On Friday afternoon, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) announced that schools in the state would remain closed to in-person instruction for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Prior to the announcement, schools in the state had been closed to in-person instruction indefinitely since March 16.
Forty-five states have closed schools to in-person instruction for the remainder of the academic year. Those states account for 93.4% of the 50.6 million public school students in the country. The five states that have not are Connecticut, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey, and Wyoming.
Of the five states that have not announced that schools will close for the remainder of the year, two have Democratic trifectas, one has a Republican trifecta, and two have divided governments.
On April 30, 2020, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced during a press conference that the state’s stay-at-home order was extended through May 15. Prior to the announcement, the stay-at-home order was in effect through April 30.
Lujan Grisham also announced during the same press conference a few changes to her directives, effective May 1. Starting that day:
Nonessential retailers can operate via curbside pickup and delivery service where permitted.
State parks can reopen on a modified basis, but camping is still prohibited.
Pet services, such as grooming, veterinary care, and boarding, can resume
Golf courses can reopen for golf only. Food and retail services are prohibited
Gun stores can reopen for background checks only
Under the order, in-restaurant dining, fitness centers, salons, theaters, and casinos are still closed. The stay-at-home remains in effect through May 15, mass gatherings are still prohibited, and a 14-day quarantine remains in effect for out-of-state travelers.
Ballotpedia is tracking how state government plans to reopen after the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.
Across the 21 states that have held all of their filing deadlines for state executive positions, such as governor and public service commissioner, 16 state executive elections lack either a Democratic or Republican candidate as of April 29, 2020.
Four states—Alabama, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Utah—have state executive races without a Democratic candidate. The races are for one state board of education seat in Alabama, one public education commission seat in New Mexico, corporation commissioner in Oklahoma, and eight positions in Utah. Those Utah positions include state treasurer, state auditor, and six state board of education seats.
Three states—Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah—have state executive races without a Republican candidate. The races are for one state board of regents seat in Colorado, three public education commission seats in New Mexico, and one state board of education seat in Utah.
There are 165 state executive offices up for election in 28 states in 2020.
In 2019, there were 36 state executive offices up for election across three states. Eight of those elections did not have a Democratic candidate, and three did not have a Republican candidate.
Ballotpedia will update this data on a weekly basis until all of the state executive filing deadlines have passed. In 2020, the last major-party filing deadline for a state executive office is for the Ohio State Board of Education on August 5.
The local filing deadline to run for elected office in Massachusetts is on May 5, 2020. In Massachusetts, candidates must file their collected nomination signatures with local election entities four weeks before filing with the Secretary of the Commonwealth. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued an order that reduced candidate petition signature requirements to 50 percent of their statutory requirements. Prospective candidates may file for the following offices:
U.S. Senate (1 seat)
U.S. House (9 seats)
Governor’s Council (8 seats)
Massachusetts State Senate (40 seats)
Massachusetts House of Representatives (160 seats)
The primary is scheduled for September 1, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020. Candidates who filed with their local election entities must also file with the Secretary of the Commonwealth by June 2, 2020.
Massachusetts’ statewide filing deadline is the 37th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on May 8 in Michigan.
Massachusetts has a divided government, and no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.
Gov. Andy Beshear (D) appointed public defender Chris McNeill to the Kentucky Court of Appeals on April 22 to serve the remainder of former appellate judge Christopher Nickell’s term. Nickells resigned after he was appointed to the Kentucky Supreme Court in December 2019.
At the time of his appointment, McNeill had already declared his candidacy in the special election to fill Nickells’ former position, the Division 1 chair on the bench in the court’s 1st Appellate District. The primary in the special election is scheduled for June 23 and the special general election will take place on November 3. Pending the results of the election, McNeill will serve at least until Nickells’ term ends on January 3, 2021.
The Kentucky Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court in Kentucky. Prior to a 1975 amendment to the Kentucky Constitution that created the Kentucky Supreme Court, the Kentucky Court of Appeals was the only appellate court in the state. Appellate courts are defined as courts having the power to review the decisions of lower courts or tribunals. In Kentucky, the court of last resort is the Kentucky Supreme Court.
On April 30, 2020, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced that the state’s stay-at-home order was extended through May 18. Prior to the announcement, the stay-at-home order was in effect through May 4.
So far, 43 of the 50 states issued statewide shutdown orders. Eight of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 35 announced end dates.
Although the names of the orders—shelter-in-place, stay-at-home, stay home, stay safe—vary from state to state, they include at least two common elements: the closure of nonessential businesses and requesting all residents to stay home except for essential trips.
On April 29, 2020, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (D) issued an executive order that formally placed Utah under “moderate risk” protocols, effective May 1 at 12:01 a.m., according to a press release from the governor’s office. Under these protocols, residents are encouraged to stay home as much as possible but are allowed to see small groups of family and friends who have been adhering to social distancing and hygiene guidelines. The order also allows some businesses that were closed by public health orders, such as gyms, salons and in-restaurant dining, to resume operation under strict guidelines.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced that the state’s stay-at-home order, scheduled to end on April 30, was extended until May 15. Residents have been under a stay-at-home order since March 31. Before the extension, Arizona was one of nine states whose order was set to expire on April 30.
Ducey also announced that several nonessential retail businesses could begin providing drive-thru services on May 4. State parks, golf courses, and postal services will also be allowed to open on that date. Beginning May 8, those same businesses can begin offering in-store services as long as social distancing requirements are met.
Ballotpedia is providing comprehensive coverage on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting America’s political and civic life. Our coverage includes how federal, state, and local governments are responding, and the effects those responses are having on campaigns and elections.
Ballotpedia is tracking state legislative races without a known Democratic or Republican candidate in the 2020 elections. As of April 29, 764 state legislative races do not have a Democratic candidate, and 583 do not have a Republican candidate.
The most seats without a candidate from one of the major parties are concentrated in three states: New York, Oklahoma, and Georgia. New York has the highest number; of its 213 state legislative seats, 74 races (34.7%) do not have a Republican candidate. Oklahoma and Georgia are tied with the second-highest at 68 races. Of the 125 seats on the ballot this year in Oklahoma, 68 races (54.4%) do not have a Democratic candidate. Of the 236 state legislative races that are on the ballot in Georgia, 68 races (28.8%) do not have a Republican candidate.
In 2018, 6,073 state legislative races were on the ballot and 2,017 (33.2%) did not feature major party competition. In comparison, there were 2,477 such races in 2016 and 2,606 in 2014.
During the 2020 election cycle, the filing deadline to run for the state legislature has passed in 30 states. Washington has the next filing deadline on May 15.
On April 28, the independent filing deadline passed to run for elected office in South Dakota. Candidates filed for the following offices:
South Dakota State Senate District 25
South Dakota State Senate District 35
South Dakota House of Representatives District 17
South Dakota House of Representatives District 29
Any candidate for nonjudicial public office who is not nominated by a primary election may be nominated as an independent candidate by filing with the South Dakota Secretary of State or county auditor. Filing must be completed no earlier than 8 a.m. on January 1 and no later than 5 p.m. on the last Tuesday of April prior to the election.
An independent candidate’s certificate of nomination must be signed by registered voters within the applicable district or political subdivision. Any candidate for office in the state legislature must be a resident of the district for which he or she is a candidate.
All 35 state Senate seats are up for election in 2020, as are all 70 state House seats. South Dakota state senators and state representatives serve two-year terms, with all seats up for election every two years. South Dakota holds elections for its legislature in even-numbered years.
The primary is scheduled for June 2, 2020, and a primary runoff is scheduled for August 11, 2020. The general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.
Entering the 2020 election, the South Dakota State Legislature has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. As of April 29, 2020, there are 21 Republican trifectas, 15 Democratic trifectas, and 14 divided governments where neither party holds trifecta control.