TagDaily Brew

State law in four states requires partisan labels for school board elections

Welcome to the Monday, October 3, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. Laws in four states require partisan labels for school board elections 
  2. Battleground preview—Pennsylvania gubernatorial election 
  3. 60% of all state legislative seats up for election in South Carolina do not have major party competition

Laws in four states require partisan labels for school board elections 

Ballotpedia’s Hall Pass newsletter covers school board politics and education policy, and it hits inboxes every Wednesday. The story below is adapted from research we featured in Hall Pass last week. 

Partisan school board elections are far from the norm. The vast majority of school districts—estimated at around 90%—hold nonpartisan elections, in which candidates run without a party affiliation affixed to their name on the ballot. As we told you last month, there are 13,194 K-12 school districts in the country. 

With general elections coming up on Nov. 8, we thought it would be a good time to dig into our research on where state law provides for partisan school board elections. Two questions guided this research: First, could we find a state law providing for partisan elections? Second, does state law give local governments the flexibility to hold partisan elections if they choose?

Here’s what we found:

  • In 41 states and the District of Columbia, state law requires nonpartisan elections for school boards.
  • Law in four states—Alabama, Connecticut, Louisiana, and, with some exceptions, Pennsylvania—automatically allow partisan school board board elections or party labels to appear on the ballot. These four states have a combined 878 school districts and 7,652 elected school board members. That’s about seven percent of all school districts in the country.
  • Laws in at least five states—Georgia, Rhode Island, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina—either explicitly allow for partisan or nonpartisan elections or gives local authorities enough control over elections to effectively allow the option. These five states have a combined 554 school districts and 3,342 elected school board members.

In North Carolina and Georgia, some districts hold partisan elections while others do not. As of 2018, at least 36 county school districts in North Carolina had adopted partisan elections. According to the Georgia School Board Association, in 2021, 109 of the state’s 180 school districts have non-partisan elections, leaving 71 with partisan elections. 

Tennessee joined Georgia and North Carolina in allowing—but not requiring—districts to hold partisan school board elections on Nov. 12, 2021, when Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed HB9072 into law. The law, which took effect immediately, says candidates can run as the representative of a political party if a county party committee “elects to conduct school board elections on a partisan basis.” In districts holding partisan elections, the law says “political parties may elect to nominate a candidate under party rules rather than by primary election.” 

According to Chalkbeat Tennessee, school board candidates in more than half of Tennessee’s counties ran in partisan races in the Aug. 4 primary.  

Click here to read a debate we featured in Hall Pass earlier this year on partisan school board elections. 

Click below to subscribe to Hall Pass!

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Battleground preview—Pennsylvania gubernatorial election 

​​We’re previewing pivotal battleground elections across the country up until election day. Today, let’s look at Pennsylvania, one of 36 states holding gubernatorial elections. Pennsylvania is also one of 13 states with divided government.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D), state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R), and three other candidates are running in the general election for governor Nov. 8. Incumbent Tom Wolf (D) is term-limited.

Shapiro was elected attorney general in 2016. He served as Montgomery County Commissioner from 2011 to 2017 and in the state House from 2005 to 2011. Shapiro’s campaign has focused on two key messages: his record as attorney general and his potential ability as governor to veto legislation the legislature’s Republican majority passes. Shapiro said his experience in the criminal justice system and on cases related to LGBTQ issues, workers’ issues, and election security are things he would continue to pursue as governor. Shapiro’s campaign website highlighted abortion and absentee/mail-in voting as issues which he would veto legislation he disagreed with.

Mastriano was elected as a state senator from the Cumberland Valley in 2018. He served in the United States Army from 1988 to 2017. Mastriano has proposed a number of election policy changes, including eliminating no-excuse absentee/mail-in voting and drop boxes, enacting universal voter identification, and prohibiting the use of private donations or grants for election administration. Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Mastriano called on the legislature to pass a bill banning abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. Mastriano said he would rescind any remaining mask and vaccine mandates related to the coronavirus pandemic on his first day in office and work to pass a law banning similar future mandates.

How the state runs its elections has been one focus of each candidate’s campaign. Currently, the governor of Pennsylvania appoints a secretary of state charged with certifying election results, determining which voting machines the state uses, and ordering recounts and recanvasses of elections. Shapiro said, “[I will] appoint a pro-democracy Secretary of State to run our elections, expand pre-registration opportunities for young people, and implement same-day voter registration through Election Day.” Mastriano’s website said he would “Appoint a Secretary of State with experience in securing elections from fraud.”

Minor party, independent, and write-in candidates include Christina Digiulio (G), Joseph Soloski (Keystone Party of Pennsylvania), and Matt Hackenburg (L).

Each candidate has a running mate for lieutenant governor. Shapiro’s running mate is state Rep. Austin Davis, and Mastriano’s running mate is state Rep. Carrie DelRosso. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) ran for U.S. Senate rather than seek re-election.

Click below to read more about the gubernatorial election. 

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60% of all state legislative seats up for election in South Carolina do not have major party competition

We are 36 days away from the Nov. 8 general elections—and 25 days into our 50 States in 50 Days series. Today, at the halfway point, we’re featuring South Carolina, the Palmetto State.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas, Minnesota, West Virginia
Week Five: Vermont, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona, Ohio

On the ballot in South Carolina

At the federal level, South Carolina voters will elect one U.S. Senator and seven U.S. Representatives. 

At the state level, the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are up for election. No state supreme court seats are up for election in 2022.

All 124 seats in the state House of Representatives are up for election. The 46 seats in the state Senate will not be up for election until 2024. 

Of the seven U.S. House seats up for election, none are open. Of the 124 state legislative seats up for election, 15 are open. 

Redistricting highlights

South Carolina was apportioned seven seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census. 

Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in South Carolina:  

To use our tool to view South Carolina’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our  South Carolina redistricting page

Partisan balance

  • Both of South Carolina’s U.S. Senators–Lindsay Graham and Tim Scott–are Republicans. 
  • Republicans represent six of the state’s U.S. House districts. Democrats represent one.
  • Republicans hold a 30-16 majority in the state Senate and a 81-43 majority in the state House of Representatives. The governor–Henry McMaster–is a Republican, making South Carolina one of the nation’s 23 Republican trifectas. South Carolina has been a Republican trifecta since 2003. 
  • South Carolina’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are Republicans, making it one of the nation’s 23 Republican triplexes. 

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 74 state legislative seats in South Carolina, or 60% of all seats up for

election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of

either the Democratic or Republican parties runs for a state legislative seat, the seat

is all but guaranteed to be won by that party.

Democrats are running in 55% of all state legislative races. Fifty-six state legislative seats (45% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate and are likely to be won by a Republican.

Republicans are running in 85% of all state legislative races. Eighteen seats (15%

of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate and are likely to

be won by a Democrat.

Key races

  • South Carolina gubernatorial election, 2022: Governor Henry McMaster (R), Joe Cunningham (D), and Morgan Bruce Reeves (L) are running for governor of South Carolina. Cunningham’s 2018 U.S. House win in the state’s 1st congressional district made him the first Democrat to represent the district since 1978. This has drawn national media attention to the gubernatorial race, though analysts have rated it as solid/safe for Republicans. 
  • South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District election, 2022: Incumbent Nancy Mace (R), Annie Andrews (D), Joseph Oddo (A), and Alejandro Otman (I) are running to represent South Carolina’s 1st district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Mace defeated the same primary opponent that lost this seat to the Democrats in 2018. 

Ballot measures

South Carolina voters will decide two statewide ballot measures on Nov. 8, 2022: 

A total of 54 ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2018. Of that number, 45 ballot measures were approved, and nine were defeated.

Voting

  • On Election Day, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. An individual in line at the time polls close must be allowed to vote. 
  • South Carolina requires voters to present photo identification. For more information about voter ID requirements in South Carolina, click here
  • Early voting in South Carolina is available to all voters. Early voting starts on Oct. 24 and ends on Nov. 5.
  • The voting registration deadline in South Carolina is Oct. 7 if registering in person. The online deadline is Oct. 9, and the mail deadline is Oct. 11.
  • South Carolina does not allow same-day voter registration.
  • In order to qualify for an absentee by mail ballot in South Carolina, voters must provide a valid reason they cannot make it to the polls on Election Day. 
  • The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 28. Ballots can be returned in person or by mail. Ballots must be received by Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. 
  • To check the status of your ballot, click here.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool! 

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In their own words – what candidates are saying in Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Welcome to the Friday, September 30, 2022, Brew. 

By: Dave Beaudoin

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

  1. Hear from Iowa secretary of state and Oregon Court of Appeals candidates in their  own words
  2. Download the latest episode of our weekly podcast, On the Ballot
  3. Ohio voters to decide three toss-up congressional races this year

Hear from Iowa secretary of state and Oregon Court of Appeals candidates in their own words

If you’re a regular reader of the Daily Brew, then you’ve seen previous stories about our Candidate Connection survey. We created it to help solve the ballot information problem because we believe everyone deserves meaningful, reliable, trustworthy information about their candidates. The survey allows voters to hear directly from candidates about what motivates them and what their priorities are.

In races where all candidates completed the survey, voters (like you!) get a unique opportunity to compare and contrast the candidates’ backgrounds, objectives, and experiences. 

Iowa Secretary of State

Both candidates running in the Nov. 8 general election for Iowa Secretary of State — incumbent Paul Pate (R) and Joel Miller (D) — completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. Iowa’s secretary of state serves as the state commissioner of elections, maintains corporations’ records, registers trademarks, commissions notaries public, and preserves original documents. 

This is one of 27 secretaries of state up for election in 2022. The partisan control before the election in those 27 races is 14 Republicans and 13 Democrats. Iowa is one of 26 states with a Republican secretary of state and one of 9 states with a divided government triplex. 

Here’s how Pate and Miller answered the following question: What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office? 

Pate

  • “Continuing to protect the sanctity and security of Iowa’s elections are my top priorities. while increasing voter registration and participation. Iowa was recently named one of the top three states in the nation for election administration. I’d like us to be #1. We’ve made it easy to vote but hard to cheat. Under my watch, that will continue.
  • Under my watch, Iowa has set record highs for voter registration and participation multiple times. Iowa is a national leader in both. We implemented Iowa’s online voter registration system in 2016, making it faster and easier to register than ever. We also created the Safe at Home address confidentiality program, so survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, trafficking, stalking and assault can vote without fear of their address becoming public.”

Miller

  • “Make Voting Easy Again! But to do so, Iowans must #FirePaulPate. Why? 
  • Pate pocket vetoed two proposed amendments to the Iowa Constitution by failing to publish them in official newspapers. Pate blamed the mistake on staff and fired a top appointee. Legislature took away Pate’s duty to publish amendments.
  • Pate negligently inactivated 17-year-olds not eligible to vote in the November 2020 election. Pate blamed the Legislature for making the law. Legislature changed law to prohibit Pate from inactivating 17 year-olds in the future. 
  • Pate silent on voter suppression contained in 2021 election law changes. No leadership. Did not register For/Against/Neutral on law during debate or after passage.”

In 2018, Pate defeated Deidre DeJear (D), 53% to 45%, to win re-election to a second term.

Oregon Court of Appeals

Darleen Ortega and Vance Day are running in the nonpartisan general election for Position 3 on the Oregon Court of Appeals. This intermediate appellate court in Oregon hears all civil and criminal appeals from the state’s circuit courts. Oregon Court of Appeals justices serve six-year terms and are elected statewide. The Position 3 race is the only one of five state appeals court elections this year that is contested. In the May 17 primary, Ortega finished first with 62% and Day received 38%.

Here are excerpts from Ortega’s and Day’s responses to the question: What characteristics or principles are most important for an elected official?

Ortega

Even for those of us who come from historically marginalized communities, elected office is a place of privilege that insulates us from the experiences of most citizens, especially those who are most vulnerable. I think it’s especially important for an elected official to make the extra and ongoing effort needed to put herself in a position to listen to the perspectives of the most vulnerable, who have the hardest time being heard inside systems like the legal system where I do my work. I need to allow what I learn about their experiences to motivate me to stay curious about what I don’t know, about the injustices that I won’t readily see, and also to help me to maintain the necessary urgency to stay engaged even when I can’t see a way to make things better. It’s only by staying engaged in that way that I can hope to do my job with integrity and to move the system toward justice.

Day

These are the most important qualities for a judge:

– The ability to master the law, the facts of the case, and the implications of a decision. Undergirding this must be the humility to learn continually and listen conscientiously. – The ability to work collegially, constructively, and respectfully with other judges, attorneys, plaintiffs and defendants, and staff. – The ability to communicate clearly and unambiguously both orally and in writing. – The ability to work hard and for the long haul. – A deep respect and deference for the rights and freedoms of the individual to self-govern while adhering to the principles of individual accountability and personal responsibility under the law. – A sincere desire to listen to and understand citizens’ concerns regarding the preservation of their liberty under our Constitutions. – Character, as defined by the words of renowned College Basketball Coach John Wooden, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

As of Sept. 29, we’ve posted Candidate Connection survey responses for 92 races nationwide where all candidates running completed our survey — including for six U.S. House districts and three statewide races. Is an election on your ballot one of them?  

Click below to view all races with a 100% survey response rate, and if you’d like to learn more about the candidates on your ballot, ask them to fill out the survey.

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Download the latest episode of our weekly podcast, On the Ballot 

In the latest episode of our weekly On the Ballot podcast, host Victoria Rose talked with our editor-in-chief, Geoff Pallay, about Ballotpedia’s 15th anniversary and highlighted some of the noteworthy milestones in our history.

The podcast also delved into the voter registration data that states collect, including what information is made available to the public or perhaps sold. States don’t just differ in election administration and voter registration policies. They also track voter data differently. Some don’t even track voters’ party affiliation–in fact, 19 states do not do so. But otherwise, you can generally visit a state’s elections division to look up how many voters belong to each party. 

You can find the latest episode of On the Ballot by clicking the link below, along with all our recent episodes. And learn how to subscribe so you never miss an update!

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Ohio voters to decide three toss-up congressional races this year

Nearly halfway there – Today is the 24th day of our 50 States in 50 days series, and we’re featuring Ohio, the Buckeye State.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas, Minnesota, West Virginia
Week Five: Vermont, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona

On the ballot in Ohio

At the federal level, one of Ohio’s U.S. Senate seats and all 15 of its U.S. House districts are up for election this year.

Voters will also decide 11 state executive offices: governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, and five seats on the state board of education.

Seventeen of the 33 seats in the state senate and all 99 seats in the state house are up for election.

Incumbents are not running for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat and for one of the 15 U.S. House districts up this year, leaving those seats open. Thirty-one of Ohio’s 116 state legislative districts also have open seats.

Three of the seven seats on the state supreme court are up for election. Two members of the court are running against one another for the position of chief justice, while two other members are running for re-election.

These will be Ohio’s first fully partisan elections for state supreme court and intermediate appellate courts. In previous election years, these offices had partisan primaries but nonpartisan general elections. Starting this year, general elections for those offices are also partisan.

Redistricting highlights

Ohio lost a single U.S. House district in the round of apportionment following the 2020 census, going from 16 districts in 2020 to 15 this year.

Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in Ohio:

To use our tool to view Ohio’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Ohio redistricting page.

Partisan balance

  • One of Ohio’s U.S. senators, Sherrod Brown, is a Democrat. The other, Rob Portman, is a Republican.
  • Twelve of Ohio’s 16 members in the U.S. House are Republicans. The other four are Democrats.
  • Republicans have a 25-8 majority in the state Senate and a 64-35 majority in the state House. Because the governor, Mike DeWine, is also a Republican, Republicans have a trifecta in Ohio. Republicans have had a trifecta in Ohio since winning the governorship and state house in 2010.
  • The attorney general, Dave Yost, and the secretary of state, Frank LaRose, are both Republicans. Because the governor is also a Republican, Ohio is a Republican triplex.

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 41 state legislative seats in Ohio, or 35% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either the Democratic or Republican parties runs for a state legislative seat, that candidate is all but guaranteed to win.

Democrats are running in 76% of all state legislative races. Twenty-eight state legislative seats (24% of all state legislative seats up) do not have a Democratic candidate, meaning the Republican is likely to win.

Republicans are running in 89% of all state legislative races. Thirteen state legislative seats (11% of all state legislative seats up) do not have a Republican candidate, meaning the Democrat is likely to win.

Key races

  • U.S. Senate election in Ohio, 2022: Tim Ryan (D) and J.D. Vance (R) are running. Incumbent Rob Portman (R), first elected in 2010, is retiring. Ohio is one of three states holding elections for U.S. Senate this year to have a Democratic Senator and a Republican Senator, alongside Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It is the only state of the three that Donald Trump (R) won in the 2020 presidential election.
  • Ohio’s 1st Congressional District election, 2022: Incumbent Steve Chabot (R) and Greg Landsman (D) are running. Chabot, first elected in 1994, won re-election 52%-45% in 2020. Redistricting following the 2020 census tilted this district more towards Democrats. The Cook Partisan Voter Index, a measure of the district’s partisan lean relative to the national average, shifted from R+4 under the old district lines to D+2 under the new lines. 
  • Ohio’s 9th Congressional District election, 2022: Incumbent Marcy Kaptur (D) and J.R. Majewski (R) are running. Kaptur, first elected in 1982, won re-election 63%-37% in 2020. The 9th district tilted more towards Republicans in the post-2020 round of redistricting. The District’s Cook Partisan Voter Index shifted from D+9 under the old lines to R+3.
  • Ohio’s 13th Congressional District election, 2022: Emilia Sykes (D) and Madison Gesiotto Gilbert (R) are running. Incumbent Tim Ryan (D) is running for the U.S. Senate, leaving the seat open. According to Daily Kos, Joe Biden (D) won 51%-48% over Donald Trump (R) within the borders of the new 13th District during the 2020 presidential election. The Cook Partisan Voter Index for the new district is R+1. 
  • Ohio Supreme Court elections, 2022: Three of the seven seats on the Ohio Supreme Court are up for partisan election. Incumbents Pat Fischer (R) and Pat DeWine (R) are running for re-election against Terri Jamison (D) and Marilyn Zayas (D), respectively. Incumbents Jennifer Brunner (D) and Sharon Kennedy (R) are running for chief justice. The governor will appoint an associate justice to replace the winner of that election. Republicans currently have a 4-3 majority on the court.

Ballot measures

Ohio voters will decide two statewide measures on Nov. 8.

  • Issue 1 would require that courts take factors including public safety, the seriousness of an offense, and the accused’s criminal record and likelihood of returning to court when setting bail.
  • Issue 2 would prohibit local governments from allowing noncitizens or individuals who otherwise lack the qualifications of an elector to participate in local elections.

Sixty-three measures appeared on statewide ballots in Ohio between 1985 and 2018. Thirty-eight measures were approved, and 25 were defeated.

Voting

  • Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.
  • Ohio requires voters to announce their full name and current address and present identification before voting. For more information about voter ID requirements in Ohio, click here.
  • Early voting starts Wednesday, Oct. 12, and runs through Monday, Nov. 7.
  • The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, Oct. 11. Registration can be completed in person, by mail, or online. Mail-in registration forms are valid as long as they are postmarked Oct. 11 or earlier. Ohio does not permit same-day voter registration.
  • All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Ohio. Absentee ballots may be requested at any point within 90 days of the election up until noon on Saturday, Nov. 5. A returned absentee ballot must be postmarked no later than Monday, Nov. 7, and received by the elections board no later than Friday, Nov. 18. Absentee ballots may be submitted via mail or in person, although only the voter themself or a family member may return an absentee ballot in person. Absentee ballots contain an identification statement the voter must sign in order for the ballot to be considered valid.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!  

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When states can process and count absentee/mail-in ballots

Welcome to the Thursday, September 29, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. Help Desk: when states can begin processing and counting absentee/mail-in ballots
  2. Battleground preview—Minnesota gubernatorial election
  3. Arizona voters may determine the partisan balance in the U.S. Senate on Nov. 8

Help Desk: when states can begin processing and counting absentee/mail-in ballots 

At the start of the week, we told you about our 2022 Election Help Desk. We created the Help Desk to answer frequently asked questions about elections and election administration, including questions about early voting, election night vote reporting, and election-related lawsuits. We started the project in 2020 and are excited to bring it back for this election cycle.

Today, let’s look at a topic covered in the Help Desk—when states can begin processing and counting absentee/mail-in ballots. While all states have some form of absentee/mail-in balloting, some restrict when and why voters can cast such ballots. Upon receiving completed absentee/mail-in ballots, election officials must process the ballots before they can be counted. 

  • In 12 states, processing begins at some point on Election Day, though the exact time varies by state. In Mississippi, for example, processing begins when polls open. In New Hampshire, processing begins at 1 p.m. on Election Day, unless a different time is posted and announced. 
  • In 22 states, processing can begin before Election Day. In Georgia, for example, election administrators can begin verifying signatures upon receipt and conduct additional processing at 8 a.m. on the third Monday before Election Day. In Alaska, processing can start seven days before Election Day. In Rhode Island, processing starts 14 days before Election Day. In California, it’s 29 days. 
  • In 10 states, processing can begin upon receipt. 
  • In Maryland, processing can begin after the election. 
  • In five states (and the District of Columbia), the exact time when processing can begin isn’t specified or is left up to local officials. For example, in Connecticut, processing is at the discretion of the local registrar of voters. The board of elections in Ohio determines when processing begins. 

States also differ on when absentee/mail-in ballots can be counted. 

  • In 37 states (and the District of Columbia), ballots are counted at some point on Election Day. In Alabama, counting begins after the polls close. In South Carolina, counting can begin at 9 a.m. on Election Day. In Massachusetts, counting begins on Election Day but no later than an hour after the polls close. 
  • In 12 states, laws allow counting to begin before Election Day or do not specify a time. In Hawaii, for example, counting can start 18 days before Election Day. In Nevada, counting can begin 15 days before Election Day and must conclude by the seventh day after Election Day. In Connecticut, when counting starts is up to the discretion of the registrar of voters. 
  • In Maryland, counting can begin at 10 a.m. on the Thursday after Election Day. 

The Help Desk also answers other questions about absentee/mail-in ballots, like “What happens if I vote by mail and want to change my ballot at a later date?” and “How do states verify absentee/mail-in ballots?”

Click below to learn when your state can begin processing and counting absentee/mail-in ballots. 

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Battleground preview—Minnesota gubernatorial election

​​We’re previewing pivotal battleground elections across the country up until election day. Today, let’s look at Minnesota, one of 36 states holding gubernatorial elections. Minnesota is also one of 13 states with divided government.

Since 1990, Minnesota has had two Democratic governors, two Republican governors, and one Reform Party governor. 

Incumbent Gov. Tim Walz (D), Scott Jensen (R), and four other candidates are running in the election.

Walz, who was first elected in 2018, served in the Army National Guard and was a teacher. He was elected to Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District in 2006 and served in the U.S. House until 2019. Walz said his administration built a strong economy in his first term and that he “balanced every budget while cutting taxes, adding money to the state’s rainy-day fund, and making critical investments to expand access to training opportunities and community college programs.”

Jensen is a physician and owner of Catalyst Medical Clinic in Watertown, Minn. He was a member of the Waconia school board and served in the Minnesota Senate from 2017 to 2021. Jensen’s top priorities are stopping crime, fighting inflation, lowering energy costs, protecting and supporting women, and increasing rural prosperity. Jensen said he is running because, “Our great State has suffered under unilateral control, partisan bickering, and political brinksmanship by the parties and politicians…We need a new vision, a new prescription… It’s time for a new direction in Minnesota.”

Steve Patterson (Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party of Minnesota), Hugh McTavish (Independence Party of Minnesota), James McCaskel (Legal Marijuana Now Party), and Gabrielle Prosser (Socialist Workers Party) are also running in the election. 

Heading into the election, there are 28 Republican governors and 22 Democratic governors. Of those states holding gubernatorial elections, 20 have a Republican governor, and 16 states have a Democratic one.

Read more about Minnesota’s gubernatorial election here. 

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Arizona voters may determine the partisan balance in the U.S. Senate

Today is the 23rd day of our 50 States in 50 days series, and we’re featuring Arizona, the Grand Canyon State.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas, Minnesota, West Virginia
Week Five: Vermont, Nevada, Wyoming

On the ballot in Arizona

At the federal level, Arizona voters will elect one U.S. Senator and nine U.S. Representatives. 

At the state level, the offices of governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and three seats on the state supreme court are up for election. 

All 30 seats in the state Senate and all 60 seats in the state House of Representatives are up for election. Of the nine U.S. House seats up for election, one is open. Of the 90 state legislative seats up for election, 43 are open. The Arizona House of Representatives is a multi-member chamber. Two members are elected from each district. Two candidates advanced from each party primary to the general election.

Additionally, Ballotpedia is covering municipal elections in the cities of Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, and Scottsdale, and in the counties of Maricopa and Pima.

Redistricting highlights

Arizona was apportioned nine seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census. 

Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in Arizona:  

To use our tool to view Arizona’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our  Arizona redistricting page

Partisan balance

  • Both of Arizona’s U.S. Senators–Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema–are Democrats. 
  • Democrats represent five of the state’s U.S. House districts. Republicans represent four.
  • Republicans hold a 16-14 majority in the state Senate and a 31-28 majority in the state House of Representatives. The governor–Doug Ducey–is a Republican, making Arizona one of the nation’s 23 Republican trifectas. Arizona has been a Republican trifecta since 2009. 
  • Arizona’s governor and attorney general are Republicans, and the secretary of state is a Democrat.

Seats contested by only one major party

This year, 54 state legislative seats in Arizona, or 60% of all seats up for

election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of

either the Democratic or Republican parties runs for a state legislative seat, the seat

is all but guaranteed to be won by that party,

Democrats are running in 68% of all state legislative races. Twenty-nine state legislative seats (32% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate and a Republican is likely to win.

Republicans are running in 72% of all state legislative races. Twenty-five seats (28%

of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate and a Democrat is likely to win.

Key races

  • Arizona gubernatorial election, 2022: Governor Doug Ducey (R) is term-limited. Katie Hobbs (D), Kari Lake (R), Barry Hess (L), and Williams Pounds (I) are running. Analysts have rated this election as a toss up.
  • U.S. Senate election in Arizona, 2022: Incumbent Mark Kelly (D), Blake Masters (R), and Marc Victor (L) are running. Kelly won a 2020 special election to replace John McCain (R), who died in 2018. Analysts have identified this as a key race in determining the partisan balance of the U.S. Senate. 
  • Arizona Secretary of State, 2022: Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) is term-limited. Mark Finchem (R), Adrian Fontes (D), and Peter Yeaple (L) are running. Analysts have rated this election as a toss-up.

Ballot measures

Arizona voters will decide ten statewide ballot measures on Nov. 8, 2022: 

  • Proposition 308: Repeals provisions of Proposition 300 (2006) to allow in-state tuition for non-citizen residents.
  • Proposition 309: Requires date of birth and voter identification number for mail-in ballots and eliminates two-document alternative to photo ID for in-person voting.
  • Proposition 310: Creates a 0.1% sales tax for 20 years to fund Arizona’s fire districts.
  • Proposition 128: Allows the Legislature to amend or repeal voter-approved ballot measures that contain provisions ruled unconstitutional or invalid by the state or federal supreme court.
  • Proposition 129: Requires citizen-initiated ballot measures to have a single subject.
  • Proposition 130: Allows the Legislature to set certain property tax exemption amounts and qualifications rather than determining details in the constitution.
  • Proposition 131: Creates the office of Lieutenant Governor to be elected on a joint ticket with the governor and to succeed the governor in the case of a vacancy.
  • Proposition 132: Requires a three-fifths (60%) supermajority vote to pass ballot initiatives (both statutes and constitutional amendments) and legislatively referred amendments that would approve taxes.
  • Proposition 209: Limits interest rates for debt from healthcare services and increases the value of certain property and earnings exempt from debt collections processes.
  • Proposition 211: Requires independent expenditures of more than $50,000 on a statewide campaign or $25,000 on a local campaign to disclose the names of all original sources who contributed $5,000 or more.

A total of 168 ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2020. Of that number, 89 ballot measures were approved, and 79 were defeated.

Voting

  • On Election Day, polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. An individual in line at the time polls close must be allowed to vote. 
  • Arizona requires voters to present photo identification or two forms of non-photo identification at the polls. For more information about voter ID requirements in Arizona, click here
  • Early voting in Arizona is available to all voters. Early voting starts on Oct. 12 and ends on Nov. 4.
  • The voting registration deadline in Arizona is Oct. 11. Registration can be done online, in person, or by mail. Arizona does not allow same-day voter registration.
  • Any voter registered in Arizona can vote absentee by mail. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 28. Ballots can be returned in person or by mail. Ballots must be received by Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. 
  • To check the status of your ballot, click here.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!  

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Ballotpedia presents 2022’s top 15 elections to watch

Welcome to the Wednesday, September 28, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

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

  1. Ballotpedia presents 2022’s top 15 elections to watch
  2. Oklahoma marijuana initiative will not be on 2022 ballot but will be decided at a later election
  3. Wyoming Republicans are likely to win more than 60% of all state legislative seats, maintaining majority control

Ballotpedia presents 2022’s top 15 elections to watch

Ballotpedia’s editorial staff will cover roughly 15,000 races on Election Night—the most in the organization’s 15-year history. Our team has selected 15 elections from that coverage to make up our list of the most important, compelling, and competitive elections in the country.

Members of Ballotpedia’s editorial department selected these elections based on past election results, unique election-specific circumstances, and elections forecasters’ race ratings. The final selections were made with the goal of including a mix of federal, state, and local races in mind. There’s a lot to monitor this Nov. 8 – and this list is by no means comprehensive – but here’s our take on 15 races to pay attention to.

Ballotpedia’s top 15 elections to watch for 2022 are:

  1. U.S. Senate election in Arizona: Incumbent Mark Kelly (D) is running against Blake Masters (R) and Marc Victor (L) for a seat Democrats won control of from Republicans in 2020.
  2. U.S. Senate election in Georgia: Incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) is running against Herschel Walker (R) and Chase Oliver (L) for a seat Democrats won control of from Republicans in 2020.
  3. U.S. Senate election in Pennsylvania: Eight candidates, including John Fetterman (D) and Mehmet Oz (R), are running to replace retiring incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey (R).
  4. U.S. Senate election in Wisconsin: Incumbent Ron Johnson (R) is running against Mandela Barnes (D), and Scott Aubart (American Independent Party) as he seeks a third term.
  5. Arizona gubernatorial election: Katie Hobbs (D), Kari Lake (R), Barry J. Hess (L), and Williams Pounds (Independent/Green) are running to succeed term-limited incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey (R).
  6. Kansas gubernatorial election: Incumbent Laura Kelly (D) is running against Derek Schmidt (R), Seth Cordell (L), and Dennis Pyle (I).
  7. Nevada gubernatorial election: Incumbent Steve Sisolak (D) is running against Joe Lombardo (R), Brandon Davis (L), and Edward Bridges II (I).
  8. Oregon gubernatorial election: Tina Kotek (D), Christine Drazan (R), Betsy Johnson (I), and two other candidates are running to succeed term-limited Gov. Kate Brown (D).
  9. Colorado’s 8th Congressional District: Yadira Caraveo (D), Barbara Kirkmeyer (R), and three other candidates are running to represent a newly-created congressional district.
  10. New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District: Incumbent Chris Pappas (D) faces Karolina Leavitt (R) as he seeks a third term.
  11. Arizona House of Representatives: All 60 seats are up, with Democrats needing to win two more to gain control of the chamber.
  12. Colorado Senate: Seventeen of the 35 seats are up, with Republicans needing to win four more to win control of the chamber.
  13. Los Angeles Mayor: Karen Bass and Rick Caruso are running in the nonpartisan general election to succeed term-limited incumbent Eric Garcetti.
  14. Ohio Supreme Court: Three Republican-held seats on the seven-member court are up for election, meaning Democrats could win a majority.
  15. Arizona Secretary of State: Adrian Fontes (D) and Mark Finchem (R) are running to become Arizona’s chief elections officer.

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Oklahoma marijuana initiative will not be on 2022 ballot but will be decided at a later election

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Sept. 21 that State Question 820, an initiative to legalize marijuana, could not be placed on the 2022 general election ballot because legal challenges were still pending and the question could not be printed in time for the state to meet its deadline to mail absentee ballots.

The court said the measure will be decided at a later election date, either Nov. 5, 2024, or at a special election. The governor can call special elections for ballot questions.

The Oklahoma secretary of state announced in August the campaign submitted enough signatures to place the measure on the ballot, opening a period for legal challenges from Sept. 1-15. Opponents filed four challenges. As of this writing, all four had been rejected, but two were still within the period where plaintiffs could request a re-hearing.

State law requires that ballot measures be certified for the ballot only after all challenges have been resolved and that the certification take place no later than 70 days before the election. This means a ballot measure would have needed to be certified by Aug. 29 to make the Nov. 8 ballot. Oklahoma law also requires that absentee ballots be printed and mailed 45 days before the election, or Sept. 24.

Proponents filed a lawsuit in the state supreme court to expedite the ballot title verification process and include the measure on the November 2022 ballot, arguing that “The new [signature verification] process took about 48 days from the time we turned in our signatures until the time they were verified. In the past, that was usually about two weeks or a little longer. It’s been a new process for them, which has caused a lot of missteps along the way. They have dropped the ball, which is why we have asked the Supreme Court to intervene.”

The court found proponents “have no clear legal right and [elections officials] have no plain legal duty to put SQ 820 on the November 8, 2022, general election ballot” unless it has met all statutory requirements and that “SQ 820 cannot be printed on ballots in time to comply with the deadline for mailing ballots to absentee voters.”

Marijuana legalization measures are certified to appear on the 2022 ballot in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Votes on the Arkansas initiative may not be counted pending a state Supreme Court ruling.

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Wyoming Republicans are likely to win more than 60% of all state legislative seats, maintaining majority control

Today is the 22nd day of our 50 States in 50 Days series, and we’re featuring Wyoming, the Cowboy State.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas, Minnesota, West Virginia
Week Five: Vermont, Nevada

On the ballot in Wyoming

Wyoming voters will elect one at-large representative to the U.S. House of Representatives. Incumbent Rep. Liz Cheney lost to Harriet Hageman in the Republican primary. 

Five state executive offices are on the ballot this year: governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, and superintendent of public instruction.  

All 62 seats in the Wyoming House of Representatives and 16 of 31 seats in the Wyoming Senate are up for election. Twenty-one seats are open, including three newly-created seats—one in the state Senate and two in the state House. 

Ballotpedia is also covering three elections to the Cheyenne City Council. 

Redistricting highlights

Wyoming is one of six states that elects a single at-large representative.

At the state level, the Legislature voted to add one new seat to the state senate and two seats to the state house. 

State legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in Wyoming: 

To interact with this tool and learn more about redistricting in Wyoming, click here.

Partisan balance

  • Both of Wyoming’s U.S. Senators—John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis—are Republicans.
  • Wyoming’s at-large U.S. Representative, Liz Cheney, is a Republican.
  • Republicans hold a 28-2 majority in the state senate and a 51-7 (with one independent and one Libertarian) majority in the state house. Because the governor is a Republican, Wyoming is one of 23 Republican trifectas. It has held this status since 2011.
  • Wyoming has had a Republican governor since 2011.
  • Along with the governor, the secretary of state and the attorney general are also Republicans, making the state one of 23 with a Republican triplex. 

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 54 state legislative seats in Wyoming, or 69% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either the Democratic or Republican parties runs in a state legislative district, that candidate is all but guaranteed to win.

Democrats are running in 32% of all state legislative races. Fifty-three state legislative districts (68% of districts up) do not have a Democrat running, meaning the Republican is likely to win.

Republicans are running in 99% of all state legislative races. Only one state legislative district (1% of districts up) does not have a Republican running, meaning the Democrat is likely to win.

Key races

  • U.S. House, Wyoming At-Large District: Harriet Hageman defeated incumbent Liz Cheney in the Aug. 16 Republican primary. Hageman faces Lynnette Grey Bull (D), Richard Brubaker (L), and Marissa Selvig (Constitution Party) in the general election.
  • Wyoming House of Representatives District 55: Incumbent Ember Oakley (R) and Bethany Baldes (L) are running. This race is a rematch. In 2020, Oakley defeated Baldes 50.2% to 49.4%, a margin of victory (MOV) of 0.8%. To view our coverage of the 2020 rematch races, click here. To view our margin-of-victory analysis for the 2020 state legislative elections, click here

Ballot measures

There are two statewide measures on the ballot this year:

  • Constitutional Amendment A: Would allow the Legislature to enact laws allowing for local governments to invest funds in stocks and equities. Legislation establishing or increasing the percentage of funds a local government could invest would require a two-thirds supermajority vote of the state legislature. Currently, the state constitution allows the state legislature to authorize certain state funds to be invested in stocks.
  • Judicial Retirement Age Amendment: Would increase the mandatory judicial retirement age from 70 to 75 for state supreme court justices and district court judges. 

Between 2000 and 2020, 20 ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots in Wyoming. Twelve (60%) ballot measures were approved, and eight (40%) ballot measures were defeated.

Voting

  • Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time.
  • Wyoming requires voters to present identification when voting. For more information about voter ID requirements in Wyoming, click here
  • Early voting is available from Sept. 23 to Nov. 7.
  • Voters can register to vote in person or by mail. The deadline to register in person is Nov. 8. The deadline for registering by mail is Oct. 24, with mailed forms received by the deadline.
  • All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Wyoming. No specific deadline is noted for absentee ballot applications. A completed absentee ballot must be received by election officials by 7 p.m. on Election Day.  

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool! 

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Voters will decide 129 statewide ballot measures this November

Welcome to the Tuesday, September 27, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. Voters will decide 129 statewide ballot measures this November
  2. Ryan v. Vance in Ohio’s U.S. Senate election
  3. Toss-up U.S. Senate, House, and gubernatorial elections in Nevada this year

Voters will decide 129 statewide ballot measures this November

We are 42 days—exactly six weeks—from election day. Voters in 36 states will decide on 129 ballot measures on Nov. 8, covering issues ranging from abortion to marijuana to election laws. 

Five measures were decided earlier this year, and three more are slated for December, bringing the total number of statewide ballot measures for 2022 to 137.

This total—137—is more than the number of measures in 2020, which was 129. But it is lower than the preceding decade’s (2010-2022) average of 164.

Citizens placed thirty measures on the ballot, the fewest this century. In 2020, there were 43 citizen-initiated measures.

One reason for this decrease might be record-high voter turnouts in the 2018 and 2020 election cycles.

Of the 26 states that have some form of initiative or referendum, 22 based their signature requirements on turnout in those years’ elections. When turnout goes up, so does the number of signatures needed for citizen-initiated ballot measures.

According to the U.S. Elections Project, turnout in 2018 was at 50%, the highest since 1912, and 13 percentage points greater than in 2014. Presidential election turnout in 2020 was 67%, the highest since 1900, and seven percentage points greater than in 2016.

There are also fewer citizen-initiated measures, on average, during midterm years compared to presidential election years. From 2010 to 2022, presidential years had an average of 60 citizen-initiated measures, compared to 47 during midterm years.

Regarding the content of this year’s statewide measures, both citizen-initiated and legislatively-referred, we have identified trends including abortion, marijuana, and election policies. 

  • Abortion has appeared on statewide ballots since the 1970s. Since 2000, there have been just two general election cycles—2002 and 2016—without abortion-related statewide ballot measures.

This year, there six five abortion-related measures, a single-year record. Voters in California, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, and Vermont will decide five in November. Kansas voters defeated a proposed measure in August.

Before 2022, the largest number of abortion-related measures on statewide ballots was four in 1986.

  • Recreational marijuana is currently legal in 19 states, 13 of which approved legalization through ballot measures.

In 2022, five more states—Arkansas, Maryland Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota—will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana.

  • Voters in 10 states will decide on measures to change election policies. Additionally, South Dakota decided on a measure in June, and Louisiana will decide on another in December.

Three of these states involve legislative proposals to change processes for citizen-initiated ballot measures. Other issues include early voting, voter identification, citizenship requirements, and campaign finance reporting.

Keep reading 

Ryan v. Vance in Ohio’s U.S. Senate election

Between now and Election Day, we will be taking a look at some of the most-watched races we are covering this year.

Today: Ohio’s open U.S. Senate election.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D) and J.D. Vance (R) are running for the seat. Incumbent Rob Portman (R) is retiring, making this one of six open U.S. Senate elections this year.

Ryan was first elected to the U.S. House in 2002, most recently winning re-election in 2020 following an unsuccessful presidential campaign.

Ryan is campaigning on revitalizing the state’s manufacturing industry, renegotiating foreign trade deals, and expanding affordable healthcare. 

Vance served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2003 to 2007, before working in venture capital in San Francisco. In 2016, Vance wrote Hillbilly Elegy, a memoir about growing up in Middletown, Ohio.

Vance is campaigning on returning manufacturing to Ohio, addressing nationwide immigration policies, and breaking up large technology companies. 

Two election forecasters rate the general election as Lean Republican and one rates it as Likely Republican. An average of two recent polls found 44% of respondents supporting Ryan and 48% supporting Vance with 8% undecided.

Former President Donald Trump (R) won Ohio by eight percentage points in 2016 and 2020. In U.S. Senate races, Portman won re-election in 2016 by 19 percentage points and Brown won in 2018 by seven percentage points.

Keep reading 

Toss-up U.S. Senate, House, and gubernatorial elections in Nevada this year

Today is the 21st day of our 50 States in 50 Days series, and we’re featuring Nevada, the Silver State.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas, Minnesota, West Virginia
Week Five: Vermont

On the ballot in Nevada

At the federal level, Nevadans will elect one U.S. Senator and four U.S. Representatives. Ten state executive offices are up for election, including the governorship and four seats on the state board of regents.

All 42 seats in the state Assembly and 11 of the state’s 21 Senate seats are also up for election.

Nevada is one of 30 states holding state supreme court elections this year, with two seats on the ballot along with three on the state’s appellate court.

We are also covering elections in five cities—Carson City, Henderson, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Reno—and in Clark and Washoe Counties. This includes each county’s school district.

Redistricting highlights

The number of U.S. House districts in Nevada remained the same at four following the 2020 census.

Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines this year. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to compare each district. Here’s an example of what Nevada’s congressional map looked like before and after the 2020 census:

You can interact with our map comparison tools by visiting our Nevada redistricting page here.

Partisan balance

  • Both of Nevada’s U.S. Senators—Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen—are Democrats.
  • Nevada has three Democratic U.S. Representatives and one Republican.
  • Nevada has had a Democratic governor since 2019.
  • Democrats hold an 11-9 majority in the Senate and a 25-16 majority in the Assembly.
  • With a Democratic governor and majorities in both legislative chambers, Nevada is one of 14 Democratic trifectas, a status it has held since 2019. It is also one of three moderately vulnerable Democratic trifectas this year.
  • In addition to the governor, Nevada has a Democratic attorney general and a Republican secretary of state, making it one of nine states without a state government triplex.

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, nine state legislative seats in Nevada, or 17% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either major party runs for a state legislative seat, that party is all but guaranteed to win the seat.

Democrats are running for 44 seats up for election. Nine seats (17%) do not feature a Democratic candidate and a Republican is likely to win.

Nevada is one of three states where Republicans are contesting every seat up for election.

Key races

  • U.S. Senate: Incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto (D) faces former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) and three others. Three election forecasters rate the race as a toss-up.
  • Governor: Incumbent Steve Sisolak (D) faces former Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R) and two others. An average of five recent polls showed Sisolak at 43% and  Lombardo at 42%.
  • 1st Congressional District: Incumbent Dina Titus (D) faces Mark Robertson (R) and one other candidate in the Las Vegas-area district. Joe Biden won the 1st District vote with 62% in 2020. Had the election been held under the new district lines, Biden would have won with 53% of the vote.
  • 3rd Congressional District: Incumbent Susie Lee (D) faces April Becker (R) in the Las Vegas-area district. One election forecaster rates this race as Tilt Democratic and two rate it as a toss-up.

Ballot measures

There are three measures on the ballot this year:

  • Question 1 would add language to the state constitution prohibiting the denial of rights on account of an individual’s race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, ancestry, or national origin.
  • Question 2 would incrementally increase the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour for all employees by 2024.
  • Question 3 would create top-five primaries where every candidate appears on the same primary ballot and the five with the most votes advance to a general election decided using ranked-choice voting. These changes would apply to congressional, state executive, and state legislative elections.

The Legislature put Questions 1 and 2 on the ballot, voting in favor of both in two successive sessions. If voters approve these measures in November, they become law.

Question 3 was placed on the ballot by voters. If approved in November, it would need to be approved again in 2024 to become law.

One hundred twenty-eight ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2020. Seventy-nine were approved and 49 were defeated.

Voting

  • Nevada is one of eight states that conducts all-mail elections, meaning every registered voter is mailed a ballot ahead of the election. Completed ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 8, with tracking available here
  • The state also provides in-person voting opportunities with polls open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Nevada does not require voters to present identification while voting, in most cases. Identification may be required for first-time voters. Learn more here.
  • Early in-person voting begins on Oct. 22 and ends on Nov. 4.
  • If registering by mail, the deadline is Oct. 11, with mailed registrations postmarked by that date. The deadline to register online is Nov. 4. Nevada also allows same-day registration when voting in person on Election Day if the voter has a Nevada license or ID card.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!

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Help Desk answers your general election questions

Welcome to the Monday, September 26, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. The answer to your questions about the general election
  2. Five party committees report largest spending numbers of 2022 election cycle in August 
  3. Vermonters to vote on first ballot measures since 2010

The answer to your general election questions

Election Day is only 43 days away! Many readers will have questions about what to expect in elections at all levels of government, from casting ballots to certifying final results. Ballotpedia’s 2022 Election Help Desk is here to help.

The Help Desk contains articles answering frequently asked questions about elections and election administration. Topics include: 

General election information: Election rules and processes vary widely from state to state, and sometimes among localities within states. We’ve got information on how elections are run, how voting works, and more. Examples of frequently asked questions include: 

Important dates and deadlines: We’ve collected information on the deadlines every voter needs to know, including: 

Absentee-mail-in voting: Can’t make it to the polls on Election Day? Every state has a process for voters to cast their ballots early or absentee. We have the information you need to do both:

Reporting and certifying election results: A lot of work goes on after all the ballots are cast and before a winner is officially declared. We’ve got information that will help you understand what happens when the polls close, including:

Disputing election results: Not every election goes to plan, leading to disputes, challenges, recounts, and even legal action. We have information that can help you understand what it all means: 

We will add articles to the Help Desk as the election cycle progresses. If you have a question you’d like to see answered, contact our team.

Check out the Help Desk at the link below!

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Five party committees report largest spending numbers of 2022 election cycle in August 

Here’s the latest on Republican and Democratic Party committee fundraising. These committees exist to help party candidates run their campaigns. 

The Republican National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and National Republican Congressional Committee all reported their highest disbursement numbers of the cycle in August.

Six party committees have raised a combined $1.4 billion so far in the 2022 election cycle. According to the August FEC reports, the committees raised $84 million in August.

Combined, the Republican National Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee, and National Republican Congressional Committee have raised 1.9% more than the  Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ($711.1 million to $697.7 million). The Republican committees’ fundraising advantage is up from 1.1% last month.

Let’s break the numbers down by type of committee.

Senatorial campaign committees

In August, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $12.6 million and spent $20.9 million. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) raised $12.6 million and spent $19.8 million. 

So far this cycle, the NRSC has outraised the DCCC, $194.1 million to $184.8 million.

At this point in the 2020 election cycle, the NRSC had raised$167.7 million to the DSCC’s $165.2 million. 

Congressional campaign committees

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $15.5 million and spent $23.6 million in August. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRSC) raised $15.6 million and spent $12.5 million. So far this cycle, the DCCC has raised $268.4 million to the NRCC’s $240.5 million. 

At this point in the 2020 cycle, the DCCC had raised $248.8 million and the NRCC had raised $191.0 million.

National committees

In August, the Republican National Committee (RNC) raised $17.2 million and spent $26.6 million, while the Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised $10.9 million and spent $14.5 million. So far in the 2022 election cycle, the RNC has raised $276.4 million to the DNC’s $244.4 million. 

At this time in the 2020 election cycle, the RNC had raised $532.7 million to the DNC’s $281.0 million.

You can read more about Republican and Democratic committee fundraising at the link below. 

Keep reading 

Vermonters to vote on first ballot measures since 2010

Today is the 20th day of our 50 States in 50 Days series, and we’re featuring Vermont, the Green Mountain State.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas, Minnesota, West Virginia

On the ballot in Vermont

One of Vermont’s U.S. Senate seats and its at-large congressional district are up for election this year. Both races are open, as the current incumbents did not seek re-election. 

Vermont is also holding elections for the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, and auditor.

All 30 seats across Vermont’s 13 state Senate districts as well as all 150 state House seats are up for election. Fifty-seven state legislative races are open.

Redistricting highlights

Vermont as a whole continues to make up a single congressional district following the 2020 census. 

State legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. To use our tool to view Vermont’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Vermont redistricting page

Partisan balance

  • Vermont has one Democratic Senator (Patrick Leahy, who isn’t seeking re-election), one independent Senator (Bernie Sanders, whose seat isn’t up for election), and one Democratic U.S. Representative (Peter Welch, who isn’t seeking re-election).
  • The Vermont Senate has 21 Democrats, seven Republicans, and two members of the Vermont Progressive Party. The state House has  93 Democrats, 46 Republicans, five Vermont Progressives, and five independents. 
  • The state does not have a trifecta, or single-party control of the legislature and governorship, as Democrats have majorities in both legislative chambers and the governor is a Republican. The state’s Democratic trifecta ended in 2017 when incumbent Gov. Phil Scott (R) took office.
  • Democrats hold the offices of attorney general and secretary of state, meaning the state does not have a triplex, or single-party control of the top three state executive offices, since the governor is a Republican.
  • Vermont’s lieutenant governor, Molly Gray, is a Democrat. Of the 17 states that elect governors and lieutenant governors separately, Vermont is one of three (alongside Louisiana and North Carolina) whose governor and lieutenant governor have different party affiliations.

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 111 state legislative seats in Vermont, or 62% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition

Democrats are running in 83% of all state legislative races. Thirty state legislative seats (17% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate.

Republicans are running in 54% of all state legislative races. Eighty-three seats (46% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate.

Key races

Two state House districts had races with margins of victory of less than 0.5 percentage points in 2020 and have contested elections this year. 

  • Vermont House of Representatives Orange-1 District: A two-member district before redistricting, Orange-1 is now a single-member district. Incumbent Samantha Lefebvre (R) faces Carl Demrow (D) in November. In 2020, Rodney Graham (R) and Lefebvre were elected with 26.0% and 21.3%. Kate MacLean (D) placed third with 20.8%. MacLean received 40 fewer votes than Lefebvre. Graham is running in Vermont’s Orange-3 District this year.
  • Vermont House of Representatives Rutland-2 District: Incumbents Tom Burditt (R) and Arthur Peterson (R) are running for re-election in this two-member district. Ken Fredette (D) and Dave Potter (D) are running in the election. Burditt and Peterson won with 28.1% and 25.4% in 2020. Then-incumbent Dave Potter (D) had received 24.9%. Potter had 42 fewer votes than Peterson.

Ballot measures

Vermont voters will decide two statewide measures on Nov. 8. The 2022 amendments are the first in 12 years on Vermont ballots.

  • The Vermont Right to Personal Reproductive Autonomy Amendment would add language to the Vermont Constitution stating that “an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course.” The ballot measure would prohibit the constitutional right from being denied or infringed unless there is a compelling state interest, which would need to be achieved using the least restrictive means.
  • The Vermont Prohibit Slavery and Indentured Servitude Amendment would add language to the Vermont Constitution that says, “slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited.” The ballot measure would repeal language stating that persons could be held as servants, slaves, or apprentices with the person’s consent or “for the payments of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like.” 

Six ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2018. Five ballot measures were approved, and 1 ballot measure was defeated.

Voting

  • Polls open between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
  • Vermont does not require voters to present identification while voting, in most cases. First-time voters who registered by mail are required to present identification at the polls.
  • Early voting is open from Sept. 24 to Nov. 7.
  • Vermonters can register to vote online, by mail, or in person. The deadline is Election Day, Nov. 8. Mailed registrations must be received by Nov. 8. For more information about voter ID requirements in Vermont, click here.
  • All Vermonters may vote absentee/by mail. Ballots for the general election will be automatically mailed to active registered voters by Oct. 1. The request deadline is Nov. 7. 
  • The Secretary of State office says that “ballots must be returned to the town clerk’s office before the close of the office on the day before the election, or to the polling place before 7 p.m. on the day of the election, in order to be counted.” Mailed ballots must be received by Nov. 8. Voters must sign a certificate on an envelope included with their absentee/mail ballot in order for their ballot to be valid. To check the status of your ballot, click here.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!  

Learn more about Vermont’s elections at the link below.

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7 states where minority party candidates outnumber the majority in state legislative elections

Welcome to the Friday, September 23, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. Minority party in seven states is contesting more state legislative seats than majority party
  2. West Virginia voters to consider prohibiting state supreme court involvement in impeachment proceedings
  3. Catch up quick with the latest episode of On the Ballot, our weekly podcast

Minority party in seven states is contesting more state legislative seats than majority party

Forty-six states are holding state legislative elections this year, with 6,278 seats on the ballot.

In most states, the party that controls both legislative chambers is contesting more seats in November than the minority, or out-of-power, party.

Not so in Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Maine, and Washington.

Five states under Democratic control have more Republican candidates running in general elections. Two states under Republican control have more Democratic candidates.

To contest a seat means a candidate from a given party is running and could potentially win.

Overall, Democrats are contesting more seats than Republicans in 14 states. And Republicans are contesting more seats than Democrats in 32.

Nationwide, Democrats are contesting 4,687 seats, 75% of all seats up for election. Republicans are contesting 5,209, or 83% of seats.

In the chart below, if each party fielded a candidate in every race, that state would appear in the top right-hand corner of the visual. You can view state names and data using our interactive visual here.

The most balanced states—where both major parties are contesting almost every seat—are Colorado and Michigan.

The most lopsided states—those where one party is contesting far more seats than the other—are Massachusetts and Wyoming.

Both major parties are contesting at least 50% of seats up for election in 38 states. 

Democrats are contesting less than half of the seats up for election in seven states—Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming—and Republicans are contesting less than half of the seats up for election in Massachusetts.

Democrats are contesting every seat up for election in one state: Michigan. Republicans are contesting every seat in three states: Idaho, Nevada, and South Dakota.

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West Virginia voters to consider prohibiting state supreme court involvement in impeachment proceedings

Today is the 19th day of our 50 States in 50 Days series, and we’re featuring West Virginia, the Mountain State.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas, Minnesota

On the ballot in West Virginia

At the federal level, West Virginians will decide races in the state’s two U.S. House districts.

At the state level, 17 of the state’s 34 Senate seats and all 100 House seats are on the ballot.

Redistricting highlights

West Virginia lost one U.S. House district following the 2020 census, dropping from three to two.

The state also remade its state House maps. Before 2020, the state had 100 seats in 67 districts, with a mixture of single- and multi-member districts. During redistricting, the state created 100 single-member districts.

Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map tool allows you to compare each district. Here’s an example of what West Virginia’s congressional map looked like before and after redistricting:

Visit our West Virginia redistricting page to interact with our congressional and state legislative map comparison tools.

Partisan balance

  • West Virginia’s U.S. Senate delegation is split between Joe Manchin (D) and Shelley Moore Capito (R).
  • All three of West Virginia’s current U.S. Representatives are Republicans.
  • West Virginia has had a Republican governor since Gov. Jim Justice, originally elected as a Democrat in 2016, switched parties to become a Republican in 2017.
  • Republicans hold a 23-11 majority in the Senate and a 78-22 majority in the House.
  • With Republicans controlling the governorship and both legislative chambers, West Virginia is one of 23 states with a Republican trifecta.
  • West Virginia’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all Republicans, making the state one of the nation’s 23 with a Republican triplex among those offices.

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 33 state legislative seats in West Virginia, or 28% of those up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either major party runs for a state legislative seat, the seat is all but guaranteed to be won by that party.

Democrats are running for 85 seats. Republicans will likely win the 32 seats (27% of those up for election) where no Democrats are running.

Republicans are running for 116 seats. Democrats will likely win the one seat (1%) where no Republicans are running.

Key races

  • House District 56: Incumbents Kayla Young (D) and Andrew Anderson (R) are running against each other. Both candidates currently represent the multi-member 36th District. According to CNalysis, in 2020, former President Donald Trump (R) would have received 54% of the vote in the new 56th District to President Joe Biden’s (D) 44%.
  • Senate District 7: Incumbent Ron Stollings (D) faces Mike Stuart (R). Stollings, first elected in 2006, won the 2018 election with 57% of the vote. The 7th District lines remain similar to their makeup before redistricting. Trump would have received 75% of the vote there in 2020 to Biden’s 23%.
  • Senate District 8: Incumbent Richard Lindsay (D) faces Mark Hunt (R). Lindsay was first elected in 2018, defeating then-incumbent Ed Gaunch (R) 50.3% to 49.7%. The new 8th District overlaps with some, but not all, of the old district. Trump would have received 61% of the vote in the new district to Biden’s 38%.

Ballot measures

West Virginia voters will decide four statewide measures on Nov. 8:

  • The No Court Authority Over Impeachment Amendment would prohibit state courts from intervening in impeachment proceedings and from reviewing any final judgments made. The amendment was introduced after four of the five members of the state supreme court were impeached in 2018 (the fifth resigned). The court, composed of temporary justices, blocked the Senate from holding impeachment trials of the impeached justices.

Thirty-three measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2018. Fourteen were approved and nine were defeated.

Voting

  • Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close and 7:30 p.m. local time.
  • West Virginia requires voters to present a valid form of identification while voting. Click here for more information from the secretary of state.
  • Early voting begins on Oct. 26 and ends on Nov. 5.
  • Absentee/mail-in voting is only available to voters who meet certain criteria. Complete ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received no later than Nov. 14.
  • The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 18. Voters can register online, in person, or by mail. West Virginia does not allow for same-day voter registration.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!

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Catch up quick with the latest episode of On the Ballot, our weekly podcast

On the latest episode of On the Ballot, our weekly podcast, host Victoria Rose talked with our experts about early voting, which kicked off in earnest today, Sept. 23, in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

We also dug into our 2022 Election Help Desk, a one-stop shop for voters looking for answers to the most frequently asked questions about the upcoming elections. The Help Desk has state-specific information on topics like:

Use the link below to listen to our most recent episodes and learn how to subscribe so you never miss an update!

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Monitor the intersection of politics and business with our Economy and Society newsletter

Welcome to the Thursday, September 22, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. Monitor the intersection of politics and business with our Economics and Society newsletter
  2. Battleground preview: Evers, Michels running for Wisconsin governor  
  3. Minnesota’s Democratic triplex at stake with voters deciding gubernatorial, attorney general, and secretary of state elections

Monitor the intersection of politics and business with our  Economy and Society newsletter

Business and politics have long been among the most powerful forces in our society. The relationships between the two are constantly changing – reflecting both the dynamism of the U.S. economy and the political response to it.

We’ve seen instances of this evolving relationship in recent news stories. In some states, executive branch officials are questioning the use of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) investment strategies in their public pension plans. Elsewhere, the owner of outdoor outfitter Patagonia transferred control of the company to a trust that will use all future profits to fight climate change.

Making sense of the latest news, policies, regulations, legal challenges, and more has been a huge challenge. But we’re here to help.

Our free, weekly newsletter, Economy and Society, is designed to help government relations and financial professionals, scholars, and the general public understand the issues, policies, and politics that shape the nexus between business and politics.

In every issue of Economy and Society our expert policy team brings you the latest news and insights on issues like:

  • Corporate activism and the political responses to it
  • The politics surrounding ESG
  • The role of public pension funds in social debates
  • Curated selections of the latest scholarship and research on political economy
  • And much more!

The bottom line: Economy and Society is your go-to source for the information you need to understand the politics of corporations, and the business of politics.

Best of all, Economy and Society is produced the Ballotpedia way – factual, neutral, and comprehensive.

Want to sample the newsletter before subscribing? Check out our archive of recent issues, which covered such topics as:

Subscribing is easy and, as always, free of charge. To start your subscription, just click the link below.

Subscribe here 

Battleground preview: Evers, Michels running for Wisconsin governor  

We’re previewing pivotal battleground elections across the country between now and election day. Today, we’re looking at the Wisconsin gubernatorial election—one of 12 gubernatorial battlegrounds this year. 

Incumbent Gov. Tony Evers (D) and Tim Michels (R) are running in the election. 

Evers was elected in 2018, defeating then-Gov. Scott Walker (R) 49.5% to 48.4%. Before becoming governor, Evers served 10 years as the Wisconsin superintendent of public instruction and as deputy superintendent for eight years before that. Evers’ campaign website says he has “worked to bring people together around common sense solutions that make Wisconsin stronger” and names “signing a bipartisan income tax cut, fixing thousands of miles of roads and bridges, investing in apprenticeships and job training programs, and increasing resources for our public schools” among his accomplishments. Evers was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Michels, a 12-year U.S. Army veteran, is co-owner and vice president of an energy and infrastructure construction company. Michels says he is “a businessman, not a politician.” After winning the Republican nomination, Michels said, “[T]his race has always been about … standing up for the hard-working people of Wisconsin. They’ve been left behind by the Democratic Party that just wants to focus on the social issues. From my first day in office to my very last day as governor, jobs and the economy are going to be my number one priority.”

Independent forecasters consider the election a toss-up. Post-primary polls have not shown either candidate with a statistically significant lead. As of July 25, the last date for which campaign finance data is available, Evers has raised $21,708,994 to Michels’ $12,018,573.

Politically, Wisconsin is one of the most competitive states in the country. Four of the six presidential elections since 2000 have been decided by less than one percentage point. Wisconsin has a Democratic triplex and a divided trifecta. The Democratic Party controls the offices of governor, secretary of state, and attorney general. The Republican Party controls both chambers of the state legislature. When Evers was elected in 2018, Republicans had controlled state government for eight years. Before that, Democrats had a trifecta for two years. Democrats gained a triplex in Wisconsin in 2018 when Democratic candidates defeated Republican incumbents in the elections for governor and attorney general, and the Democratic secretary of state was re-elected.

Wisconsin is one of seven states where the lieutenant governor is nominated in a separate primary but runs on a single ticket with the gubernatorial nominee in the general election. State Sen. Roger Roth (R) and state Assembly member Sara Rodriguez (D) are running for lieutenant governor.  

Click below to read more about Wisconsin’s gubernatorial election.

Keep reading 

Early voting for the general election in Minnesota begins Sept. 23

Today is the 18th day of our 50 States in 50 Days series, and we’re featuring Minnesota, the North Star State. 

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas

On the ballot in Minnesota

At the federal level, Minnesota voters will elect eight U.S. Representatives. Minnesota is one of 15 states that does not have a U.S. Senate seat up for election this year. At the state level, voters will elect a governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and auditor. 

In the state legislature, all 67 districts in the state Senate and all 134 districts in the state House of Representatives are up for election. Sixty-three districts across both chambers are open. That represents 31% of the state’s legislature, an increase compared to the preceding four election cycles.

Additionally, two seats on the state supreme court are up for election. Minnesota is one of 30 states holding elections for state supreme court.

Redistricting highlights

Minnesota was apportioned eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, the same number it received after the 2010 census.

Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in Minnesota:  

To use our tool to view Minnesota’s state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Minnesota redistricting page

Partisan balance

  • Minnesota’s U.S. Senators—Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith—are Democrats.
  • Minnesota’s U.S. House delegation is split 4-4 between Republicans and Democrats.
  • Republicans hold a 34-31 majority in the state Senate. One state senator is an independent, and there is currently one vacancy. Democrats have a 69-63 majority in the state House. One state representative is an independent, and there is currently one vacancy. 
  • Minnesota has had a Democratic governor since 2011.
  • Because the governor is a Democrat, Minnesota is one of 13 states with divided government, where neither party holds trifecta control. Minnesota has had a divided government since 2014 after the Republican Party captured the state House, breaking the state’s Democratic trifecta.
  • Along with the governor, the secretary of state and attorney general are also Democrats, making the state one of 18 with a Democratic triplex among those offices.

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 26 state legislative seats in Minnesota, or 13% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either the Democratic or Republican parties runs for a state legislative seat, the seat is all but guaranteed to be won by that party.

Democrats are running in 96% of all state legislative races. Eight state legislative seats (4% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Democratic candidate and a Republican is likely to win.

Republicans are running in 91% of all state legislative races. Eighteen seats (9% of all state legislative seats) do not feature a Republican candidate and a Democrat is likely to win.

Key races

  • Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District: Incumbent Angie Craig (D) is running against Tyler Kistner (R) and Paula Overby (Legal Marijuana Now Party). Craig was first elected in 2018. Craig defeated Kistner in 2020 48.2% to 45.9%. 
  • Minnesota gubernatorial election: Incumbent Gov. Tim Walz (D), Scott Jensen (R), Steve Patterson (Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party of Minnesota), Hugh McTavish (Independence Party of Minnesota), James McCaskel (Legal Marijuana Now Party), and Gabrielle Prosser (Socialist Workers Party) are running for governor. Walz was first elected in 2018. Since 1990, Minnesota has had two Democratic governors, two Republican governors, and one Reform Party governor. The two most recent presidential elections in Minnesota, both of which were won by Democrats, were decided by seven percentage points or less. Tim Pawlenty (R), who served from 2003 to 2011, was Minnesota’s last Republican governor.  
  • Minnesota Attorney General election: Incumbent Keith Ellison (D) is running against Jim Schultz (R). Ellison, a former U.S. Representative, was first elected attorney general in 2018. 
  • Minnesota Secretary of State election: Incumbent Steve Simon (D) is running against Kim Crockett (R) in the general election. Simon was first elected in 2014. 

Voting

  • Polling locations open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. 
  • Minnesota does not require voters to present identification while voting. For more information about voter ID requirements in Minnesota, click here.
  • Early voting runs from Sept. 23 through Nov. 7. 
  • The in-person voter registration deadline is Nov. 8. The deadline to register by mail or online is Oct. 18.
  • There are no eligibility requirements to vote absentee in Minnesota. There is no specific deadline for applying for an absentee ballot. A completed ballot must be returned on or before Election Day for it to be counted. To check the status of your ballot, click here.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool! 

Keep reading



Ballot measures on ballot measures—previewing five measures that could change the initiative process this year

Welcome to the Wednesday, September 21, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

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

  1. Ballot measures on ballot measures—previewing five measures that could change the initiative process this year
  2. Three candidates running for U.S. Senate seat in Georgia
  3. Arkansas voters to elect a new governor and decide four ballot measures

Ballot measures on ballot measures—previewing five measures that could change the initiative process this year

The final list of ballot measures for 2022 is nearly set, with one measure pending (see below for more). Here’s a rundown of the five measures that would change statewide initiative procedures:

  1. Arkansas Issue 2: Would amend the Arkansas Constitution to require a 60% vote to adopt constitutional amendments (legislatively referred and citizen-initiated) and citizen-initiated state statutes. The measure would not affect veto referendums.
    1. Current law: Arkansas law currently requires that all ballot measures, including veto referendums, receive a simple majority (50%+1) in order to pass.
  2. Arizona Proposition 128: Would amend the Arizona Constitution to allow the Legislature to amend or repeal voter-approved ballot initiatives if either the Arizona Supreme Court or the U.S. Supreme Court has declared any portion invalid.
    1. Current law: As a result of the passage of Proposition 105 in 1998, also known as the Voter Protection Act, the Legislature may only amend voter-approved ballot initiatives to further the measure’s intended purpose. Such amendments require a three-fourths vote in both chambers of the Legislature.
  3. Arizona Proposition 129: Would amend the Arizona Constitution to require that citizen-initiated ballot measures have a single subject.
    1. Current law: Arizona does not currently have a single-subject rule. Of the 26 states that provide for at least one type of statewide citizen-initiated measure, 16 have single-subject rules.
  4. Arizona Proposition 132: Would amend the Arizona Constitution to require a 60% vote to pass ballot measures to approve taxes.
    1. Current law: Arizona does not currently have a separate vote threshold for ballot measures that approve taxes. Ballot measures in Arizona require a simple majority (50.01%) of votes in favor in order to win approval.
  5. Colorado Proposition GG: Would require the ballot titles and fiscal impact summaries for initiatives related to income taxes to include information on how the change would affect income taxes on different categories of income.
    1. Current law: There is currently no requirement that ballot titles and fiscal impact summaries for initiatives related to income tax include information on how the changes would affect income taxes in different categories of income. There is a requirement that ballot titles for measures that would increase taxes be printed in all capital letters and follow a standard format.

Last June, voters rejected a measure in South Dakota called Amendment C 67%-32%. It would have changed the vote requirement from a simple majority to a 60% majority for ballot measures that increase taxes or required the state to appropriate $10 million or more in the first five fiscal years.

Between 2010 and June 2022, there were 20 measures regarding the initiative process on the ballot. Voters approved 11 (55%) and rejected nine (45%).

The status of one potential 2022 measure, Oklahoma State Question 820, remains uncertain. 

Proponents submitted 164,000 signatures in support of the measure, which would legalize marijuana. On Aug. 22, Secretary of State Brian Bingman (R) said 117,000 of those signatures were valid, enough to place the measure on the ballot. During the 10-day challenge period following the announcement, opponents submitted four challenges to the measure.

The state supreme court dismissed two challenges to the validity of the signatures. The court did not dismiss the other two challenges, both of which claim the measure’s language is misleading. The court’s ruling will determine whether the measure makes it onto the November ballot.

State Question 820 is the last pending measure this year that could make it onto a statewide November 2022 ballot.

Keep reading

Three candidates running for U.S. Senate seat in Georgia

Among the states where control of the U.S. Senate will be decided in this year’s elections is Georgia. Incumbent Raphael Warnock (D), Herschel Walker (R), and Chase Oliver (L) are running for a six-year term in the U.S. Senate. We’ll be previewing battleground races across the country between now and election day; today, we turn to the U.S. Senate election in Georgia.

Incumbent Raphael Warnock (D), first elected in 2021, is the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was also a pastor. Warnock says he has a record of working alongside both Democrats and Republicans, using his work alongside Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on an infrastructure proposal as an example.

Herschel Walker (R) is a former Hall of Fame professional football player who served on the Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition under President Donald Trump (R). Walker says he is running to protect Georgia from President Joe Biden’s (D) policy agenda.

Chase Oliver (L) is a member of the Libertarian Party and has a background in the import shipping industry. He says he is running to represent individuals rather than interests.

Warnock is leading in fundraising, with $85 million raised as of the most recent fundraising reports to Walker’s $20 million and Oliver’s $8,000. Warnock and Walker are nearly tied in polling. If no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote in the general election, the top two finishers will advance to a runoff on Dec. 6. 

After former U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R) resigned for health reasons in 2019, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) appointed Kelly Loeffler (R) to the seat until a special election could be held to replace Isakson. Since no candidate won a majority of the vote in the special election on Nov. 3, 2020, Loeffler and Warnock advanced to a runoff on Jan. 5, 2021. Warnock defeated Loeffler in the runoff election 51%-49%, becoming the first Democrat to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate since 2005.

The Cook Political Report, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and Inside Elections each rate the race a toss-up.

Keep reading 

Arkansas voters to elect a new governor and decide four ballot measures

Today is the 17th day of our 50 States in 50 Days series, and we’re featuring Arkansas, the Natural State.

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota

Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana

Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho

Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan

On the ballot in Arkansas

One member of the U.S. Senate and four members of the U.S. House of Representatives are up for election in Arkansas. All five incumbents are running for re-election. 

Seven state executive offices are up for election: governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, and public lands commissioner. Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) is term-limited. 

All 35 seats in the Arkansas Senate are up for election, as well as all 100 seats in the Arkansas House of Representatives. Incumbents did not run for re-election in 32 state legislative districts this year.

A general runoff election for Position 2 on the Arkansas Supreme Court will also take place on Nov. 8. 

Redistricting highlights

Arkansas did not gain or lose U.S. House districts after the 2020 census. 

Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to immediately see what redistricting looks like in your state. Here are the congressional maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle in Arkansas: 

To use our tool to view Arkansas’ state legislative maps in effect before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle, visit our Arkansas redistricting page

Partisan balance

  • Both of Arkansas’ U.S. Senators—John Boozman and Tom Cotton—are Republicans, as are all four of its members of the U.S. House. 
  • Republicans have a 27-7 majority in the state Senate and a 78-22 majority in the state House. Arkansas has been a Republican trifecta—with a Republican governor and Republican majorities in both chambers of the state legislature—since 2015. 
  • Arkansas is one of 23 Republican triplexes, meaning that the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state all belong to the Republican Party.

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, 88 state legislative seats in Arkansas, or 65% of all seats up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either the Democratic or Republican parties runs in a state legislative district, that candidate is all but guaranteed to win.

Democrats are running in 47% of all state legislative races. Seventy-one state legislative districts (53% of the total) do not have a Democratic candidate, meaning the Republican is likely to win.

Republicans are running in 87% of all state legislative races. Seventeen districts (13% of the total) do not have a Republican candidate, meaning the Democrat is likely to win.

Key races

  • Governor of Arkansas: Incumbent Asa Hutchinson (R) is term-limited. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R), daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), Chris Jones (D), Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. (L), and four write-in candidates are running. The race is rated solid/safe Republican.  
  • Arkansas Supreme Court Position 2: Incumbent Robin Wynne is running against Chris Carnahan in the nonpartisan general runoff election for Arkansas Supreme Court Position 2. Wynne received 49.5% of the general election vote to Carnahan’s 28.8%. Wynne’s partisan leaning was not able to be determined during Ballotpedia’s 2020 study of state court partisanship. The Republican Party of Arkansas endorsed Carnahan in June 2022. 
  • Mayor of Little Rock: Four candidates, including incumbent Frank Scott Jr., filed to run in the nonpartisan election for mayor of Arkansas’ state capital. Media outlets have reported that Scott is affiliated with the Democratic Party. The election will go to a runoff if no candidate receives either a majority of the vote or at least 40% of the vote with the candidate in second place behind by at least 20% of the vote.

Ballot measures

Arkansas voters will decide four statewide ballot measures on Nov. 8: 

  • Arkansas Issue 1 would allow the Legislature to call itself into extraordinary sessions upon (a) a joint proclamation from the Speaker of the House and the Senate President Pro Tempore or (b) upon a proclamation signed by two-thirds of the members in each chamber. Currently, Arkansas is one of 14 states where only the governor can call a special session. 
  • Arkansas Issue 2 would require a 60% supermajority vote of approval from voters to adopt constitutional amendments (both legislatively referred and citizen-initiated) and citizen-initiated state statutes. Currently, ballot measures in Arkansas require a simple majority (50%+1) vote for approval.
  • Arkansas Issue 3 would amend the state constitution to provide that “government shall not burden a person’s freedom of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.”
  • Arkansas Issue 4 would legalize the possession and use of up to one ounce of marijuana for persons who are at least 21 years old, enact a 10% tax on marijuana sales, and require the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Division to develop rules to regulate marijuana businesses.

In Arkansas, 44 ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 2000 and 2020. Thirty-two ballot measures were approved, and 12 ballot measures were defeated.

Voting

  • Polls are open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. local time.
  • Arkansas requires voters to present photo identification while voting. For more information on voter ID requirements in Arkansas, click here
  • Early voting runs from Oct. 24 through Nov. 7. 
  • The voter registration deadline is Oct. 10. Registration may be done in person or by mail, with forms postmarked by the Oct. 10 deadline. Online registration and same-day registration are not allowed.
  • Certain Arkansas voters are eligible to vote absentee. A mailed ballot request must be received by Nov. 1. An absentee ballot may be requested in person through Nov. 4. Absentee ballots returned by mail must be received by Nov. 8. Absentee ballots returned in person must be returned by Nov. 4. To check the status of your ballot, click here.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool! 

Keep reading



U.S. House incumbent primary defeats reached highest point in two decades

Welcome to the Tuesday, September 20, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. U.S. House incumbent primary losses exceed last two redistricting cycles
  2. Candidates from both major parties are contesting all but two seats in Michigan’s state legislative elections
  3. Seven-state analysis shows attorney general candidates have raised $35.7 million, spent $32.2 million

U.S. House incumbent primary losses exceed last two redistricting cycles

Fifteen U.S. House incumbents—nine Republicans and six Democrats—lost in the 2022 primaries, more than in the post-redistricting election cycles in 2012 (13) and 2002 (8).

Six of these defeats were inevitable due to two incumbents being drawn into the same district and vying for the same nomination. Four of those defeated in incumbent v. incumbent primaries were Democrats, and two were Republicans:

Another trend involved Republican primaries in districts where the incumbents voted to impeach former President Donald Trump (R) in 2021 following the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach, six ran for re-election, and four of them lost. The remaining two advanced in top-two primaries.

In addition to the six incumbents defeated in incumbent v. incumbent primaries and the four defeated Republicans listed above, the remaining five incumbents defeated in primaries are listed below:

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Candidates from both major parties are contesting all but two seats in Michigan’s state legislative elections

Today is the 16th day of our 50 States in 50 Days series, and we are featuring Michigan, the Great Lakes State!

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota

Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana

Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho

Week Four: Kentucky

On the ballot in Michigan

At the federal level, Michigan voters will elect 13 U.S. Representatives. Two seats are open.

Twelve state executive offices are on the ballot, including the governor, attorney general, and eight seats on the state’s various higher education boards.

Two seats on the state supreme court and 10 intermediate appellate court positions are also up for election.

All 148 seats in the state Legislature are up for election: 38 in the state Senate and 110 in the state House. Sixty-six seats are open.

We are also covering municipal elections in Wayne County and Lansing, the state capital.

Click here for more information on Michigan’s races this year.

Redistricting highlights

Michigan lost one congressional district after the 2020 census, dropping to 13.

Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map tool allows you to compare each district. Here’s an example of what Michigan’s congressional map looked like before and after the 2020 census:

Visit our Michigan redistricting page to interact with our congressional and state legislative map comparison tools.

Partisan balance

  • Both of Michigan’s U.S. Senators—Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow—are Democrats.
  • Democrats and Republicans each represent seven of the state’s U.S. House districts.
  • Michigan has had a Democratic governor since Gretchen Whitmer (D) assumed office in 2019.
  • Republicans hold a 22-16 majority in the state Senate and a 56-53 majority in the state House.
  • With Democrats controlling the governorship and Republicans holding majorities in both legislative chambers, Michigan is one of 13 states with a divided government, a status it has held since 2019.
  • Michigan’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all Democrats, making the state one of the nation’s 18 with a Democratic triplex among those offices.

Seats contested by only one major party

In 2022, two state legislative seats in Michigan, or 1% of those up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either major party runs for a state legislative seat, the seat is all but guaranteed to be won by that party.

Democrats are contesting every state legislative race. The party has fielded candidates for every seat in each election cycle since 2014.

Republicans are running for 146 of the seats up for election. Two seats (1%) do not feature a Republican candidate and will likely be won by Democrats.

Key races

  • Governor: Incumbent Gretchen Whitmer (D) faces Tudor Dixon (R) and five other candidates. If Whitmer wins, she will be the state’s first governor elected from the same party as the incumbent president since 1990. If Whitmer loses, it will be the first time an incumbent governor has lost re-election to a second term since 1962.
  • Attorney General: Incumbent Dana Nessel (D) faces Matthew DePerno (R) and two other candidates. Nessel was first elected in an open 2018 race, defeating Tom Leonard (R) 49% to 46%.
  • Secretary of State: Incumbent Jocelyn Benson (D) faces Kristina Karamo (R) and three other candidates. Benson was first elected in an open 2018 race, defeating Mary Treder Lang (R) 53% to 44%.
  • 7th Congressional District: Incumbent Elissa Slotkin (D), first elected in 2018, faces Tom Barrett (R) and one other candidate. If the 2020 presidential election had been held under the new district lines, President Joe Biden (D) would have received 49.4% of the vote in the 7th District to former President Donald Trump’s (R) 48.9%.
  • 8th Congressional District: Incumbent Dan Kildee (D), first elected in 2012, faces Paul Junge (R) and two other candidates. If the 2020 presidential election had been held under the new district lines, Biden would have received 50.3% of the vote in the 8th District to Trump’s 48.2%.

Ballot measures

Michigan voters will decide three statewide ballot measures on Nov. 8:

  • Proposal 1 would require state legislative and executive officials to file annual financial disclosure reports. The measure would also change the state’s legislative term limits from three 2-year terms in the House and two 4-year terms in the Senate to 12 combined years in the Legislature.
  • Proposal 2 would make a number of changes to the state’s voting laws such as allowing a signed affidavit as an alternative to a photo ID and authorizing voters to deposit absentee ballots at drop boxes.
  • Proposal 3 would create a constitutional right to reproductive freedom defined as “the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy,” including prenatal care, contraception, abortion, and miscarriage management, among other items.

Sixty-two ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2020. Thirty-one were approved and 31 were defeated.

Voting

  • Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.
  • Michigan requires voters to present photo identification at the polls. For more information about voter ID requirements in Michigan, click here.
  • Available to all voters, early voting starts on Sept. 29 and ends on Nov. 7.
  • The deadline to register to vote online or by mail is Oct. 24. Michigan allows same-day voter registration in person.
  • Any voter can cast an absentee/by-mail ballot. The deadline to request a ballot is Nov. 4, which can be returned in person or by mail. Election officials must receive returned ballots by Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. To check the status of your ballot, click here.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool! 

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Seven-state analysis shows attorney general candidates have raised $35.7 million, spent $32.2 million 

Major party attorney general candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot have raised a collective $35.7 million and spent $32.2 million across the seven states holding elections this year covered by our partnership with Transparency USA.

Those states are Arizona, California, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin. 

Democrats currently hold the office in four states and Republicans hold the office in three. Incumbents are running for re-election in each contest except for Arizona where Mark Brnovich (R) is term-limited.

Among the general election major party candidates, Democrats have outraised Republicans, while Republicans have outspent Democrats.

California contest had the most fundraising at $12.2 million, while Michigan had the least at $1.4 million.

California, again, had the most spending at $15.7 million, while Ohio had the least at $272,261.

Each states’ active candidates’ figures are shown below. Highlighted cells indicate which party outraised or outspent the other between Jan. 1, 2021, and the “As of” date in 2022.

You can take a deeper dive into these figures using the links below:

Thirty states are holding elections for attorney general this year. Democrats currently hold 16 of the offices up for election and Republicans hold 14.

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