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D.C. Circuit declines to rehear case challenging Trump’s civil service executive orders; injunction set to be lifted

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit declined a rehearing request before the full court on Wednesday in a case challenging President Donald Trump’s (R) three civil service executive orders. Unless plaintiffs appeal the case further, the court’s decision could wrap up over a year of litigation and lift an injunction that has prevented the Trump administration from implementing provisions of the executive orders related to the use of union official time.
 
President Trump issued the civil service executive orders (E.O. 13837, E.O. 13836, and E.O.13839) in May 2018. The orders include proposals aimed at facilitating the removal of poor-performing federal employees and streamlining collective bargaining procedures. Union groups, including the American Federation of Government Employees, the National Treasury Employees Union, and 13 smaller unions, filed suit to prevent the orders from taking effect.
 
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued an injunction in August 2018 blocking Trump administration officials from implementing nine provisions of the executive orders that she claimed unlawfully restricted the use of union official time. A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed Jackson’s ruling in July, holding that the lower court did not have jurisdiction and that the plaintiffs should have brought their case before the Federal Labor Relations Authority as required by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
 
The plaintiffs requested a rehearing _en banc_ before the full D.C. Circuit in August, but the court denied the request on Wednesday without providing a rationale for its decision. As a result, the injunction blocking provisions of the executive orders from taking effect is set to be lifted by October 2, 2019.
 
Additional reading:


Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: September 21-27, 2019

 Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing

Every weekday, Ballotpedia tracks the events that matter in the 2020 presidential election. 

Now, we’re bringing you the highlights from our daily briefings in a weekly format so you can stay up-to-date on the 2020 election with one weekly email.   

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

Candidates by the Number

 

There are 12 new candidates running since last week, including two Democrats, two Republicans, and one Libertarian. In total, 876 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Notable Quotes of the Week

“It’s a national primary based on the worst foundation: Name identification and money. And we’re supposed to be the party of ideas.”

– Dave Nagle, former U.S. representative from Iowa

“When I hear the critique that our grassroots fundraising threshold catalyzed perverse behavior, with all due respect, we gave candidates unprecedented access to earned media, not just through the debates and the low threshold for getting on the debates, but we worked with CNN and MSNBC — don’t just do a town hall with the perceived front-runners, give everybody a shot.”

– Tom Perez, Democratic National Committee chairman

“For Democrats running for president, breaking through on healthcare or the economy just got a lot tougher. Impeachment will be the dominant topic for a long time.”

– Doug Heye, Republican strategist

Week in Review

2020 Dems shift on impeachment on same day as inquiry announcement

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump Tuesday, following allegations that Trump requested the Ukranian government investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, in exchange for aid. Trump denied the allegations and called the inquiry “the worst witch hunt in political history.”

On the same day, Michael BennetJohn DelaneyMarianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang announced they supported starting impeachment proceedings. For a list of candidates who earlier expressed support for impeachment proceedings, click here.

Biden and Steve Bullock gave conditional support for impeachment proceedings if Trump did not comply with congressional requests for information.

Tulsi Gabbard continued to oppose impeachment. She said, “I believe that impeachment at this juncture would be terribly divisive for the country at a time when we are already extremely divided.”

Trump raised $13 million following the impeachment inquiry announcement through email campaigns and two fundraisers.

Debate criteria for November announced with new polling option

The Democratic National Committee released the criteria for the November presidential primary debate.

A candidate now has two ways to meet the polling threshold—by reaching 3 percent support in at least four early state or national polls or 5 percent support in two early state polls.

To qualify, a candidate must also receive contributions from 165,000 unique donors and 600 unique donors per state.

With the eligible polling period beginning Sept. 13, only five candidates have qualified so far: Joe BidenPete ButtigiegKamala HarrisBernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.

October debate will be held on one day, Gabbard qualifies for 12th spot on stage

The Democratic National Committee announced Friday that the October presidential primary debate will take place on one day, rather than over two days as expected. It will be held on October 15, 2019, in Westerville, Ohio.

Tulsi Gabbard reached 2 percent support in a New Hampshire poll released Tuesday, giving her the final poll necessary to qualify for the debate. That brings the total number of candidates qualified for October’s debate to 12.

Alaska GOP cancels PPP

The Alaska Republican Party canceled its presidential preference poll Saturday, saying in a statement that it “would serve no useful purpose when we have an incumbent Republican president, such as President Trump, running for the Republican nomination for President.”

Republican parties in ArizonaKansasNevada, and South Carolina previously voted to not hold caucuses or primaries.

Odds and ends on the campaign trail

  • Pete Buttigieg will expand his presence in Nevada with 10 open offices by mid-October, more than any other candidate. He also hired Travis Brock as the campaign’s national director for caucuses and Juan Carlos Perez as national Latino engagement director.
  • Bernie Sanders proposed a wealth tax Tuesday that would progressively tax households on any net worth over $32 million. Eight wealth tax brackets would exist, ranging from 1 percent to 8 percent.
  • Tom Steyer is airing a new ad calling for congressional term limits in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.
  • The Elizabeth Warren campaign released a memo on its planned ad strategy, which calls for spending $10 million on television and digital ads in the fall. The targeted states include Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.
  • Great America PAC spent six figures on an ad calling for an investigation into Joe Biden’s role in the firing of a Ukranian prosecutor. It began airing Wednesday on Fox News and online.
  • Joe Walsh and Bill Weld debated Tuesday during an event hosted by Business Insider. The debate was not sanctioned by the Republican Party.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Each week, we highlight a presidential candidate’s key campaign staffer.

Chuck Rocha is a campaign strategist with experience in union and advocacy group campaigning. Rocha founded Solidarity Strategies in 2010.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, advisor

Other experience:

  • 2010-Present: Solidarity Strategies, owner and president
  • 2012-2016: Center for National Policy, fellow
  • 2004-2011: Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, executive board member
  • 2000-2011: Labor Council of Latin American Advancement, executive board member
  • 2009-2010: Blue-Green Alliance, political director
  • 1998-2009: United Steelworkers, political director

What he’s said about Sanders: “In the tumultuous times we live in, people are looking for a rock in a river. Bernie Sanders has been that stalwart rock.”

What We’re Reading

Flashback: September 23-27, 2015

  • September 23, 2015: The Commission on Presidential Debates announced the dates for the three general election presidential debates in 2016.
  • September 24, 2015: Donald Trump said in an interview that he did not believe in climate change and that regulations addressing climate change would “imperil the companies in our country.”
  • September 25, 2015: Draft Biden hired paid staff in 11 states holding primaries on Super Tuesday in preparation for a possible presidential run by Joe Biden.
  • September 26, 2015: Politico described Tim Scott as a potential kingmaker in South Carolina and interviewed him about the 2016 presidential field.
  • September 27, 2015: 60 Minutes aired an interview with Donald Trump where he discussed his tax proposal.

Trivia

What was the first presidential election held on the same day in every state?



Appeals court ruling paves way for civil service changes

 The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Friday, September 27, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Appeals court ruling paves way for Trump Administration’s civil service changes to take effect
  2. Climate action plans at the city level
  3. What’s the Tea?

Appeals court ruling paves way for Trump Administration’s civil service changes to take effect

Government policy often goes through many steps before it takes effect. Here’s a timeline of an example at the federal level showing that: 

  • May 25, 2018: President Trump issued three executive orders—E.O. 13837, E.O. 13836, and E.O.13839—regarding the civil service. The orders include proposals aimed at facilitating the removal of poor-performing federal employees and streamlining collective bargaining procedures. 
  • May 30, 2018: A group of unions—including the American Federation of Government Employees, the National Treasury Employees Union, and 13 smaller unions—filed suit to prevent the orders from taking effect. The lawsuit claims that the executive orders conflict with certain collective bargaining provisions of the Civil Service Reform Act and prevent unions from performing their statutorily-required representational duties.
  • August 25, 2018: A federal district judge—Ketanji Brown Jackson—issued an injunction blocking Trump administration officials from implementing nine provisions of the executive orders that she claimed unlawfully restricted the use of union official time. Jackson was appointed to the court by then-President Barack Obama in 2013.
  • July 16, 2019: A three-judge D.C. Court of Appeals panel reversed Jackson’s ruling, holding that the lower court did not have jurisdiction and that the plaintiffs should have brought their case before the Federal Labor Relations Authority as required by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.
  • August 30, 2019: The plaintiffs requested a rehearing en banc before the full D.C. Circuit.
  • September 25, 2019: The full D.C. Court of Appeals declined to hear the case without providing a rationale for its decision. 

The appeals court decision means that—unless the plaintiffs petition the Supreme Court to hear the case—Justice Jackson’s injunction blocking provisions of the executive orders from taking effect will be lifted by October 2. After the orders take effect, unions that wanted to challenge any provisions would have to do so before the Federal Labor Relations Authority—a federal agency that regulates and administers collective bargaining agreements between the federal government and some civilian employees.

Learn more about these executive orders

Climate action plans at the city level 

Half of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. by population have adopted local climate action plans. Such plans include goals like reducing greenhouse gas emissions from municipal operations and increasing renewable energy use.  

Supporters say they are important for addressing climate change and promoting public health. Opponents say that such plans increase living costs and cause economic harm. 

Twenty-three of these 25 cities with climate action plans currently have Democratic mayors, and two cities—Miami and San Diego—have Republican mayors.

Seven of the top 10 largest cities in the country have adopted climate action plans—New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, and San Jose, California. Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas are the largest cities without climate action plans, although all three have plans in progress.

Learn more→

What's the tea?

U.S. Representative Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) resigned from Congress earlier this week—on September 23—citing a desire to take a break from public service to support his wife and family. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) scheduled the special election to fill that vacancy on January 27, 2020, with primaries to be held December 30, 2019.

Special elections to Congress occur when a legislator resigns or is removed from office. Depending on the specific state laws governing vacancies, a state can either hold an election within the same calendar year or wait until the next regularly scheduled election. Twenty-five states fill vacancies in the state legislature through special elections. 

Have you ever voted in a special election?



Trump raises $13 million this week

 Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

September 27, 2019: Donald Trump raised $13 million this week through fundraising emails and two fundraisers. Pete Buttigieg will expand his presence in Nevada with 10 open offices by mid-October, more than any other candidate.

Each Friday, we’ll highlight a presidential candidate’s key campaign staffer.

Daily Presidential News Briefing - Staffer Spotlight - Chuck Rocha

 

Chuck Rocha is a campaign strategist with experience in union and advocacy group campaigning. Rocha founded Solidarity Strategies in 2010.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, advisor

Other experience:

  • 2010-Present: Solidarity Strategies, owner and president
  • 2012-2016: Center for National Policy, fellow
  • 2004-2011: Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, executive board member
  • 2000-2011: Labor Council of Latin American Advancement, executive board member
  • 2009-2010: Blue-Green Alliance, political director
  • 1998-2009: United Steelworkers, political director

What he’s said about Sanders:

“In the tumultuous times we live in, people are looking for a rock in a river. Bernie Sanders has been that stalwart rock.”

Notable Quote of the Day

“The likelihood that Trump submits himself to three-hour, televised sparring matches with the Democratic nominee, no matter who it is, is slim to none in my opinion.

Here’s why.

For one, he doesn’t have to. It’s not required of presidential candidates, though perhaps it should be.

Numerous candidates have skipped primary debates, and some have even passed in the general. Lyndon B. Johnson refused to debate Barry Goldwater in 1964 and Richard Nixon wouldn’t participate in 1968 or 1972 debates.”

– S.E. Cupp, CNN host and political commentator

Democrats

  • Michael BennetPete ButtigiegJulián CastroAmy Klobuchar, and Beto O’Rourke will each participate in an hour-long interview at the Texas Tribune Festival this weekend.
  • Castro and Klobuchar will also speak at the Voto Latino Power Summit in Austin Saturday.
  • In an interview with Politico Thursday, Bennet said presidents’ and vice presidents’ children should not have foreign business dealings or give corporate speeches.
  • Joe Biden will hold a community event in Las Vegas Friday.
  • Buttigieg will expand his presence in Nevada with 10 open offices by mid-October, more than any other candidate. He also hired Travis Brock as the campaign’s national director for caucuses and Juan Carlos Perez as national Latino engagement director.
  • Castro said Thursday he would end his campaign if he did not qualify for the November primary debate.
  • John Delaney will attend six events in Iowa Saturday and Sunday, including the Harry Hopkins Dinner in Sioux City. 
  • Tulsi Gabbard will host town halls throughout Iowa from Saturday through Monday.
  • Kamala Harris will campaign in Seattle Friday and San Francisco Saturday.
  • Radio Atlantic posted a podcast with Klobuchar on the impeachment inquiry, Brett Kavanaugh, and her presidential campaign.
  • Washington Examiner interviewed Tim Ryan about his presidential campaign and the commonalities he finds between the Rust Belt and urban areas.
  • Bernie Sanders will campaign in New Hampshire Sunday with stops at three colleges.
  • Joe Sestak will speak at the Latino Heritage Festival Soapbox Saturday in Iowa.
  • Tom Steyer is joining UAW members on the picket line in Reno Friday and attending two events in the city Saturday.
  • Elizabeth Warren will hold town halls in New Hampshire Friday and South Carolina Saturday.
  • Marianne Williamson continues her Nevada visit with a town hall in Las Vegas Friday.
  • In an interview on The View Thursday, Andrew Yang discussed his campaign and denied a claim that he fired a former employee because she was married.

Republicans

  • Donald Trump raised $13 million this week through fundraising emails following the impeachment inquiry announcement and two fundraisers on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • In an interview on Reason PodcastJoe Walsh discussed the Tea Party, libertarianism, and his prior support for Trump.
  • Bill Weld appeared at the Texas Tribune Festival Thursday.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: September 27, 2015

60 Minutes aired an interview with Donald Trump where he discussed his tax proposal.



Contributions for and against San Francisco Proposition C surpass $13 million

San Francisco voters will head to the polls on November 5 to decide on six ballot measures, including Proposition C. Prop. C proposes to authorize and regulate the sale of electronic cigarettes. Jennifer Hochstatter, the vice president of supply and demand planning for Juul Labs, filed the successful initiative petition. Juul Labs, headquartered in San Francisco, accounts for over 70 percent of the e-cigarette market in the United States.
 
Juul, which contributed an initial $4 million in loans to the Yes on C: Stop Youth Vaping campaign, gave an additional $7 million in cash contributions on Monday, September 23. The Coalition for Reasonable Vaping Regulation, which is leading the Yes on C: Stop Youth Vaping campaign, reported a total of $11.5 million in cash and in-kind contributions and $4.2 million in cash expenditures through September 25.
 
No on C, San Francisco Kids vs. Big Tobacco is leading the opposition campaign. It reported a total of $2.2 million in contributions through September 25. Michael Bloomberg is the top donor with a total of cash and in-kind contributions of $1.6 million. Bloomberg voiced his opposition to e-cigarettes in a New York Times op-ed, where he argued, “Banning flavored e-cigarettes is the most important thing we can do to reduce use among young people.” On September 10, Bloomberg also announced that his charity, Bloomberg Philanthropies, was launching a $160 million program to combat youth vaping.
 
Other top donors to the opposition campaign include Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.; the American Heart Association; and Arthur Rock.
 
Proposition C would overturn a 2019 law passed by the board of supervisors that prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes that have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration; no e-cigarette manufacturers have completed the FDA review to date. Proposition C would also enact additional age-verification requirements for vaping product sales, enact rules governing the advertisement of vapor products with regard to minors, and require additional licensing and permitting for businesses selling vapor products.
 
Proposition C is a citizen-initiated measure that required at least 9,485 valid signatures to be certified for the ballot. In San Francisco, an initiative petition proposing a change to city ordinances requires signatures equal to at least 5 percent of the votes cast in the last mayoral election to qualify for the ballot.
 
In November 2018, San Francisco voters also decided five propositions. A combined total of about $13.3 million was contributed in support of and opposition to all five propositions last year. The most expensive measure in November 2018 (also named Proposition C) spurred about $10.9 million in campaign contributions.
 


Citizen voting initiative certified to appear on Florida’s 2020 ballot

On Sept. 19, the Florida Division of Elections reported that the Citizen Requirement for Voting Initiative had qualified for the November 2020 ballot. The measure is sponsored by Florida Citizen Voters and has the support of the national Citizen Voters Inc. Florida Citizen Voters submitted 927,662 valid signatures. To qualify the measure for the ballot, 766,200 valid signatures were required. The measure was originally Initiative #18-14 and will appear on the ballot as Amendment 1.
 
This measure would amend the Florida Constitution to state that only citizens of the United States are qualified electors in Florida.
 
Currently, the state constitution reads: “Every citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.”
 
Under the amendment, that constitutional provision would read: “Only a citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.”
 
According to the most recent campaign finance reports available, Florida Citizen Voters reported $2.45 million in cash contributions and $5.84 million in in-kind contributions, all from Citizen Voters, Inc. Between January and July 2019, Florida Citizen Voters reported cash and in-kind expenditures paid to the petition gathering company Let the Voters Decide totaling $7.86 million.
 
A similar amendment is certified to appear on the ballot in Alabama in 2020. Similar initiatives targeting the 2020 ballot were also filed in Colorado and Maine.
 
Voters in North Dakota approved the same proposal, Measure 2, in 2018. The measure amended the North Dakota Constitution to state that “only a citizen” rather than “every citizen” of the U.S. can vote in federal, state, and local elections. Measure 2 was approved by a vote of 66% to 34%.
 
Citizenship is a requirement for voting in most elections in the U.S. Voters in San Francisco approved a measure, Proposition N, in 2016 which allowed non-citizens to register to vote in school board elections. New York City allowed non-citizens to vote in local school board elections from 1968 to 2003 until the city abolished elected school boards. As of 2019, 11 cities in Maryland, including Hyattsville, Mount Rainier, and Takoma Park allowed non-citizens to vote. Chicago has allowed non-citizens to vote and serve on its school councils since 1989.
 
All state constitutions mention United States citizenship when discussing the qualifications of an elector. Twenty-one (21) states use the specific phrase “Every citizen of the United States…” when discussing who is a qualified elector. An additional 16 states use the word “every” but structure the sentence differently. Six states use the word “all” or “any” when discussing citizenship and suffrage. Six other states have some other way of phrasing the sentence. As of June 2019, North Dakota was the only state to use the phrase “Only a citizen of the United States…” after having changed it from “every” via a constitutional amendment in 2018.
 
 
Map key:
Purple: “Only a citizen of the United States…”
Dark green: “Every citizen of the United States…”
Light green: Uses the term “every”
Dark blue: Uses the terms “any” or “all”
Grey: Unique language concerning citizenship and suffrage


Three open-seat Boston City Council races in November

Primaries took place for four at-large seats and four district seats on the 13-seat Boston City Council on September 24, 2019, in Massachusetts. The council’s other five seats are also on the ballot this year, but they did not hold primaries because two or fewer candidates filed per seat. The primary winners advanced to the general election on November 5.
 
  • At-large (four seats): All four at-large incumbents—Michael Flaherty, Althea Garrison, Annissa Essaibi George, and Michelle Wu—and challengers David Halbert, Julia Mejia, Erin Murphy, and Alejandra St. Guillen advanced from the 15-candidate primary. Eight candidates advanced from the primary because there are four at-large seats up for election, and two candidates advance per seat.
  • District 5: Ricardo Arroyo and Maria Esdale Farrell advanced from the eight-candidate primary. Incumbent Tim McCarthy did not run for re-election.
  • District 7: Incumbent Kim Janey and challenger Roy Owens defeated Valerie Hope Rust to advance from the primary.
  • District 8: Kenzie Bok and Jennifer Nassour advanced from the five-candidate primary. Incumbent Josh Zakim did not run for re-election.
  • District 9: Liz Breadon and Craig Cashman advanced from the seven-candidate primary. Incumbent Mark Ciommo did not run for re-election.
 
The five city council races not on the primary ballot were for Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. District 4 is scheduled to hold a contested general election between incumbent Andrea Campbell and challenger Jeff Durham in November. The incumbents in the other four seats—Lydia Edwards in District 1, Edward Flynn in District 2, Frank Baker in District 3, and Matt O’Malley in District 6—are all running unopposed for re-election.
 
Boston is the largest city in Massachusetts and the 24th-largest city in the U.S. by population.
 


Georgia school board recall effort makes it on to December ballot

A recall election seeking to remove Doris Black from her position on the Jackson-Madison County School System school board in Tennessee is scheduled for December 10, 2019. Black currently serves as the representative for District 4, Position 1. For the recall election to be successful, at least 66% of voters must vote in favor of the recall.
 
Black was targeted for recall along with District 2 representative Kevin Alexander due to allegations that they were too resistant to Superintendent Eric Jones and his plan for the district, according to district resident Robert Curlin. Alexander said that neither he nor Black had done anything unethical. Black said that she felt attacked by the recall effort against her.
 
Recall supporters had to collect approximately 1,151 signatures from residents of the school board’s District 4 to get Black’s recall on the ballot. That signature total was equal to 66% of the votes that Black received in the previous election. The recall effort against Alexander is still underway; petition signatures have not been submitted yet.
 
Residents of the district did not have the ability to recall board members legally until May 10, 2019, when House Bill 0983 was signed into law by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R).
 
In 2018, Ballotpedia covered a total of 206 recall efforts against 299 elected officials. Of the 123 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 77 were recalled for a rate of 62.6 percent. That was higher than the 56.9 percent rate and 56.3 percent rate for 2017 and 2016 recalls, respectively.
 


Florida voters to decide 2020 ballot measure regarding voter citizenship

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Thursday, September 26, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Florida voters to decide 2020 ballot measure requiring voter citizenship
  2. Local Roundup
  3. Quiz: Which state has hosted the most presidential debates?

Florida voters to decide 2020 ballot measure requiring voter citizenship

I hope you were able to join us yesterday for our webinar about 2020 ballot measures. ICYMI, here’s a link to the recording. One of the topics we discussed was whether voters in multiple states would decide constitutional amendments making citizenship a requirement to vote.  

The Florida Division of Elections reported September 19 that the Citizen Requirement for Voting Initiative—sponsored by Florida Citizen Voters—qualified for the 2020 ballot. This measure would amend the Florida Constitution to state that only citizens of the United States are qualified to vote.

The state constitution currently reads, “Every citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.” If approved, the ballot measure would change that section to state, “Only a citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.”

Voters in North Dakota approved a similar measure in 2018. That measure amended the North Dakota Constitution to state that “only a citizen” rather than “every citizen” of the U.S. can vote in federal, state, and local elections. It was approved by a vote of 66% to 34%. A similar amendment is certified to appear on the ballot in Alabama in 2020. 

Voters in San Francisco approved a measure—Proposition N—in 2016 which allowed non-citizens to register to vote in school board elections. New York City allowed noncitizens to vote in local school board elections from 1968 to 2003 until the city abolished elected school boards. Members of the New York City Board of Education are now appointed by the mayor and five borough presidents. As of 2019, 11 cities in Maryland, including Hyattsville, Mount Rainier, and Takoma Park allowed non-citizens to vote. 

All state constitutions mention United States citizenship when discussing voting qualifications. Here are five additional facts about statewide constitutions.

  • Twenty-one states use the specific phrase “Every citizen of the United States…” when discussing who is a qualified elector. 

  • An additional 16 states use the word “every” but structure the sentence differently. 

  • Six states use the word “all” or “any” when discussing citizenship and suffrage. 

  • Six other states have some other way of phrasing the sentence. 

  • North Dakota is currently the only state to use the phrase “Only a citizen of the United States…” after having changed it from “every” via Measure 2 in 2018.

The map below shows the specific language used in state constitutions regarding citizenship and voter qualification: 

Language regarding citizenship

Map key:

  • Purple: “Only a citizen of the United States…”
  • Dark green: “Every citizen of the United States…”
  • Light green: Uses the term “every”
  • Dark blue: Uses the terms “any” or “all”
  • Grey: Unique language concerning citizenship and suffrage
Learn more blank    blankblank   


Local Roundup 

At Ballotpedia, we provide election coverage of all officeholders in the nation’s 100 largest cities—including mayors, city council members, and other municipal officers. We also cover every election on the ballot in these cities, such as county officials and local ballot measures.

Here’s our weekly summary of the local news we’re covering. Email me to suggest some interesting local election coverage in your area—I’d love to hear about it!

Boston

Boston held primary elections September 24 in four of nine city council districts and for the four at-large seats on its 13-member city council. The top two finishers in each district race—and the top 8 finishers in the at-large race—advanced to the November 5 general election. 

All five incumbents who competed in the primary—the four at-large council members and District 7 councilwoman Kim Janey—advanced to the general election. In total, 10 of 13 incumbents are running for re-election and four incumbents are unopposed. In 2017, 10 incumbents sought re-election and all 10 won another term. In 2015, all 13 city council incumbents ran for re-election and two were defeated in the general election. 

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham voters will elect three city council members and decide three ballot measures on October 8. The three council races are special elections for seats that were vacated and filled through appointments in 2018 and 2019. In all three districts, the appointed members are running for a full term on the council. Thirteen candidates in total are running.

The three ballot measures are property tax measures to raise revenue for operations and debt service of Birmingham City Schools. The taxes were first collected in 1951 and are set to expire in September 2021. Approval of the measures would authorize the taxes for an additional 25 years. Birmingham City Schools reported that the tax revenue associated with these items is approximately $32 million per year, which is about 14 percent of the district’s budget.


#BallotTrivia

Which state has hosted the most presidential debates?  

Yesterday’s Brew included a story about the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has sponsored and organized every presidential and vice presidential general election debate since 1988. Our page on the Commission lists the date, location, and participants of those previous debates.

I don’t know if you noticed, but some states have hosted more debates than others. Which state has hosted the most presidential and vice presidential general election debates since 1988?


 



Great America PAC releases anti-Biden ad

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

September 26, 2019: Great America PAC spent six figures on an ad calling for an investigation into Joe Biden. Tom Steyer is airing a new ad on congressional term limits in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. blank    blankblank   


 Presidential poll highlights - Monmouth University (September 17-21, 2019)
Presidential poll highlights - Suffolk University/USA Today (September 19-23, 2019)

Notable Quote of the Day

“It is easy to forget that Democrats won back the majority in the House last year by pressing their case on issues that shape the everyday lives of families. With impeachment proceedings underway, there will be little oxygen left for any discussion of health care or infrastructure or college costs or anything beyond the question of Trump’s fitness for office. And if the investigation turns up anything short of a slam-dunk case to remove him, swing voters might punish a party they see as determined to overturn the result of the last presidential election.”

– Karen Tumulty, Washington Post

Democrats

Republicans


Special guest analysis

Jim Ellis is a 35-year political veteran who now analyzes election data for major corporations, associations, and legislative advocacy firms. He is president of EllisInsight, LLC. We invited him to share analysis on the presidential election.

Current polls are telling us that the Democratic presidential contest is evolving, at least during the present time, into a three-way contest among former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. But polling and popular votes are not the only elements involved in choosing a nominee. Delegate votes are the third leg of the presidential political stool, and just when one of the candidates will amass a convention vote majority is anyone’s guess.

To qualify for either state at-large or district delegates, a candidate must exceed a 15% popular vote threshold. 

In examining polls from a sample of 11 states (including Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, the four states that will vote first in February), only the three aforementioned candidates would qualify for convention votes.

To be nominated, a candidate must earn 1,885 first ballot delegate votes.  

According to current polling and the delegate formulas from the 11 states, Biden would establish a lead with an unofficial cumulative 40.2% of delegates, for a raw total of 482. Warren is second with 395 delegates, or 32.2%, and Sanders would have 328 committed delegates, which equals 27.6%. 

It is clear that no candidate is on pace to reach 50% on the first ballot. If Biden were on track to clinch the nomination under these numbers and tested states, his delegate total at this juncture would need to be closer to 680.  

If these estimates land close to the actual numbers, the convention process would become interesting. Going to the second ballot, superdelegates—those in the party elite that a 2018 Democratic National Committee rule change barred from voting on the first ballot—would regain full voting privileges. This means the aggregate delegate total would rise to 4,535; therefore, the winner would now need 2,268 delegate votes to win.  

If the candidates were to perform in the rest of the convention as they broke in the 11 studied states, Biden would end with 1,515 votes on the first ballot, some 370 votes away from victory.  On the second ballot, because 766 superdelegate votes are added to the total, he would find himself 753 votes away from winning.  

Many people believe the superdelegates would band together to provide the winning margin for a candidate, but in this example, Biden would have to secure 98.3% of the superdelegate votes just to earn a bare majority, which would be highly unlikely.  

Therefore, should the present polling patterns translate into voting, we could see multiple roll calls and delegates becoming free for the first time since the mid-1920s. At that point, all the candidates would be fighting for votes in a free-for-all atmosphere that could end in a most unpredictable manner.

Flashback: September 26, 2015

Politico described Tim Scott as a potential kingmaker in South Carolina and interviewed him about the 2016 presidential field.



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