CategoryState

Early voting in Texas ends Nov. 1

Early in-person voting for Texas’ Nov. 5 general election ends on Friday, Nov. 1. Until then, all registered voters may vote at any early voting location in the county in which they are registered.
 
Texas is holding elections for the following offices, in addition to other elections beyond Ballotpedia’s coverage scope. Of the following races, Ballotpedia has designated the Houston mayoral election and Houston Independent School District elections as battleground races.
 
  • State legislative elections (special)
    • Texas House of Representatives District 28
    • Texas House of Representatives District 100
    • Texas House of Representatives District 148
  • Local elections within Ballotpedia’s coverage scope
    • Counties
      • Bexar County
      • Harris County
  • Cities
    • El Paso (special)
    • Houston (including mayor)
  • School boards
    • Aldine Independent School District
    • Alief Independent School District
    • Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District
    • Houston Independent School District
    • Klein Independent School District
    • Lake Worth Independent School District
    • Richardson Independent School District
    • Spring Independent School District
 
Incumbent Sylvester Turner and 11 challengers will compete in the general election for mayor of Houston, Texas. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two general election candidates will participate in a runoff election on December 14, 2019.
 
Four out of nine seats on the Houston Independent School District (HISD) school board are up for general election. The HISD school board faces the possibility of being replaced by a state-appointed board of managers. If appointed, the board of managers would assume the responsibilities of the elected board, while elected trustees would not have any power until they were reinstated.
 
Texas voters will also decide 10 constitutional amendments put on the ballot by the state legislature. Measures concern taxes, bonds, budgets, law enforcement animals, and municipal governance. Proposition 4 would prohibit the state from levying an income tax on individuals.
 
Ballots will also feature a variety of local measures. Local measures in Irving, El Paso, Harris County, Arlington, Tarrant County, Austin, and Travis County fall within Ballotpedia’s coverage scope for 2019.
 


Oct. 29 is the last day to register as an absentee voter by mail in Virginia

October 29 is the last day to register as an absentee voter by mail in Virginia for the November 5 general election. The deadline to apply to vote absentee in person is November 5. To see if you qualify for absentee voting, click on the link below. Virginia does not permit no-excuse early voting.
 
Virginia is holding elections for the following, in addition to other elections beyond Ballotpedia’s coverage scope:
 
  • All 140 state legislative seats
    • 40 seats in the Virginia State Senate
    • 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates
  • City offices in Chesapeake, Richmond, and Virginia Beach
  • Five school boards
    • Chesterfield County Public Schools
    • Fairfax County Public Schools
    • Henrico County Public Schools
    • Loudoun County Public Schools
    • Prince William County Public Schools
 
Republicans have two-seat majorities in both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly. The elections this year will determine the state’s trifecta status heading into the 2020 redistricting process. If Democrats win majorities in both chambers, they will hold a Democratic trifecta during redistricting. If Republicans retain a majority in at least one chamber, Virginia will remain under divided government. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is a Democrat.
 


California governor vetoes public-sector union release time bill

On Oct. 12, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) vetoed AB314, legislation proposing that all public-sector employers in the state grant union representatives paid time off, known as release time, for union activities.
 
What does the bill propose? If enacted, AB314 would repeal existing release time provisions in the state’s various public-sector labor laws and replace them with the following uniform requirements:
  • Public employers would be required to grant “a reasonable number of employee representatives of the exclusive representative reasonable time off without loss of compensation or other benefits for specified activities.”
  • Eligible activities would include investigating and processing grievance proceedings, negotiating with employers, testifying before the Public Employment Relations Board and other public bodies, and participating in new employee orientations.
 
Why did Newsom veto it? In his veto message, Newsom said, “Release time is certainly an important element in collective bargaining agreements, and I believe that employers and employees benefit when workers participate in labor relations. Yet, this bill is a one-size-fits-all approach. This issue is best left to the collective bargaining process so that governing authorities and public employee unions can best determine their priorities and needs at the bargaining table.”
 
What comes next? A two-thirds vote in each chamber of the state legislature (54 of the 80 Assembly members and 27 of the 40 Senators) is required to override the veto. AB314 initially passed the Senate by a vote of 27-11 and the Assembly by a vote of 64-12. Lawmakers have 60 days to act on the veto. California is a Democratic trifecta; Democrats control the governorship, 61 Assembly seats, and 29 Senate seats.
 
National context: AB314 is the fifth bill pertaining to public-sector union policy that has been vetoed this year. Newsom is the first Democratic governor to veto a public-sector labor relations bill approved by a Democratic legislature.
 
 


Mississippi State House elections to take place Nov. 5

This year, all 122 seats in the Mississippi House are on the ballot. The primary was held on August 6, and the general election is scheduled for November 5. A primary runoff was held on August 27 for those districts where no candidate received at least 50 percent of the vote in the primary. The candidate filing deadline passed on March 1, 2019.
 
Heading into the election, the Republican Party holds a majority in the Mississippi House. Democrats occupy 44 seats, Republicans occupy 74 seats, independents occupy two seats, and the final two seats are vacant.
 
After the filing deadline, 224 candidates ran in the primary. Of these, 99 were Democrats, 124 were Republicans, and one was a Libertarian. Overall, 45% of incumbents filed for re-election, and 56 of the 122 races are uncontested after only one candidate filed.
 
Mississippi last held elections for its House of Representatives on November 3, 2015. Republicans gained seven seats and maintained control of the chamber. At the time, House Republicans went from a 67-55 majority to a 74-48 majority.
 
The Mississippi House of Representatives is one of seven state legislative chambers holding elections in 2019. The remaining states holding regular legislative elections are: Louisiana, New Jersey, and Virginia. There are 99 legislative chambers throughout the country.
 
 


Control of the Virginia General Assembly at stake on November 5

On November 5, 2019, all 40 seats in the Virginia State Senate and all 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates are up for election. Republicans hold two-seat majorities in each chamber. Legislators elected this fall will serve through the 2020 redistricting process.
 
Current Governor Ralph Northam is a Democrat. Congressional and state legislative district boundaries are set by the Virginia General Assembly and are subject to veto by the governor. If Democrats win majorities in both chambers, they will hold a Democratic trifecta during the redistricting process. If Republicans retain a majority in at least one chamber, Virginia will remain under divided government.
 
Republicans have a 21-19 majority in the Virginia State Senate. Northam won 25 of the 40 senate districts during his 2017 campaign, including six Republican-held districts. His opponent, Ed Gillespie, did not win any Democrat-held districts. Ballotpedia is tracking seven battleground districts, of which Democrats hold one and Republicans hold six.
 
Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the Virginia House of Delegates. Democrats flipped 15 seats in the 2017 elections—their largest gains in the chamber since 1899. In addition to the 49 seats Democrats won in the 2017 elections, there are an additional 11 districts Northam won in 2017 that have a Republican incumbent heading into this election. Ballotpedia is tracking 27 battleground races in the chamber: 11 Democratic seats and 16 Republican seats.
 
Additional reading:


Oct. 31 is the deadline for Maine voters to request an absentee ballot for Nov. 5 referendum election

October 31 is the final regular day for voters in Maine to request absentee ballots or vote absentee in-person before the November 5 referendum election. (Voters remain eligible to request an absentee ballot after that date if they meet one of four special circumstances.) Any registered voter may cast an absentee ballot in the state before the deadline.
 
Maine voters will decide two statewide ballot measures. Question 1 would authorize $105 million in general obligation bonds for transportation infrastructure projects. Question 2 would amend the state constitution to allow persons with physical disabilities to use alternative signatures on petitions for citizen initiatives and veto referendums. Both measures were put on the ballot by the state legislature.
 


Cameron, Stumbo face off in Kentucky attorney general race

Kentucky voters will choose a new attorney general Nov. 5, with Daniel Cameron (R) and Gregory Stumbo (D) vying for the office. 

Democrats have controlled the AG office in Kentucky since 1952. The state’s election history suggests this year’s contest will be competitive.

The AG position is open, as incumbent Andy Beshear is the Democratic nominee challenging incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in the gubernatorial race.

The 2015 attorney general race was decided by a margin of 0.2 percentage points—50.1% to 49.9%. Beshear defeated Whitney Westerfield (R) by 2,194 votes. In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump (R) won Kentucky with 62.5% of the vote. Trump endorsed Cameron on July 29, 2019.

The race has attracted at least $5.75 million in spending from satellite groups—$3.25 million from the Republican Attorneys General Association supporting Cameron, and $2.5 million from the Democratic Attorneys General Association supporting Stumbo.

The attorney general election is occurring alongside Kentucky’s gubernatorial and secretary of state elections, meaning either party could gain triplex control in 2019. Kentucky is one of nine states where the governor and the attorney general are not from the same party, creating divided triplex control among Kentucky’s executives.

Additional reading:


Absentee ballot request deadline in Texas is Oct. 25

According to the Texas Secretary of State’s office, an eligible voter may apply to vote by mail if his or her application is received by the early voting clerk by Oct. 25. To vote by mail in Texas, you must be at least 65 years old, disabled, out of the country, or in jail.
 
Texas is holding elections for the following offices, in addition to other elections beyond Ballotpedia’s coverage scope. Of the following races, Ballotpedia has designated the Houston mayoral election and Houston Independent School District elections as battleground races.
 
State legislative elections (special)
  • Texas House of Representatives District 28
  • Texas House of Representatives District 100
  • Texas House of Representatives District 148
 
Local elections within Ballotpedia’s coverage scope
  • Counties
    • Bexar County
    • Harris County
  • Cities
    • El Paso (special)
    • Houston (including mayor)
  • School boards
    • Aldine Independent School District
    • Alief Independent School District
    • Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District
    • Houston Independent School District
    • Klein Independent School District
    • Lake Worth Independent School District
    • Richardson Independent School District
    • Spring Independent School District
 
Incumbent Sylvester Turner and 11 challengers will compete in the general election for mayor of Houston, Texas. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two general election candidates will participate in a runoff election on December 14, 2019.
 
Four out of nine seats on the Houston Independent School District (HISD) school board are up for general election. The HISD school board faces the possibility of being replaced by a state-appointed board of managers. If appointed, the board of managers would assume the responsibilities of the elected board, while elected trustees would not have any power until they were reinstated.
 
Texas voters will also decide 10 constitutional amendments put on the ballot by the state legislature. Measures concern taxes, bonds, budgets, law enforcement animals, and municipal governance. Proposition 4 would prohibit the state from levying an income tax on individuals. Ballots will also feature a variety of local measures. Local measures in Irving, El Paso, Harris County, Arlington and Tarrant County, and Austin and Travis County fall within Ballotpedia’s coverage scope for 2019.
 


New Jersey deadline to request absentee ballot by mail is Oct. 29; in-person request available through Nov. 4

October 29 is the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by mail in New Jersey. However, voters have until November 4 at 3 p.m. to apply in-person for a mail-in ballot at their county clerk’s office—known as in-person absentee voting—and submit the ballot in person. The deadline to return an absentee ballot is November 5 at 8 p.m.
 
New Jersey is holding the following elections, in addition to other elections beyond Ballotpedia’s coverage scope:
 
  • 80 seats in the New Jersey General Assembly
  • One special election for New Jersey State Senate District 1
  • County register and county board of chosen freeholders in Essex County
  • County executive, county sheriff, and county surrogate in Hudson County
  • School board elections in Jersey City Public Schools
 
New Jersey voters will also decide a legislatively referred constitutional amendment—Public Question 1—that would extend an existing $250 property tax deduction that veterans receive to continuing care retirement centers on behalf of the veterans living there and require the retirement centers to pass the value of the deduction on to veterans in the form of credits or payments.
 
Jersey City voters will also vote on Municipal Question 1, a veto referendum concerning short-term rental property regulations and permit requirements.
 


Kansas deadline to request absentee ballot is Oct. 29

Kansas voters wishing to cast an absentee ballot in the Nov. 5 election must apply for an absentee ballot by Oct. 29.
 
The Kansas Secretary of State’s office says absentee ballots, also known as advance ballots, “must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received in the county election office no later than three days after the election. Advance ballots may be hand-delivered to the county election office or to any polling place within the county by close of polls.”
 
Kansas is holding elections for the following, in addition to other elections beyond Ballotpedia’s coverage scope:
 
  • 19 school board seats in five school districts
  • Three of six seats on the Wichita City Council
  • Mayor of Wichita
  • One statewide ballot measure
 
The school districts holding elections are:
 
  • Circle USD 375
  • Goddard USD 265
  • Haysville USD 261
  • Maize USD 266
  • Wichita Public Schools
 
Three of the Wichita public school district’s seven board seats are up for election. In the other districts, four out of seven school board seats are up for election in each district.
 
Kansas is also voting on a legislatively referred constitutional amendment, Senate Concurrent Resolution 1605. The amendment would end the state’s practice of adjusting the U.S. Census population regarding military personnel and students when redistricting the Kansas State Legislature.
 


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