CategoryState

Filing period ends for state executive, legislative, judicial candidates in five states

The filing deadlines to run for state-level offices in Alaska, Kansas, Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Minnesota have passed. Alaska’s, Kansas’, and Wisconsin’s filing deadlines were on June 1. The filing deadlines in Hawaii and Minnesota were on June 2.

In Alaska, prospective candidates filed for the following state offices:
• State Senate (10 seats)
• State House (40 seats)
• Additionally, Alaska will hold retention elections for one supreme court justice and one court of appeals justice.

In Kansas, prospective candidates filed for the following state offices:
• State Board of Education (5 seats)
• State Senate (40 seats)
• State House (125 seats)
• Additionally, Kansas will hold retention elections for two supreme court justices and six court of appeals justices.
• Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in Sedgwick County, Kansas.

In Wisconsin, prospective candidates filed for the following state legislative offices:
• State Senate (16 seats)
• State House (99 seats)

In Hawaii, prospective candidates filed for the following state offices:
• Office of Hawaiian Affairs (4 seats)
• State Senate (13 seats)
• State House (51 seats)
• Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In Minnesota, prospective candidates filed for the following state offices:
• State Senate (67 seats)
• State House (134 seats)
• Supreme Court (2 seats)
• Court of Appeals (6 seats)

Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in the following areas:
• Minneapolis Public Schools (4 seats)
• Minneapolis, Minnesota
• Hennepin County, Minnesota
• Ramsey County, Minnesota

Kansas’ primary is scheduled for August 4, and Hawaii’s primary is scheduled for August 8. Minnesota’s and Wisconsin’s primaries are scheduled for August 11. Alaska’s primary will be held on August 18. The general elections in all five states are scheduled for November 3, 2020.

The next statewide filing deadline is on June 11 in Connecticut.

Hawaii has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Alaska, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Minnesota have divided governments where no party holds a trifecta.

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Judge rules that Tennessee must provide absentee ballots to all eligible voters on request

Ellen Hobbs Lyle, a judge on the Davidson County Chancery Court in Nashville, Tennessee, ruled on June 4 that the state must give all eligible voters the option to vote by mail in upcoming elections because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision is expected to be appealed.

In Tennessee, voters can request an absentee ballot if they meet certain requirements. For example, voters who will be outside their county during the early registration period and all day on election day and voters over the age of 60 are eligible for absentee ballots.

The Secretary of State’s office has put together a coronavirus plan for upcoming elections that focuses on sanitary measures and social distancing.

Tennessee is holding a primary on August 6. The general election is scheduled for November 3. Tennessee has a Republican state trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.



California governor issues executive order authorizing counties to consolidate polling places in Nov. 3 general election

On June 3, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) issued an executive order giving counties permission to consolidate polling places in the Nov. 3 general election, provided they offer three days of early voting. Newsom authorized counties to operate one polling place per 10,000 registered voters, provided that those locations are open eight hours per day from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 for early voting.

On May 8, Newsom issued an executive order directing county officials to deliver mail-in ballots to all registered voters in the Nov. 3 general election. California is one of five states that have opted to send absentee/mail-in ballots automatically to all eligible voters in certain elections. It is the first state to extend that practice to the Nov. 3. general election.



Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announces stay-at-home order to end June 4

On June 3, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced that he would let the state’s stay-at-home order expire on June 4 at 11:59 p.m. There are currently 10 red-phase counties under the stay-at-home order. Wolf announced on June 3 that those counties could move into the yellow-phase on June 5. When that happens, all counties in Pennsylvania will either be in the yellow-phase or green-phase of Wolf’s reopening plan.

Pennsylvania will be the 36th state to end a stay-at-home order. After it ends, stay-at-home orders will remain in seven states. Six have Democratic governors. One (New Hampshire) has a Republican governor.



Jacobsen wins Republican nomination for Montana Secretary of State

Christi Jacobsen defeated state Sen. Scott Sales, former Secretary of State Brad Johnson, and three others to win the Republican nomination for secretary of state in Montana. Jacobsen received 29.4% of the vote compared to Sales’ 25.3% and Brad Johnson’s 23.1%. No other candidate received more than 15% of the vote.

Jacobsen currently serves as Montana’s deputy secretary of state. She said, “I’m running because I’m the most qualified candidate. I have the experience of the job, so I can hit the ground running on Day One.” She received endorsements from Susan B. Anthony List and current Secretary of State Corey Stapleton (R).

Jacobsen will face state Sen. Bryce Bennett (D) in the general election, which is expected to be competitive. The Democratic Association of Secretaries of State listed Montana as a target office.

In addition to overseeing elections and business filings, the secretary of state in Montana serves as one of five members on the Land Board, which is responsible for overseeing the state’s public lands held in trust for schools. The five seats are filled by five state executives: the governor, attorney general, secretary of state, auditor, and superintendent of public instruction. Republicans currently hold a 4-1 majority. In 2020, four of the five positions represented on the Land Board are open.


Florida to open bars, bowling alleys, and movie theaters

Today, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced that starting June 5, bars will be able to reopen at 50% capacity inside and full capacity outside, with service only for seated patrons. Movie theaters and bowling alleys will also be permitted reopen at 50% capacity the same day. These new rules will apply to all counties in the state except Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach.

Florida began its phased reopening in late April, with the above three South Florida counties excluded due to heightened positive coronavirus case rates and hospitalizations. Each of those counties has since been granted permission by the governor to reopen at a slower rate than the rest of the state.



Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney wins Democratic gubernatorial nod

Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney (D) defeated businesswoman Whitney Williams (D) to win the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Montana. As of 11:03 p.m. Mountain Time, Cooney had received 55.7% of the vote to Williams’ 44.3%. Cooney campaigned as a continuation of Gov. Steve Bullock’s (D) two-term administration. As lieutenant governor, Cooney ran with Bullock on a joint ticket in 2016. Bullock faced Greg Gianforte (R) in the general election and won with 50.3% of the vote to Gianforte’s 46.4%. The 2020 general election will feature Cooney versus U.S. Rep. Gianforte, who won the GOP nomination for the second cycle in a row.
The general election is expected to be competitive with major race forecasters rating it as a toss-up. The 2012 and 2016 gubernatorial elections were decided by margins of 1.6 and 3.9 percentage points, respectively.


Greg Gianforte wins Montana Republican gubernatorial nomination for second cycle in a row

U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) defeated Attorney General Tim Fox (R) and state Sen. Al Olszewski (R-06) to win the Republican nomination for governor of Montana. As of 9:05 p.m. Mountain Time, Gianforte had received 52.8% of the vote to Fox’s 28.7% and Olszewski’s 18.5%.
Gianforte was also the party’s nominee for governor in 2016. He lost the general election to now-Gov. Steve Bullock (D), 50.2% to 46.4%.
Bullock is term-limited and cannot run for re-election. Gianforte will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the general election.
The general election is expected to be competitive with major race forecasters rating it as a toss-up. The 2012 and 2016 gubernatorial elections were decided by margins of 1.6 and 3.9 percentage points, respectively.


Pennsylvania extends absentee ballot receipt deadline to June 9 in six counties; postmark deadline remains June 2

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, 2020) in Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. In all other counties, a return deadline of June 2 remains in effect.

Pennsylvania’s primary was originally scheduled to take place on April 28. On March 27, Wolf signed into law legislation postponing the primary to June 2. The law also authorized counties to consolidate polling places without court approval and begin processing mail-in ballots beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Pennsylvania is one of 28 states that have modified their absentee/mail-in voting procedures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.