California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Vermont are limited to 25% capacity.
  • In Maryland and Virginia, places of worship are limited to 50% capacity.

This is an in-depth summary of one of the latest reopening plans. Is there a plan you’d like us to feature? Reply to this email and let us know. Click a state below to read a previous Featured Plan.

Previous featured plans

Alabama Florida Maryland New Hampshire Pennsylvania Washington
Arizona Georgia Massachusetts New Mexico South Carolina
California Illinois Michigan New York Tennessee
Colorado Indiana Montana Ohio Texas
Delaware Maine Nevada Oklahoma Virginia

On April 16, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) announced the initial framework for the “Show Me Strong” recovery plan, outlining four pillars on which reopening would be based:

  1. Rapidly expand testing capacity and volume in the state, including testing for those who are currently contagious and those who have developed immunity to the virus
  2. Expand reserves of PPE by opening public and private supply chains and continuing to utilize Missouri businesses in that effort
  3. Continue to monitor and, if necessary, expand hospital and health care system capacity, including isolation and alternate care facilities for those that cannot self-quarantine at home
  4. Improve ability to predict potential outbreaks using Missouri’s public health data

On April 27, Parson announced a new health order allowing Phase 1 to begin on May 4, citing “favorable data and approval from state health officials.” All businesses could reopen as long as they adhered to social distancing requirements. Additional restrictions apply to restaurants and retail businesses.

The plan also includes social distancing requirements for individuals and other guidelines for businesses, individuals, and communities.

The state had not moved into Phase 2 as of June 3, and details on the phase were not available. On May 28, Parson said the next phase would involve moving away from orders: “We’re gonna have to live without an order and … we’re gonna have to take it upon ourselves to do [social distancing].”

Local governments are allowed to implement greater restrictions on businesses and individuals than the state reopening plan.

Context

  • Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, issued a stay-at-home order that went into effect on April 6. It directed individuals to stay home unless necessary and to practice social distancing outside the home. It limited gathering sizes to 10 people. The order also said that nonessential businesses must adhere to gathering limits and social distancing guidelines and that workers must practice good hygiene and work from home where feasible. The order was set to expire on April 24. Williams extended the order, and it expired on May 3.
  • On April 27, Williams issued the Show Me Strong Recovery order, requiring individuals and workers to socially distance and allowing businesses to reopen under certain guidelines. It went into effect on May 4 and was set to expire on May 31. Williams extended the order until June 15.
  • As of June 3, the Missouri COVID-19 Dashboard reported 13,767 confirmed cases and 786 deaths. Missouri’s estimated population as of July 2019 was 6.1 million. For every 100,000 residents, the state had 224.3 cases and 12.8 deaths.
  • Missouri is a Republican trifecta, with a Republican governor and Republican majorities in the state legislature.

Plan details

Requirements for individuals and businesses

The Show Me Strong Recovery order says individuals and businesses must follow social distancing guidelines, with certain exceptions:

  • “In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every person and business in the State of Missouri shall abide by social distancing requirements, including maintaining six feet (6’) of space between individuals. This provision shall not apply to family members or individuals performing job duties that require contact with other people closer than six feet (6’).”
  • “Individuals performing job duties that require contact with other people closer than six feet (6’) should take enhanced precautionary measures to mitigate the risks of contracting or spreading COVID-19. This provision shall apply in all situations, including, but not limited to, when customers are standing in line or individuals are using shared indoor or outdoor spaces.”

The plan’s FAQ page further says of individuals performing jobs that require contact with people closer than six feet:

“Businesses and employees should work together to implement public health and safety measures for employees and customers, using this site as a guide, in addition to any guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Under these conditions, businesses such as barber and cosmetology shops, hair salons, and tattoo parlors are allowed to operate.”

Gyms and hotel swimming pools can also open if they adhere to strict social distancing and sanitation protocols.

Capacity limits for retail businesses

Requirements for retail buildings subject to fire or building code occupancy limits:

  • For smaller locations (less than 10,000 square feet), they must maintain 25 percent or less of the authorized occupancy;
  • For larger locations (10,000 square feet or greater), they must maintain 10 percent or less of the authorized occupancy.

The plan includes a formula for businesses not subject to local fire or building code occupancy limits.

Employees and vendors do not count toward capacity limits. The restrictions do not apply to hotels or restaurants. For additional details on capacity limits, click here.

Requirements for restaurants

Restaurants may reopen for dine-in services under the following conditions:

“Restaurants may offer dining-in services, but must adhere to social distancing and other precautionary public health measures. Tables must be spaced at least six feet apart. Communal seating areas for parties that are not connected are prohibited. There can be no more than ten people at a single table. The continued use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is encouraged.”

Guidelines for individuals

  • Citizens who feel sick should stay home!
  • Continue to practice good hygiene, including:
    • Washing hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces;
    • Avoiding touching your face;
    • Sneezing or coughing into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow; and
    • Disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
  • Avoid socializing in groups that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing (receptions, trade shows, etc.).
  • When in public (parks, outdoor recreation spaces, shopping malls, etc.), individuals should maximize physical distance from others.
  • Minimize travel to the extent possible.
  • Elderly or otherwise vulnerable populations should take enhanced precautionary measures to mitigate the risks of contracting COVID-19.
  • Individuals may go to and from a place of worship, provided that limitations on social distancing are properly adhered to.

Guidelines for businesses

  • Prepare to implement basic infection prevention measures informed by industry best practices, regarding:
    • Protective equipment;
    • Temperature checks;
    • Testing, isolating, and contact tracing; and
    • Sanitation, including disinfection of common and high-traffic areas (entrances, breakrooms, locations where there is high-frequency employee interaction with the public/customers).
  • Modify physical workspaces to maximize social distancing.
  • Minimize business travel.
  • Develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, including policies and procedures for workforce contact tracing when an employee tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Monitor workforce for indicative symptoms. Do not allow symptomatic people to physically return to work until cleared by a medical provider.
  • Develop, implement, and communicate about workplace flexibilities and protections, including:
    • Encouraging telework whenever possible and feasible with business operations;
    • Returning to work in phases and/or split shifts, if possible;
    • Limiting access to common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact; and
    • Ensuring that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance.

Click here for links to additional resources.

Guidelines for communities

  • Closely monitor and track the containment, spread, and any resurgence of COVID-19 and adjust plans as necessary.
  • Limit situations where citizens cannot maintain social distancing.
  • Facilitate widespread testing of symptomatic and asymptomatic citizens.
  • Work to protect the most vulnerable populations.
  • Local authorities may issue additional orders consistent with the state health order.
  • Individuals may go to and from a place of worship, provided that limitations on social distancing are properly adhered to.
  • Schools shall remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic school year.
  • Summer school may proceed under guidelines set forth by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Reactions

  • On May 4, Missouri Republican Party Executive Director Jean Evans said, “One of the things about our Governor is that he definitely trusts local leaders to make good decisions for themselves. From the get go, he has taken a very aggressive approach to dealing with this. I know Governor Parson pretty well. … He is somebody who doesn’t react, he responds. He looks at all the information, talks to the experts and comes up with a plan.”
  • On May 14, KRCG reported that the Missouri Democratic Party requested records detailing the epidemiological data the governor’s office and state health department have used to guide reopening:

    “In a records request, the Democratic Party requested copies of this model, and any underlying data, work product, and supplementary materials developed by the Department of Health and Human Services to model the COVID-19 pandemic, between March 1, 2020 and May 12, 2020.

    According to the Democratic Party, Williams said he would release the epidemiological model on May 6, but the data still has yet to be released.

    ‘Parson and Dr. Williams have repeatedly promised to release their epidemiological model to the public and then failed to do so,’ Missouri Democratic Party Executive Director Lauren Gepford stated in a Thursday news release.

    In the news release, Gepford said the state’s decision to reopen was an act of ‘defiance’ against the guidance passed down by the White House.”

  • On May 4, the Southeast Missourian editorial board wrote,

    “It’s nice to see businesses start to reopen following a four-week statewide shutdown in Missouri, longer in some individual municipalities. The coronavirus pandemic has not only been a health issue but an economic one.

    As people return to work and customers resume their patronization of businesses, it’s important to adhere to public health guidance. …

    The chambers of commerce in Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Scott City along with VisitCape and Magnet are promoting a Reclaim Our Region campaign. Along with encouraging individuals to observe state and local orders, they ask individuals to seek opportunities to support the local economy and shift as much of your spending to local establishments. While online shopping has been convenient and even necessary during this pandemic, patronizing businesses with a local presence is important to the local recovery.

    There’s light at the end of the tunnel. We’re not there yet, but we’re making progress. Adhere to public health guidance. And support your local economy. We’re all in this together.”

  • On April 27, The Kansas City Star editorial board wrote,

    “[Parson] is depending on residents to exercise their own judgment — to stay home if sick, to wash hands regularly, to work from home if allowed.

    He also says testing and tracing should improve, enabling the state to identify hotspots and respond quickly.

    But how can he ask individuals to be cautious when he is not? It’s clear some Missourians will take the governor’s order as an ‘all-clear’ signal that life can return to normal. That’s a risky gambit. …

    There are some redeeming features of the order. Cities and counties will be able to retain stricter rules for businesses, which means Kansas City’s stay-at-home order can remain in effect, as can Jackson County’s. Both expire May 15.

    The different rules will undoubtedly cause confusion and resentment in some quarters. And the patchwork of deadlines will scramble the coronavirus calculus: Kansas Citians will be at greater risk because their neighbors in other counties are opening so soon.

    Still, the later deadline in Kansas City and Jackson County makes more sense than Parson’s rush to reopen May 4.”

Find out more in today’s Number of the Day→

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of activities by other federal, state, and local governments and influencers relevant to recovering from the pandemic.

  • Chicago, Illinois entered Phase 3 of its reopening plan on June 3. Phase 3 includes allowing offices, hotels, retail, and personal services such as nail salons and barbershops to reopen. Restaurants may also reopen for outdoor dining. The city released industry-specific guidelines for reopening.
  • The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to send a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) requesting permission to open several sites not allowed in Phase 2 of the state’s plan, including gyms, nail salons, theme parks, and churches. On May 20, the state granted San Diego County variance, allowing it to open restaurants and retail.
  • Cinemark announced its plans to begin a four-phased reopening of its theaters on June 19. CEO Mark Zoradi said reopening will begin with five theaters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. One-third of the chain’s theaters will reopen each following week through July 10. Cinemark is the third-largest movie theater chain in the U.S. 
  • The Metropolitan Transit Authority issued a letter to New York City officials outlining when subways and buses are expected to return to full service. The agency said that regular bus and subway schedules would return the first day the City enters Phase 1 of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) reopening plan. New York City is expected to enter that phase on Monday, June 8.


Tracking the 90+ lawsuits related to COVID-19 election changes

Lawsuits involving election policy proliferate in response to COVID-19 outbreak 

The COVID-19 outbreak in the United States has prompted election postponements, alterations to absentee/mail-in voting procedures, and modifications to candidate filing protocols. It has also resulted in at least 90 lawsuits filed in state and federal courts touching on various aspects of election administration. These lawsuits span 32 different states. 

In this edition of The Ballot Bulletin, we take a closer look at five of what we think are the most noteworthy lawsuits filed to date. We selected these lawsuits because they deal with a variety of election-related issues and originate in different regions of the country. For a complete list of all the election lawsuits we’re tracking, click here.

Esshaki v. Whitmer (Michigan) 

The parties to the suit: The plaintiffs were Eric Esshaki, Matt Savich, and Deana Beard, candidates for Congress, the Forty-Seventh Judicial District Court, and the Third Circuit Court, respectively. The defendants were Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D), and Elections Director Jonathan Brater.

The issue: Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued that Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, which disallowed large gatherings and closed numerous businesses, prevented them from collecting the number of signatures needed to earn a place on the ballot. They argued that these conditions imposed a severe burden on the plaintiffs’ ability to seek elective office, violating their constitutional free-speech and associational rights. 

The outcome: On April 20, Judge Terrence Berg, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and issued an order reducing the petition signature requirements for certain primary candidates to 50 percent of their statutory thresholds. Berg also extended the filing deadline from April 21 to May 8 and directed election officials to develop procedures allowing for the collection and submission of electronic petition signatures. Berg’s order applied only to candidates for offices without a filing-fee option: U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, and judicial offices. The order did not apply to state legislative candidates, who could pay filing fees to get on the ballot.

Berg’s order was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which ruled on May 5 that Berg had erred in his initial order. Although the appeals court agreed that the original ballot requirements were unconstitutional, it ruled that Berg had exceeded his authority in mandating new requirements. The appeals court directed the state “to select its own adjustments so as to reduce the burden on ballot access, narrow the restrictions to align with its interest, and thereby render the application of the ballot-access provisions constitutional under the circumstances.”

On May 8, state authorities announced they would abide by the requirements laid out in Berg’s original order. Jake Rollow, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of State, said, “As the district court declined to amend its order, and with the revised filing deadline today, May 8, the best course of action to reduce further uncertainty in advance of the rapidly approaching August elections is to maintain the procedures that have been in place for the last two and a half weeks.”

Issa v. Newsom (California) 

The parties to the suit: The plaintiffs are former U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R) and four registered California voters: James Oerding, Jerry Griffin, Michelle Bolotin, and Michael Sienkiewicz. The defendants are Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D).

The issue: On May 8, Newsom issued an executive order directing county election officials to deliver mail-in ballots to all registered voters in the Nov. 3 general election. California law allows any eligible voter to vote by mail, but the voter is required to submit a mail-in ballot application first in order to receive an actual ballot. Under Newsom’s order, all voters will automatically receive the mail-in ballots. 

On May 21, the plaintiffs filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. In their complaint, attorneys for the plaintiffs allege that Newsom’s order violates both the Elections Clause and the Electors Clause of the United States Constitution. The Elections Clause (Article I, Section 4) establishes that “the Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.” The Electors Clause (Article II, Section 1) establishes that each state may appoint presidential electors “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” Attorneys for the plaintiffs argue that neither Newsom nor Padilla meet the definition of a “Legislature” for the purposes of these provisions. 

The outcome: The case is pending before Judge Morrison England, who was appointed to the court by President George W. Bush (R).

League of Women Voters of Oklahoma v. Ziriax (Oklahoma) 

The parties to the suit: The plaintiffs were the League of Women Voters of Oklahoma and two qualified Oklahoma voters, Angela Zea Patrick and Peggy Jeanne Winton. The defendant was Paul Ziriax, in his capacity as secretary of the Oklahoma State Election Board.

The issue: Attorneys for the plaintiffs alleged that official absentee ballot forms and other instructional materials were misleading voters by suggesting that a notarized affidavit was required in order for absentee ballots to be counted. The plaintiffs argued instead that a personally signed statement, under penalty of perjury, was sufficient in lieu of a notarized affidavit. 

The outcome: On May 4, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the plaintiffs, striking down the contested requirement. The court ruled that the requirement did not qualify as an exception under a state law establishing that statements, signed and dated under the penalty of perjury, carry the force of an affidavit. 

However, on May 7, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed SB210 into law, reinstating the absentee ballot notarization requirement. The legislation also included provisions applicable only to the 2020 election cycle. SB210 permitted voters to submit copies of their identification in lieu of fulfilling the notarization requirement in the event of a state of emergency occurring within 45 days of an election. The legislation also specified that individuals experiencing symptoms indicative of COVID-19, and individuals classified as vulnerable to infection could cast absentee ballots under the ‘physical incapacitation’ eligibility criterion.

Wisconsin Legislature v. Evers (Wisconsin) 

The parties to the suit: The plaintiff was the Wisconsin Legislature, in which Republicans have majorities in both chambers. The defendant was Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat. 

The issue: On April 6, Evers issued an executive order postponing in-person voting in the spring election, scheduled to take place on April 7, to June 9. Evers also extended the receipt deadline for absentee ballots to June 9. 

State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) argued that Evers’ order exceeded his constitutional authority. They filed suit in the state supreme court, seeking an emergency stay of Evers’ order. In their motion for the stay, plaintiffs’ attorneys said, “Given that the Governor’s order comes mere hours before the in-person election is set to begin, the Legislature will suffer irreparable harm if Executive Order 74 is not immediately enjoined. Moreover, such sweeping changes to an election made just before the election is set to begin will undoubtedly cause voter confusion and call into question the integrity of the electoral process.” 

The outcome: On April 6, the state supreme court voted 4-2 to stay Evers’ order, allowing the election to proceed as scheduled. Justices Annette Ziegler, Rebecca Bradley, Patience Roggensack, and Brian Hagedorn formed the majority. Justices Ann Walsh Bradley and Rebecca Dallet dissented. Justice Daniel Kelly, who ran for re-election on April 7, did not participate in the decision.

In an unsigned opinion, the court majority wrote, “The question presented is not whether the policy choice to continue with this election is good or bad, or otherwise in the public interest. … Rather, the question presented to this court is whether the Governor has the authority to suspend or rewrite state election laws. Although we recognize the extreme seriousness of the pandemic that this state is currently facing, we conclude that he does not.” 

Bradley wrote the following in her dissent, which Dallet joined: “[The] majority gives Wisconsinites an untenable choice: endanger your safety and potentially your life by voting or give up your right to vote by heeding the recent and urgent warnings about the fast growing pandemic. These orders are but another example of this court’s unmitigated support of efforts to disenfranchise voters.”

Yang v. Kellner (New York) 

The parties to the suit: The plaintiffs were Andrew Yang, a former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, and several candidates for New York’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention. The defendants were Robert Brehm, Douglas Kellner, Peter Kosinski, Andrew Spano, and Todd Valentine, all members of the New York State Board of Elections, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

The issue: On April 27, the New York State Board of Elections moved to cancel the Democratic presidential preference primary, which had been scheduled to take place on June 23. The Republican presidential preference primary had already been canceled. The statewide primary election was scheduled to proceed as planned on June 23. Earlier in April, the state enacted a law authorizing the board of elections to remove candidates’ names from the ballot upon the suspension or termination of their campaigns. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) suspended his presidential campaign on April 8, making former Vice-President Joe Biden (D) the presumptive Democratic nominee.

In their complaint, filed April 28, attorneys for the plaintiffs alleged that “this unprecedented and unwarranted move infringes the rights of Plaintiffs and all New York State Democratic Party voters … as it fundamentally denies them the right to choose our next candidate for the office of President of the United States.” 

The outcome: On May 5, Judge Analisa Torres, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, ordered the New York State Board of Elections to reinstate the Democratic presidential primary. Torres wrote, “[T]he removal of presidential candidates from the primary ballot not only deprived those candidates of the chance to garner votes for the Democratic Party’s nomination, but also deprived their pledged delegates of the opportunity to run for a position where they could influence the party platform, vote on party governance issues, pressure the eventual nominee on matters of personnel or policy, and react to unexpected developments at the Convention.” Torres joined the court in 2013, having been nominated by President Barack Obama (D). 

On May 6, the state board of elections appealed the decision. On May 19, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed Torres’ ruling. The panel comprised Judges Amalya Kearse, Dennis Jacobs, and Jose Cabranes. Kearse, Jacobs, and Cabranes were appointed to the court by Presidents Jimmy Carter (D), George H.W. Bush (R), and Bill Clinton (D), respectively. The state board of elections indicated it would make no further appeal. 

Election postponements

Since our May 20 edition, we’ve tracked the following election postponement updates: 

  • Puerto Rico: On May 21, the Democratic Party of Puerto Rico announced its presidential preference primary would take place on July 12. The primary was originally scheduled for March 29. It was first postponed to April 26. It was then postponed indefinitely. 


To date, 20 states and one territory have postponed upcoming state-level elections. These states are shaded in dark blue on the map below.

Absentee/mail-in voting modifications

Since our May 20 edition, we’ve tracked the following absentee/mail-in voting modifications: 

  • Connecticut: Gov. Ned Lamont (D) issued an executive order extending absentee voting eligibility to any registered voter in the Aug. 11 primary if there is no “federally approved and widely available vaccine for prevention of COVID-19” at the time he or she requests an absentee ballot.
  • Montana: On May 27, the Montana Supreme Court voted 5-2 to halt a lower court order that had extended the absentee ballot receipt deadline for the June 2 primary to June 8.
  • Pennsylvania: On June 1, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) issued an executive order extending the absentee ballot receipt deadline for the June 2 primary to 5:00 p.m. on June 9 (with a postmark deadline of June 2) in Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
  • South Carolina: On May 25, Judge J. Michelle Childs, of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, issued a preliminary injunction barring election officials from enforcing South Carolina’s witness requirement for absentee ballots in the June 9 primary and subsequent runoff elections.
  • Texas: On May 27, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that a voter’s lack of immunity to COVID-19 does not qualify as a disability under the state’s election laws and, therefore, cannot be cited as an excuse for voting absentee.

To date, 28 states have modified their absentee/mail-in voting procedures. These modifications can be divided into five broad categories:

  • Automatic mail-in ballots: Five states (California, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, and New Jersey) have opted to send mail-in ballots automatically to all eligible voters in certain elections to ensure that most voting takes place by mail. These states are shaded in yellow in the map below. 
  • Automatic mail-in ballot applications: Twelve states (Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and West Virginia) are automatically sending mail-in ballot applications to all eligible voters in certain elections. These states are shaded in dark blue in the map below. 
  • Eligibility expansions: Seven states (Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia) have expanded absentee voting eligibility in certain elections. These states are shaded in light blue in the map below. 
  • Deadline extensions: Four states (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Wisconsin) have extended absentee/mail-in ballot request or submission deadlines in certain elections. These states are shaded in dark gray in the map below. 

Legislation tracking 

To date, we have tracked 165 bills that make some mention of both election policy and COVID-19. States with higher numbers of relevant bills are shaded in darker blue on the map below. States with lower numbers of relevant bills are shaded in lighter blue. In states shaded in white, we have tracked no relevant bills. 

Legislation related to elections and COVID-19, 2020 

Current as of June 2, 2020

Looking ahead 

On June 2, Ballotpedia covered 1,990 primary elections for 1,011 offices across 12 states and Washington, D.C. In our June 17 issue, we’ll examine the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on the conduct of these elections, turning our attention to the use of absentee/mail-in voting, consolidation of polling places, and preliminary data on voter turnout rates.



Heart of the Primaries 2020, Republicans-Issue 21 (June 3, 2020)

This week: Key June 2 election results, NRA endorses Caldarera over Trump-endorsed Malliotakis in NY-27, and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott to seek re-election.

On the news

Where do Republican and conservative pundits and commentators disagree? Each week, we bring you excerpts that highlight differing views.

On racism in America  

“While I understand the frustration and anger, I do not condone the violence spreading across this country in response to Floyd’s horrific killing. Rioting tearing apart Minneapolis and cities coast-to-coast will never lead to anything but more suffering. Those who are committing crimes are distracting us from the even larger group of people who are peacefully demonstrating.

But we cannot shrug off Floyd’s killing – along with the killings of so many other black Americans throughout our nation’s history and up through today.

How many more black people must die, and how many more times will statements of sympathy have to be issued? How many times will protests have to occur? How many more committees will have to be formed until America admits that racism is still a problem in this country?

Racism in America is a fatal wound. Every time another incident occurs we put a Band-Aid on it, but the Band-Aid keeps falling off. Band-Aids are not enough to ever stitch this country back together.”

Kay Coles James, Fox News, May 31, 2020

“When the violence began, what we needed more than anything was clarity in the middle of this. It’s hard to see when the tear gas starts. Someone in America needed to tell the truth to the country. Instead, almost all of our so-called conservative leaders joined the left’s chorus, as if on cue. … 

Meanwhile, Kay Coles James, who is the president of the Heritage Foundation — that’s the largest conservative think tank in the country. You may have sent them money, hopefully for the last time. Kay Coles James wrote a long scream denouncing America as an irredeemably racist nation: ‘How many times will protests have to occur?’

Got that? ‘Have to occur.’ Like the rest of us caused this by our sinfulness.

The message from our leaders on the right, as on the left, was unambiguous: Don’t complain. You deserve what’s happening to you.”

Tucker Carlson, Fox News, June 2, 2020

June 2 elections review

 

  • Iowa’s 4th Congressional District: State Sen. Randy Feenstra (R) defeated Rep. Steve King (R) in the Republican primary for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District. Feenstra received 45.7% of the vote to King’s 36.0%. The last Democrat to win election from the 4th district was Neal Smith (D) in 1992. King is the second member of the House to lose a primary this year; Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) was defeated by Marie Newman (D) in March. In 2018, four members of the House were defeated in primaries: Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), and Mark Sanford (R-S.C.).

 

 

  • Indiana’s 5th Congressional District: State Sen. Victoria Spartz (R) defeated 14 other candidates to win the Republican nomination to succeed outgoing Rep. Susan Brooks (R) in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. Spartz received 40.6% of the vote with 88% of precincts reporting. Beth Henderson (R) had 17.6%, while Micah Beckwith (R) had 13.7%. Over 90% of the satellite spending in the race took the form of mailers and advertisements released by Club for Growth in opposition to Henderson and Carl Brizzi (R). Spartz will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the general election, which two forecasters rate “Leans Republican” and a third rates “Likely Republican”.

 

 

  • Montana’s At-Large Congressional District: State Auditor Matt Rosendale (R) defeated five other candidates, including Secretary of State Corey Stapleton (R), to win the Republican nomination for Montana’s at-large U.S. House seat. Rosendale received 48.3% of the vote to Stapleton’s 33.2% with 94% of precincts reporting. Rosendale will face Kathleen Williams (D) in the general election. The national branches of both major parties are targeting this open seat currently held by outgoing U.S. Rep. and Republican gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte. 

 

 

  • New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District: Yvette Herrell defeated Claire Chase and Chris Mathys to win the Republican nomination in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District. Herrel received 44.8% of the vote to 31.6% for Chase and 23.6% for Mathys with 96% of precincts reporting. Herrell, who was the GOP’s 2018 nominee, will again face Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D) in the general election. In 2018, Torres Small defeated Herrell 50.9% to 49.1%.

 

 

  • Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District: As of 10:00 a.m. on June 3, this race remained too close to call. Incumbent Brian Fitzpatrick led with 56.7% of the vote, followed by challenger Andy Meehan (R) with 43.3%. Although 99% of precincts had reported results, Bucks County’s election officials will continue to count mail-in ballots received through June 9, as long as they were postmarked by June 2. Fitzpatrick is one of the two House Republicans running for re-election this year in a district Hillary Clinton (D) carried in 2016.

 

 

  • Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District: As of 10:00 a.m. on June 3, this race remained too close to call. Lisa Scheller (R) led with 51.8% of the vote to Dean Browning’s (R) 48.2%. Both Scheller and Browning are former members of the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners. The National Republican Congressional Committee and President Trump (R) endorsed Scheller, while former candidate Matt Connolly backed Browning. The winner will challenge incumbent Susan Wild (D) in the general election.

 

 

  • Montana gubernatorial: U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) defeated Attorney General Tim Fox (R) and state Sen. Al Olszewski (R-06) to win the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Montana for the second election cycle in a row. Gianforte received 53.4% of the vote to Fox’s 27.2% and Olszewski’s 19.3% with 94% of precincts reporting. Gianforte was also the 2016 nominee for governor and lost to Steve Bullock (D), 50.2% to 46.4%. Bullock is term-limited and unable to run for re-election. Gianforte will face Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney (D). The 2012 and 2016 gubernatorial elections were decided by margins of 1.6 and 3.9 percentage points, respectively.

 

 

  • Montana Secretary of State: As of 8:00 a.m. Mountain Time on June 3, this race remained too close to call. With 90% of precincts reporting, Christ Jacobsen (R) leads with 29.4% of the vote, followed by Scott Sales (R) with 25.3%, Brad Johnson (R) with 23.1%, and Forrest Mandeville (R) with 10.3%. Two other candidates each received under 10%. The winner will face Democratic nominee Bryce Bennett (D) in the general election.

 

U.S. Congress

Wagle drops out of Senate primary in KS

Susan Wagle dropped out of the Senate primary in Kansas. Nine candidates remain in the Aug. 4 primary.

Wagle cited family needs following the death of her daughter in March. She also said her duties as state Senate president to “stop Laura Kelly’s plan to advance socialized medicine and take the necessary steps to rein in her executive overreach during the pandemic” required her full attention.

As we reported earlier, Kansas Republican Party Chairman Mike Kuckelman sent Wagle and Dave Lindstrom letters asking them to drop out of the primary. State party executive director Shannon Golden said the party wanted a contest between Kris Kobach and Roger Marshall.

Wagle’s campaign representative Matt Beynon said at the time, “Private conversations with Mike Kuckelman over the past year have made it clear he’s been opposed to Susan’s campaign from the start, and today, he simply put that on paper. Others can speculate on his motives, but it may be as simple as he doesn’t support strong, pro-life conservative women.”

Kobach was Kansas’ secretary of state from 2011 to 2019. He defeated incumbent Jeff Colyer in the 2018 gubernatorial primary and lost to Democrat Laura Kelly in the general election 43% to 48%. Marshall was first elected to the House in 2016.

Bob Hamilton, a former owner of a plumbing business, led in fundraising through March 31 with $2.2 million, including $2 million in self-funding. Marshall raised $2.1 million. Wagle had raised $728,000, including $275,000 in self-funding, and was third in fundraising. Kobach had raised $595,000.

Incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R), who was first elected in 1996, is not seeking re-election.

NRA endorses Caldarera over Trump-endorsed Malliotakis in NY-27

The National Rifle Association (NRA) recently endorsed Joe Caldarera in New York’s 11th Congressional District primary. He faces state Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis. President Donald Trump endorsed Malliotakis in February.

Caldarera said, “I have always been steadfast and strong in my support for our 2nd Amendment constitutional rights, and I am thrilled that the NRA has endorsed my campaign. Nicole Malliotakis does not share the values of the people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn, and I am looking forward to offering them a loyal conservative choice on June 23rd.” 

Rob Ryan, a Malliotakis campaign representative, said, “It’s easy to get a high grade on any questionnaire when you’ve never held elective office. … For 10 years, Nicole Malliotakis has served in the legislature and has cast votes that reflect the views of her constituents. She is endorsed by President Trump and the Republican County Committees and Conservative Party in the 11th Congressional District and she is the conservative Republican candidate who can defeat Max Rose.”

The New York Post reported that the NRA gave Malliotakis a C- grade on her legislative record and that she voted for the NY Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act in 2013, which the NRA opposed. The bill, which became law, expanded the definition of assault weapon and expanded background checks, among other changes.

Malliotakis will appear on the general election ballot regardless of whether she wins the Republican Party primary, as she is the Conservative Party nominee. 

Incumbent Rep. Max Rose (D) was first elected in 2018, defeating incumbent Daniel Donovan (R) 53% to 47%. Three election forecasters rate the general election a Toss-up.

The primary is June 23.

State executives

Incumbent Jim Justice leads in first public poll of West Virginia’s gubernatorial primary

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) leads all six of his challengers ahead of the June 9 gubernatorial primary, according to a Triton Research & Polling survey released May 28.

The poll, the first in the primary to be publicly released, found Justice leading with 55% of the vote, followed by former state Del. Michael Folk with 16% support and businessman Woody Thrasher with 15%. No other candidate had more than 2% support. Eight percent of voters were undecided. The survey’s margin of error was 3.7 percentage points.

As of May 24, Justice also led the Republican candidates in fundraising with $630,000 raised to $450,000 for Thrasher and $100,000 for Folk. None of the other candidates reported raising more than $5,000.

Justice was elected as a Democrat in 2016 before joining the Republican Party in August 2017. His backers include President Trump (R) and the National Rifle Association. Thrasher, a former Justice administration official, has endorsements from the Charleston Gazette-Mail and the West Virginia University Republicans.

The June 9 primary is open only to registered Republicans and unaffiliated voters. The last Republican to win election as governor of West Virginia was Cecil Underwood (R) in 1996.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott to seek re-election

May 28 was the filing deadline for candidates seeking a major party’s nomination for governor of Vermont. Incumbent Phil Scott (R) announced that morning he would seek election to a third two-year term, setting up a primary with four challengers on Aug. 11. Scott said he did not intend to actively campaign as long as the state remained under a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Scott was elected governor 53-44 in 2016 over former Secretary of the Agency of Transportation Sue Minter (D) and defeated businesswoman Christine Hallquist (D) 55-40 to win re-election in 2018. He faced contested Republican primaries in both years, defeating Bruce Lisman (R) 60-39 in 2016 and Keith Stern (R) 67-33 in 2018.

Four other Republicans filed for the nomination: Douglas Cavett (R), John Klar (R), Bernard Peters (R), and Emily Peyton (R). Both Peters and Peyton ran in the 2014 gubernatorial election. Peyton received 1.6% of the vote on the Liberty Union ticket, while Peters won 0.7% of the vote as an independent candidate.

The Aug. 11 primary is open to all registered voters.

Legislatures

Alaska District 30 GOP asks incumbent Rep. Gary Knopp (R-30) not to run as a Republican

On May 29, Alaska’s House District 30 GOP committee published an open letter to incumbent Rep. Gary Knopp (R-30). In the letter, Chairman Thomas Daly wrote, “Since your election the team is disappointed and no longer supports your candidacy.” He added, “it falls to me to ask that you with draw [sic] from the primary as a Republican candidate. If you wish to continue affiliated [sic] with some other group, good luck to you.”

Knopp was first elected in 2016. Following the 2018 elections, Republicans held a 23-16-1 majority in the House of Representatives. They were unable to form a majority coalition after Knopp and seven other Republican representatives created a power-sharing agreement with Democratic members to establish a bipartisan majority.

On June 1, Knopp responded, saying, “I represent all of my constituents, not just a handful of short-sighted individuals. Many people in our party have divergent views on many issues that will face the Legislature next session.” He continued, “I decline your invitation to withdraw from the Republican primary, however, I do look forward to debating with the other Republican candidates.” 

District 30 is a strongly Republican district. During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump (R) defeated Hillary Clinton (D) 71-21 in the district in 2016. Knopp will face Kelly Wolf and Ronald Gillham in the Republican primary. The District 30 GOP has not yet endorsed either candidate.

Tulsa Beacon and Tulsa World endorse competing candidates in Oklahoma’s House District 69 primary

On May 21, the Tulsa Beacon endorsed Angela Strohm (R) in Oklahoma’s House District 69 primary. Strohm is challenging Rep. Sheila Dills (R), who was first elected in 2018 after defeating incumbent Rep. Chuck Strohm (R), Angela Strohm’s husband, in the Republican primary 64-36%. On May 9, the Tulsa World endorsed Dills. Charter schools and school choice are top issues in the 2020 primary.

In Strohm’s endorsement, the Tulsa Beacon described the candidate as “a genuine conservative Republican who believes in smaller, more efficient government.” In a later piece, the paper wrote that “Dills opposes school choice options.”

In its Dills endorsement, the Tulsa World said she “is a realistic conservative, who has made a name for herself with work for common-sense reforms and transparency in the state’s online charter school system.” The paper added that Strohm’s website “advocates plans to starve public schools and fund voucher schemes for private schools.”

There are no other candidates filed to run in the election, meaning the winner of the Republican primary will likely win the seat.

Power players

“Winning For Women is building an infrastructure that will allow right-of-center women leaders to succeed in their pursuit of leadership opportunities, and working to advance free-market principles and a strong national defense.” – Winning For Women website

Winning For Women is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that says it is “dedicated to identifying and creating paths forward for women leaders who share core values of economic freedom and strong national security.” 

Winning For Women is affiliated with WFW Action Fund, a hybrid political action committee. According to the group’s website, “WFW Action Fund recognizes that there is no shortage of qualified Republican women. But we’ve seen time and again that the most challenging part of running as a woman is getting through the primary.” The group says, “WFW Action Fund will be playing big in the 2020 primaries to make sure that Republican women have every advantage that their opponents may have – and that means giving them support from start to finish.”

Winning For Women released its second round of 2020 endorsements at the end of May, endorsing Kelly Loeffler for Senate and Tiffany Shedd, Mary Miller, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Claire Chase, and Renee Swann for the House. To see a full list of the candidates the group has endorsed, click here.



Heart of the Primaries 2020, Democrats-Issue 21 (June 3, 2020)

This week: Key June 2 primary results, Andrew Yang endorses Perelman in FL-23, and Jennifer Carroll Foy launches 2021 campaign for governor of Virginia.

On the news

Where do Democratic and progressive pundits and commentators disagree? Each week, we bring you excerpts that highlight differing views.

On property destruction in protests

“People are going out again, all over the United States. But it’s not to celebrate a vaccine or a debt jubilee. The first national connecting event coming out of lockdown is mass protest against police violence after the lynching of George Floyd, and the state’s attempt at suppressing it. The coronavirus—which disproportionately is killing Black Americans—drove us inside. Policing—which also disproportionately is killing Black Americans—is drawing us back out. Almost overnight, the streets have gone from largely empty—though the rate of police killings remained mostly unchanged—to filled with thousands of masked people, often being gassed or beaten. The conditions before, during and after the lockdown are part of a continuum in America—a miserable nation maintained by policing. …

As any military tactician or social justice organizer can tell you, direct action gets the goods. The destruction of a police precinct is not only a tactically reasonable response to the crisis of policing, it is a quintessentially American response, and a predictable one. The uprising we’ve seen this week is speaking to the American police state in its own language, up to and including the use of fireworks to mark a battle victory. Property destruction for social change is as American as the Boston Tea Party and the Stonewall Riots. And before he unconvincingly qualified a statement so violent Twitter put it behind a warning screen, the president saying he would order shots fired to protect property—that’s as American as the MOVE bombing and apple pie.”

Steven W. Thrasher, Slate, May 30, 2020

“There are folks who romanticize riots, at least when the destruction happens to someone else’s property. But fighting fire with fire will only burn the whole house down. Or, as the rapper Killer Mike said in an emotional press conference with the Mayor of Atlanta: ‘it is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with an enemy.’

Few living Americans have more moral authority when it comes to confronting the forces of racial oppression than Rep. John Lewis, who was almost killed by Alabama troopers while peacefully protesting on the Edmund Pettus Bridge 55 years ago. On Saturday, he again reminded us of the discipline that is required to ultimately triumph over injustice, stating: ‘I know your pain, your rage, your sense of despair and hopelessness. Justice has, indeed, been denied for far too long. Rioting, looting, and burning is not the way. Organize. Demonstrate. Sit-in. Stand-up. Vote. Be constructive, not destructive.’

Every word of this is true. We must confront the deep legacy of bigotry that leads too many black and brown and immigrant lives to be treated with callous disregard and sometimes become the victims of pure hate. But the answer does not lie in demonizing all police officers or indiscriminately destroying property. That will only spur a backlash and lead some to see moral equivalence between the two sides in the larger struggle between right and wrong. The riots in the late 1960s only succeeded in burning out inner cities and electing Richard Nixon on the back of his Southern strategy.”

John Avlon, CNN, May 31, 2020

June 2 elections review

 

  • U.S. Senate, Iowa: Theresa Greenfield defeated Michael Franken, Kimberly Graham, and Eddie Mauro to win the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Iowa. Greenfield received 47.8% of the vote to Franken’s 25.0%, Graham’s 15.0%, and Mauro’s 11.0%. Greenfield will face first-term Sen. Joni Ernst (R) in the general election.

 

 

  • Indiana’s 1st Congressional District: Frank Mrvan (D) defeated 14 other candidates to win the Democratic nomination in Indiana’s 1st Congressional District. Mrvan received 34.1% of the vote with 80% of precincts reporting. The only other candidate to win more than 10% of the vote was Thomas McDermott with 29.3%. This was the first open primary for the seat since 1932. Retiring incumbent Pete Visclosky (D) has held the seat since the 1984 election. Mrvan will face Mark Leyva (R) in the general election. Election forecasters rate the seat “Safe Democratic”.

 

 

  • Montana’s At-Large Congressional District: Kathleen Williams (D) defeated state Rep. Tom Winter (D-96) to win the Democratic nomination for Montana’s at-large U.S. House seat for the second election cycle in a row. Williams received 89.6% of the vote to Winter’s 10.4% with 79% of precincts reporting. Williams lost the 2018 general election to Greg Gianforte (R), 50.9% to 46.2%, which was the seat’s narrowest margin of victory since 2000. Gianforte is running for governor. Williams will face state Auditor Matt Rosendale (R) in the November general election. The national branches of both major parties are targeting the seat.

 

 

  • New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District: Teresa Leger Fernandez (D) defeated Valerie Plame (D), state Rep. Joseph Sanchez (D-40), and four other candidates to win the Democratic nomination for New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District. Fernandez received 41.8% of the vote with 70% of precincts reporting. Plame received 22.9% and Sanchez 13.7%. Fernandez received endorsements from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and groups like the Working Families Party and EMILY’s List. Outgoing Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-03) was first elected in 2008 and never received less than 55% of the vote running for re-election.

 

 

  • Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District: Christina Finello (D) defeated Skyler Hurwitz to win the Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District. Finello received 77.4% of the vote to Hurwitz’s 22.6% with 99% of precincts reporting. Incumbent Brian Fitzpatrick (R) is one of the two House Republicans running for re-election in a district Hillary Clinton (D) carried in 2016. Finello will face the winner of the Republican primary—either Fitzpatrick or challenger Andy Meehan (R)—in the general election.

 

 

  • Montana gubernatorial: Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney (D) defeated Whitney Williams (D) to win the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Montana. Cooney received 55.1% of the vote to Williams’ 44.9% with 79% of precincts reporting. Cooney will face U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte (R), who won the GOP nomination for the second election cycle in a row. The 2012 and 2016 gubernatorial elections were decided by margins of 1.6 and 3.9 percentage points, respectively.

 

 

  • New Mexico State Senate: All 42 New Mexico State Senate seats are up for election this year. There were 13 contested Democratic primaries, 10 of which had an incumbent running. As of 8:15 a.m. Mountain Time on June 3, the Associated Press had reported that at least two incumbents—Richard Martinez (D-05) and Gabriel Ramos (D-28)—had been defeated. In the 2016 elections, there were eight contested Democratic primaries, four of which involved incumbents. All four incumbents won their primaries that year.

 

 

  • Baltimore Mayor: As of 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on June 3, this race remained too close to call. Former Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) led with 30.2% of the vote, followed by City Council President Brandon Scott (D) with 24.4%, former U.S. Under Secretary of the Treasury Mary Miller (D) with 17.1%, and former state Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah (D) with 12.2%. Incumbent Jack Young (D) received 7.2% of the vote, followed by 19 other candidates. The winner of the Democratic primary is favored to win the general election.

 

U.S. Congress

Yang endorses Perelman in FL-23

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang endorsed Jen Perelman in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District primary. Perelman faces incumbent Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Yang said, “Jen Perelman is first and foremost an activist. She was born and raised in Florida where she attended marches and protests with her parents growing up. Today, she uses her law degree to protect voting rights, defend women’s reproductive health, and help people navigate the criminal justice system—all pro bono.”

Schultz was first elected in 2004. She was re-elected in 2018 with 59% of the vote to Joe Kaufman’s (R) 36%. In her most recent contested primary in 2016, she defeated Tim Canova 57% to 43%. Schultz served as Democratic National Committee chairwoman from 2011 to 2016. She resigned as chair after WikiLeaks published emails indicating that party officials favored Hillary Clinton’s presidential primary campaign over Bernie Sanders’.

Perelman said, “It’s time for our representatives to stop putting the interests of corporations and wealthy CEOs before their constituents.” She supports Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. She says her campaign doesn’t take money from corporate interests. In addition to Yang, Perelman’s list of endorsers includes Brand New Congress, Our Revolution Broward, and former Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson. 

Schultz’s campaign website says she is “a true progressive champion who will fight for South Florida families.” She says she passed legislation to make swimming pools safer, support federal child exploitation interdiction efforts, and make it easier for women who conceived a child by rape to terminate parental rights of the rapist. Schultz’s endorsers include Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, the Sierra Club, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

The primary is Aug. 18.

Jones releases first TV ad in NY-17

Mondaire Jones released his first TV ad in New York’s 17th Congressional District primary. The ad says he’s the only candidate who supports Medicare for All and who has endorsements from leading progressives, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). It highlights his background working in the Justice Department during the Obama administration and attending Harvard Law School. 

Incumbent Nita Lowey, who was first elected in 1998, isn’t seeking re-election. Six candidates are running in the June 23 primary. In addition to Jones, they are:

  • David Buchwald, a member of the state Assembly since 2013. Eight local Democratic committees have endorsed him. 
  • David Carlucci, a member of the state Senate since 2011. Carlucci was part of the eight-member Independent Democratic Conference in the state Senate until April 2018. (The group caucused with Republicans from 2013 to 2018, giving them an effective majority even when Democrats held a numerical majority.)
  • Asha Castleberry-Hernandez, a college professor and Army veteran
  • Evelyn Farkas, former deputy assistant secretary of defense during the Obama administration
  • Allison Fine, former chairwoman of the national board of NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation and founder of Innovation Network, Inc., an evaluation and research firm that works with nonprofits
  • Adam Schleifer, former assistant U.S. attorney

Catherine Parker ended her primary bid last week but will still appear on the ballot.

As of March 31, Schleifer led in fundraising with $2.3 million, including $1.7 million in self-funding. Farkas was second with $925,000 and Jones third with $831,000.

State executives

Final pre-primary campaign finance report shows Stephen Smith leading West Virginia gubernatorial candidates in fundraising

According to campaign finance reports filed on May 29, Stephen Smith leads the Democratic gubernatorial field in fundraising.

The reports showed Smith raised $920,000. Ben Salango raised $720,000, and Ron Stollings banked $250,000. Two other candidates reported raising less than $3,000.

A Triton Polling & Research survey released May 28 found Salango at 30% and Smith at 27% support, respectively. Ron Stollings followed with 10% support, while 29% of voters were undecided. The poll had a margin of error of 6.4 percentage points.

The Stollings campaign criticized the survey, calling it “an unscientific poll with a high margin of error [that] only counts voters with landline phones. The poll misses everyone who uses a cell phone, which is everyone.”

Salango, a member of the Kanawha County Commission, is backed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D), former Gov. Gaston Caperton (D), and the state AFL-CIO. Smith’s backers include Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic.

The June 9 primary is open to registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters only. Democrats have won every West Virginia gubernatorial election since 2000.

Jennifer Carroll Foy launches campaign for governor of Virginia

Virginia state Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy (D) kicked off her campaign for governor of Virginia on May 27. Foy has represented House District 2, a coastal district that includes the Marine Corps’ Quantico Base, since 2017.

In her campaign kickoff video, Foy said she was running because “We are still being told no. No to affordable health care. No to criminal justice reform. No to a clean and safe environment. No to common sense gun safety legislation.”

Foy is the first Democrat to kick off her campaign. Other figures who have indicated they were considering a run include Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D), state Attorney General Mark Herring (D), and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D). 

Virginia is the only state to prohibit governors from serving consecutive terms, meaning incumbent Ralph Northam (D) cannot run for re-election.

Virginia will elect its next governor on Nov. 2, 2021. Virginia is currently a Democratic trifecta, where a Democrat is governor and Democrats hold majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly.

Legislatures

Washington District 37 Democrats and retiring incumbent endorse competing candidates

On May 19, Washington’s 37th Legislative District Democrats endorsed Kirsten Harris-Talley (D) in the seven-way primary for Legislative District 37, Position 2. This endorsement comes after retiring state Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D-37-2) endorsed Andrea Caupain (D). Pettigrew’s retirement leaves the District 37-2 seat open for the first time since 2002.

Harris-Talley is the interim executive director at NARAL Pro-Choice Washington. She previously was an at-large member of the Seattle City Council for two months in 2017. The council appointed her to the seat following Tim Burgess’ resignation. She described herself as an “activist working shoulder to shoulder with community in Seattle … for over 20 years for racial, gender, and economic justice.”

Caupain has been the C.E.O. of Byrd Barr Place, a community advocacy organization, since 2008. She was appointed to the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs in 2018. Caupain said, “I have worked on behalf of Communities of Color and working-class families to make a positive change on issues of racial and social equality.”

Both Harris-Talley and Caupain could advance to the general election. Washington has a top-two primary system. All candidates, regardless of partisan affiliation, compete in a single primary with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election. In District 37-2, there are five Democrats, one Republican, and one Progressive Party member competing in the top-two primary. The other Democrats in the primary include Chukundi Salisbury, a Seattle Parks and Recreation manager, Andy Goeres, a corporate financial consultant, and Robert Redwine. The remaining two candidates are Stephen Richter (R) and Kathy Woodward (P).

Progressive organization endorses challenger to incumbent Washington District 5 senator

On May 27, Fuse Washington issued a sole endorsement for Ingrid Anderson (D) in the Legislative District 5 Senate race. The group describes itself as “the state’s largest progressive organization,” and said that it is designed “to give ordinary people a strong voice in politics.” Anderson is challenging incumbent state Senator Mark Mullet (D) for the District 5 seat. 

Anderson and Mullet are the only two candidates in the election, which means both will progress to the general election in Washington’s top-two primary system. Organizations like Fuse Washington and others have opted to endorse only one of the two candidates, highlighting an ideological divide. 

Anderson is a psychiatric nurse. In addition to Fuse Washington, she received sole endorsements from the Washington Conservation Voters, the Washington State Labor Council, and the Working Families Party.

Mullet is a restaurant owner with a background in international finance. He was first elected in 2012 and won re-election in 2016. He received sole endorsements from the Washington Fire Chiefs, Washington State Realtors, and the Washington State Patrol Troopers Association. 

This is the first time Mullet will face a Democrat in the primary and general election. During his 2012 and 2016 campaigns, Mullet was the lone Democrat versus a Republican candidate.

Power players

“The LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus serves as a resource for Members of Congress, their staff, and the public on LGBTQ+ issues at the federal level. The Caucus works toward the extension of equal rights, the repeal of discriminatory laws, the elimination of hate-motivated violence, and the improved health and well-being for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.” – Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus website

Founded in 2008 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus says it is “strongly committed to achieving the full enjoyment of human rights for LGBTQ+ people in the U.S. and around the world.” To view the members of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, click here.

The LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus is affiliated with Equality PAC, a political action committee that says it is “dedicated to bringing nearer the full legal and societal equality of LGBT people and creating a federal legislative environment conducive to that goal.” The group says it supports “openly LGBT candidates running for federal office, as well as members of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus who are facing tough re-election challenges.” Equality PAC designates its endorsed candidates as Allies for Equality and LGBTQ Leaders



Trump, RNC say Republican nomination will not be held in North Carolina

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
June 3, 2020: Biden and Trump won presidential primaries in seven states and Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. The Republican National Committee said it would not hold the nomination portion of the Republican National Convention in North Carolina.

Ballotpedia is monitoring changes made to election dates and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. blank    blankblank   


Presidential Facebook ads, 2019-2020 (May 24-30, 2020)

Notable Quote of the Day

“President Donald Trump has realized that these riots have become a national-level threat to the safety and security of the American people. They are kicking at the load-bearing walls of our society. Trump knows it’s time for action. …

We must end the riots now. That means a willingness for police to use force against those who break the law and refuse to comply with lawful arrests.

To be clear: Trump is not advocating for peaceful protesters to be harassed or harmed. But there’s a clear distinction — morally and legally — between ‘protester’ and looter or rioter. That so many of the people choose to conflate these terms is evidence of their dishonesty and cowardice in this tense moment.”

– Buck Sexton, USA Today

Election Updates

  • Joe Biden and Donald Trump won primaries in Indiana, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Biden won an estimated 337 pledged delegates in those races and Bernie Sanders won six, with most races partially reporting. This brought Biden to 1,903 out of the 1,991 delegates needed to secure the nomination, according to the Associated Press.

  • Biden gave a speech in Philadelphia on Tuesday. He said, “I won’t traffic in fear and division. I won’t fan the flames of hate. I’ll seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued our country, not use them for political gain. I’ll do my job and I’ll take responsibility — I won’t blame others”

  • Former Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro endorsed Biden. Castro previously endorsed Elizabeth Warren.

  • The Hill reported that a group of former George W. Bush administration officials created a super PAC called “43 Alumni For Biden.”

  • Trump tweeted, “Had long planned to have the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, a place I love. Now, @NC_Governor Roy Cooper and his representatives refuse to guarantee that we can have use of the Spectrum Arena – Spend millions of dollars, have everybody arrive, and … then tell them they will not be able to gain entry. Governor Cooper is still in Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised. Would have showcased beautiful North Carolina to the World, and brought in hundreds of … millions of dollars, and jobs, for the State. Because of @NC_Governor, we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention.”

  • A statement from the Republican National Committee said, “Due to the directive from the governor that our convention cannot go on as planned as required by our rules, the celebration of the president’s acceptance of the Republican nomination will be held in another city. … Should the governor allow more than 10 people in a room, we still hope to conduct the official business of the convention in Charlotte.”

Flashback: June 3, 2016

Trump criticized Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally in San Jose, California. He said, “Anything Obama wants, she’s going forward with. … Because you know why? She doesn’t want to go to jail. That’s why.”

Click here to learn more.



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: June 2, 2020

Each day, we:

  • Track the status of reopening in all 50 states.
  • Compare the status of one industry or activity across the country.
  • Provide in-depth summaries of the latest reopening plans.
  • Give you the latest stories on other reopening plans and ideas.

Want to know what happened yesterday? Click here.

We’re covering elections for 1,011 offices in 12 states and Washington, D.C. on June 2. Here’s how you can follow the results.

  • View election results on Ballotpedia.
  • Subscribe to The Heart of the Primaries and receive key primary results in your inbox.
  • Register for our free results webinar, happening June 4 at noon eastern.

The next two days

What is reopening in the next two days? Which stay-at-home orders will expire?

June 3

  • New York (Democratic trifecta): On June 1, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that the Capital region is expected to enter Phase 2 of Cuomo’s reopening plan “NY Forward” on June 3. Western New York entered Phase 2 on June 2. Read more about New York’s reopening in today’s Featured Plan.

June 4

  • Michigan (divided government): On June 1, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) issued an executive order allowing retail stores to reopen statewide on June 4. For stores with less than 50,000 square feet of customer floor place, capacity will be limited to 25%. For larger stores, the number of customers cannot exceed four per 1,000 square feet of customer floor space. Whitmer also lifted the state’s stay-at-home order effective immediately and moved the entire state into Phase 4 of its reopening plan. The stay-at-home order had been set to expire on June 12.

Since our last edition

Have any states opened? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here. For our last edition, click here.

  • Colorado (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed an order he called “Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors.” The order allows vulnerable Colorado residents to leave their homes for outside recreation as long as they wear face coverings and practice social distancing. The order also allows short-term rentals, playgrounds, and swimming pools to reopen. Personal care services may begin operating at 50% capacity on June 4 and child care facilities can begin operating at full capacity on that date. The order is set to last until July 1.
  • Louisiana (divided government): On June 1, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) announced the state would move into Phase 2 of its reopening plan, effective June 5. In Phase 2, the following businesses will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity: restaurants and coffee shops; shopping malls; gyms and fitness centers; barbershops and nail salons; movie theaters; racetracks (without spectators); museums, zoos, and aquariums; bars and breweries with food permits; massage and spa businesses; tattoo parlors; esthetician services; pool halls, bowling alleys, and skating rinks; event centers and wedding venues; and outdoor playgrounds and play centers. Phase 2 will last at least 21 days. Edwards said he would sign the executive order formalizing the changes before June 4.
  • Maine (Democratic trifecta): Maine entered the second phase of its reopening plan on June 1. The following businesses and activities were allowed to reopen or resume: retail stores; dine-in service at restaurants (outdoor service only in York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin counties); community buildings; day camps and summer recreation programs; state park campgrounds; coastal state parks; community sports; lodging; and tanning salons. The limit on social gatherings was raised from 10 to 50 people.
  • Massachusetts (divided government): On June 1, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) issued an executive order outlining which businesses would be permitted to reopen in phases 2, 3, and 4 of the state’s reopening plan. Although Baker did not fix a date for the start of Phase 2, he authorized businesses to allow employees to return to work in preparation for Phase 2. In Phase 2, the following businesses will be allowed to reopen: retail stores; restaurants; hotels, motels, and other lodging; amateur sports programs; professional sports practice and training programs; personal services; non-athletic instructional classes for youths; driving and flight schools; outdoor historical spaces; funeral homes; warehouses and distribution centers; golf facilities; outdoor recreation facilities; post-secondary schools; day camps; and public libraries.
  • New Hampshire (divided government): As part of Gov. Chris Sununu’s (R) “Stay-at-Home 2.0” order, the following businesses and activities were permitted to resume on June 1: gyms and fitness centers (50% occupancy), personal services such as nail salons (50% occupancy), and some beaches (for transitory activities like walking and running only).
  • West Virginia (Republican trifecta): At a press conference on June 1, Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced the state had entered Week 6 of the reopening plan and the outlined next steps. More businesses, like casinos and movie theaters, will reopen on June 5.
  • Hawaii (Democratic trifecta): Gov. David Ige (D) announced the 14-day self-quarantine requirement for inter-island travelers will be lifted starting June 16. Restrictions on out-of-state travel will remain in effect.

Update on stay-at-home orders

Forty-three states issued orders directing residents to stay home except for essential activities and the closure or curtailment of businesses each state deemed nonessential. Seven states did not.

As of June 2, stay-at-home orders have ended in 35 states. Eighteen of those states have Republican governors and 17 have Democratic governors (including Wisconsin, where the state Supreme Court invalidated the stay-at-home order). Of the eight states with active stay-at-home orders, seven have Democratic governors and one has a Republican governor.

Here’s which stay-at-home orders have expired, and when the rest are scheduled to expire.

 

Tracking regulations: Retail

All 50 states began to reopen in some way. Here, we give the status of one industry or activity across the states. Today’s question: in which states are retail shops open to customers, and in which states are they limited to curbside or delivery service?

Retail shops are open to customers (in at least some regions) in 48 states. New Jersey and Massachusetts allow curbside or delivery only.

  • Massachusetts (divided government): Retail businesses were allowed to reopen with remote ordering and curbside delivery services beginning May 25. Each phase of reopening in Massachusetts is expected to last for three weeks, so the status of retail in the state could change on June 15.
  • New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): Retail businesses were allowed to reopen for curbside pickup and delivery services beginning May 18. Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has already announced that retail businesses will be allowed to reopen to in-store customers with limited capacity on June 15.

 

This is an in-depth summary of one of the latest reopening plans. Is there a plan you’d like us to feature? Reply to this email and let us know. Click a state below to read a previous Featured Plan.

Previous featured plans

Alabama Florida Maryland New Hampshire South Carolina
Arizona Georgia Massachusetts New Mexico Tennessee
California Illinois Michigan Ohio Texas
Colorado Indiana Montana Oklahoma Virginia
Delaware Maine Nevada Pennsylvania Washington

On April 26, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) unveiled a reopening plan for the state, under which businesses would be allowed to reopen or resume operations on a phased, regional basis. Once a region has recorded 14 days of declining hospitalizations, it can begin reopening. Each phase would last at least two weeks, allowing officials to monitor the effects of reopening on hospitalization and infection rates.

Cuomo said the first phase of reopening would include construction and manufacturing companies with low risks of workplace infection. Subsequent phases would allow more businesses to reopen, with lower-risk businesses given priority.

On May 4, Cuomo released further guidelines on New York’s phased reopening. He identified seven criteria for determining whether a region could begin reopening:

  1. A region must experience a 14-day decline in total net hospitalizations on a three-day rolling average. Alternatively, a region with relatively few COVID-19 cases cannot exceed 15 net new hospitalizations on a three-day rolling average.
  2. A region must experience a 14-day decline in deaths on a three-day rolling average. If a region has relatively few COVID-19 cases, it must see five or fewer new deaths on a three-day rolling average.
  3. A region must have fewer than two new COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals per 100,000 residents per day on a three-day rolling average.
  4. A region must have at least 30% of its total hospital beds available.
  5. A region must have at least 30% of its ICU beds available.
  6. A region must have the capacity to run 30 diagnostic tests for every 1,000 residents per month.
  7. A region must have a baseline of 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 residents.

Cuomo said, “Rather than starting and stopping, you’d rather have a controlled start, so you don’t have to stop, right? And that’s what you learn from the other countries. You reopen too fast, then you have to stop, and nobody wants to have gone through all of this and then start just to stop again. Well, how does that happen? First of all, it’s not going to happen statewide. This state has different regions which are in much different situations than other regions in this state. And rather than wait for the whole state to be ready, reopen on a regional basis. If upstate has to wait for downstate to be ready, they’re going to be waiting a long time.”

For the purposes of the reopening plan, New York is divided into the following regions. As of June 1, all regions but New York City had met all seven of the reopening criteria. To access a map of the state’s regions, click here.

  • Capital Region
  • Central New York
  • Finger Lakes
  • Long Island
  • Mid-Hudson
  • Mohawk Valley
  • New York City
  • North Country
  • Southern Tier
  • Western New York

Context

  • On March 20, Cuomo issued New York’s initial statewide stay-at-home order. It did not have a fixed expiration date. On April 16, he extended the order through May 15. Cuomo subsequently further extended the order in those regions that haven’t met the reopening criteria, first through June 13, and then through June 27.
  • As of June 1, New York had 371,711 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 23,959 related fatalities. New York’s estimated population as of July 2019 was 19.5 million. For every 100,000 residents, the state had 1,910.8 confirmed cases and 123.2 fatalities.
  • New York is a Democratic trifecta, with a Democratic governor and Democratic majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.

Plan details

General guidelines for individuals

Individuals are required to wear face coverings when they are in public and within six feet of others. Individuals must also wear face coverings in any public or private transportation carrier or for-hire vehicle.

Effective May 21, religious gatherings of up to 10 people were permitted statewide. Drive-in and parking-lot services were also allowed effective May 21.

Phase 1

The following businesses are allowed to reopen during Phase 1 (click an industry name for detailed guidelines):

The following regions have been cleared for Phase 1:

  • Capital Region (effective May 20)
  • Central New York (effective May 15)
  • Finger Lakes (effective May 15)
  • Long Island (effective May 27)
  • Mid-Hudson (effective May 26)
  • Mohawk Valley (effective May 15)
  • North Country (effective May 15)
  • Southern Tier (effective May 15)
  • Western New York (effective May 19)

Phase 2

The following businesses are allowed to reopen during Phase 2, all at 50% occupancy (click an industry name for detailed guidelines):

The following regions have been cleared for Phase 2:

  • Capital Region (expected to enter Phase 2 on June 3)
  • Central New York (effective May 29)
  • Finger Lakes (effective May 29)
  • Mohawk Valley (effective May 29)
  • North Country (effective May 29)
  • Southern Tier (effective May 29)
  • Western New York (effective June 2)

Phase 3

The state has not released industry-specific guidelines for Phase 3 reopening. No region has been cleared for Phase 3 reopening.

Phase 4

The state has not released industry-specific guidelines for Phase 4 reopening. No region has been cleared for Phase 4 reopening.

New York City

On May 29, Cuomo announced that New York City was expected to enter Phase 1 on June 8.

Reactions

  • Tioga County Legislature Chairwoman Martha Sauerbrey said, “I think it’s a mixed bag of emotions, because I do hear from people who are fearful and cautious, and I know businesses need to open and want to open, but we want them to be careful. There’s no covering up the fact that this has been challenging, so we have to do everything we can to get them back up and running.”
  • Denis Nash, an epidemiologist, said the following at the time of Cuomo’s May 4 reopening announcement: “So, right now, New York has been, I think, pretty successful at reducing community transmission through the stay at home order. By the time it’s lifted, it should be very, very low. And so we’re kind of back to a place where we were early on in the epidemic and then a testing and a contact-tracing strategy becomes more feasible.”
  • On May 29, Nick Langworthy, chairman of the Republican Party of New York, issued a statement opposing Cuomo’s decision not to advance some regions to Phase 2: “It’s time for Andrew Cuomo to stop playing games with people’s livelihoods. The Governor’s capricious, arbitrary and punitive behavior has gone too far. These regions worked incredibly hard to meet the metrics he laid out and changing the goal posts at the 11th hour is unacceptable. We don’t need a group of international so-called experts or a power-hungry governor dictating our freedoms. Enough is enough.”
  • Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin said, “If we’ve got to test 30 per 1,000 residents, that’s 4,800 Rensselaer County residents every single month. Quite honestly, I don’t think the demand is there. I mean, am I supposed to test the same people over and over again? If he requires hospitals to stay 30 percent empty, there’s not a hospital that I know of that will not go bankrupt this year. At our peak in Rensselaer County there were 20 people hospitalized. I currently have six, one in the ICU, and our economy is at a complete standstill.”

Find out more in today’s Number of the Day→

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of activities by other federal, state, and local governments and influencers relevant to recovering from the pandemic.

  • On June 1, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) issued an executive order extending the absentee ballot receipt deadline for the June 2 primary to 5:00 p.m. on June 9 (with a postmark deadline of June 2) in Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.
  • The National Park Service announced plans to reopen two national monuments in New Mexico, El Malpais National Monument, and El Morro National Monument. El Malpais could reopen for access to trailheads on June 1, though the Visitor Center will remain closed. El Morro will tentatively reopen in mid-June on a Wednesday through Sunday schedule for trails and camping.
  • Hollywood Studios submitted an industry reopening plan titled “Proposed Health and Safety Guidelines for Motion Picture, Television, and Streaming Productions During the COVID-19 Pandemic” to California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on June 1. The plan includes testing and social distancing measures, as well as special considerations such as avoiding live audiences and on-location filming as much as possible.
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced he intends to reopen schools for in-person instruction this fall. DeWine said the state is still working to develop health guidelines for schools and that districts would be given the flexibility to determine their start date.


Biden visits A.M.E. church to meet with black leaders

 

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
June 2, 2020: Biden visited Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Del., to meet with black leaders. Trump spoke about protests following the death of George Floyd before walking to St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Ballotpedia is monitoring changes made to election dates and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.        

Notable Quote of the Day

“Moreover, it’s important for us to understand which levels of government have the biggest impact on our criminal justice system and police practices. When we think about politics, a lot of us focus only on the presidency and the federal government. And yes, we should be fighting to make sure that we have a president, a Congress, a U.S. Justice Department, and a federal judiciary that actually recognize the ongoing, corrosive role that racism plays in our society and want to do something about it. But the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.

It’s mayors and county executives that appoint most police chiefs and negotiate collective bargaining agreements with police unions. It’s district attorneys and state’s attorneys that decide whether or not to investigate and ultimately charge those involved in police misconduct. Those are all elected positions.”

– Barack Obama, Medium 

Election Updates

  • Joe Biden visited Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Del., to meet with black leaders. Biden said, “Hate just hides. It doesn’t go away, and when you have somebody in power who breathes oxygen into the hate under the rocks, it comes out from under the rocks.”
  • Biden held a virtual roundtable with Mayors Lori Lightfoot (Chicago), Keisha Lance Bottoms (Atlanta), Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles), and Melvin Carter (St. Paul).
  • Donald Trump spoke about protests following the death of George Floyd before law enforcement cleared an area outside the White House and Trump walked to St. John’s Episcopal Church. Trump said, “… we cannot allow the righteous cries and peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob.  The biggest victims of the rioting are peace-loving citizens in our poorest communities, and as their President, I will fight to keep them safe.  I will fight to protect you.  I am your President of law and order, and an ally of all peaceful protesters.”
  • Trump held a teleconference with U.S. governors.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 2, 2016

Hillary Clinton spoke about national security at an event in San Diego, California. She said of Trump, “He is not just unprepared – he is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.”



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: June 1, 2020

Each day, we:

  • Track the status of reopening in all 50 states.
  • Compare the status of one industry or activity across the country.
  • Provide in-depth summaries of the latest reopening plans.
  • Give you the latest stories on other reopening plans and ideas. 

Want to know what happened Friday? Click here.



The next two days

What is reopening in the next two days? Which stay-at-home orders will expire?

  • Louisiana (divided government): Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) was scheduled to hold a media briefing at 2:30 p.m. local time, June 1. He is expected to make an announcement on the prospect of further reopenings. We will have more details in Tuesday’s edition. 
  • Massachusetts (divided government): Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is expected to issue an executive order on June 1 outlining which business sectors will be allowed to resume operations in each phase of the state’s reopening. We will have more details in Tuesday’s edition. Baker said a decision on the start date for Phase 2 would come on June 6. 


Since our last edition

Have any states opened? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here. For our last edition, click here.

  • Arkansas (Republican trifecta): The Arkansas Department of Health announced that community and school-sponsored team sports could resume beginning June 1. Bands are allowed to resume marching activities without wind instruments. College athletics are not included in this reopening.

  • Arizona (Republican trifecta): The Department of Education released its 36-page “Roadmap for Reopening Schools.” The document covers four different scenarios: in-person instruction from the beginning of the year, some students distance learning and some students learning in-person at the start of the year, all students distance learning at the start of the year, and intermittent distance learning throughout the year, depending on local conditions.

  • Delaware (Democratic trifecta): The state’s stay-at-home order expired on May 31. The order first took effect on March 24. Delaware was the 16th state to enact a stay-at-home order and was the 31st state to end its stay-at-home order (along with others that ended on May 31).

  • Hawaii (Democratic trifecta): The state entered the Act with Care phase of reopening. On June 1, Hawaii and Maui counties are opening personal care services (like salons and barbershops) and dine-in services at restaurants. Hawaii County also began opening places of worship. The state’s stay-at-home order expired on May 31, making it the 31st state to end a stay-at-home order (along with others that ended on May 31).
  • Idaho (Republican trifecta): The state moved into its third phase of reopening on May 30. Phase Three allows non-essential travel and gatherings of up to 50 people. Businesses like bars and movie theaters can reopen. Larger venues like nightclubs and stadiums remain closed.
  • Mississippi (Republican trifecta): Gov. Tate Reeves’ (R) Safe Return order took effect on June 1. The order allows all travel to resume. It also permits indoor gatherings of up to 20 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people. If social distancing is possible, indoor gatherings of up to 50 and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 are allowed. Ballparks, theaters, libraries, and museums can also begin opening.
  • Iowa (Republican trifecta): On June 1, outdoor performance venues, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement parks, skating rinks, skate parks, and outdoor playgrounds are allowed to reopen at 50% capacity. Summer school activities, including baseball and softball, are also allowed to resume.
  • Kentucky (divided government): On June 1, the following businesses are allowed to reopen: auctions (33% capacity), auto/dirt track racing, aquatic centers, bowling alleys, fishing tournaments, fitness centers (33% capacity), state park lodges, movie theaters (33% capacity), and the Salato Wildlife Education Center.
  • Maine (Democratic trifecta): On May 31, Gov. Janet Mills (D) issued an executive order easing the original stay-at-home order “to the extent that people may access the increased business and personal activities that are being reopened.” The order says “persons who are over age 60 or who have a medically compromised condition are strongly urged to limit their movement and activities that expose them to persons other than immediate household members, and to avoid large gatherings, especially those occurring indoors or in otherwise confined settings.” The limit on social gatherings increased from 10 to 50 people.
  • Michigan (divided government): On June 1, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced that the state’s stay-at-home order was lifted effective immediately. Whitmer said groups of 100 or less would be allowed to gather outdoors. The order was previously scheduled to expire on June 12. Whitmer also said that retailers would be able to reopen June 4, with bars and restaurants following on June 8.
  • Minnesota (divided government): Restaurants and bars are allowed to offer limited outdoor seating starting, up to 50 people, on June 1. Salons and barbershops are also permitted to reopen on June 1 at 25% capacity.
  • Missouri (Republican trifecta): Casinos are permitted to reopen on June 1.
  • Montana (divided government): Montana started the second phase of reopening on June 1. Phase Two allows restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries, casinos, gyms, and pools to operate at 75% capacity if they maintain the physical distancing and sanitation protocols established in Phase One. Other venues like concert halls and bowling alleys can operate with reduced capacity under distancing guidelines. In Phase Two, residents are asked to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people unless social distancing can be maintained. Visitors to the state will not have to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Nebraska (Republican trifecta): Eighty-nine of Nebraska’s 93 counties entered Phase II of the reopening plan on June 1. Bars and strip clubs were permitted to reopen at 50 percent capacity, with tables spaced six feet apart, and required patrons to maintain six feet of distance from entertainers. Games, such as darts and pool, remain prohibited. Gatherings of up to 25 or 25 percent capacity (excluding staff) for indoor or outdoor attractions, such as arenas, fairgrounds, libraries, or any other confined indoor or outdoor space are allowed in Phase II. For larger venues, attendance is limited to 3,000, even if that number is less than 25 percent occupancy. Weddings and funerals also resumed, but are limited to no more than 25 people or 50 percent occupancy, excluding staff. Parades, carnivals, midways, dances, and beer gardens are prohibited through June 30. People who traveled internationally are encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days. The new phase allows limited, noncontact sports, such as baseball and softball, to resume practices, with games being allowed to resume on June 18. Basketball, tackle football, soccer, and wrestling remain prohibited.
  • New Hampshire (divided government): On May 29, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) extended his “Stay-at-Home 2.0” order through at least June 15. As part of the extension, Sununu announced that driver’s education classes could restart, and places of worship could reopen on May 29 with limitations. Beginning on June 5, hotels and lodging may reopen with restrictions, and day camps will be allowed to resume on June 22. Gyms and fitness centers will follow, no date has been given for when they can reopen.
  • New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced the state will be ready to enter phase 2 of Murphy’s “The Road Back” plan on June 15. That day, outdoor dining and limited in-person retail may resume. On June 22, limited personal services such as barbershops and salons can resume.
  • New Mexico (Democratic trifecta): Secretary of the New Mexico Health Department Kathyleen M. Kunkle issued a new public health order extending the state’s stay-at-home order through June 30. While the order allows some businesses to reopen, it says that “all New Mexicans should be staying in their homes for all but the most essential activities and services.” The following businesses are permitted to reopen on June 1: in-restaurant dining (50 percent capacity), gyms and fitness centers (50 percent capacity), indoor malls (25 percent capacity), personal services such as barbershops and salons (25 percent occupancy), drive-in theaters, and hotels (50 percent capacity). The new order also lifted the requirement that anyone entering New Mexico through an airport self-quarantine for 14 days. Nine state parks were permitted to open for day use on May 30 and five more were allowed to open on June 1.
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced on June 1 that New York City was on track to begin reopening on June 8. He also announced that two regions, Western New York and Capital, are expected to move into Phase 2 of his reopening plan in the coming days. On May 31, Cuomo announced that dentists could reopen on June 1.
  • North Dakota (Republican trifecta): On May 29, officials in North Dakota announced that the state moved from “moderate risk” to “low risk” under Gov. Doug Burgum (R)’s “ND Smart Restart” plan. In this stage, “schools and businesses can reopen, and much of normal life can begin to resume. However, some physical distancing measures and limitations on gatherings will still be recommended to prevent transmission from accelerating again.” High-risk individuals are encouraged to limit their time spent in the community. In the “low risk” stage, employers are urged to develop flexible work environments, comply with social distancing measures, increase sanitation measures, and monitor employees for symptoms. Capacity for dine-in service at restaurants and bars is capped at 75 percent occupancy, and gaming and blackjack can resume with social distancing measures. Gatherings are limited to 75 percent occupancy for facilities, with a maximum of 500 people allowed.
  • Ohio (Republican trifecta): The following businesses and activities can resume on June 1: banquet halls and catering centers (with a maximum of 300 guests and social distancing), and daycare centers (with reduced staff-to-child ratios and handwashing requirements). On May 29, Ohio State Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued two orders. One order continues the ban on mass gatherings in the state through July 1, and the other lifts restrictions on alcohol sales to non-residents in six counties near the Pennsylvania border: Ashtabula, Belmont, Columbiana, Jefferson, Mahoning, and Trumbull.
  • Oklahoma (Republican trifecta): Oklahoma is moving into Phase 3 of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s (R) “Open Up and Recover Safely” plan on June 1. The following changes go into effect: church and school summer camps may reopen, businesses may resume unrestricted staffing at worksites with social distancing and sanitation measures, and businesses that were operating by appointment only may accept walk-ins. Under Phase 3, visits to hospitals can resume, with limitations such as one representative per patient and social distancing. Visits to senior care facilities are still prohibited.
  • Oregon (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced the criteria that counties will need to meet to enter Phase 2 of reopening. Official guidance is not available regarding the industries and activities that will be able to resume in the second phase.
  • Rhode Island (Democratic trifecta): The state is moving into the second phase of reopening on June 1. Phase Two allows personal service businesses (such as barbershops and salons), gyms, indoor dine-in services, indoor malls, and some outdoor entertainment activities to reopen. It also lifts the state’s travel restrictions and permits gatherings of up to 15 people.
  • Texas (Republican trifecta): Fans can attend outdoor professional sporting events at 25% of a venue’s capacity beginning May 31. Leagues will need to receive approval from the Texas Department of State Health Services before holding events with spectators. Day and overnight youth camps, as well as youth sports, were also permitted to begin operating that day.
  • Vermont (divided government): The limit on social gatherings increased from 10 to 25 on June 1. Several close contact businesses, including fitness centers, nail salons, and tattoo parlors, can reopen at 25% capacity. Libraries, galleries, museums, and theaters reopen at 25% capacity, as well.
  • Washington (Democratic trifecta): The state’s stay-at-home order expired on May 31. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a new “Safe Start – Stay Healthy’’ proclamation that transitions the reopening plan to a fully county-by-county approach. This gives counties more flexibility to move through the four phases of the reopening plan. Counties that remain in Phase One have the option to apply for and enter a modified Phase One plan, which allows the county to adopt some Phase Two activities. It was the 31st state to end a stay-at-home order (along with others that expired on May 31).

  • Wyoming (Republican trifecta): Beginning June 1, out-of-state travelers can camp overnight at Wyoming state parks.


Update on stay-at-home orders

Forty-three states issued orders directing residents to stay home except for essential activities and the closure or curtailment of businesses each state deemed nonessential. Seven states did not.

As of June 1, stay-at-home orders have ended in 35 states. Eighteen of those states have Republican governors and 17 have Democratic governors (including Wisconsin, where the state Supreme Court invalidated the stay-at-home order). Of the eight states with active stay-at-home orders, seven have Democratic governors and one has a Republican governor.

Here’s which stay-at-home orders have expired, and when the rest are scheduled to expire.



Tracking regulations: Face covering and mask requirements

All 50 states began to reopen in some way. Here, we give the status of one industry or activity across the states. Today’s question: in which states must someone wear a face covering while out in public?


 

Featured plan: South Carolina's accelerateSC

Featured plan: South Carolina’s accelerateSC

This is an in-depth summary of one of the latest reopening plans. Is there a plan you’d like us to feature? Reply to this email and let us know. Click a state below to read a previous Featured Plan.

Alabama Florida Maryland New Hampshire Tennessee
Arizona Georgia Massachusetts New Mexico Texas
California Illinois Michigan Ohio Virginia
Colorado Indiana Montana Oklahoma Washington
Delaware Maine Nevada Pennsylvania

On April 20, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) announced “accelerateSC,” which the governor’s office described as “a coordinated economic revitalization plan involving small and large business leaders, healthcare professionals, local government officials, and education professionals.”

The advisory team has five groups with the task of identifying “issues, solutions, and assets necessary for a phased revitalization path for South Carolina’s economy, guided by healthcare and medical data.” AccelerateSC’s final report, released May 28, contains 41 recommendations for the governor. 

The groups and their responsibilities are as follows:

  • Response: “Identify challenges related to workforce capacity, workforce re-entry, critical industries, capital requirements, regulatory issues and supply chain/logistics.”
  • Protection: “Identify protective protocols for practical implementation in workplace and public, testing and contact tracing, supply of personal protective equipment, and long-term mitigation efforts to ensure economic revitalization.”
  • Governance: “Identify challenges faced by state and local governments, educational institutions, emergency services and first responders to proceed with economic revitalization.”
  • Resources: “Identify process and appropriate metrics for disbursing federal funds and to ensure transparency of all disbursed funds in consultation with appropriate stakeholders.”
  • Information: “Create consolidated information portal and associated dissemination methods related to citizens’ inquiries associated with COVID-19.”

Since accelerateSC’s creation, McMaster has allowed businesses to reopen once the Response group released industry-specific safety guidelines. On May 11, McMaster said, “With our increased capacity for testing the people of our state, it is time to responsibly and gradually get these small businesses back up and running”

McMaster’s order closing nonessential businesses to the public allowed businesses to request an evaluation from the state Department of Commerce to determine whether they may continue to operate. 

McMaster’s nonessential business closure order and stay-at-home order said that no local ordinance, rule, or regulation may conflict with the statewide orders.

Context

  • McMaster issued an executive order closing several nonessential businesses to the public effective April 1. In another order, McMaster added retail to the nonessential businesses list effective April 6 (with curbside pickup and delivery allowed for retail). McMaster issued a stay-at-home order effective April 7, directing individuals to limit social interactions, practice social distancing according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, take precautions to avoid COVID-19, and limit movement outside the home except for essential activities. McMaster lifted the stay-at-home order on May 4.
  • As of May 31, South Carolina had 11,861 positive COVID-19 cases and 494 deaths. South Carolina had an estimated population of 5.1 million as of July 2019. For every 100,000 residents, the state had 230.4 COVID-19 cases and 9.6 deaths.
  • South Carolina is a Republican trifecta, with a Republican governor and Republican majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.

Guidance for individuals
The final accelerateSC report advises individuals to do the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue (that you then discard) or use the inside of your elbow. 
  • Practice social distancing – at least six feet, even when wearing a mask. 
  • Stay home if you’re sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, and more frequently if you are sick or caring for someone who is sick. 
  • Wear cloth face coverings in public settings, especially while in enclosed spaces where there are other people. 

The report also says, “At-risk populations (seniors, members of our minority communities and those with underlying medical conditions) should be particularly mindful of this guidance and should take special precautions.” 

General business guidance

  • Most businesses “must limit the number of customers allowed to enter and simultaneously occupy the premises so as not to exceed five customers per 1,000 square feet of retail space, or 20% of the occupancy limit as determined by the fire marshal, whichever is less. Businesses must not knowingly allow customers to congregate within six feet of one another, exclusive of family units.”
  • “Businesses must also implement all reasonable steps to comply with sanitation guidelines of the CDC, [South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC)] or any other state and federal public health officials.”

April 20-21
The following were allowed to reopen April 20-21.

  • Public beaches (local officials given authority to decide whether to open)
  • Retail (with social distancing requirements; capacity limited to 20% occupancy or five customers per 1,000 square feet, whichever is less; and following guidance from CDC and DHEC)

May 4

  • Restaurants could reopen for outdoor dining (tables spaced at least 8 feet apart, limit of 8 people per table, additional guidelines here)

Lifted:

  • Stay-at-home order (individuals the CDC deems at risk advised to continue limiting exposure to others)
  • Requirement for short-term rental companies to deny reservations to people from hotspots (areas the CDC identified as having extensive community spread)
  • Requirement for travelers from hotspots to self-quarantine for two weeks

May 8

May 11

  • Restaurants could reopen for dine-in services (limit to 50% fire capacity, tables spaced 6-8 feet apart, additional guidelines here)

May 18
The following could reopen with capacity limits and social distancing efforts:

  • Gyms/fitness centers (guidelines here)
  • Close-contact services—e.g., massage, barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, tattoo shops, waxing salons, tanning salons, spas (close-contact business guidelines here, cosmetology guidelines here)
  • Pools (guidance here)

May 22
The following could reopen:

  • Attraction facilities—e.g., zoos, museums, aquariums, amusement park rides, water parks (limit to 50% fire capacity for indoor spaces, keeping attractions that can’t be sanitized between users closed, additional guidelines here

May 31

  • Youth sport could resume practice, with competitive play allowed June 15 (guidelines here)

Additional site-specific guidance
AccelerateSC released guidance for some industries and sites that McMaster did not order closed:

Reactions

  • On May 12, the South Carolina Senate passed a resolution rebuking McMaster for continuing the state of emergency over two months without seeking the legislature’s permission. The resolution passed on a 17-16 vote. All 17 yes votes were from Republicans. Twelve Democrats and four Republicans voted against the resolution.
  • On April 29, state Rep. Gary Clary (R) said, “The governor is trying to gather as much information as he can from the business community, from the medical community, from the research institutions, so we can properly reopen South Carolina and do it in a logical way. … I think he certainly wants to reopen the state, just like I do. But it’s got to be so that we do it in a manner in which everybody’s protected.”
  • On April 29, Republican state Reps. Josiah Magnuson, Jonathon Hill, and Stewart Jones wrote a letter to House Speaker JayJay Lucas (R) asking him to reconvene members of the state House to vote to end McMaster’s renewed state of emergency order. They wrote, “If the ‘essential’ businesses can adopt safe practices to stop the spread of the coronavirus, then the supposedly ‘non-essential’ businesses can do so, as well. Thus, it is possible to immediately reopen all businesses while enforcing social distancing through temporary regulations.”


Find out more in today’s Number of the Day→


Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of activities by other federal, state, and local governments and influencers relevant to recovering from the pandemic. 

  • Florida officials approved Walt Disney World’s reopening plan last week. The theme park will begin a phased reopening on July 11 with limited capacity along with sanitation and social distancing protocols.
  • Georgia’s departments of education and public health released a 10-page guidance document for the state’s school districts on reopening. The guidance is not legally binding because the state’s 180 school districts operate independently. There are several reopening options, including alternating days and a model that allows for older students to distance learn while younger students receive in-person instruction.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin Mayor Tom Barrett announced May 29 that the city’s restrictions on restaurants, bars, and gathering spots would remain in place until further notice. 
  • The Los Angeles County Public Health Department in California announced it will allow restaurants and hair salons to open with distancing and infection control protocols. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) office approved the county’s variance request, allowing it to reopen more businesses than the statewide plan currently allows. 
  • On May 28, Charleston Southern University student Jessica Taylor filed a class-action lawsuit in the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas (South Carolina) against the university. Taylor’s complaint alleges that the university, which closed its campus effective March 18, “has not delivered the educational services, facilities, access, and opportunities that Plaintiff and the putative class contracted and paid for.” The complaint seeks “refunds of the amounts Plaintiff and putative class members are owed, prorated to the amount of time that remained in the Spring semester when classes moved online and campus services ceased being provided.” 

Click here to learn more.



Trump visits Kennedy Space Center to view rocket launch

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
June 1, 2020: Trump returned to the Kennedy Space Center to view the SpaceX rocket launch on Saturday. Biden visited a protest site in Wilmington, Del., on Sunday.

Ballotpedia is monitoring changes made to election dates and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. blank    blankblank   

Notable Quote of the Day

“The only real open question going into Tuesday’s eight primaries is whether Joe Biden will rack up enough votes to formally clinch the Democratic presidential nomination. That he we (sic) will win those contests is not in doubt.

The former vice president needs to win 89% of all delegates at stake to do so. That sounds easy since he’s the last candidate standing in a once-crowded primary field. But supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have continued to urge voters to cast ballots for him so he can amass delegates and have a greater influence on the party policy platform ahead of the Democratic National Convention.

Biden has met the 89% threshold in only two contests since Super Tuesday: Mississippi (94%) and Nebraska (100%).”

– Will Weissert, Associated Press

Election Updates

  • Joe Biden visited a site in Wilmington, Del., on Sunday where protests had taken place following the death of George Floyd. He tweeted, “We are a nation in pain right now, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us. As President, I will help lead this conversation — and more importantly, I will listen, just as I did today visiting the site of last night’s protests in Wilmington.”

  • In a Medium post on Saturday, Biden wrote, “These last few days have laid bare that we are a nation furious at injustice. Every person of conscience can understand the rawness of the trauma people of color experience in this country, from the daily indignities to the extreme violence, like the horrific killing of George Floyd. … The act of protesting should never be allowed to overshadow the reason we protest. It should not drive people away from the just cause that protest is meant to advance.”

  • Donald Trump returned to the Kennedy Space Center to view the SpaceX rocket launch on Saturday. The launch, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday, had been postponed due to weather.

  • In his remarks at the Kennedy Space Center, Trump said, “The death of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis was a grave tragedy.  It should never have happened.  It has filled Americans all over the country with horror, anger, and grief. … I understand the pain that people are feeling.  We support the right of peaceful protesters, and we hear their pleas.  But what we are now seeing on the streets of our cities has nothing to do with justice or with peace.”

  • Trump tweeted, “Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors. These people are ANARCHISTS. Call in our National Guard NOW. The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe. Is this what America wants? NO!!!”

Flashback: June 1, 2016

The Field Poll put Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders within the poll’s margin of error in the upcoming California Democratic primary, with Clinton leading by two percentage points. Sanders said the same day, “On Tuesday, we are going to win the primary. … And we have the establishment very nervous. That’s a good thing.”blank

Click here to learn more.



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