Latest stories

Learn the voter registration deadlines for upcoming statewide elections in Kentucky, New Jersey, Virginia, and Wisconsin

Four states are holding statewide general or primary elections in the first six months of 2019. Below are the elections on the ballot and voter registration deadlines in each state.
 
  • Kentucky is holding primaries for governor and five other statewide executive offices on May 21.
    • Voters must submit their registration application 28 days before the primary, which is April 23.
  • New Jersey will hold elections in 2019 for all 80 seats in the state’s general assembly; primary elections are on June 4.
    • The voter registration deadline is 21 days prior to the election, or May 14.
  • Virginia is holding elections this year for all seats in both houses of the state legislature; the primary takes place on June 11.
    • The deadline to register to vote is 22 days ahead of the election, or May 20.
  • Wisconsin will hold spring elections for one seat on the state supreme court, as well as certain appeals and circuit court judges, on April 2.
    • The deadline for registering online is March 13. Voter registration forms which are mailed must be postmarked by March 14. In-person registration must be completed by 5 p.m. on March 29. Voters can register on Election Day at their polling place.
 
More information about requirements for registering to vote in every state can be found here.


Kentucky governor announces re-election campaign with new running mate

Incumbent Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) announced on Friday that he is seeking re-election. He will not be running with current Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton, however, as Bevin opted to make State Sen. Ralph Alvarado his running mate. So far, the only other announced Republican in the race is State Rep. Robert Goforth (R), whose running mate is Lawrence County attorney Mike Hogan.
 
U.S. Rep. James Comer (R), who lost the 2015 gubernatorial primary to Bevin by less than 100 votes, had previously announced he’d run for the office again if Bevin chose not to.
 
Bevin was first elected as governor in 2015, defeating his opponent 53-44 to become only the second Republican to hold the post since 1971.
 
On the Democratic side, Kentucky House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins (D), state Attorney General Andy Beshear (D), former state Auditor Adam Edelen (D), and retired engineer Geoff Young (D) have already filed to run.
 
The full candidate field will be finalized after the filing deadline on January 29.
 
Both party primaries will take place on May 21, and the general election is November 5. Two other states, Louisiana and Mississippi, are also holding gubernatorial elections this year.


Nevada becomes a Democratic trifecta in 2019

When Steve Sisolak (D) was sworn in as Nevada’s governor on Monday, January 7, the state became a new Democratic trifecta.
 
A trifecta is a state where one political party holds the governorship, a majority in the state senate, and a majority in the state house.
 
In 2018, Sisolak won the governor’s office that had been held by Republican Brian Sandoval. Democrats also kept control of the state Assembly and Senate. They currently hold a 27-13 majority in the state Assembly (with two vacancies) and a 13-8 majority in the state Senate.
 
Besides Nevada, five other states became Democratic trifectas as a result of the 2018 elections: Colorado, Illinois, Maine, New Mexico, and New York.


North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) expected to appoint new state election board this week; NC-09 election results remain uncertified

A revamped North Carolina State Board of Elections is expected to go into effect on or after January 31, 2019, following the dissolution of the old board last month.
 
Gov. Roy Cooper (D) will appoint three Democrats and two Republicans to the board from a list of nominees provided by each state party. Democratic nominees include three former members of the state board—Stella Anderson, Bob Cordle, and Valerie Johnson—and former Wake County election board member Greg Flynn.
 
Republicans have put forward former state board member Stacy Eggers, former Wake County board member Eddie Woodhouse, Buck Newton, and Francis De Luca.
 
While there is no board in place now, the results of North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District election are still pending as the board’s professional staff continues to investigate alleged election fraud. On January 22, Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway denied Mark Harris’ request to certify the election results, saying it would be inappropriate for him to order certification while there was a pending investigation.


Los Angeles County vote-by-mail ballots sent February 5 for March 5 election

Five cities in Los Angeles County—Glendora, Huntington Park, Manhattan Beach, Signal Hill, and West Hollywood—will hold elections on March 5, 2019. Vote-by-mail ballots are scheduled to be mailed to voters on Tuesday, February 5. Registered voters may apply for a vote-by-mail ballot between February 5 and February 26. All ballots must be received by the registrar-recorder/county clerk’s office or dropped off at a polling location by 8:00 p.m. on election day.
 
Voters will decide seven measures in different jurisdictions within Los Angeles County. One measure on the ballot in West Hollywood will decide whether a London Arts Club development project moves forward on property owned by actress Gwyneth Paltrow. The measure was put on the ballot by a veto referendum petition backed by Unite Here Local 11, which opposes the project. Voters will also decide on a marijuana tax, a hotel tax, a sales tax, the location of a new Costco store, and the consolidation of local and statewide elections. One measure concerning the private lease of a medical center is also on the ballot for certain local voters within Fresno County.
 
March 5 also features a Los Angeles Unified School District board member election to fill a vacancy and a Fresno County Board of Supervisors election.


Proponents of transportation sales tax seek dismissal of Hillsborough County commissioner’s lawsuit against the measure

The group, All for Transportation, that sponsored a transportation sales tax measure in Hillsborough County, Florida, has filed a motion requesting dismissal of a lawsuit against the measure.
 
Referendum 2 was approved in November 2018 by 57 percent of voters, authorizing the county to raise the sales tax rate from 7 percent to 8 percent for 30 years. The group All for Transportation led the initiative petition campaign to place the sales tax on the ballot, collecting 50,709 valid signatures. The 1 percent sales tax was designed to fund transportation improvements in the county, including projects to improve roads and to expand public transit.
 
On December 4, 2018, Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White filed a lawsuit challenging the transportation sales tax. White argued that the sales tax was unlawfully designed to create a non-elected oversight committee and to allocate funds without a vote of the county commission. On January 24, 2019, All for Transportation filed a motion in Hillsborough County Court requesting that the lawsuit be dismissed, stating that White did not have legal standing due to his official capacity as a commissioner.
 
Voters in Hillsborough County voted on two sales tax measures in November 2018, approving both of them. One was the All for Transportation sales tax citizen initiative. The other was put on the ballot by the county commissioners and increased the sales tax rate by an additional 0.5 percentage points to fund public school improvements and construction.


Albuquerque Public School district voters to decide property taxes and bond issue on February 5

Two property tax measures and a bond issue are on the ballot in the Albuquerque Public Schools district for the mail-in election that concludes Tuesday.
 
Ballots for the mail-in election must be received by elections officials by 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5. They may be mailed to or dropped off at the Bernalillo County Clerk’s office, or they may be dropped off at the county clerk’s office warehouse.
 
District officials estimated that approval of all three measures would provide $900 million in funding over the next six years.
 
Question 1 asks voters if they wish to renew the capital improvements property tax for the district at the existing rate of $2 for every $1,000 in property value. Funds for this measure are earmarked for maintaining public school facilities and purchasing equipment and technology.
 
Question 2 asks voters if they wish to increase the public school buildings property tax from $3.83 to $4.83 per $1,000 in residential property value and to $5.34 per $1,000 in non-residential property value. Funds from the tax are earmarked for constructing, furnishing, and making payments on buildings and for technology and equipment purchases.
 
Question 3 asks voters if the district should be authorized to issue up to $200 million in bonds at a tax rate of $1 per $1,000 in residential property value. Funds would be earmarked for buildings, school grounds, technology, and matching funds for capital outlay projects.
 
If all three measures are approved, taxpayers will see a total increase of $2 per $1,000 in assessed property value. If all three measures are defeated, taxpayers will see a decrease in their property tax rate of $2 per $1,000 in assessed property value.


Implementation of occupancy limits for vacation home rentals delayed in South Lake Tahoe, California

After a temporary injunction delayed implementation of new occupancy limits for vacation home rentals (VHRs) in South Lake Tahoe, California, the city has agreed to continue to delay the occupancy limits that were approved under Measure T.
 
Voters passed Measure T with 50.42 percent approval on November 6, 2018. The measure was designed to place restrictions on vacation home rentals in the city’s residential zones. On December 18, 2018, the South Lake Tahoe Property Owner’s Group filed a lawsuit against the city to block implementation of the measure. Judge Thomas A. Smith of El Dorado County placed a temporary injunction on one of the measure’s provisions, a rule that would have limited occupancy of VHRs to 12 occupants. The injunction ended on January 24, 2019; however, the city reached an agreement with the plaintiffs to continue to delay the occupancy rules while Measure T is under judicial review.
 
Measure T was designed to allow vacation home rentals in the city’s commercial zones and to eliminate VHRs in residential zones unless they are operated by a permanent resident by December 31, 2021.


Trio of southern states holding gubernatorial elections in 2019

Only three states—Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi—are holding elections for governor in 2019. In 2018, elections for governor were held in 36 states. Republicans won 20 of the 36 seats up for election, and Democrats won the other 16. Out of all the state executive offices, only the governor is elected in all 50 states. The last gubernatorial elections in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi were held in 2015.
 
In Kentucky, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin is running for re-election to a second term. He announced on January 25 that his lieutenant gubernatorial running mate in the 2019 election would be state Sen. Ralph Alvarado instead of his current lieutenant governor, Jenean Hampton. The candidate filing deadline is January 29, the primary is on May 21, and the general election is on November 5.
 
In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is also up for re-election to his second term. He announced on January 22 that he would file for re-election. The candidate filing deadline is August 8, the primary is on October 12, and the general election is on November 16.
 
In Mississippi, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant is prevented by term limits from seeking re-election, which leaves the seat open to a newcomer. The candidate filing deadline is March 1, the primary is on August 6, and the general election is on November 5.


Filing deadline passed for Atlanta special election

The filing deadline for the District 3 city council special election in Atlanta passed on January 25 at 4:30 p.m. The general election is on March 19, and a runoff election will be held on April 16 if no candidate receives a majority of the votes. Ten candidates filed to run.
 
The election was called after Ivory Lee Young Jr. died in November 2018 while in office. He was first elected in 2001 and most recently re-elected in 2017 with 67 percent of the vote. The winner of the special election will serve the remainder of Young’s four-year term, which ends in 2021. To qualify, candidates had to live in District 3 and either pay a qualifying fee of $1,809 or file a qualifying petition and Pauper’s Affidavit.
 
Atlanta held city elections in 2017 for mayor, city council president, all 15 seats on the city council, and 10 city judges. Atlanta is the largest city in Georgia and the 39th-largest city in the U.S. by population.


Bitnami