Thirty-four states have statewide orders requiring individuals to wear masks in indoor or outdoor public spaces, as of August 6. All 24 states with a Democratic governor have statewide mask orders, while 10 out of 26 Republican states require face coverings.
The mask requirements have been issued across five months:
• Three orders have been issued in August.
• 13 orders were initially issued in July.
• Four orders were initially issued in June.
• Six orders were initially issued in May.
• Eight orders were initially issued in April.
No states have allowed their mask orders to expire. Georgia is the only state where a statewide executive order prohibits localities from implementing mask restrictions.
Cori Bush defeated incumbent William Lacy Clay and Katherine Bruckner in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District Democratic primary. Bush received 49% of the vote to Clay’s 46%. Clay is one of seven incumbent representatives who have lost in primaries in 2020.
Bush challenged Clay in the district’s 2018 primary, which Clay won with 57% of the vote to Bush’s 37%. Clay was first elected in 2000. U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch endorsed his re-election bid.
Bush received endorsements from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Jamaal Bowman, a candidate for New York’s 16th District who defeated 16-term incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel in the district’s June 23 Democratic primary.
Incumbent Rep. Rashida Tlaib defeated Brenda Jones in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District Democratic primary. With 90% of precincts reporting, Tlaib had received 66% of the vote to Jones’ 34%.
The primary was a rematch. Tlaib and Jones ran against one another in both the regular and special election primaries in 2018. Jones defeated Tlaib in the special primary election 37.7% to 35.9%, while Tlaib defeated Jones in the regular primary 31.2% to 30.2%. Jones completed the term to which John Conyers Jr. had been elected in 2016. Tlaib assumed office in January 2019.
Fair Maps Nevada, the campaign behind the Nevada Independent Redistricting Commission Initiative, did not submit signatures by the August 3 deadline. Originally the deadline was June 24, but it was extended by a court ruling. On July 24, 2020, Doug Goodman, founder and executive director of Nevadans for Election Reform; Sondra Cosgrove, chair of Fair Maps Nevada; and Vivian Leal, a member of Indivisible Northern Nevada Fair Democracy Team, wrote that “Fair Maps Nevada will not be able to collect the necessary signatures by the court-set, and county election official agreed to deadline of August 3.” The campaign said that it would attempt to put the initiated constitutional amendment on the 2022 ballot.
The ballot measure would have transferred the power to draw the state’s congressional and legislative districts from the state legislature to a seven-member independent redistricting commission.
The signature deadline was extended from June 24 to August 3 after Fair Maps Nevada filed a lawsuit against the state on May 7 seeking permission to use electronic signatures and asking for a six-week extension of the signature deadline. In their lawsuit, petitioners argued that the state’s actions to slow the spread of the coronavirus made it “extremely difficult to collect signatures to qualify the initiative for the ballot in a traditional in-person manner.”
On May 29, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Miranda Du ruled partially in favor of the petitioners granting them more time to gather signatures. In her decision, she argued that Governor Steve Sisolak’s (D) stay-at-home order made it impossible for the campaign to gather signatures and that not changing the statutory deadline was “unreasonable and unfair.” Judge Du did not grant the petitioners’ request to use electronic signatures citing concerns of fraud and legal precedent on courts changing election rules. In her ruling, the new deadline was August 5, but the campaign and state officials later agreed to move it to August 3.
The ruling only applied to the petitioners in this case and did not extend to the Fountainhead Society, the campaign behind the Single Transferable Vote and Multimember Senate Districts Initiative. Benjamin Pennington, the founder of the Fountainhead Society, said that the campaign would submit an “improved initiative” for the 2022 cycle.
In Nevada, the number of signatures required to qualify an initiated constitutional amendment for the ballot is equal to 10% of the total votes cast in the most recent general election. Moreover, signature gathering must be distributed equally among each of the state’s four congressional districts. Initiated constitutional amendments that qualify for the ballot must be approved at two consecutive general elections.
Nevada voters will be deciding on five statewide ballot measures in November—four legislatively referred constitutional amendments and one initiated constitutional amendment.
• Question 1, Remove Constitutional Status of Board of Regents Amendment: Removes the constitutional status of the Board of Regents
• Question 2, Marriage Regardless of Gender Amendment: Recognizes the marriage of couples regardless of gender
• Question 3, State Board of Pardons Commissioners Amendment: Revises duties of the State Board of Pardons Commissioners
• Question 4, State Constitutional Rights of Voters Amendment: Creates a constitutional right to certain voting procedures and policies
• The Renewable Energy Standards Initiative: Requires utilities to acquire 50% of their electricity from renewable resources by 2030
Between 1995 and 2018, the Nevada State Legislature referred 31 constitutional amendments to the ballot, while voters decided 26 citizen-initiated constitutional amendments. The legislature’s proposed amendments were approved at a lower rate (48.39%) than citizen-initiated amendments (73.08%).
Voters in Gilbert, Arizona, passed Proposition 430 on Tuesday approving the 2020 General Plan for city land development with 81.84% of the vote. Proposition 430 was put on the ballot through a vote of the Gilbert Town Council on March 3, 2020. The last general plan was approved in 2010.
In 2020, Ballotpedia is covering local measures that appear on the ballot for voters within the top 100 largest cities in the U.S. Ballotpedia is also covering all local measures in California, and all statewide ballot measures. Ballotpedia’s 2020 local ballot measure coverage includes Gilbert, Arizona.
Voters in Platte County, Missouri, approved two sales tax renewal questions on Tuesday. The final unofficial election report by the county showed Question 1 receiving 75.82% of the vote, and Question 2 receiving 60.81% of the vote. Question 1 authorizes the county to renew for 10 years a 0.25% sales tax to fund parks and stormwater control. Question 2 authorizes the county to renew for 10 years a 0.25% sales tax to fund law enforcement.
Voters in the Hickman Mills C-1 School District within Jackson County approved a $30 million bond issue by 82% to 18% according to unofficial election results. The bond issue will not increase the district’s debt service property tax levy. It will be maintained at the existing rate of $1,100 per $100,000 of assessed property value.
Missouri voters also approved a statewide initiative, Amendment 2, that expands Medicaid to adults between the ages of 19 and 65 whose income is at or below 138% of the federal poverty level under the Affordable Care Act. Amendment 2 was approved with 53% of the vote.
Missouri voters approved Amendment 2 in a vote of 53% to 47% on Tuesday.
Amendment 2 was a citizen initiative to expand Medicaid eligibility in Missouri to adults that are between the ages of 19 and 65 whose income is 138% of the federal poverty level or below. In 2020, this amounted to an annual income of $17,608 for an individual and $36,156 for a household of four. The amendment prohibited any additional restrictions or requirements for the expanded population to qualify for Medicaid coverage than for other populations that qualify for Medicaid coverage.
Medicaid is a government program that provides medical insurance to groups of low-income people and individuals with disabilities. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, provided for the expansion of Medicaid to cover all individuals earning incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in NFIB v. Sebelius that the federal government could not withhold funds from states that refused to expand Medicaid. The ruling had the practical effect of making Medicaid expansion optional for states. For 2020 and subsequent years, the federal government was set to cover 90% of the costs. As of 2020, a total of 37 states and Washington, D.C., had expanded or voted to expand Medicaid, while 13 states had not.
Yes on 2: Healthcare for Missouri led the campaign in support of Amendment 2. As of July 27, 2020, the committees registered in support of the amendment—Healthcare for Missouri and Missourians for Healthcare—had raised $10.1 million.
The support campaign argued that the coronavirus pandemic has shown the need for Medicaid expansion. Jack Cardetti, a spokesperson for the Yes on 2 campaign, said, “Now more than ever, Missourians need to be able to access care in their own communities and protect thousands of local frontline healthcare jobs. … Amendment 2 will help keep rural hospitals and urban clinics open by bringing $1 billion of our own tax dollars back from Washington, instead of going to the 37 other states that have expanded Medicaid.”
No on 2 in August led the campaign in opposition to Amendment 2. Opponents argued that expanding Medicaid would not be economically prudent. State Senator Bob Onder (R-2) said, “The money needed to expand Medicaid is going to come from somewhere. It either has to come from education, from roads or from massive tax increases. … I do think that Missourians, particularly in these challenging economic times, will realize that a massive expansion of the Medicaid program isn’t something that we can afford.”
Missouri was the sixth state to expand Medicaid through a ballot initiative.
In 2017, voters in Maine approved a ballot measure to expand Medicaid. The measure was the first citizen initiative to implement an optional provision of Obamacare.
In November 2018, voters in Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, and Utah decided ballot initiatives concerning Medicaid expansion and the funding of expanded Medicaid coverage. They were approved in Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah.
Oklahoma was the most recent state to approve Medicaid expansion in June 2020. Oklahoma State Question 802 passed with 50.49% of the vote.
Incumbent Sen. Martha McSally defeated Daniel McCarthy and write-in candidate Sean Lyons in the Republican special primary election for U.S. Senate in Arizona on August 4, 2020.
The special election was called to fill the rest of the 2017-2022 term that John McCain (R) was elected to in 2016. McCain died of cancer on August 25, 2018. Gov. Doug Ducey (R) appointed Jon Kyl (R) to the seat in 2018, and Kyl resigned later that year. Ducey then appointed McSally.
Prior to her appointment, McSally ran for Senate in 2018 and lost to Kyrsten Sinema (D) 47.6% to 50%. McSally served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2015 to 2019. During the primary, she highlighted her military service and said she would work to protect coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, lower prescription drug costs, and hold China accountable for the COVID-19 pandemic.
McSally will face Mark Kelly (D) in the general election, which forecasters expect to be competitive. As of July 15, McSally had raised $41.3 million with $11.9 million on hand. Kelly had raised $46.1 million with $21.2 million on hand.
Fifteen candidates are running in the Republican Party primary for U.S. Senate in Tennessee on August 6, 2020. Incumbent Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), first elected in 2002, is not running for re-election. Two candidates—Bill Hagerty and Manny Sethi—lead in media attention, noteworthy primary endorsements, advertisement activity, and campaign spending.
CNN‘s Alex Rogers and Manu Raju wrote that the primary “resembles the political battles of the past, with libertarian and tea party-aligned conservatives taking on party leaders and the GOP establishment.”
Hagerty received endorsements from Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and U.S. President Donald Trump (R), whose administration he previously served in as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. Sethi, an orthopedic surgeon, received endorsements from U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), founder of the Senate Conservatives Fund and former president of the Heritage Foundation.
Both candidates have aired campaign ads criticizing the other’s previous political donations and questioning their conservatism.
Hagerty released an ad saying Sethi “refused to donate a dollar to Donald Trump’s campaign against Hillary Clinton, but [he] did give money to liberal ActBlue helping Nancy Pelosi defeat Republicans,” referring to a $50 donation made by Sethi to ActBlue in 2008.
In a responding ad, Sethi’s wife, Maya, said she made the donation at the request of a friend. She continued, saying, “Bill Hagerty’s attacking me to hurt my husband, but Hagerty gave [Mitt] Romney and Al Gore over $100,000.” According to FEC reports, Hagerty donated $1,000 to Gore (D) in 2000 and $80,000 to Romney (R) between 2007 and 2012. He served as the national finance chairman for Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign.
According to pre-primary campaign finance reports, Hagerty raised $12.3 million, the second-highest total among all non-incumbent Republicans in 2020 U.S. Senate primaries. He reported $2.7 million cash on hand. Sethi raised $4.6 million and had $386,000 on hand.
Three race forecasters rate the general election as Safe/Solid Republican. In the three preceding senatorial elections, Republican general election candidates received at least 54% of the vote. Before 2020, the most recent time Tennessee had elected a Democratic U.S. Senator was 1990 when Al Gore (D) defeated William R. Hawkins (R).
Sixteen candidates are running in Tennessee’s 1st Congressional District’s Republican Party primary on August 6, 2020. Incumbent Rep. Phil Roe (R), first elected in 2008, is not running for re-election.
Five candidates—John Clark, Rusty Crowe, Josh Gapp, Diana Harshbarger, and Timothy Hill—lead in fundraising and advertisement activity.
The top three fundraisers—Harshbarger, Gapp, and Clark—have largely self-financed their campaigns. Self-contributions made up 89% of Harshbarger’s $1.5 million raised and 76% of Clark’s $652,000 raised. Gapp has almost entirely self-financed his campaign with $852,000 of his $853,000 total coming from the candidate himself. Crowe and Hill have raised $376,00 and $230,000, respectively.
Groups have spent roughly $963,000 on satellite spending in the race. Club for Growth Action and House Freedom Fund have spent $520,000 opposing Harshbarger, Crow, and Gapp, and $441,000 supporting Hill.
Clark, Crowe, and Hill all held or currently hold elected positions. Clark was the Mayor of Kingsport from 2015 to 2019. Crowe and Hill serve in the Tennessee State Legislature, Crowe as a senator since 1991 and Hill as a representative since 2012. All three candidates have released ads or statements pointing to their records in their respective positions as support for their candidacies.
In the 2016 presidential election, Trump (R) received 77% of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s (D) 20%.