TagDaily Brew

Our new tool helps you make sense of redistricting

Welcome to the Wednesday, November 24, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Our new map comparison tool for visualizing redistricting 
  2. A roundup of the latest redistricting news 
  3. Major party campaign committee fundraising

See what redistricting looks like in every state

Over the last few months, we’ve brought you periodic updates on the latest state legislative and congressional redistricting news. Now, we’re bringing you a tool that will allow you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state—and in all the others. 

Our side-by-side map widget, developed with Stadia Maps, helps you see and understand how redistricting changed—and is changing—district boundaries. For example, here’s the tool on Indiana’s redistricting page:

As shown below, if you select a district on one map, the widget highlights the corresponding district on the other map! Additionally, because zooming is synchronized, you can really see how districts compare to one another! For example, here’s Indiana’s 5th Congressional District before and after redistricting:

The redistricting process can be complicated and confusing for even the most informed voters, reporters, and researchers. That’s why we believe this new visual tool will be so helpful to you. After all, a picture is worth…well, you know how the saying goes. 

We’re installing these widgets as we obtain each state’s detailed district boundaries, so click here to see if your state’s map is ready to explore!

Keep reading 

Three more states adopt congressional maps 

Speaking of redistricting…

Three more states—Massachusetts, Ohio, and Oklahoma—recently enacted congressional redistricting plans, bringing the total number of states that have adopted such plans to 17. On this date in 2011, 27 states had adopted new congressional maps following the 2010 census.

  • Massachusetts: Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed that state’s new congressional maps on Nov. 22 after the legislature approved it on Nov. 17. The state House approved the plan by a vote of 151-8 and the state Senate approved it, 26-13. In the previous redistricting cycle, Massachusetts adopted its congressional map almost 10 years ago to the day—on Nov. 21, 2011.
  • Ohio: Governor Mike Dewine (R) signed that state’s new congressional redistricting plan into law on Nov. 20. The Ohio Senate voted 24-7 along party lines to approve the redistricting measure on Nov. 16, and the state House approved it 55-36 on Nov. 18. In the House, 55 Republicans voted to approve the map, while five Republicans and 31 Democrats voted against the map. Since the map did not receive approval from one-half of the Democratic lawmakers, and in accordance with the Congressional Redistricting Procedures Amendment voters approved in 2018, the plan will last for two general election cycles—or four years—rather than 10. 
  • Oklahoma: Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed that state’s congressional maps on Nov. 22. The legislature approved it in a special session that began Nov. 15. The state House passed the plan 75-19 on Nov. 17 and the state Senate passed it 36-10 on Nov. 19. After the 2010 census, Oklahoma enacted its congressional redistricting plan on May 10, 2011.

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Major party campaign committees raised $63 million in October

According to the most recent Federal Election Commission reports, the six major party committees raised a combined $63 million in October. In the first 10 months of the 2022 election cycle, they’ve raised a combined $662 million.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) raised and spent more than the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in October. The RNC raised $13.8 million and spent $16.5 million, while the DNC raised $11.5 million and spent $13.0 million. So far in the 2022 election cycle, the RNC has raised 2.7% more than the DNC ($136.7 million to $133.0 million).

At this time in the 2020 election cycle, the RNC led the DNC in fundraising by a larger 89.0% margin ($194.0 million to $74.5 million).

So far in the 2022 election cycle, the RNC, National Republican Senatorial Committee, and National Republican Congressional Committee have raised 3.4% more than the DNC, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ($336.7 million to $325.4 million). Republicans had a 3% fundraising advantage over Democrats in September. 

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SCOTUS releases January argument calendar

Welcome to the Tuesday, November 23, Brew. 

By: Doug Kronaizl

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. U.S. Supreme Court releases January argument calendar
  2. Biden announces two new federal judicial nominees
  3. Tax-related ballot measures have been certified for the 2022 ballot in Arizona and Colorado

U.S. Supreme Court releases January argument calendar

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court released its January argument calendar for the 2021-2022 term. The eight cases set for argument range from immigration to campaign finance. Click on the case names below to learn more.

Jan. 10

Jan. 11

  • Johnson v. Arteaga-Martinez concerns the right of non-citizens in immigration detention to a bond hearing.
  • Garland v. Gonzalez concerns the right of non-citizens in immigration detention to a bond hearing and the jurisdiction of federal courts to grant certain types of relief in such cases.

Jan. 12

Jan. 18

Jan. 19

To date, the court has agreed to hear 49 cases during its 2021-2022 term. Four cases were dismissed and one case was removed from the argument calendar. Eight cases have not yet been scheduled for argument. The chart below compares the 2021-2022 term to previous terms. The figure for 2021-22 will change as new cases are scheduled.

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Biden announces two new federal judicial nominees

Speaking of federal courts, here is an update on judicial nominations. President Joe Biden (D) nominated two individuals to lifetime Article III judgeships on Nov. 18. The two nominees are:

With the addition of these two, Biden has nominated a total of 62 individuals to Article III judgeships since the start of his term. To date, the U.S. Senate has confirmed 28 of Biden’s nominees: nine to appeals courts and 19 to district courts. As of Nov. 1 of his first year, Biden has made both the most appeals and district court appointments compared to every president since at least Ronald Reagan (R).

As of Nov. 17, 73 of the 870 Article III judgeships were vacant. Article III of the Constitution created and enumerated the judiciary’s powers. Article III judges are appointed for what are effectively life terms. A vacancy occurs only when a judge resigns, retires, assumes senior status, or dies. 

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Tax-related ballot measures have been certified for the 2022 ballot in Arizona and Colorado

Voters in Arizona and Colorado will decide measures regarding the income tax in their respective states in 2022. Last week, citizen-initiated ballot measures in both states were certified to appear on the Nov. 8, 2022, ballot. In Arizona, which has a Republican trifecta, voters placed a veto referendum on the ballot that would overturn a tax decrease the legislature passed earlier this year. In Colorado, which has a Democratic trifecta, voters will decide a citizen initiative that would reduce the state’s income tax rate.

Arizona

The veto referendum would repeal Sections 13 and 15 of Senate Bill 1828 (SB 1828), which would reduce the number of income tax brackets in the state from four to two. SB 1828 would also further reduce the tax brackets to a flat rate when state revenue exceeds a certain amount. 

As of 2021, for single filers, the lower income tax rate in Arizona is 2.59% on income below $26,501 and the highest is 4.50% on income above $159,000. Under SB 1828, the tax rates for a single filer would be 2.55% on income between $695 and $27,272 and 2.98% on income above $27,272. Those brackets would be reduced to a flat rate of 2.5% when state revenue exceeds $12.976 billion.

A vote “yes” would uphold SB 1828 and reduce the number of brackets while a vote “no” would repeal SB 1828 and maintain the state’s existing four brackets.

Colorado

The initiative would decrease Colorado’s state income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.40% for tax years commencing on or after Jan. 1, 2022. The measure would also reduce the tax rate for corporations operating in Colorado from 4.55% of their net income earned in the state to 4.40%.

This is the second tax-related initiative Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute and state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg (R) have introduced in recent years. The two also sponsored Proposition 116 in 2020, which decreased the state income tax rate for individuals, estates, trusts, and the corporations mentioned above from 4.63% of federal table income to 4.55%. Voters approved that measure 58% to 42%

A vote “yes” would lower the state’s income tax rate to 4.40% while a vote “no” would maintain the state’s existing rate of 4.55%.

Overview

To date, 63 ballot measures have been certified for 2022 ballots across 30 states. Of that total, 52 are constitutional amendments or statutes referred to a public vote by a state legislature, three were automatically referred to the ballot, and eight were placed on the ballot through signature petitions. Keep an eye out for these numbers to change as legislators return for their 2022 sessions and signature gathering deadlines pass.

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1,452 congressional candidates have declared for 2022

Welcome to the Monday, November 22, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. The race for Congress in 2022 is just getting started—here’s how many candidates have declared so far
  2. Virginia becomes the third state with a split legislature
  3. Republicans win a mayoral office in South Carolina

Candidates running for Congress in 2022—an early look at the numbers

If you can believe it, the 2022 congressional midterm elections are less than one year away—and the races are already getting crowded! So far, Ballotpedia has tracked 1,452 candidates who have filed to run. Of those, 745 of those candidates are Republicans and while 576 are Democrats. There are 20 declared Libertarian candidates, and the remaining are Green Party, independents, or other parties. 

Here are the states with the most declared congressional candidates:

  1. California (141)
  2. Florida (139)
  3. Texas (123)
  4. North Carolina (84)
  5. New York (70)

Here are the states with the fewest declared congressional candidates:

  1. Delaware, Vermont (one each)
  2. Hawaii, Louisiana, North Dakota, Rhode Island (two each)
  3. Maine (four)
  4. Nebraska, New Mexico, Rhode Island (five each)
  5. Kansas (six)

In 2022, all 435 House members and 34 Senators are up for election. Democrats currently control both the House and Senate.

In the House, the Democrats have a 221-213 advantage with one vacancy. In the Senate, there are 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and two independents who caucus with Democrats. As Senate President, Vice President Kamala Harris (D) can vote to break ties.

As of Nov. 19, six Senators and 26 House members have announced they are not seeking re-election in 2022.

If you missed our preview a few days ago of the nascent 2022 U.S. Senate battleground races, you can find that here.  

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Virginia to become the third state with a split legislature following 2021 general elections 

As a result of the 2021 elections, Republicans gained a 52-48 majority in the Virginia House of Delegates. Democrats hold a 21-19 majority in the Virginia Senate. When the new General Assembly takes office in January, Virginia will join Alaska and Minnesota as the only states where control of two legislative chambers is split between parties.

Alaska’s Legislature has been under split control since the start of 2016, when Democrats successfully created a minority-led coalition in the Alaska House of Representatives. Republicans have held a majority in the Alaska Senate since 2012.

Minnesota’s Legislature has been under split control since 2019. Republicans control the Minnesota Senate, while Democrats control the Minnesota House of Representatives. The Legislature was also split from 2015-2016 and 1999-2006.

Across the rest of the country, Republicans hold majorities in both state legislative chambers in 30 states, while Democrats hold majorities in 17 states.

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Republican wins mayoral runoff in Columbia, S.C.

Republicans picked up a mayoral office on Nov. 16 when Daniel Rickenmann defeated Tameika Isaac Devine 52% to 48% in the runoff election for mayor of Columbia, S.C. While mayoral elections in Columbia are officially nonpartisan, Rickenmann is affiliated with the Republican Party. Incumbent Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin, a Democrat, did not run for re-election. He endorsed Devine, also a Democrat, in the runoff. 

Both Rickenmann and Devine are members of the Columbia City Council.

Fifteen state capitals held mayoral elections in 2021. Before these elections, 14 officeholders were Democrats and one was nonpartisan. As a result of the 2021 elections, at least 12 mayoral offices will remain under Democratic control (Atlanta, Georgia, will hold a runoff election between two Democrats on Nov. 30). One office continues to be held by a nonpartisan mayor, and one newly-elected mayor has not responded to inquiries.

Currently, the mayors of 39 state capitals are affiliated with the Democratic Party. Four are Republicans, one is independent, and two are nonpartisan. Four mayors have not responded to inquiries about their partisan affiliation.

In cities where mayoral elections are nonpartisan, Ballotpedia uses one or more of the following sources to identify each officeholder’s partisan affiliation: (1) direct communication from the officeholder, (2) current or previous candidacy for partisan office, or (3) identification of partisan affiliation by multiple media outlets.

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More new maps!

Welcome to the Friday, November 19, Brew. 

By: Doug Kronaizl

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Redistricting updates in Nevada, Utah, and Washington
  2. Recall of Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant scheduled for Dec. 7
  3. Texas Rep. Ryan Guillen leaves Democratic Party and announces re-election bid as a Republican

Redistricting updates in Nevada, Utah, and Washington

It has been a busy week for states completing their redistricting processes. Two states—Nevada and Utah—enacted new redistricting plans on Tuesday. The same day, Washington’s Redistricting Commission announced it had missed its statutory deadline to finalize its maps. Here’s a breakdown:

Nevada: Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed the state’s new congressional and legislative maps into law on Nov. 16, which will take effect during the 2022 election cycle.

The Nevada Senate approved the redistricting plans by a 12-9 vote on Nov. 14 followed by the state Assembly voting 25-17 on Nov. 16. The maps were passed largely along party lines, with Democrats voting to approve and Republicans voting against.

After signing the maps, Sisolak said, “After a thoughtful, efficient and productive session, I am proud to sign these bills into law today. These maps reflect Nevada’s diversity and reflect public feedback gathered throughout the legislative process.” State Assm. Melissa Hardy (R) criticized the maps, saying, “A process that affects every person living in the state … deserves to be thoroughly vetted and questioned by this body as a whole. Instead, there are a lack of answers to questions posed, an inability to ask questions of those who have the answers, and an overall lack of transparency throughout.”

Utah: Gov. Spencer Cox (R) signed new state legislative districts for both chambers into law on Nov. 16. The state legislature approved the House and Senate district maps on Nov.10.

Both proposals differed from those presented to the legislature by Utah’s Independent Redistricting Commission on Nov. 1. The commission presented 12 maps (three each for House, Senate, congressional, and school board districts) to the Legislative Redistricting Committee. Utah previously enacted its new congressional district map on Nov. 12.

Washington: On Nov. 16, the Washington Redistricting Commission announced that it did not produce new congressional and legislative redistricting plans by its Nov. 15 deadline. According to state law, the authority to draw new maps now rests with the Washington Supreme Court, which has until April 30, 2022, to produce new maps. Although past the deadline, the commission ultimately agreed upon map plans on Nov. 16 and submitted them to the state supreme court for consideration.

In Washington, congressional and state legislative district boundaries are drawn by a five-member non-politician commission that was established by a constitutional amendment in 1983. The majority and minority leaders of the state Senate and House each appoint one registered voter to the commission. These four commissioners then appoint a fifth, non-voting member to serve as chair.

After the 2010 census, the commission agreed upon new congressional and legislative district plans on Jan. 1, 2012, which was the deadline for them to approve maps before authority over redistricting would have passed to the state supreme court.

Overall: As of Nov. 17, 14 states have adopted congressional district maps and 20 have completed state legislative redistricting. These maps account for 111 of the 435 districts (25.5%) in the U.S. House and 2,467 of the 7,383 state legislative seats (33.4%) nationwide. At this point in the 2010 redistricting cycle, 26 states had completed congressional redistricting and 29 had finished drawing state legislative lines.

Keep reading 

Recall of Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant scheduled for Dec. 7

On Dec. 7, 2021, voters in Seattle, Wash., will decide whether to recall District 3 City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant.

Sawant is a member of the Socialist Alternative Party and, upon her election in 2013, was the first socialist elected to Seattle city government in 97 years.

Petitioners allege three grounds for the recall against Sawant: misusing city funds for electioneering purposes, disregarding regulations related to the coronavirus pandemic, and misusing her official position. Sawant responded, saying the recall effort was politically motivated and asked a state superior court to dismiss the petition. The Washington Supreme Court ultimately ruled that the recall could proceed.

Supporters of Sawant collected signatures for the recall in an effort to have it placed on the Nov. 2 ballot when turnout is typically higher. The official recall campaign submitted signatures on Sept. 8 and the recall was scheduled for Dec. 7.

As of Nov. 2, the Kshama Solidarity campaign, supportive of the councilwoman, had raised $798,422. The Recall Sawant campaign had raised $684,191.

This is one of 12 city council recall efforts we have tracked in the 100 largest cities in 2021. Six of those efforts were in four California cities (Los Angeles, Riverside, Anaheim, and San Diego). Three were in Anchorage, Alaska. The other two were in Kansas City, Mo., and Austin, Texas. Five efforts did not go to a vote, five are underway, and two were defeated.

Since Ballotpedia began tracking recalls in 2008, we have not tracked a successful recall of a city council member in Washington.

Keep reading

Texas Rep. Ryan Guillen leaves Democratic Party and announces re-election bid as a Republican

On Nov. 15, 2021, Texas state Rep. Ryan Guillen (R) announced he was leaving the Democratic Party.

“After much thought and much prayer with my family, today I am announcing that I’ll proudly be running as a Republican to represent house district 31,” Guillen said in a press conference held with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and House Speaker Dade Phelan (R).

Guillen most recently won re-election in 2020, defeating Marian Knowlton (R) 58-40%. He first assumed office in 2003 after running unopposed in the general election.

From 2010 to 2021, Ballotpedia has counted 124 state legislators who have switched parties while in office. During that time, 83 legislators left the Democratic Party (60 to become Republicans and 23 to some other affiliation), 31 left the Republican Party (11 to become Democrats and 20 to some other affiliation), and 10 switched away from being independent or members of a third party (four to become Democrats, five to become Republicans, and one switched from independent to Green).

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Previewing the 2022 Senate battlegrounds

Welcome to the Thursday, November 18, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. The 2022 Senate battlegrounds (so far)
  2. Signatures submitted to Loudoun County Circuit Court advancing recall of school board member Brenda Sheridan
  3. Biden issues no pardons or commutations through Sept. 30

The 2022 Senate battlegrounds (so far)

We’re still weeks away from the first set of filing deadlines, but let’s take a sneak peek at the midterms landscape. The Democratic and Republican caucuses currently split the Senate 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris (D) casting tie-breaking votes. Thirty-four Senate seats are up for election next year. Republicans currently hold 20 of those and Democrats, 14. 

Senate races in eight states are rated Battlegrounds by Inside Elections and as Toss-ups, Lean, or Likely Democratic or Republican races by Cook Political Report and/or Sabato’s Crystal Ball: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

The table below shows information about each of these states that suggests competitive elections.

If you’re interested in following the primary contests in these and other key races on next year’s ballot, you may be interested in our free Heart of the Primaries newsletter, now in its third election year. Beginning later today and running through the end of primary season, we will send out two newsletters per week—one each covering what you need to know about primaries in the Democratic and Republican parties.

Click here for more information and to subscribe to one or both editions.

Click below for further analysis of the 2022 Senate election landscape, including candidate lists, analysis from media outlets, and more details on all seats up for election.

Keep reading

Signatures submitted to Loudoun County Circuit Court advancing recall of school board member Brenda Sheridan

Supporters of a recall against six of the nine members of the Loudoun County Public Schools school board in Virginia submitted signatures against Chairwoman Brenda Sheridan on Nov. 9. Supporters said they filed 1,859 signatures, with 803 valid signatures required to move the recall forward.

A judge with the Loudoun County Circuit Court will review the petition before the case moves forward. If the case is accepted, a trial will be held. Recall supporters must “demonstrate the officer engaged in neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance” at the trial in order to remove Sheridan from office.

Sheridan is one of six members on the board included in the recall effort. All six were supported by the Loudoun County Democratic Committee in their last elections. Here is the status of those six recall efforts.

  • One set of petitions was filed on Nov. 9
  • One of the targeted members died Aug. 31
  • One resigned effective Nov. 2. 
  • Three board members have yet to have petitions filed against them.

Recall supporters said they launched the effort due to school board members’ involvement in a private Facebook group. They said the board members’ involvement was a violation of Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act as well as the school board’s Code of Conduct because the members discussed public matters in a private setting. Recall supporters also alleged that the district was using Critical Race Theory in its employee training and student curriculum, which they opposed.

Interim Superintendent Scott Ziegler said the district uses what he described as a Culturally Responsive Framework that “speaks to providing a welcoming, affirming environment and developing cultural competence through culturally responsive instruction, deeper learning, equitable classroom practices and social-emotional needs for a focus on the whole child.” He said the district did not use Critical Race Theory in its staff training or student curriculum. 

Sheridan assumed office in 2011 and was last re-elected to a four-year term on the board in 2019.

In other recall news, the Leyton Board of Education in Nebraska voted Nov. 5 to hold recall elections for two of its six members on Jan. 11, 2022. The recall petitions against Suzy Ernest and Roland Rushman were approved for the ballot Oct. 12 after supporters of the recall turned in the 138 required signatures calling for both members’ recall. Click here for more on that recall.

Ballotpedia has tracked 84 school board recall efforts against 215 board members so far in 2021—the highest number of school board recall efforts we have tracked in one year. The next-highest year was in 2010 with 38 recall efforts against 91 school board members. 

Out of the 215 board members included in recall efforts this year, 16 faced recall elections. One was removed from office in the election, while 15 kept their seats. Five board members will face recall elections scheduled in 2022. Another eight board members resigned from office after recall efforts were started against them. Efforts against 122 members did not go to the ballot, while efforts against 64 members are still ongoing. 

Keep reading 

President Biden has issued no pardons or commutations since taking office

Since his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021—302 days ago today—President Joe Biden (D) has issued no pardons or commutations. Since 1968, three other presidents have not issued pardons during their first 300 days in office—Barack Obama (D), George W. Bush (R), and Bill Clinton (D). Bush and Clinton did not issue a pardon or commutation until their third year in office. As of Nov. 2021, presidents have issued an average 120.4 pardons and 55.8 commutations annually.

The U.S. Department of Justice maintains a record of statistics about pardons and commutations. These figures are broken down by fiscal years, which run from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. When presidential transitions occur (such as between Donald Trump and Biden), both presidents can issue pardons and commutations in the same fiscal year.

The U.S. Constitution, in Article II, Section 2, grants the president the power of executive clemency. Executive clemency includes the power to pardon, in which the president overturns a federal conviction and restores “an individual to the state of innocence that existed before the conviction.” Executive clemency also includes the power of commutation, which allows a president to shorten or reduce a federal prison sentence. 

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The role of $ in the VA House elections

Welcome to the Wednesday, November, 17, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Three of the five Virginia House races with the most fundraising resulted in partisan control changes
  2. Redistricting roundup
  3. Leahy, Speier announce congressional retirements

Three of the five Virginia House races with the most fundraising resulted in partisan control changes

Elections for all 100 members of the Virginia House of Delegates took place on Nov. 2. Republicans won 52 districts to Democrats’ 48, allowing the GOP to regain the majority it lost in 2019. Republicans won three of the five most expensive House races. The Democratic Party candidate raised more money in all five races. 

Republicans defeated Democratic incumbents in Districts 85, 83, and 28. In those three races, the Democratic incumbents raised an average of $1.1 million more than their Republican counterparts.

Across the five districts, Democratic candidates raised $10,541,916.03 while Republicans raised $4,796,697.14. 

  • District 10 – $4,372,000.60: Incumbent Wendy Gooditis (D) raised $2,876,678.21 while Nick Clemente (R) raised $1,495,322.39. Gooditis defeated Clemente 50.9% to 48.9%. In 2019, Democratic and Republican candidates in this district raised $2,633,438 and Gooditis won 52.3 percent to 47.6 percent.
  • District 85 – $2,938,036.50: Incumbent Alex Askew (D) raised $2,123,593.11 while Karen Greenhalgh (R) raised $814,443.39. Greenhalgh defeated Askew 50.2% to 49.8%. In 2019, Democratic and Republican candidates in this district raised $2,193,470 and Askew won 51.6 percent to 48.2 percent.
  • District 83 – $2,768,861.30: Incumbent Nancy Guy (D) raised $2,041,767.36 while Tim Anderson (R) raised $727,093.94. Anderson defeated Guy 51.3% to 48.7%. In 2019, Democratic and Republican candidates in this district raised $2,467,095 and Guy won 50.0 percent to 49.8 percent.
  • District 28 – $2,686,629.06: Incumbent Joshua Cole (D) raised $1,742,132.53 while Tara Durant (R) raised $944,496.53. Durant defeated Cole 51% to 48.8%. In 2019, Democratic and Republican candidates in this district raised $2,265,794 and Cole won 51.8 percent to 47.8 percent.
  • District 73 – $2,573,085.71: Incumbent Rodney Willett (D) raised $1,757,744.82 while Mary Margaret Kastelberg (R) raised $815,340.89. Willett defeated Willett 51.9% to 48%. In 2019, Democratic and Republican candidates in this district raised $2,332,478 and Willett won 52.2 percent to 47.7 percent.

Statewide, the average amount raised for a general election with more than one candidate was $725,238. The map below shades the Virginia House districts based on the amount of money raised in that district.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Virginia candidate political action committees (candidate PACs) submitted to the Virginia Department of Elections. It includes fundraising activity between Jan. 1, 2020, and Oct. 21, 2021. Candidate PACs represent individuals who have run for state or local office at any point, including past and present officeholders. This article does not include non-candidate PACs.

This was the first election cycle since 1999 in which Democrats defended a majority in the chamber. Heading into the election, Democrats had a 55-45 advantage over Republicans. There were 93 districts with both a Democratic and Republican candidate on the ballot. 

This research was published in partnership with Transparency USA. Click here to learn more about that partnership.

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Six states enact new redistricting plans 

There’s been a flurry of redistricting activity over the last week, and we’re here to help you make sense of it. Since Nov. 10, six states have adopted congressional or legislative district plans—or both! As of Nov. 16, 18 states have finalized their state legislative redistricting maps following the 2020 census, while 13 states have finalized their congressional district maps. At this point in the 2010 redistricting cycle, 29 states had completed their state legislative maps, while 26 states had completed their congressional maps.

When we last looked at the above chart on Nov. 10, 11 states had adopted state legislative maps and 10 states had adopted congressional maps. 

Here’s the latest news:

Colorado: On Nov. 15, the Colorado Supreme Court approved the Colorado Independent Legislative Commissionstate’s legislative maps on Oct. 11 and 12, respectively. These maps, which redraw the state’s 35 Senate districts and 65 House districts, will take effect for the state’s 2022 state legislative elections.

Idaho: On Nov. 12, the Idaho Independent Reapportionment Commission formally submitted its final congressional and state legislative maps to the secretary of state. The commission, made up of six members appointed by three Democratic and three Republican elected officials, voted 6-0 in favor of the legislative map and 4-2 in favor of the congressional map. Nels Mitchell and Dan Schmidt, both appointed by Democrats, voted against the congressional lines.

Montana: On Nov. 12, the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission enacted a new congressional map following the 2020 redistricting cycle. The commissioners voted 3-2 to approve the map and send it to the Montana Secretary of State. Both Republican commissioners and Maylinn Smith, the nonpartisan tiebreaker, voted in favor of the map, and the two Democratic commissioners voted against the map.

North Dakota: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) signed new state legislative maps into law on Nov. 11. The House approved the maps in a 73-18 vote on Nov. 9, and the Senate approved the maps in a 40-7 vote on Nov. 10. Since North Dakota was apportioned a single at-large U.S. House seat, it does not need to draft a congressional map.

South Dakota: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed legislation enacting the state’s new legislative districts on Nov. 10. Both chambers of the legislature approved the final proposal, known as the Sparrow map, on that day. The state House approved the new districts 37-31 and the Senate approved them 30-2. The South Dakota Legislature began a special session to consider redistricting proposals on Nov. 8. 

Utah: Utah enacted new congressional districts on Nov. 12 after Gov. Spencer Cox (R) signed a map approved by the House and the Senate. The legislature drafted the map, which differed from a proposal the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission released on Nov. 5.

Keep reading 

Leahy, Speier announce retirements 

On Nov. 15, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the longest-serving senator currently elected to the chamber, announced he will not seek another term in 2022. On  Nov. 16, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) announced she would not seek re-election. 

Leahy was first elected to the U.S Senate in 1974. He is currently the fifth long-serving senator in U.S. history, after Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), and West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.). 

Speier was first elected in 2013. Before that, she served in the California Senate and California Assembly. Speier was first elected to a statewide office in 1986.

So far this year, 18 members of Congress—six senators and 12 representatives—have announced their retirement from public office. Five retiring Senate members are Republicans and one is a Democrat. Of the retiring House members, eight are Democrats and four are Republicans.

Twelve members of the U.S. House—six Republicans and six Democrats—have announced they plan to seek a different office in 2022. 

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Previewing Atlanta’s Nov. 30 runoff elections

Welcome to the Tuesday, November 16, Brew. 

By: Doug Kronaizl

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Previewing Atlanta’s Nov. 30 runoff elections
  2. Here’s what happened in Louisiana’s elections on Saturday
  3. Two at-large city council districts holding elections in Hialeah, Fla., today

Previewing Atlanta’s Nov. 30 runoff elections

You might recall a set of runoffs in Georgia earlier this year that decided the party control of the U.S. Senate. Today, we are two weeks away from another round of general election runoffs in Georgia with voters in Atlanta deciding several city council elections and choosing their next mayor on Nov. 30. These races advanced to runoffs after no candidates received more than 50% of the vote in the Nov. 2 general elections.

All 16 council positions, including city council president, were on the Nov. 2 ballot. Nine of those races were decided outright on Nov. 2 with seven incumbents and two newcomers winning. In the Nov. 30 runoffs, incumbent city council members are running in three while the remaining four races will elect newcomers. 

In two of those open runoff races—At-large Post 3 and District 1—both candidates completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. Below are some excerpts from those surveys. To see more, click on the candidate’s name.

Atlanta City Council, At-large Post 3

Jacqueline Labat and former state Rep. Keisha Sean Waites advanced to a runoff after defeating three other candidates on Nov. 2. Waites finished first with 30% of the vote. Labat was second with 26%. 

Question: What do you believe are the core responsibilities for someone elected to this office?

  • Labat: “[E]lected leaders must respond in a timely manner to the needs of their constituents and there will be times when ‘fairness’ and ‘minority views’ may outweigh issues of effectiveness of efficiency.”
  • Waites: “Having existing relationships and legislative experience will be critical to tackling many of the issues we are facing such as: Corruption creating a lack of public trust, increasing violent crime and traffic congestion.”

Atlanta City Council, District 1

Nathan Clubb and Jason Winston advanced to a runoff after defeating four other candidates on Nov. 2. Winston finished first with 29% of the vote. Clubb was second with 28%. 

Question: How would you address crime and public safety? Do you have a different stance than current city council policy?

  • Clubb: “We need to ensure we have the level of staffing necessary and policies in place for true community policing to provide presence and rebuild trust with communities.”
  • Winston: “I will look to pragmatic evaluation of our law enforcement policies, addressing biases and disparities in policing while moving resources to the programs that need them most.”

In the mayoral race, Atlantans will elect a newcomer for the second election cycle in a row. On May 6, 2021, Incumbent Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) announced she would not seek re-election, making her the first Atlanta mayor since World War II not to run for a second term.

City councilman Andre Dickens and city council president Felicia Moore advanced to the general runoff election for mayor after defeating 14 other candidates, including former Mayor Kasim Reed, on Nov. 2. Moore received 41% of the vote followed by Dickens with 23%. While the race is officially nonpartisan, both candidates are Democrats.

Both Dickens and Moore have emphasized their own plans regarding crime and public safety in the city. Dickens’ SAFE Streets Atlanta Plan focuses, in part, on community policing, providing racial sensitivity training, and clearing up pandemic-related court backlogs. Dickens also highlighted his experience as chair of the city’s Public Safety Committee and supporting officer pay raises in 2020. Moore said her plan focused on five areas—the 5 C’s—”Community, Cops, Courts, Code Enforcement, and Children.” Moore emphasized her role in the passage of city policies including marijuana decriminalization and the elimination of cash bail.

Both candidates want to increase the number of police officers in the city and provide training on topics including de-escalation techniques. Dickens said he would hire 250 officers during his first year. Moore said she would offer incentives to retired officers to return to work for 1-2 years while recruiting new officers to fill open positions.

Dickens and Moore have both raised more than $1 million. As of Sept. 30, Dickens had spent $841,484 leaving him with $199,072 on hand. Moore had spent $656,733 with $453,565 on hand.

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Here’s what happened in Louisiana’s elections on Saturday

Louisiana voters turned out for the state’s fall elections last Saturday following a one-month delay. On Sept. 9, 2021, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) postponed the state’s fall elections due to damage from Hurricane Ida.

Here are some highlights from the races we followed

  • Statewide, voters decided four constitutional amendments, approving one and rejecting three. The state constitution limits ballot measures in odd-numbered years to matters concerning the state’s budget, government finance, and taxation.
  • Voters approved Amendment 2, which decreased the maximum allowable individual income tax rate from 6% to 4.75% for tax years beginning in 2022. The Legislature set the tax bracket rates beginning in 2022 at 1.75% on the first $12,500 of net income, 3.50% on the net income up to $50,000, and 4.25% on net income above $50,000.
  • Voters rejected Amendments 1, 3, and 4. Amendment 1 would have created a commission to streamline the electronic filing of all sales and use taxes. Amendment 3 would have allowed levee districts created after 2006 to assess an annual property tax of up to $5 per $1,000 of assessed value without voter approval. Amendment 4 would have increased the amount of funds that could be redirected to some other purpose than what was originally provided for by law from 5% to 10%.
  • There were also several candidate elections across the state. Louisiana used the majority-vote system where all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, ran in the same primary. A candidate could win the election outright by receiving more than 50% of the vote. If no candidate crossed that mark, the top two vote recipients advanced to a Dec. 11 general election.
  • In New Orleans, incumbent Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) won re-election outright. Cantrell received 65% of the vote, defeating 13 other candidates. The city also held elections for a majority of its city council districts. Elections in three districts were decided outright on Nov. 13 with the remaining four districts advancing to general elections on Dec. 11.

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Two at-large city council districts holding elections in Hialeah, Fla., today

Voters will decide two of the seven districts of the Hialeah, Fla., City Council today. Nonpartisan primary elections were held for these districts on Nov. 2, but since no single candidate received more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote recipients in each race advanced to a Nov. 16 general election. 

Bryan Calvo and Angelica Pacheco are competing in the council’s at-large Group VI district. The two advanced to a general election after defeating three other candidates on Nov. 2, with Pacheco receiving 30% of the vote and Calvo 28%. 

Luis Rodriguez and Maylin Villalonga are competing in the at-large Group VII district. They advanced to the general election after defeating four other candidates on Nov. 2, with Rodriguez receiving 42% of the vote and Villalonga 20%.

The winners in both districts will be newcomers to the council since the incumbents in those districts did not seek re-election.

The general election for the council’s Group V seat was canceled after incumbent Carl Zogby won the Nov. 2 primary election outright with 57% of the vote over two other candidates. Zogby was first elected in 2017.

Hialeah is the sixth-largest city in Florida and the 88th most populous city in the U.S.

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The state legislative seats that flipped on Nov. 2

Welcome to the Monday, November 15, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. The state legislative seats that changed parties on Nov. 2
  2. Medicaid expansion initiative in South Dakota
  3. Clallam County, Wa., election results
  4. Redistricting update

Eleven state legislative seats changed party hands on Nov. 2

On Nov. 2, control of at least 11 state legislative seats in Virginia and New Jersey flipped from one political party to another. Ten of those seats flipped from Democratic to Republican control and the other flipped from Republican to Democratic control. There are four outstanding races still to be called, so these numbers could change. 

The 11 seats flipped out of the 220 seats up for election means that 5.0% of the state legislative seats up for election on Nov. 2 changed party control. The net change was +9 for Republicans and -9 for Democrats. In 2019, 33 of 538 seats (6%) changed party hands. The net change that year was +6 for Republicans, -2 for Democrats, and -4 for Independent or third parties.

Let’s take a look at the state that saw the most legislative seats change party hands on Nov. 2—Virginia

Republicans won at least five Virginia House of Delegates seats previously held by Democrats, with two races still uncalled. Republican candidates won the Democratic-held seats in Districts 12, 28, 63, 75, and 83 to break the Democratic majority in the chamber. Democrats had picked up two of those seats from Republicans in 2019, District 28 and District 83, when they won control of the chamber that year. Democrats won a majority in the chamber for the first time in 20 years when they picked up six seats in the 2019 elections, going from a 49-51 minority before the election to a 55-45 majority after the election.

Two of the seats that changed party control had previously been held by Democrats going back to at least 2015. Two seats were previously Republican seats that Democrats flipped in 2019 and Republicans recaptured in 2021. 

More state legislative seats flipped this year as a result of special elections, which are not included as part of this analysis. Five seats have changed party hands as a result of special elections in 2021: three from Democratic to Republican and two from Republican to Democratic. Two flips (one each way) happened as a result of a Nov. 2 special election.

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South Dakotans Decide Healthcare submit signatures for Medicaid expansion initiative 

The 2021 ballot measure season is behind us, and now we’re onto 2022. Here’s an update from a recently submitted measure.

On Nov. 8, South Dakotans Decide Healthcare submitted 47,000 signatures for their Medicaid expansion initiative. Nov. 8 was the deadline for initiated constitutional amendment petitions in South Dakota. To qualify for the ballot, 33,921 valid signatures were required. 

The measure would amend the constitution to require the state to provide Medicaid benefits to adults between 18 and 65 with incomes below 133% of the federal poverty level. Because the Affordable Care Act includes a 5% income disregard, this measure would effectively expand Medicaid to those with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level.

As of 2021, a total of 38 states and Washington, D.C., had expanded or voted to expand Medicaid, while 13 states had not. Six states have expanded Medicaid through citizen initiatives. 

To date, 61 statewide ballot measures had been certified in 29 states for the 2022 ballot.

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Clallam County voters decide municipal elections

Over the last several months, we’ve periodically updated you on municipal elections in Clallam County, Wa. We’ve focused on this county because of its unique status as the county nationwide with the longest unbroken record of voting for the winning presidential candidate, going back to 1980. Since 1920, voters in Clallam backed the winning presidential candidate in every election except 1968 and 1976.

Clallam held general elections on Nov. 2 in its three cities—Port Angeles, Sequim, and Forks. The Clallam County Auditor’s office is periodically updating results until results are certified on Nov. 23. Results were last updated Nov. 5, and are scheduled to be updated again on Nov. 15. The Auditor’s office estimates 50 ballots remain uncounted.  

Here is an overview of election results from Port Angeles, Sequim, and Forks.

Port Angeles 

Port Angeles, the county seat, had eight offices up for election in 2021, including four city council seats and two seats on the school board. Six of those races were contested and two were uncontested.

Incumbents were on the ballot in seven of the eight races, including in all four city council races. All incumbents won re-election. 

Sequim

Sequim had eleven offices up for election, including five of seven city council seats. Seven of those races were contested. Incumbents appeared on the ballot in eight races, including in all five city council races. Five incumbents won re-election. Incumbents lost in three of the five city council races.

In the Sequim School District Director at Large, Position No. 4 race, Kristi Schmeck defeated Virginia R. Sheppard. She won 55.93% of the vote to Sheppard’s 42.72%. This was an unusual race because Schmeck suspended her primary campaign in the spring but still finished first in the Aug. 2 primary election. Sheppard came in second in the primary. In Washington, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election. Following the Aug. 2 primary, Schmeck re-entered the race and garnered the most votes in the Nov. 2 general election. 

Forks

Seven offices were up for election in Forks, including two city council seats and the mayor’s seat. Three of those races were contested.

Incumbents appeared on the ballot in six races, two of which were contested. All incumbents won re-election in Forks.

To see detailed results from all races in Clallam County, click the link below. 

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Alaska adopts final state legislative map, sets stage for 2022 elections

On Nov. 10, the Alaska Redistricting Board adopted a new legislative map outlining the state’s 20 Senate districts and 40 House districts as part of the 2020 redistricting cycle. While the new map has been enacted, there will now be a 30-day period during which time interested parties may file legal challenges against the new map.

KTOO’s Andrew Kitchenman reported that since the new map largely altered the state’s Senate districts, 19 of the 20 districts will hold elections in 2022. Alaska normally staggers elections to its Senate with half the chamber holding elections in one even-year cycle and the other half holding elections in the next and all members serving four-year terms. In 2022, certain districts will elect senators to two-year terms while others will elect them to four-year terms in order to restart the staggered process under the new lines. Alaska’s House districts hold elections every two years.

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Tomorrow’s elections in Louisiana

Welcome to the Friday, November 12, Brew. 

By: Doug Kronaizl

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Louisiana’s primary elections being held tomorrow
  2. Detroit voters approve entheogenic plants and reparations measures and reject measure on initiative appropriations
  3. #FridayTrivia: In what month will the first candidate filing deadlines of the 2022 election cycle occur?

Louisiana’s primary elections being held tomorrow

We’re not done with the 2021 elections yet!

Louisiana voters will cast ballots tomorrow in the state’s fall elections following a one-month delay. On Sept. 9, 2021, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed an executive order postponing the state’s fall elections due to damage from Hurricane Ida. The primary, originally scheduled for Oct. 9, was changed to Nov. 13. The general election, if needed, was changed from Nov. 13 to Dec. 11.

Statewide, voters will decide four ballot measures concerning topics including taxes and the state budget. The Louisiana Constitution limits legislation and constitutional amendments in odd-numbered years exclusively to matters concerning the state’s budget, government finance, and taxation.

When it comes to races involving candidates, Louisiana’s elections use the majority-vote system. All candidates, regardless of party affiliation, run in the same primary. A candidate can win the election outright by receiving more than 50% of the vote in the primary. If no candidate crosses that mark, the top two vote recipients from the primary advance to the general election.

There will also be special state legislative primaries in one district of the Louisiana State Senate and two districts of the Louisiana House of Representatives. Republicans currently hold a 26-12 majority in the Senate and a 68-23-3 majority in the House. The winners of these elections will hold office until Jan. 8, 2024.

  • In Senate District 27, Dustin Granger (D), Jake Shaheen (R), and Jeremy Stine (D) are running to fill a vacancy left by Ronnie Johns (R). Johns resigned in July after Gov. Bel Edwards appointed him as chairman of the Louisiana State Gaming Control Board.
  • In House District 16, Charles Bradford (D), Alicia Calvin (D), and Adrian Fisher (D) are running. This seat became vacant after Frederick D. Jones (D) resigned after being elected to the state’s Fourth Judicial District Court.
  • In House District 102, Delisha Boyd (D) and Jordan Bridges (D) are running to replace Gary Carter Jr. (D), who was elected to the state Senate in a June 12 special election. Since there are only two candidates, this election will determine the seat’s winner outright.

At the local level, New Orleans voters will decide primaries for mayor, city council, sheriff, assessor, coroner, and civil and criminal district court clerks. Additional elections in Ballotpedia’s coverage scope include two judicial seats are on the ballot in Baton Rouge and a special election primary is being held for one seat on the Caddo Parish Public Schools school board.

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Detroit voters approve entheogenic plants and reparations measures and reject measure on initiative appropriations

Voters in Detroit, Mich., decided three ballot measures on Nov. 2, including two citizen-initiated initiatives and an advisory question. Voters approved two measures regarding the decriminalization of entheogenic plants and the creation of a reparations committee. A third measure, which would have removed language from the city’s charter prohibiting initiatives from appropriating funds, was defeated. Here’s a breakdown:

Proposal E was designed to decriminalize the possession and therapeutic use of entheogenic plants, including psilocybin mushrooms, peyote, and iboga. The initiatives received 61% of the vote. As of 2021, at least 10 local governments, including Ann Arbor in Michigan, had passed laws either decriminalizing or changing law enforcement priorities regarding psilocybin. Two of these laws passed as ballot measures in Denver, Colo., and Washington, D.C., making Detroit’s Proposal E the third ballot measure to decriminalize psilocybin. Additionally, in 2020, voters approved Oregon Measure 109, which created a statewide program for administering psilocybin to individuals over the age of 21.

Proposal R advised the Detroit City Council to establish a reparations committee to recommend housing and economic development programs for Black residents. The advisory question passed with 80% of the vote. In June 2021, the city council passed a resolution that established a process “to specifically address the creation of generational wealth and to boost economic mobility and opportunity in the black community.” The committee, supported through Proposal R, will now be part of that process. Voters in Greenbelt, Md., also approved a measure to create a reparations committee on Nov. 2.

Proposal S would have removed language from the Detroit City Charter that prohibited initiatives from appropriating funds. It was defeated with 54% of the electors voting no.

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#FridayTrivia: In what month will the first candidate filing deadlines of the 2022 election cycle occur?

In Tuesday’s Brew, we took a look at two states—North Carolina and Texas—whose upcoming candidate filing deadlines will be the earliest in the 2022 election cycle. These deadlines will set the stage for primary elections in these states later on. In what month will the first candidate filing deadlines of the 2022 election cycle occur?

  1. January
  2. November
  3. December
  4. February


Reviewing the top 15 ballot measures of 2021

Welcome to the Thursday, November 11, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Results for Ballotpedia’s top 15 ballot measures to watch in 2021
  2. Recall of San Francisco district attorney makes ballot as mayor endorses recall of three school board members
  3. Don’t miss our Donor Disclosure webinar!

Results for Ballotpedia’s top 15 ballot measures to watch in 2021

This year, Ballotpedia has tracked 195 ballot measures appearing before voters, including 39 statewide ballot measures and 156 local ballot measures.

With election week behind us, we thought we’d check back on the nine statewide and six local ballot measures we identified as the top 15 on last Tuesday’s ballot.

Statewide ballot measures

Of the 39 measures appearing on statewide ballots this year, 24 were on the ballot Nov. 2. Of the 15 measures, six were approved and nine were defeated.

The measures we tracked, and the final results, can be found in the following table:

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Recall of San Francisco district attorney makes ballot as mayor endorses recall of three school board members

An election to recall San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin will take place on June 7, 2022, the city director of elections announced Tuesday. To get the recall on the ballot, supporters had 161 days to collect 51,325 valid signatures.

Supporters of the recall say Boudin’s approach to law enforcement since being elected in 2019 has contributed to increased crime rates and a decline in public safety. Boudin said his policy changes were necessary first steps in reforming the criminal justice system and that the recall was politically motivated.

This is the second attempt to recall Boudin; an effort earlier this year failed after supporters fell short of the signature goal, collecting an estimated 49,600 signatures.

Also Tuesday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed endorsed a recall targeting three members of the school board. The recall accuses board members Gabriela López, Alison Collins, and Faauuga Moliga of keeping schools closed for too long during the COVID-19 pandemic and of spending board time voting on renaming 44 different schools rather than discussing a reopening plan. That recall will take place on Feb. 15, 2022.

In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 164 recall efforts against 262 officials. This was the most recall efforts we tracked in the first half of any year since 2016, when we had tracked 189 recall efforts against 265 officials. For the first time since 2015, school board members drew more recall petitions than any other group, accounting for 48% of all officials targeted for recall. So far, four recall efforts have been scheduled for the ballot in 2022.

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Don’t miss our Donor Disclosure and Privacy webinar!

Next Wednesday, Nov. 17, Ballotpedia will host a webinar with our Disclosure Digest Team. In this free briefing, the team will catch you up on statutory trends and review the arguments surrounding donor disclosure and privacy.

Donor disclosure and privacy policies dictate what nonprofits must disclose about their donors, and to whom they must make those disclosures. Following a discussion of the legislative trends, our team takes an in-depth look at the main arguments in this policy area.

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