TagDaily Brew

Election results – Day 3 – an early look at pivot counties

Welcome to the Friday, November 6, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Where the 2020 elections stand
  2. An early look at the results in Pivot Counties
  3. Looking at state executive races

Where the 2020 elections stand

We’ve been tracking election results all day as states continue to count remaining ballots. All results in this email are as of 11:30 p.m. EST.

Here are some links for you to bookmark:

  • A rundown of states’ official results certification dates can be found here. The first state certification date was Nov. 5 for Delaware. The next is Nov. 10 for Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia.
  • For updates throughout the day, visit our results hub page at Ballotpedia.org
  • Stay tuned for our next email update later this afternoon via our Help Desk newsletter
  • For details about how recounts and challenges work, check out the information we have compiled on our Election Help Desk.
  • Click here to learn how we decide to call an election. 

Now, let’s get into the projected results.

Who won the presidency?

Vote counting continues and media outlets hadn’t predicted a definitive winner. No new states were called for either candidate Thursday. So far, the five media outlets we’re tracking had unanimously called 44 states and Washington, D.C., in the presidential election. The six remaining uncalled states, according to Ballotpedia’s election calling policy, are Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, as well as Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.

President Donald Trump (R) had won states totaling 213 electoral votes to Joe Biden’s (D) 253. 

Yesterday, both candidates made statements expressing confidence in their own victories. 

Ballotpedia tracked two more states in which the presidential election has been subject either to lawsuits or recount efforts, bringing the total number of states to four: Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. Click here to learn more.

Who controls the U.S. Senate?

Control of the U.S. Senate as a result of the 2020 elections had not been determined. No new Senate races were called Thursday. Six races, all with Republican incumbents, had not been called by a consensus of media outlets. Those races are in Alaska, Arizona, Georgia’s regular and special Senate elections, Maine, and North Carolina. 

Some media outlets had called the race in Arizona for Mark Kelly (D) and in Maine for Susan Collins (R), although neither had met our race calling policy. Collins’ Democratic challenger Sara Gideon conceded the race yesterday afternoon.

The composition of the Senate excluding the six uncalled seats is 47 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two independents who caucus with the Democrats. Republicans and Democrats had each flipped one seat—a Republican gain in Alabama and a Democratic one in Colorado. 

If no candidate in the Georgia U.S. Senate races receives more than 50% of the vote, the top-two finishers will advance to a general runoff election on Jan. 5, 2021. The control of the Senate may not be determined until the winner of one or both of those elections is determined.

Who controls the House of Representatives?

Control of the U.S. House as a result of the 2020 elections had not been determined, although media outlets project the Democratic Party to maintain their majority. As of 8:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 5, we had called 379 of 435 House races. Democrats had won 192, and Republicans had won 187. Democrats currently hold a 232-197 majority.

Republicans had flipped seven seats, and Democrats flipped two, according to Ballotpedia’s election calling policy.

Learn more

An early look at the results in Pivot Counties 

Pivot Counties are the 206 counties nationwide that Ballotpedia identified as having voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012 and Donald Trump (R) in 2016. These counties are sometimes referred to as swing counties by media and political observers.

More than four-fifths of Pivot Counties—174—backed President Trump (R) for re-election this year, while 20 voted for Joe Biden (D), according to our analysis of preliminary vote totals. Preliminary election returns were not available in the 12 remaining Pivot Counties.

In 2016, President Trump carried the median Pivot County by a margin of 9.4 percentage points. This year, President Trump’s median margin of victory in the 174 counties he carried was 13.8 percentage points, while Joe Biden’s median margin in the 20 counties he carried was 3.4 percentage points. The raw data for this study was provided by Dave Leip of Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections in July 2017.

Donald Trump expanded on his 2016 margins in 125 of the 174 Pivot Counties he carried by an average margin of 4.5 percentage points and lost ground in the remaining 49 by an average margin of 2.5 percentage points. The 20 counties Biden carried swung towards Democrats by an average margin of 5.6 percentage points.

The two largest swings towards President Trump were 19.2 percentage points in Woodruff County, Arkansas, and 14.5 percentage points in St. Lawrence County, New York.

The largest swing away from Trump overall was in Ziebach County, South Dakota. Joe Biden carried the county by a margin of 8.5 percentage points after Trump carried it by a 2.0 percentage point margin in 2016—a 10.5 percentage point swing. 

On average, the 174 Trump-voting Pivot Counties were smaller than the 20 Biden-supporting counties, with average populations of 66,917 and 181,325, respectively. The 20 Biden-supporting counties had a smaller average non-Hispanic White population (77.1% versus 80.1% in the Trump-supporting counties) and a smaller average Black population (5.8% versus 8.2%). They also had a higher average proportion of the population with bachelor’s degrees (26.0% versus 18.9%). The Biden-supporting counties are in Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota (four counties), Montana, New Hampshire (two counties), New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington (two counties), and Wisconsin (two counties).

The results detailed above are all unofficial and exact county counts are expected to change. As more vote totals come in, we’ll be updating our analysis accordingly. As we continue to monitor the situation, follow along with us at the link below, where you can also find more details about Pivot County results.

Learn more

Looking at state executive races

Yesterday, we brought you the status of state government trifectas. Here’s the latest update: 

Republicans were projected to gain trifecta control in Montana and New Hampshire, leaving them with 22 trifectas and Democrats with 15. Eleven states had divided governments. It was too early to call the trifecta status of Alaska, which was under divided government heading into the election, and Arizona, which was a Republican trifecta.

Now, let’s dive into state executive race results.

Gubernatorial elections

In this year’s 11 gubernatorial races, incumbents won re-election in nine. 

The races in Montana and Utah were for open seats. Spencer Cox (R) won in Utah, where Gov. Gary Herbert (R) did not run for re-election. Greg Gianforte (R) won in Montana, where Gov. Steve Bullock (D) was term-limited and instead ran for U.S. Senate. Montana was the only governorship to change partisan control in 2020. 

Republicans will have 27 governorships to Democrats’ 23 as a result of the 2020 elections. Seven of this year’s elections were in states with a Republican governor, and four were in states with a Democratic governor.

The last time these offices were all up for election together was in 2016. That year, Republicans gained three governorships (in Missouri, New Hampshire, and Vermont), and Democrats gained one (in North Carolina). In Vermont and New Hampshire, governors are elected to two-year terms. In 2018, their respective governors Phillip Scott (R) and Chris Sununu (R) both won re-election.

Attorney general elections

Ten attorney general elections were held this year, and nine of the races had been called. Incumbents won re-election in seven of the nine called races, and no seats changed party hands.

In Indiana, incumbent Curtis Hill lost in the Republican convention to Todd Rokita, who went on to win the general election. In Montana, incumbent Tim Fox (R) did not run for re-election, and Austin Knudsen (R) won in the general election.

The last time this set of offices was up was 2016. That year, one seat changed party hands—Republican Josh Hawley won the open seat in Missouri, which was previously under Democratic control.

Secretary of state elections

Seven secretary of state elections were held this year, and four of the races have been called. Incumbents won re-election in two of the four called races, and one seat changed party hands.

In Montana, incumbent Corey Stapleton lost the Republican primary to Matt Rosendale, who went on to win the general election. In Oregon, incumbent Bev Clarno (R) did not run for re-election. Shemia Fagan (D) won the general election. 

The last time this set of offices was up was 2016. That year, five seats changed party hands, with a net gain of three seats for Republicans.

Don’t forget: We’re holding our third election results briefing later today as David Luchs from our marquee team joins me to discuss notable trends, races, and results from state-level and down-ballot races across the nation. Click here to register for this free briefing at 11 a.m. CT. And if you can’t attend live, we’ll send you a link to the video when it’s concluded so you can watch it on your schedule.

Learn more



Election results – Day 2

Welcome to the Thursday, Nov. 5, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Where the 2020 elections stand
  2. Looking at statewide ballot measure results
  3. Status of state government trifectas and triplexes

Where the 2020 elections stand

It was another busy day and late-night tracking election results. All results in this email are as of 11:30 p.m. EST.

Here are some links for you to bookmark to stay on top of things:

  • A rundown of states’ official results certification dates can be found here. The first state certification date is Nov. 10 for Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia.
  • For updates throughout the day today, visit our results hub page at Ballotpedia.org
  • Stay tuned for our next email update later this morning via our Help Desk newsletter
  • For details about how recounts and challenges work, check out the information we have compiled on our Election Help Desk.
  • Click here to learn how we decide to call an election. 

Now, let’s get into the projected results. 

Who won the presidency?

Media outlets still hadn’t predicted a definitive winner, and neither candidate had conceded. So far, the five media outlets we’re tracking had unanimously called 44 states and Washington, D.C., in the presidential election. Six states remained uncalled, according to Ballotpedia’s election calling policy—Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania—in addition to Maine’s 2nd Congressional District. 

President Donald Trump (R) had won states totaling 213 electoral votes to Joe Biden’s (D) 237.

On Wednesday, Donald Trump’s campaign filed lawsuits in Georgia and Pennsylvania. Subscribers to the Ballotpedia Help Desk newsletter received detailed updates about these yesterday. Click here to learn more.

Who controls the U.S. Senate?

Control of the U.S. Senate as a result of the 2020 elections had not been determined. Twenty-eight of 35 races had been called, and Republicans had 47 seats, while Democrats had 46 seats (including two independents who caucus with Democrats).

Outlets had not reached consensus in Alaska, Arizona, Georgia (regular and special), Maine, Michigan, and North Carolina.

Republicans and Democrats had each flipped one seat:

  • Tommy Tuberville (R) defeated incumbent Doug Jones (D) in Alabama.
  • John Hickenlooper (D) defeated incumbent Cory Gardner (R) in Colorado.

Who controls the House of Representatives?

Control of the U.S. House as a result of the 2020 elections had not been determined, although media outlets project the Democratic Party to maintain their majority. Three-hundred forty-seven of the 435 races had been called. Republicans had won 173 seats to Democrats’ 170.

Republicans flipped four seats, and Democrats flipped two, according to Ballotpedia’s election calling policy. 

Some outlets projected that at least two other districts had flipped, though they had not yet met our race calling policy: Florida’s 26th and 27th Congressional Districts.

State executives

Eleven states held elections for governor. Incumbents won nine of the races. Spencer Cox (R) won in Utah, where the Republican incumbent did not run for re-election. Greg Gianforte (R) won in Montana, making it the only governorship to change partisan control in 2020. After the 2020 elections, Republicans will hold 27 governorships to Democrats’ 23. Seven of the elections this year were in states with a Republican governor, and four were in states with a Democratic governor.

Learn more

Looking at statewide ballot measure results 

Voters in 32 states decided 120 statewide ballot measures on Nov. 3, and Ballotpedia had called the outcome of 93 measures. Seventy-two were approved and 21 were defeated. The remaining 27 were uncalled.

Below are a few noteworthy results:

  • Illinois voters rejected a constitutional amendment to allow for a graduated income tax. The ballot measure would have repealed the state’s constitutional requirement that the state’s personal income tax be a flat rate across income. Instead, the ballot measure would have allowed the state to enact legislation for a graduated income tax. More than $121 million was raised by supporters and opponents of the measure. Supporters raised $60.33 million, including $56.5 million from Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Opponents raised $60.86 million, including $53.8 million from Citadel CEO Kenneth C. Griffin.
  • Voters approved changes to state drug and criminal justice policies in several states. In Oregon, two ballot measures—Measure 109 and Measure 110—were approved. Measure 109 created a program for administering psilocybin products, such as psilocybin-producing mushrooms and fungi. Measure 110 decriminalized Schedule I-IV controlled substances, such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines. 
  • In Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota, voters approved ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana. Mississippi, along with South Dakota, also approved medical marijuana programs. Voters in Oklahoma rejected a ballot initiative, State Question 805, that would have prohibited the use of a person’s past non-violent felony convictions to impose a greater (enhanced) sentence when sentencing a person convicted of a non-violent felony.
  • In California, voters rejected Proposition 16. Proposition 16 would have allowed the use of affirmative action involving race-based or sex-based preferences in California by repealing Proposition 209, passed in 1996, from the California Constitution. Proposition 209 states that discrimination and preferential treatment are prohibited in public employment, public education, and public contracting on account of a person’s or group’s race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.
  • California voters approved Proposition 17, which expanded the right to vote to people on parole for felony convictions. In Alabama, Colorado, and Florida, constitutional amendments were approved to state that only a citizen of the U.S. who is 18 years old or older can vote. 
  • Abortion was on the ballot in Colorado and Louisiana. Colorado voters rejected Proposition 115, which would have prohibited abortion after a fetus reaches 22 weeks gestational age. Louisiana voters approved Amendment 1, which added language to the Louisiana Constitution stating that “nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”
  • On election policy issues, both Florida Amendment 3 and Massachusetts Question 2 were defeated. Florida Amendment 3 would have created a top-two primary system, and Massachusetts Question 2 would have adopted ranked-choice voting.

For more on ballot measure results, don’t miss today’s briefing reviewing what we know about results so far. Ballotpedia’s own Josh Altic will be joining me at 11:00 a.m. Central Time as he breaks down the results and what happens next. Click here to secure your spot!

Learn more

Status of state government trifectas and triplexes

A state government trifecta occurs when one party holds the governorship and a majority in both chambers of a state’s legislature. A state government triplex occurs when the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state in a given state are all members of the same political party. We’re monitoring how the 2020 elections will affect the status of trifectas and triplexes throughout the country.

Trifectas

As of last night, Republicans were projected to gain trifecta control in Montana and New Hampshire. It was too early to call one Republican-held trifecta, six Democratic-held trifectas, and four divided governments. If Republicans hold the net gain of two trifectas, the country will have 23 Republican-held trifectas, 15 Democratic-held trifectas, and 12 divided governments.

Heading into the 2020 elections, there were 36 state government trifectas—the most since 2013. Republicans had 21 trifectas, and Democrats had 15. The other 14 states had divided government, meaning neither party had a trifecta.

Triplexes

In the 2020 elections, 13 states held elections for one or more triplex offices. Heading into the 2020 elections, there were 36 state government triplexes—19 Republican triplexes and 17 Democratic triplexes. The remaining 14 states were under divided control.

As of last night, Republicans and Democrats had each gained triplex status in one state. Montana will become a Republican triplex, as they won the governor’s race and maintained control of the secretary of state and attorney general offices. Oregon will become a Democratic triplex, as they flipped the secretary of state’s office and maintained control of the attorney general’s office. Triplex status as a result of the 2020 elections remains undetermined in six states.
Learn more



Here’s what we know so far

Welcome to the Wednesday, Nov. 4, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Where elections stand
  2. Don’t miss today’s elections results webinar

Where elections stand

Good morning. For some of us, it was a late night. For others, a very early morning. Either way, the sun came up, we got our kids ready for the day, and now it is time for some election results. Regardless of how you are beginning your day (or, maybe ending it), we hope we can be here to help you make sense of the state of election results.

All results in this email are as of 5:30 a.m. EST.

In states across the country, results continue to be tabulated. Here are a few quick links before we jump into the results.

  • For a rundown of the official results certification dates, see this article
  • For updates throughout the day today, visit our results hub page at Ballotpedia.org
  • Stay tuned for our next email update later this morning via our Help Desk newsletter. 
  • As a reminder, for details about how recounts and challenges work, check out the information we have compiled on our Election Help Desk.
  • Click here to learn how we decide to call an election. 

Now, let’s get into the projected results. 

Who won the presidency?

Media outlets have not projected a definitive winner. Neither candidate has conceded, with both candidates expressing confidence that the results lean in their favor.

President Donald Trump (R) had won states totaling 213 electoral votes to Joe Biden’s (D) 220. Ten states remained uncalled, according to Ballotpedia’s election calling policy. Both candidates spoke to their supporters in the early morning hours. For the latest updates, follow along with us here.

Who controls the U.S. Senate?

Control of the U.S. Senate as a result of the 2020 elections had not been determined.  Elections in seven states remained too close to call.

Races had been called by five media outlets for 11 Democrats and 17 Republicans. Two seats switched parties: Tommy Tuberville (R) won Doug Jones’ (D) seat in Alabama, and John Hickenlooper (D) won Cory Gardner’s (R) seat in Colorado.

The seven states that have not been called yet are Georgia (both regular and special elections), Arizona, Alaska, Maine, North Carolina, and Michigan.

Thirty-five of 100 U.S. Senate seats were up for election. Heading into the election, Democrats held 12 of those seats and Republicans held 23.

Who controls the House of Representatives?

Media outlets project the Democratic Party to maintain control of the U.S. House. The partisan composition of the House of Representatives before the elections was 232 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one Libertarian, and five vacancies. Here are a few of the seats that have flipped so far:

  • MN-07: Michelle Fischbach (R) won Collin Peterson’s (D) seat
  • NC-02: Deborah Ross (D) won George Holding’s (R) seat
  • NC-06: Kathy Manning (D) won Joseph Haywood’s (R) seat
  • OK-05: Stephanie Bice (R) won Kendra Horn’s (D) seat

What is the status of trifectas?

The pre-election trifecta count is 36 (21 for Republicans and 15 for Democrats) with 14 states having divided governments.

While final control of most state legislative chambers is too early to call, if we assume that no state legislative chambers flipped outside those we identified as battlegrounds, we can project that Republicans have likely gained a trifecta in Montana. Greg Gianforte’s (R) election as the state’s first Republican governor since 2004 brings an end to 15 years of divided government, assuming Republicans maintain their state legislative majorities. Democrats held their trifectas in Colorado and Delaware, while Republicans held their trifecta in Arkansas. Kentucky, Massachusetts, and North Carolina remained under divided government. 

Democrats did not pick up a trifecta in Vermont, where Gov. Phil Scott (R) won re-election. Similarly, Republicans missed a chance to pick up a trifecta in North Carolina with the re-election of Roy Cooper (D).

State executives

Eleven states held elections for governor. Seven of the elections were in states with a Republican governor and four were in states with a Democratic governor. As of 2:30 a.m. ET, 11 races had been decided. Incumbents won nine of the 11 races. Heading into the 2020 elections, 26 states had a Republican governor and 24 had a Democratic governor.    

Montana governor

Greg Gianforte (R) defeated Mike Cooney (D), Robert Barb (G), and Lyman Bishop (L) to win election as governor of Montana, becoming the first Republican elected to the office since 2000. Gianforte is the state’s current representative in the U.S. House, while Cooney is the current lieutenant governor. 

North Carolina governor

Incumbent Roy Cooper (D) defeated Dan Forest (R), Al Pisano (C), and Steven DiFiore II (L) in the election for governor in North Carolina. Cooper was elected in 2016 after defeating incumbent Pat McCrory (R) 49.0% to 48.8%. Forest, the state’s lieutenant governor, was first elected in 2012 and was re-elected in 2016 with 52% of the vote to Democrat Linda Coleman’s 45%.

What are the notable ballot measure results?

California Proposition 22 (App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative)

California voters approved Proposition 22, which defines app-based transportation (rideshare) and delivery drivers as independent contractors and adopts labor and wage policies specific to app-based drivers and companies. The vote was 58% to 42%. Prop 22 overrides Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), which was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2019, on the question of whether app-based drivers are employees or independent contractors. AB 5 created the presumption that a worker is an employee, rather than an independent contractor, unless the hiring business can prove otherwise. 

Colorado Proposition 118 (Paid Medical and Family Leave Initiative)

Colorado voters approved Proposition 118 in a vote of 57% to 43%. The measure establishes a paid family and medical leave program in Colorado to provide 12 weeks (up to 16 weeks in certain cases) of paid leave funded through a payroll tax to be paid for by employers and employees in a 50/50 split. While eight other states have paid leave programs similar to this and several states have voted on paid sick leave requirements for employers, this was the first time voters weighed in on a state-run paid sick leave program through a statewide ballot measure.

Mississippi Ballot Measure 3 (State Flag Referendum)

Mississippi voters approved Measure 3 to adopt a new official state flag 70% to 30%. The new flag, as designed by the Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag, may not contain the Confederate Battle Flag and must include the words “In God We Trust.”

New Jersey Question 1 (Marijuana Legalization Amendment)

New Jersey voters approved a constitutional amendment, Question 1, to legalize marijuana. New Jersey is the first Mid-Atlantic state to legalize marijuana. As of 11:45 PM EST, Question 1 led with 67.3% of the vote.

Oregon Measure 109 (Psilocybin Mushroom Services Program Initiative)

Oregon voters approved Measure 109 in a vote of 56% to 44% according to unofficial election night results. It will permit licensed service providers to administer psilocybin-producing mushroom and fungi products to individuals 21 years of age or older.

What happened in state supreme court elections?

Thirty-five states held state supreme court elections this year. In total, 78 of the nation’s 344 state supreme court seats are up for election. At 23%, this is the greatest number of seats up for election in recent years.

Illinois

Thomas Kilbride (D) conceded defeat in his retention election in Illinois. Before the 2020 election, the Illinois Supreme Court consisted of four Democratic and three Republican justices. The final results will not be verified until all of the votes are counted, but if Kilbride is not retained, he will be the first state supreme court justice in Illinois history not to be retained. 

Don’t miss today’s election results webinar

Our first webinar of the week is today—Nov. 4—at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Marquee Editor Cory Eucalitto and I will walk you through the notable election results, the races that are too close to call, and what’s next in this presidential election cycle.

Click here to register and secure your spot! All registrants will receive a copy of the briefing the following day.



Happy Election Day!

Welcome to the Tuesday, Nov. 3, Brew. Election day is upon us.

Happy Election Day!

Election Day is here! Haven’t voted yet? Here’s a page where you can view your state’s poll closing times. You can also view your sample ballot here.

Before we dive into election results tomorrow, here are some resources you can use throughout the week to follow the stories you care about.

  • Bookmark our comprehensive election results page for up-to-date information on results, the status of election race calls, congressional and state executive offices and chambers that changed parties, election disputes or recounts, and more. 
  • Reserve your spot today in this week’s three free briefings so you can stay informed on race developments:
    • Nov. 4—Elections Review: Join us at 3 p.m. ET for a quick look at the election results we know so far.
    • Nov. 5—Ballot Measures Review: Join our Ballot Measures team at 12 p.m. ET as we break down ballot measure results and what happens next.
    • Nov. 6—Down-ballot Elections Review: With more than the presidential race on the ballot, there are a lot of election results to cover. Let us do the hard work for you by joining us for this free briefing at 12 p.m. ET about notable trends, races, and results from down-ballot races across the nation.
  • Click here to learn when your state can begin counting ballots.

This week, we want to provide our Brew readers with all the information they need, right here in these emails. I hope we can serve as an unbiased source of news and analysis as you wade through election results.

Looking ahead at tonight, the first polls close at 6 PM local time in Indiana and Kentucky. While results will be reported starting this evening, results certification won’t happen for days or even weeks. Click here for a list of state certification dates.
Learn more



City and state responses to Halloween during the pandemic

Welcome to the Friday, October 30, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. 37 states, 70 cities release guidance on celebrating Halloween
  2. Candidate Connection spotlight
  3. Explore Delaware elections
  4. Explore Louisiana elections

37 states, 70 cities release guidance on celebrating Halloween

Tomorrow is Halloween. Like most things in 2020, trick-or-treating is expected to take place differently. Thirty-seven states have issued specific guidance on celebrating Halloween amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidance on how to safely celebrate Halloween during the pandemic. The CDC recommended avoiding high-risk activities, including traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, trunk-or-treating, attending indoor costume parties, visiting indoor haunted houses, and going on hayrides or tractor rides with large groups of people.

For those who decide to go treating, the CDC provided the following guidelines to make trick-or-treating safer, including:

  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
  • Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
  • Wash hands before handling treats.
  • Wear a mask.

As of October 28, one of the top 100 U.S. cities by population—El Paso, Texas—banned traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treating. Seventy of the largest 100 cities have issued specific guidance on celebrating Halloween during the pandemic.

We’ve compiled those specific state and local Halloween safety guidelines, which you can view by clicking the link below. Celebrate safely!

Learn more

Candidate Connection spotlight 

Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey asks people who are running for office questions about what they stand for, what’s important to them, and what they want to do if elected. We designed it to help voters gain insights about their candidates as people and learn how each feels about various topics.

We invite all candidates with a profile on Ballotpedia to complete our survey. On Fridays, we’ve included selected responses we’ve received this cycle to certain questions.

Here’s a look at the last three survey questions we’ve highlighted:

Our last look of the cycle is: What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about? We received 4,686 responses, and here are some selected ones:

“I am most passionate about ensuring our nation’s heroes receive the care and benefits they have earned through their service and sacrifice. I am passionate about improving Americans’ access to quality, affordable healthcare and mental health treatments. Additionally, I believe individual constituent service is one of the most important services an elected official can provide. The federal government is a massive operation, and my office is always available to help my constituents navigate the bureaucracy and cut through red tape.”

Gus Bilirakis, Republican candidate for Florida’s 12th Congressional District

“As a former mayor there are very few areas of public policy issues that don’t interest me. I am most interested in rural economic development, healthcare and public health policy, infrastructure policy, especially high speed Internet, historic preservation and affordable housing policy, environmental stewardship, agriculture policy, Veterans Administration policies, and transportation policies.”

Carolyn Salter, Democratic candidate for Texas’ 5th Congressional District

“I am passionate about having stakeholders of urban, suburban, and rural communities be included in the future of Georgia.  Georgia has a bright future – the question becomes who’s going to be included in that future, and who’s going to be left behind.”

Elbert Bartell, independent candidate running for the U.S. Senate from Georgia

Learn more

Explore Delaware elections

Today is the last day of our 50 States in 25 Days series, and we end with the First State—Delaware—and the Bayou State—Louisiana. We hope these previews gave you insight into the elections in your state, or those of friends and family members across the country.  If you want to catch up on any days you missed, here are the links to all the states we covered: 

Week One: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi, Illinois, Ohio, Nebraska, and Oregon

Week Two: Montana, New Mexico, Iowa, South Dakota, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, and South Carolina

Week Three: North Dakota, West Virginia, Georgia, New York, Kentucky, Virginia, Colorado, Utah, New Jersey, and Oklahoma

Week Four: Maine, Missouri, Arizona, Michigan, Kansas, Washington, Hawaii, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin

Week Five: Connecticut, Minnesota, Florida, Wyoming, Alaska, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island 

On the ballot in Delaware

At the federal level, Delaware voters will elect three presidential electors, one U.S. Senator, and one U.S. Representative. The state executive offices up for election are governor, lieutenant governor, and insurance commissioner. Both chambers of the state legislature are on the ballot, as 11 out of 21 seats in the state Senate and all 41 state House districts are up for election.

Partisan balance

  • In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton (D) defeated Donald Trump (R) 53% to 42%. Democratic candidates have won Delaware in each of the last seven presidential elections. The last Republican candidate to win Delaware was George H. W. Bush in 1988.
  • Delaware has one Pivot County. Pivot Counties voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012, then voted for Donald Trump (R) in 2016.
  • Both of Delaware’s U.S. Senators are Democrats.
  • Delaware’s one representative to the U.S. House is a Democrat.
  • Delaware’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are Democrats. This makes Delaware one of 17 states with a Democratic triplex. It has held this status since 2005.
  • Democrats have a 12-9 majority in the state Senate and a 26-15 majority in the state House. Because the governor is a Democrat, Delaware is one of 15 states with a Democratic trifecta. It has held this status since 2009 when Democrats took control of the state House.

Ballot measures

There are no statewide ballot measures in Delaware in 2020.

Voting

  • In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. John Carney (D) signed HB346 into law, providing for the state election commission to deliver an absentee/mail-in ballot application to every qualified voter in the 2020 primary, general, and special elections.
  • Delaware does not require witnesses or notaries to sign absentee/mail-in ballot return documents.  
  • Voters can return their absentee/mail-in ballots in person or by mail. In both cases, ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Click here to check the status of your ballot.
  • In the 2018 general election, absentee/mail-in ballots represented 3.7% of all votes cast in Delaware.
  • Delaware law allows election workers to begin counting absentee/mail-in ballots on Oct. 30.
  • Delaware requires all voters to present non-photo identification at the polls. For more information about voter ID requirements in Delaware, click here
  • In Delaware, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Delaware is in the Eastern time zone. 

Learn More

Explore Louisiana elections

On the ballot in Louisiana

At the federal level, Louisiana voters will elect eight presidential electors, one U.S. Senator, and six U.S. Representatives. Two out of five seats are up for election on the state public service commission. Two seats are up on the state supreme court—one for regular election and one for special election—and 13 seats are up on the intermediate appellate courts. Voters will decide on eight statewide ballot measures. Ballotpedia is also tracking local elections in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and two school districts. 

Partisan data

  • In 2016, Donald Trump (R) defeated Hillary Clinton (D) 58% to 38% in Louisiana. Bill Clinton was the last Democrat to win the state in a presidential election in 1996.
  • Louisiana is one of 16 states without a Pivot County. Pivot Counties voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012 and Donald Trump (R) in 2016.
  • Both of Louisiana’s U.S. Senators—Bill Cassidy and John Neely Kennedy—are Republicans.
  • Republicans represent five of the state’s U.S. House districts, and Democrats represent one.
  • Louisiana’s governor is a Democrat, while its attorney general and secretary of state are Republicans. This makes Louisiana one of 14 states without a state government triplex.
  • Republicans have a 27-12 majority in the state Senate and a 68-35 majority in the state House. Because the governor is a Democrat, Louisiana is one of 14 states without a state government trifecta.

Ballot measures

  • Louisiana voters will decide seven statewide measures on Nov. 3. They will also decide one statewide measure on Dec. 5. The Louisiana Legislature referred all eight measures to the ballot.
  • Amendment 1 would say there is no right to abortion or abortion funding in the state constitution.

Voting

  • In response to the coronavirus pandemic, a federal judge ordered Louisiana election officials to make available to voters in the Nov. 3 election the same Covid-19 absentee/mail-in ballot application used in the state’s summer elections. This application offers Covid-19 reasons for requesting a ballot.
  • Louisiana does not require witnesses or notaries to sign absentee/mail-in ballot return documents.  
  • Voters can return their ballots in person or by mail. In both cases, ballots must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 2. Click here to check the status of your ballot.
  • In the 2018 election, absentee/mail-in ballots represented 2.7% of all votes cast in Louisiana.
  • Louisiana law does not specify when election workers can begin counting absentee/mail-in ballots.
  • Louisiana requires all voters to present photo identification at the polls. For more information about voter ID requirements in Louisiana, click here
  • Early voting opened on Oct. 16 and closed on Oct. 27. 
  • In Louisiana, polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Louisiana is in the Central time zone. 

Learn more



15 ballot measures we’re watching

Welcome to the Thursday, Oct. 29, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. 15 ballot measures we’re watching
  2. Comparing stances: Presidential candidates on prescription drug costs
  3. Explore Rhode Island  elections
  4. Explore New Hampshire elections

15 ballot measures we’re watching

On Tuesday, I wrote about 15 of the federal and state-level races we’ll be watching next week. Today I’m back with a list of the 15 ballot measures we’re tracking.

There are 120 statewide measures on the Nov. 3 ballot across 32 states. While that number is 25% fewer than the average since 2010, this year’s crop of ballot measures stands out as one of the most complex and compelling we’ve seen. Here’s what our ballot measures project director Josh Altic shared with me about what to watch for:

  • • Despite there being fewer statewide measures, ballot measure campaign contributions have already broken $1 billion and will exceed the totals in 2016 and 2018.
  • • Perennial trends and repeat topics such as marijuana, tax policy, elections policy, minimum wage, and rent control appear in abundance.
  • • A number of unique measures, first-ever forays into new policy areas, and measures with the potential to start or discourage new trends add a whole new layer to understand this year.

Below is a sampling of the measures we’ll be watching closely on election night and during election week. Click here for the full list.

  • The most expensive measure this year—Proposition 22—is also the most expensive in California’s history and is the first time voters will decide a statewide measure on gig economy policies.
  • Colorado will be the first state to vote on a paid sick leave program.
  • Alaska and Massachusetts could become the second and third states to enact ranked-choice voting for state-level elections. Alaska could also be the first state to enact a top-four primary system for state executive, state legislative, and congressional offices in the U.S.

Learn more

Comparing stances: Presidential candidates on prescription drug costs

In this week’s feature comparing the four noteworthy presidential candidates’ stances on key issues, we’re looking at what the candidates say about prescription drug costs. As a reminder, to be considered noteworthy in the general election, candidates must appear on enough ballots to win a majority of the Electoral College.

Our summary of the candidates’ stances on prescription drug costs will be the last in this series that has spanned the past 12 weeks. I hope you’ve enjoyed it! These summaries have come from the 40 articles our presidential election team has written featuring presidential candidate stances. In the past few weeks, we’ve briefed our Brew readers on the candidates’ stances on gun ownership and regulations, climate change, criminal justice, abortion, and China.

Joe Biden (D)

Joe Biden’s campaign website states Biden “will put a stop to runaway drug prices and the profiteering of the drug industry by: Repealing the outrageous exception allowing drug corporations to avoid negotiating with Medicare over drug prices. Limiting launch prices for drugs that face no competition and are being abusively priced by manufacturers. Limiting price increases for all brand, biotech, and abusively priced generic drugs to inflation. Allowing consumers to buy prescription drugs from other countries. Terminating pharmaceutical corporations’ tax break for advertisement spending. Improving the supply of quality generics.”

Howie Hawkins (G)

Howie Hawkins’ campaign website states, “Predatory Big Pharma would be socialized into [his healthcare] system as a public utility operating at cost for public benefit. We would direct it to do the needed research and development of vaccines, antivirals, and antibiotics that Big Pharma has stopped doing because drugs for chronic conditions are more profitable than short-term medical treatments that prevent and cure diseases. Under community control, the public healthcare system will be more accountable, more effective at controlling costs, and more rational and just in allocating healthcare resources across all communities.”

Jo Jorgensen (L)

Jo Jorgensen’s answers to a series of questions regarding prescription drug costs are summarized below. Click here to view the full questionnaire.

Jorgensen’s campaign website states the government should not regulate the price of drugs. It also says that “the FDA should be abolished so the price of all drugs goes down.”

Donald Trump (R) 

Donald Trump’s campaign website states that “Under President Trump, The FDA has approved the largest number of generic drugs in history. Generics increase competition in the marketplace and lower the cost of prescription drugs for all Americans. In December 2018, year-end drug prices fell for the first time in nearly 50 years.”

Learn more

Explore Rhode Island elections

We’re just two states away from wrapping up our 50 States in 25 Days series. On our penultimate day, we are heading to New England for a look at Rhode Island and New Hampshire. If you missed a day, here are the states we’ve highlighted so far, along with a map summarizing where we are in the series:

On the ballot in Rhode Island

At the federal level, Rhode Island voters will elect four presidential electors, one U.S. Senator, and two U.S. Representatives. At the state level, 38 state Senate seats and 75 state House districts are up for election. Voters will also decide on one statewide ballot measure.

Partisan data

  • In 2016, Hillary Clinton (D) defeated Donald Trump (R) 54% to 39% in Rhode Island. Ronald Reagan was the last Republican to win Rhode Island in 1984.
  • Rhode Island’s Kent County is a Pivot County. Pivot Counties voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012 and Donald Trump (R) in 2016.
  • Both of Rhode Island’s U.S. Senators—Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse—are Democrats.
  • Democrats represent both of Rhode Island’s U.S. House districts.
  • Rhode Island’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all Democrats, meaning it is one of 17 states with a Democratic triplex. It has held this status since 2015, when Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) assumed office.
  • Democrats have a 33-5 majority in the state Senate. In the state House, Democrats have 66 seats, Republicans have 8, and an Independent has 1. Because the governor is a Democrat, Rhode Island is one of 15 states with a Democratic trifecta. Democrats gained a trifecta when Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) assumed office in 2015.

Ballot measures

  • Rhode Island voters will decide one statewide measure on Nov. 3.
  • The Rhode Island Legislature referred Question 1 to the ballot. It would amend the constitution to remove “Providence Plantations” from the official state name.

Voting

  • Rhode Island changed its rules in 2020 to send absentee/mail-in ballot applications to all active registered voters in the general election.
  • Rhode Island does not require witnesses or notaries to sign absentee/mail-in ballot return documents.  
  • Voters can return their ballots in person or by mail. In both cases, ballots must be received by Election Day in order to be counted. Click here to check the status of your ballot.
  • In the 2018 general election, absentee/mail-in ballots represented 6.8% of all votes cast in Rhode Island.
  • Rhode Island law allows election workers to begin counting absentee/mail-in ballots after polls close on Election Day.
  • Rhode Island requires all voters to present photo identification at the polls. For more information about Rhode Island’s voter ID requirements, click here
  • Early voting began on Oct. 14 and ends on Nov. 2.
  • In Rhode Island, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Rhode Island is in the Eastern time zone.

Learn more

Explore New Hampshire elections

On the ballot in New Hampshire

At the federal level, New Hampshire voters will elect four presidential electors, one U.S. Senator, and two U.S. Representatives. At the state level, the governor, five Executive Council seats, 24 state Senate seats, and 400 state House districts are up for election.

Partisan data

  • In 2016, Hillary Clinton (D) defeated Donald Trump (R) 46.8% to 46.5% in New Hampshire. George W. Bush was the last Republican to win the state in a presidential election in 2000.
  • Three of New Hampshire’s 10 counties are Pivot Counties, accounting for 36% of the state’s population. Pivot Counties voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012 and Donald Trump (R) in 2016.
  • Both of New Hampshire’s Senators—Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan—are Democrats.
  • Democrats represent both of the state’s U.S. House districts.
  • New Hampshire’s governor and attorney general are Republicans, while its secretary of state is a Democrat, meaning it is one of 14 states without a state government triplex.
  • Democrats have a 14-10 majority in the state Senate and a 230-156 majority in the state House. Because the governor is a Republican, New Hampshire is one of 14 states without a state government trifecta. With 400 members, the New Hampshire House of Representatives is the largest state house in the U.S.

Battleground races

Here are two battleground races taking place in New Hampshire this year:

  • U.S. Senate: Incumbent Jeanne Shaheen (D), Bryant “Corky” Messner (R), and Justin O’Donnell (L) are running for New Hampshire’s Class II seat in the U.S. Senate. The last Republican to win election to the U.S. Senate from New Hampshire was Kelly Ayotte (R) in 2010.
  • Governor: Incumbent Chris Sununu (R), Dan Feltes (D), and Darryl Perry (L) are running for a two-year term as governor. Sununu was first elected in 2016 and won re-election in 2018, defeating challenger Molly Kelly 53% to 46%. New Hampshire is one of four states that voted for Hillary Clinton (D) in 2016 and has a Republican governor in 2020.

Ballot measures

There are no statewide measures on the ballot in New Hampshire this year.

Voting

  • New Hampshire changed its rules in 2020 to establish concern over Covid-19 as a valid reason for voting absentee in the general election.
  • New Hampshire does not require witnesses or notaries to sign absentee/mail-in ballot return documents.  
  • Voters can return their absentee/mail-in ballots in person or by mail. In both cases, ballots must be received by Election Day. Click here to check the status of your ballot.
  • In the 2018 general election, absentee/mail-in ballots represented 7.5% of all votes cast in New Hampshire.
  • New Hampshire law allows election workers to begin counting absentee/mail-in ballots after polls close on Election Day.
  • New Hampshire requires all voters to present photo identification at the polls. For more information about New Hampshire’s voter ID requirements, click here
  • In New Hampshire, polling hours vary by municipality. Polls must open by 11 a.m. and cannot close before 7 p.m. New Hampshire is in the Eastern time zone.

Learn more



44 states allow voters to check the status of their ballot online

Welcome to the Wednesday, October 28, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Can I track my ballot?
  2. Sample ballots from all 50 states
  3. Explore Alaska elections
  4. Explore Massachusetts elections

Can I track my ballot?

There are six days until the close of voting on Election Day—Nov. 3. If you decided to vote using an absentee or mail-in ballot, you may be wondering if there’s a way you can see where your individual ballot is in the process. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia allow voters to track the status of their absentee/mail-in ballot online. 

Of the six states that do not, Texas and New York have online ballot tracking only for military and overseas voters. The remaining four states—Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, and Wyoming—have no online ballot tracking at the state level.

Looking for more answers about how the 2020 election will be conducted, from the casting of ballots to the certification of final results? Visit our Election Help Desk pages or click here to subscribe to our Election Help Desk Newsletter.

Learn more

Sample ballots from all 50 states 

Are you the ultimate political enthusiast, like me? If so, this story is definitely for you. The voting process has been more heavily discussed this year than any election in quite some time. One of our favorite things to collect each year are examples of the sample ballots in each state. After all, while we all vote on the same general election date, what isn’t always clear is how different – visually – ballots are designed from state-to-state. 

Here are pictures of two sample ballots—one from Mississippi and one from New Jersey:

We’ve gathered images of official 2020 sample ballots from all 50 states. These are just for illustrative purposes since ballot preparation procedures vary by state and between jurisdictions within states. Consequently, sample ballots in different jurisdictions in the same state may not be identical.

Of course, to see your official sample ballot, contact your local election agency. To learn more about what is on your ballot, try Ballotpedia’s sample ballot tool, or download our mobile app, My Vote Ballotpedia.

But to get started on a political journey looking at ballots across the country, click the link below!

Learn more 

Explore Alaska elections

We have just six states remaining in our 50 States in 25 Days series, and today we’re previewing Alaska and Massachusetts. These two states are about as far as you can get in the United States, with more than 3,300 miles separating them. If you missed a day, here are the states we’ve highlighted so far, along with a map summarizing where we are in the series:

Week One: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi, Illinois, Ohio, Nebraska, and Oregon

Week Two: Montana, New Mexico, Iowa, South Dakota, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, and South Carolina

Week Three: North Dakota, West Virginia, Georgia, New York, Kentucky, Virginia, Colorado, Utah, New Jersey, and Oklahoma

Week Four: Maine, Missouri, Arizona, Michigan, Kansas, Washington, Hawaii, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin

Week Five: Connecticut, Minnesota, Florida, and Wyoming 

On the ballot in Alaska

At the federal level, Alaska voters will elect three presidential electors, one U.S. Senator, and one U.S. Representative. Both chambers of the state legislature are on the ballot, with 10 out of 20 seats in the state Senate and all 40 state House districts up for election. A special election is being held for one seat in the state Senate. One seat on the state supreme court and one intermediate appellate court seat are on the ballot. Voters will also decide on two statewide ballot measures. Ballotpedia is tracking local elections in Anchorage.

Partisan balance

  • In 2016, Donald Trump (R) defeated Hillary Clinton (D) 51% to 37% in Alaska. Lyndon B. Johnson was the last Democrat to win the state in a presidential election in 1964.
  • Both of Alaska’s U.S. Senators—Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski—are Republicans.
  • Republican Don Young represents Alaska’s at-large U.S. House district.
  • Alaska’s governor and attorney general are both Republicans, meaning it is one of 19 states with a Republican triplex (the third triplex office, secretary of state, does not exist in Alaska). It has held this status since Governor Mike Dunleavy (R) assumed office in 2018.
  • Republicans have a 13-7 majority in the state Senate and the governor is a Republican. Following the 2018 elections, 2 Independent, 15 Democratic, and 4 Republican House members split control of key leadership positions in a power-sharing agreement, meaning Alaska has divided trifecta control. Alaska has had divided control since 2015.

Ballot measures

  • Alaska voters will decide two statewide measures on Nov. 3. Both are citizen initiatives.
  • Ballot Measure 1 would increase taxes on certain oil production fields. 
  • Ballot Measure 2 would establish ranked-choice voting for general elections, including the presidential election. It would also replace partisan primaries with open top-four primaries for state executive, state legislative, and congressional offices.

Voting

  • Alaska’s witness requirement for absentee/mail-in ballots has been suspended as the result of a court order.  
  • Voters can return their absentee/mail-in ballots in person or by mail. Ballots returned in person must be received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 13. Click here to check the status of your ballot.
  • In the 2018 general election, absentee/mail-in ballots represented 8.2% of all votes cast in Alaska.
  • Alaska law allows election officials to begin counting absentee/mail-in ballots after polls close on Election Day.
  • Alaska requires all voters to present non-photo identification at the polls. For more information about Alaska’s voter ID requirements, click here
  • Early voting began on Oct. 19 and ends on Nov. 2. 
  • In Alaska, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Most of Alaska is in the Alaskan time zone. Parts of the Aleutian Islands are in the Hawaii-Aleutian time zone. 

Learn more 

Explore Massachusetts elections 

On the ballot in Massachusetts

At the federal level, Massachusetts voters will elect 11 presidential electors, one U.S. Senator, and nine U.S. Representatives. All eight seats on the governor’s council are up for election. Both chambers of the state legislature are on the ballot, with all 40 seats up in the state Senate and all 160 state House districts. Voters will also decide two statewide ballot measures. Ballotpedia is tracking local elections in Suffolk County.

Partisan balance

  • In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton (D) defeated Donald Trump (R) in Massachusetts 60% to 33%. Aside from Ronald Reagan, who won Massachusetts in 1980 and 1984, no Republican presidential candidate has won Massachusetts since Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. 
  • Massachusetts is one of 16 states that does not have a Pivot County. Pivot Counties voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012, then voted for Donald Trump (R) in 2016.
  • Both of Massachusetts’ U.S. Senators are Democrats.
  • All nine of Massachusetts’ U.S. House members are Democrats.
  • Massachusetts’ governor is a Republican, and its attorney general and secretary of state are Democrats. This makes Massachusetts one of 14 states with divided triplex control. It has held this status since 2015.
  • Democrats hold a 36-4 majority in the state Senate and a 127-31 majority in the state House. Because the governor is Republican, Massachusetts is one of 14 states with divided government. It has held this status since 2015 when Charlie Baker (R) became governor.

Ballot measures

  • Massachusetts voters will decide two statewide measures on Nov. 3. Both are citizen initiatives.
  • Question 1 would require manufacturers that sell vehicles with telematics systems in Massachusetts to equip them with a standardized platform that vehicle owners and independent repair facilities may access to retrieve mechanical data and run diagnostics through a mobile-based application. Question 2 would enact ranked-choice voting (RCV) for primary and general elections for state executive officials, state legislators, members of Congress, and certain county offices beginning in 2022.

Voting

  • In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed into law legislation extending absentee/mail-in voting eligibility in the general elections to all qualified voters.
  • Massachusetts does not require witnesses or notaries to sign absentee/mail-in ballots.
  • Voters can return their ballots in person or by mail. Ballots returned in person must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 6. Click here to check the status of your ballot.
  • In the 2018 general election, absentee/mail-in ballots represented 3.1% of all votes cast in Massachusetts.
  • Massachusetts law allows election officials to begin counting absentee/mail-in ballots after polls close on Election Day.
  • Massachusetts does not require all voters to present identification at the polls. 
  • Early voting began on Oct. 17 and ends on Oct. 30.
  • In Massachusetts, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Massachusetts is in the Eastern time zone.

Learn more 



15 races to watch

15 races we’re watching

We’re now just one week away from Election Day-wow! I certainly can’t believe it’s this close. Americans will elect tens of thousands of individuals to offices up and down the ballot, with the presidency, 35 seats in the U.S. Senate, all 435 seats in the U.S. House, 11 U.S. state governorships and two territory governorships, and 5,875 seats across 86 state legislative chambers among the offices up. As we head into the final stretch, I wanted to share with you a preview of our list of 15 races we’ll be watching. 

Below is a sampling of those elections—click here for the full list.

  • Georgia (special): Incumbent Kelly Loeffler (R), who was appointed to the Senate following Johnny Isakson’s (R) retirement, faces 20 challengers in this special election for the remainder of Isakson’s term. Special congressional elections in Georgia do not have primaries, meaning every candidate advanced directly to the general election. The polling and fundraising leaders are Loeffler, Doug Collins (R), Matt Lieberman (D), and Raphael Warnock (D).
  • Georgia’s 7th District: Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) and Rich McCormick (R) are running for this suburban Atlanta district, currently represented by retiring incumbent Rob Woodall (R). Bourdeaux was the Democratic nominee in 2018 when she lost to Woodall by a 433-vote margin—the narrowest of any U.S. House race that year.
  • Governor of North Carolina: Incumbent Roy Cooper (D), Dan Forest (R), Al Pisano (Constitution Party), and Steven DiFiore II (L) are running. Cooper defeated incumbent Pat McCrory (R) 49.0% to 48.8% in 2016, the same year Donald Trump (R) defeated Hillary Clinton (D) 50% to 46%.

Stay tuned for our preview of the ballot measures we’re watching in tomorrow’s Brew and for a preview of the local races in Thursday’s edition.

Learn more

Senate confirms Barrett in a 52-48 vote

Last night, the U.S. Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. The vote was mostly along party lines, with Sen. Susan Collins as the only Republican to vote with Democrats against Barrett’s confirmation. Justice Clarence Thomas swore Barrett in shortly after the Senate vote.

President Trump nominated Barrett to the Supreme Court on Sept. 29. The vacancy was opened by the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sept. 18 at the age of 87.

President Trump appointed Barrett to the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in 2017. Barrett previously clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia and Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She then practiced law at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin in Washington, D.C. from 1999 to 2002.

Here are some more facts for you:

  • Barrett will be the 115th justice to sit on the Supreme Court since its inception in 1789.
  • Barrett will be the fifth female justice on the court.
  • If Barrett receives her commission this week, the first cases she will be able to hear are U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service v. Sierra Club and Salinas v. United States Railroad Retirement Board, both scheduled for Nov. 2. Ten cases have been heard so far this term, and 19 remain.
  • The vacancy for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat was 39 days. Nine seats have been filled more quickly. It took the same number of days for John Paul Stevens’ seat to be filled by Justice Elena Kagan.
  • The average vacancy length on the Supreme Court since 1962—when defined as the length of time elapsed between a Justice’s departure date and the swearing-in of their successor—is 88 days.

Learn more 

Explore Florida elections

Today in our 50 States in 25 Days series we’re looking at Florida and Wyoming. If you missed a day, here are the states we’ve highlighted so far, along with a map summarizing where we are in the series:

Week One: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi, Illinois, Ohio, Nebraska, and Oregon

Week Two: Montana, New Mexico, Iowa, South Dakota, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, and South Carolina

Week Three: North Dakota, West Virginia, Georgia, New York, Kentucky, Virginia, Colorado, Utah, New Jersey, and Oklahoma

Week Four: Maine, Missouri, Arizona, Michigan, Kansas, Washington, Hawaii, and Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin

Week Five: Connecticut and Minnesota

On the ballot in Florida

At the federal level, Florida voters will elect 29 presidential electors and 27 U.S. Representatives. Both chambers of the state legislature are on the ballot, with 21 out of 40 seats up in the state Senate (20 in regular elections and one in a special election) and all 120 state House districts. One seat on the state supreme court and 24 intermediate appellate court seats are on the ballot. Voters will also decide on six statewide ballot measures. Ballotpedia is tracking local elections taking place in four counties, one city, and 13 school districts.

Partisan data

  • In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump (R) won Florida defeating Hillary Clinton 49% to 48%. In the past 10 presidential elections, Republican nominees have won Florida seven times, and Democratic nominees have won Florida three times.
  • Florida has four Pivot Counties. Pivot Counties voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012, then voted for Donald Trump (R) in 2016.
  • Both of Florida’s U.S. Senators are Republicans.
  • The Republican Party represents 14 of the state’s U.S. House districts, and Democrats represent 13. 
  • Florida’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are Republicans, meaning it is one of 19 states with a Republican triplex. It has held this status since 2011.
  • Republicans have a 23-17 majority in the state Senate and a 71-46 majority in the state House of Representatives. Because the governor is Republican, the state is one of 21 Republican trifectas. It has held this status since 2011, when Rick Scott (R) became governor.

Battleground races

Here are two battleground races taking place in Florida this year:

  • Florida’s 26th Congressional District: Incumbent Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) and Carlos Gimenez (R) are running. Partisan control of the 26th District has changed twice since its creation following the 2010 census. Joe Garcia (D) won in 2012. Carlos Curbelo (R) defeated Garcia in 2014, 51.5% to 48.5%. Curbelo was re-elected in 2016. In 2018, Mucarsel-Powell defeated Curbelo 51% to 49%.
  • Mayoral election in Miami-Dade County: Daniella Levine Cava and Esteban Bovo Jr. advanced from the nonpartisan primary on Aug. 18. Bovo received 29.5% to Cava’s 28.6%. Bovo was a Republican member of the state House of Representatives. The Miami-Dade Democratic Party is backing Cava.

Ballot measures

  • Florida voters will decide six statewide measures on Nov. 3. The Florida Legislature referred two amendments to the ballot. The other four are citizen initiatives.
  • The amendments include a $15 minimum wage initiative, a top-two open primaries initiative, and an initiative that would require future constitutional amendments to be approved at two consecutive general elections. Florida is also among three states voting on measures that would change constitutional language to say that only U.S. citizens who are 18 years old or older can vote instead of every U.S. citizen who is 18 years old or older can vote.

Voting

  • Voters in Florida are not required to have witnesses or notaries sign their absentee/mail-in ballot return documents.  
  • Voters can return their absentee/mail-in ballots in person or by mail. Ballots must be received by the time polls close on Nov. 3 in order to be counted. Click here to check the status of your ballot. 
  • In the 2018 general election, absentee/mail-in ballots represented 30.9% of all votes cast in Florida.
  • Florida law allows election officials to begin counting ballots at 7 a.m. on Oct. 12.
  • Florida requires all voters to present identification at the polls. For more information about Florida’s voter ID requirements, click here.
  • In Florida, early voting began on Oct. 19 and ends on Nov. 1.
  • In Florida, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. Most of Florida is in the Eastern time zone. A portion of western Florida is in the Central time zone.

Learn more 

Explore Wyoming elections

On the ballot in Wyoming

At the federal level, Wyoming voters will elect three presidential electors, one U.S. Senator, and one U.S. Representative. Both chambers of the state legislature are on the ballot, with 15 out of 30 seats up in the state Senate and all 60 state House districts. Two seats on the state supreme court are on the ballot. Voters will also decide on one statewide ballot measure. 

Partisan data

  • In 2016, Donald Trump (R) defeated Hillary Clinton (D) 68% to 22% in Wyoming. Lyndon Johnson was the last Democrat to win the state in a presidential election in 1964.
  • Wyoming is one of 16 states without a Pivot County. Pivot Counties voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012 and Donald Trump (R) in 2016.
  • Both of Wyoming’s Senators—Mike Enzi and John Barrasso—are Republicans.
  • Wyoming’s representative in the U.S. House, Liz Cheney, is a Republican.
  • Wyoming’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all Republicans, meaning it is one of 19 states with a Republican triplex. It has held this status since the 2010 elections.
  • Republicans have a 27-3 majority in the state Senate and a 50-9 majority in the state House. Because the governor is also a Republican, Wyoming is one of 21 states with a Republican trifecta. Republicans gained a trifecta when they won the 2010 gubernatorial election.

Ballot measures

  • The Wyoming Legislature referred one constitutional amendment to the Nov. 3 ballot that would remove the constitutional limit on local indebtedness for the creation of sewage systems.

Voting

  • Voters in Wyoming are not required to have witnesses or notaries sign their absentee/mail-in ballot return documents.  
  • Voters can return their absentee/mail-in ballots in person or by mail. Ballots must be received by the time polls close on Nov. 3 in order to be counted. Click here to check the status of your ballot.
  • In the 2018 general election, absentee/mail-in ballots represented 30.0% of all votes cast in Wyoming.
  • Wyoming law allows election officials to begin counting ballots on Nov. 3.
  • Wyoming does not require all voters to present identification at the polls. 
  • Early voting began on Sept. 18 and ends on Nov. 2.
  • In Wyoming, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. Wyoming is in the Mountain time zone. 

Learn more



Here’s how voter signatures are verified

Welcome to the Monday, Oct. 26, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Help Desk preview: How are voter signatures verified?
  2. Fundraiser update
  3. Explore Connecticut elections
  4. Explore Minnesota elections

Ballotpedia Help Desk: How are voter signatures verified?

Last week, we talked about the life cycle of an election ballot and how and when 2020 election results will be certified in excerpts from Ballotpedia’s 2020 Election Help Desk newsletter. 

Today, let’s talk about how voter signatures are verified.

All states require voters to provide valid signatures on their absentee/mail-in ballot return documents. Thirty-two states require election workers to match a voter’s signature on ballot return documents with the signature on record for that voter. Election workers do this using a variety of handwriting analysis techniques.

The New York Times published information explaining how election workers analyze a voter’s handwriting. It is summarized below:   

  • Slant: Signatures from the same voter’s hand should be slanted, or angled, in the same way. 
  • Size and proportion of letters: When comparing signatures, an observer would expect the letters in each to be approximately the same size and share the same rough proportions to other letters.
  • Shape of letters: Individual letters in signatures from the same voter’s hand should share the same shape. 
  • Ending strokes: Some signatures feature long ending strokes. If one signature features a long ending stroke and the other doesn’t, they may not have come from the sand hand.
  • Speed of writing: A signature lacking fluidity that appears halting might suggest that the individual signing it was writing slowly in an attempt to replicate someone else’s signature.
  • Pen lifts: If someone is attempting to replicate someone else’s signature, there might be observable pen lifts (i.e., marks indicating that the pen was lifted from the paper) in the forged signature.

Click the link below to learn more about signature verification, and click here to subscribe to the Help Desk and receive that newsletter in your inbox this afternoon.

Learn more

Matching gift update

Earlier this month, a generous donor offered to match our donations if we could raise $50,000. The support from readers like you has been amazing and we have already unlocked that match! All of the donations you have made to support Ballotpedia’s work have been doubled!

Better yet, the donor has increased the match to $100,000! 

All donations up to $100,000 will now be matched, resulting in $200,000 of support for election coverage, analysis, and emails like The Daily Brew.

Thank you so much for your support of Ballotpedia and for making our fundraiser such an enormous success already. If you haven’t given yet, there’s still time left for your donation to have double the impact!

Click here to donate today.

Explore Connecticut elections

Forty states down. Ten to go. Eight days until election day. Let’s kick off our fifth and final week of our 50 States in 25 Days series with a look at Connecticut and Minnesota. If you missed a day, here are the states we’ve highlighted so far, along with a map summarizing where we are in the series:

Week One: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi, Illinois, Ohio, Nebraska, and Oregon

Week Two: Montana, New Mexico, Iowa, South Dakota, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, and South Carolina

Week Three: North Dakota, West Virginia, Georgia, New York, Kentucky, Virginia, Colorado, Utah, New Jersey, and Oklahoma

Week Four: Maine, Missouri, Arizona, Michigan, Kansas, Washington, Hawaii, and Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin

On the ballot in Connecticut

At the federal level, Connecticut voters will elect seven presidential electors and five U.S. Representatives. Both chambers of the state legislature are on the ballot, with all 36 seats up in the state Senate and all 151 state House districts. 

Partisan data

  • In 2016, Hillary Clinton (D) defeated Donald Trump (R) 55% to 41% in Connecticut. George H.W. Bush was the last Republican to win Connecticut in 1988.
  • One of Connecticut’s eight counties—Windham—is a Pivot County. Pivot Counties voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012 and Donald Trump (R) in 2016.
  • Both of Connecticut’s U.S. Senators—Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal—are Democrats.
  • Democrats represent all 5 of Connecticut’s U.S. House districts.
  • Connecticut’s governor, secretary of state, and attorney general are all Democrats, meaning it is one of 17 states with a Democratic triplex. It has held this status since 2011 when the state elected a Democratic governor.
  • Democrats have a 22-14 majority in the state Senate and a 91-60 majority in the state House. Because the governor is a Democrat, Connecticut is one of 15 states with a Democratic trifecta. Democrats gained a trifecta in 2011 after voters elected a Democratic governor.

Ballot measures

There are no statewide ballot measures in Connecticut this year.

Voting

  • Connecticut changed its law in 2020 to allow voters to cite concern over Covid-19 as a reason for voting absentee/mail-in ballot in the Nov. 3 election.
  • Connecticut does not require voters to have witnesses or notaries sign their absentee/mail-in ballot return documents.  
  • Voters can return their absentee/mail-in ballots in person or by mail. Ballots returned by mail must be received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 2. Ballots returned by mail must be received by Nov. 3.
  • In the 2018 general election, absentee/mail-in ballots represented 6.3% of all votes cast in Connecticut.
  • Connecticut law grants local registrars of voters discretion in determining when to begin processing and counting absentee/mail-in ballots.
  • Connecticut requires all voters to present non-photo identification at the polls. For more information about Connecticut’s voter ID requirements, click here
  • In Connecticut, polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Connecticut is in the Eastern time zone.

Learn more 

Explore Minnesota elections

On the ballot in Minnesota

At the federal level, Minnesota voters will elect 10 presidential electors, one U.S. Senator, and eight U.S. Representatives. Both chambers of the state legislature are on the ballot, with all 67 seats up in the state Senate and all 134 state House districts. One seat on the state supreme court and four intermediate appellate court seats are on the ballot. Ballotpedia is tracking local elections taking place in two counties, one city, and two school districts.

Partisan data

  • In 2016, Hillary Clinton (D) defeated Donald Trump (R) 46% to 45% in Minnesota. Richard Nixon was the last Republican to win the state in a presidential election in 1972.
  • Nineteen of Minnesota’s 87 counties are Pivot Counties, accounting for 10% of the state’s population. Pivot Counties voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012 and Donald Trump (R) in 2016.
  • Both of Minnesota’s Senators—Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith—are Democrats.
  • Democrats represent five of the state’s U.S. House districts and Republicans represent three.
  • Minnesota’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all Democrats, meaning it is one of 17 states with a Democratic triplex. It has held this status since the 2010 elections.
  • Republicans have a 35-32 majority in the state Senate, while Democrats have a 75-59 majority in the state House. Minnesota and Alaska are the only states with split control of the state legislature. Minnesota is one of 14 states without a state government trifecta.

Battleground races

Here are four battleground races taking place in Minnesota this year:

  • U.S. Senate: Incumbent Tina Smith (D), Jason Lewis (R), Oliver Steinburg (Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party), and Kevin O’Connor (Legal Marijuana Now Party) are running for a six-year term in the U.S. Senate. Smith was appointed to the seat in 2018 following the resignation of Sen. Al Franken (D) amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
  • 1st Congressional District: Incumbent Jim Hagedorn (R), Dan Feehan (D), and Bill Rood (Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party) are running to represent this southern Minnesota congressional district. Hagedorn and Feehan were their party’s nominees for the then-open seat in 2018. That year, Hagedorn defeated Feehan 50.1% to 49.7%. The race is one of 56 rematches in a U.S. House election this year.
  • 7th Congressional District: Incumbent Collin Peterson (D), Michelle Fischbach (R), and Slater Johnson (Legal Marijuana Now Party) are running to represent this district in western Minnesota. Peterson was one of two Democrats to vote against both articles of impeachment against Donald Trump. The other, Jeff Van Drew, later joined the Republican Party. Donald Trump carried this district in 2016, defeating Hillary Clinton (D) 62% to 31%. This was the widest margin of victory that year for any currently held Democratic seat.
  • State Supreme Court: One of the seven seats on the Minnesota Supreme Court is up for nonpartisan election this year. Incumbent Paul Thissen, a former Democratic speaker of the state House, and challenger Michelle L. MacDonald are running for a six-year term. Gov. Mark Dayton (D) appointed Thissen to the court in 2018. Appointees to the Minnesota Supreme Court must stand for retention election at the next general election at least one year after their appointment. Thissen is one of five justices currently on the court to have been appointed by a Democratic governor.

Ballot measures

There are no statewide measures in Minnesota this year.

Voting

  • Minnesota does not require voters to have witnesses or notaries sign their absentee/mail-in ballot return documents.  
  • Voters can return their ballots in person or by mail. If returned in person, ballots must be received by 3 p.m. on Nov. 3. If returned by mail, ballots must be postmarked on or before Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 10. Click here to check the status of your ballot.
  • In the 2018 general election, absentee/mail-in ballots represented 24.2% of all votes cast in Minnesota.
  • Minnesota law authorizes election officials to begin processing ballots on Oct. 27. Counting begins after polls close on Election Day.
  • Minnesota does not require all voters to present identification at the polls. 
  • Early voting opened on Sept. 18 and closes on Nov. 2.
  • In Minnesota, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Minnesota is in the Central time zone.

Learn more



Political junkie alert! Explore our candidate surveys

Welcome to the Friday, October 23, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Introducing a new way to explore our candidate survey responses
  2. Candidate Connection spotlight
  3. Explore Vermont elections
  4. Explore Wisconsin elections

Introducing a new way to explore our candidate survey responses

Political junkies, prepare to take a trip down the rabbit hole of political survey replies. 

We’ve developed a new page the truly devoted can use to go way off the map—enabling you to explore candidates, issues, personalities, and more in a new, different, exciting way.

The tool is called Candidate Questions, and with it you can view a sampling of 50 randomized answers to each of the 16 questions in our Candidate Connection survey. This way, you can browse what candidates are saying about topics that interest you and click on each candidate’s full response to read more.

For example, do you want to see what our respondents said was their favorite book? Using this, you can read answers to just that question. Want a cross-section of those issues candidates identify as their policy priorities? You can do that, too.

You can quickly and easily flip through the more than 4,500 candidate survey replies we’ve received this cycle, question-by-question, like you were looking through a book or magazine. We think it’s the most comprehensive catalog of its kind—and just the thing for people that love politics. 

Ready to dive in? Click the link below and get started!

Learn more

Candidate Connection spotlight 

If I didn’t grab your attention above about candidate surveys, perhaps this section will pique your curiosity. Each Friday, we’ve been including selected responses we’ve received this cycle to questions from our Candidate Connection survey, which we invite all candidates with a profile on Ballotpedia to complete. 

Here’s a look at the last three survey questions we’ve highlighted:

This week’s question is: What do you believe are the core responsibilities for someone elected to this office? We received 1,903 responses so far, and here are some selected ones:

“According to the constitution, the most important job of the legislature is to pass the yearly budget. Nothing else happens without that. But aside from that, the job of the legislature needs to be to set the ground rules and create structures to hold people accountable so that the private sector can thrive and drive our state forward.”

-Robert Myers Jr., Republican candidate for District B of the Alaska State Senate

“I believe the core responsibilities for someone elected to this office is for the person to listen to each and every constituent across the district regardless of political affiliation. After hearing the information, research the problem and solution and begin to hear others opinions on the concern. If this is deemed an issue by a majority of the constituents, the official should fight for what the people are asking for. The official’s responsibility is to fight for the people and be their voice at the statehouse.”

-Jermaine Johnson, Democratic candidate for District 80 of the South Carolina House of Representatives

“The Nevada Supreme Court hears and decides appeals involving every area of law that touches the lives of Nevadans – criminal, civil, family, employment, administrative, constitutional, environmental and water law. The appellate issues are processed through the evidentiary and procedural rules that control jury and bench trials and motion practice in district court. A justice’s core responsibility is to know and apply the law competently and fairly.”

-Kris Pickering is a nonpartisan judge running for retention on the Nevada Supreme Court

If you know of a candidate who hasn’t yet responded to our survey, send them this link and ask them to complete it. We’ll include their responses on their profile so we can all learn more about them. 

Learn more 

Explore Vermont elections

We’re finishing up our fourth week of election previews with a look at Vermont and Wisconsin. (Why am I suddenly craving dairy products?) There are just 10 states remaining in our 50 States in 25 Days series, which will conclude next week. If you missed a day, here are the states we’ve highlighted so far, along with a map summarizing where we are in the series:

Week One: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi, Illinois, Ohio, Nebraska, and Oregon

Week Two: Montana, New Mexico, Iowa, South Dakota, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, and South Carolina

Week Three: North Dakota, West Virginia, Georgia, New York, Kentucky, Virginia, Colorado, Utah, New Jersey, and Oklahoma

Week Four: Maine, Missouri, Arizona, Michigan, Kansas, Washington, Hawaii, and Tennessee

On the ballot in Vermont

At the federal level, Vermont voters will elect three presidential electors and one U.S. Representative. At the state level, the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, auditor, attorney general, and treasurer are up for election, along with 30 state Senate seats and 150 state House districts. 

Partisan balance

  • In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton (D) defeated Donald Trump, 57% to 30%. The Democratic presidential candidate won Vermont in every election between 1992 and 2016. George H.W. Bush was the last Republican nominee to win the state in 1988. 
  • Vermont has one Pivot County, which are counties that voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012, and Trump in 2016. 
  • Vermont’s senior U.S. Senator, Patrick Leahy, is a Democrat. Its junior Senator, Bernie Sanders, is an independent who caucuses with the Democrats.
  • Vermont’s Representative in the U.S. House, Peter Welch, is a Democrat.
  • Vermont’s governor is a Republican, and its attorney general and secretary of state are Democrats. This makes Vermont one of 14 states with divided triplex control. It has held this status since 2017.
  • Democrats have a majority in the state Senate, with 22 members to Republicans’ six and the Vermont Progressive Party’s two. Democrats have a majority in the state House, with 93 members to Republicans’ 43, the Progressive Party’s seven, and five independents. Because the governor is Republican, Vermont is one of 14 states with divided trifecta control. It has held this status since Phil Scott (R) became governor in 2017.

Battleground races

There is one battleground election in Vermont in 2020:

  • Governor of Vermont: Incumbent Phil Scott (R), Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman (D/Vermont Progressive Party), and six independent and third-party candidates are running. Vermont is one of three states (along with North Carolina and Louisiana) with a governor and lieutenant governor from different parties. It is one of four states that both voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and has a Republican governor. 

Ballot measures

  • There are no statewide measures in Vermont on Nov. 3.

Voting

  • In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Secretary of State Jim Condos (D) issued a directive requiring that mail-in ballots be sent automatically to every active registered voter in the Nov. 3 election.
  • Witnesses or notaries are not required to sign mail-in ballot return documents in Vermont.  
  • Mail-in ballots can be returned in person or by mail. In both cases, ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3. Click here to check the status of your ballot.
  • In the 2018 general election, mail-in ballots represented 9.7% of all ballots cast in Vermont.
  • Vermont law allows election officials to load mail-in ballots into a tabulator on Nov. 2. The machine cannot be turned on—and the votes cannot be tabulated—until Nov. 3.
  • Vermont does not require all voters to present identification at the polls. 
  • Early voting in Vermont began on Sept. 21 and ends on Nov. 2. 
  • In Vermont, polls open between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Election Day. Polls close at 7 p.m. Vermont is in the Eastern time zone. 

Learn more 

Explore Wisconsin elections

On the ballot in Wisconsin

At the federal level, Wisconsin voters will elect 10 presidential electors and eight U.S. Representatives. At the state level, 16 state Senate seats and 99 state House districts are up for election. Ballotpedia is tracking local elections taking place in Dane County and Milwaukee County as well as local ballot measures in the Madison Metropolitan School District.

Partisan balance

  • In 2016, Donald Trump (R) defeated Hillary Clinton (D) 47.2% to 46.5% in Wisconsin. Trump was the first Republican to win the state since Ronald Reagan (R) in 1984.
  • Wisconsin had the second most Pivot Counties of any state, with 23 counties that voted for Donald Trump (R) in 2016 after voting for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012.
  • Wisconsin’s senior U.S. Senator, Ron Johnson, is a Republican. Its junior Senator, Tammy Baldwin, is a Democrat.
  • Republicans represent five of Wisconsin’s U.S. House districts and Democrats represent three.
  • Wisconsin’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all Democrats, meaning it is one of 17 states with a Democratic triplex. It has held this status since 2019 when Gov.Tony Evers (D) and Secretary of State Douglas J. La Follette (D) assumed office.
  • Republicans have an 18-13 majority in the state Senate and a 63-34 majority in the state Assembly. Because the governor is a Democrat, Wisconsin is one of 14 states with divided control. Republicans lost a trifecta in 2019 when Governor Tony Evers (D) assumed office.

Ballot measures

  • There are no statewide measures in Wisconsin on Nov. 3.

Voting

  • In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Wisconsin Election Commission voted unanimously to send absentee/mail-in ballot applications automatically to eligible voters.
  • Witnesses or notaries are not required to sign a voter’s absentee/mail-in ballot return documents in Wisconsin.  
  • Absentee/mail-in ballots can be returned in person or by mail. In both cases, ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Click here to check the status of your ballot.
  • In the 2018 general election, absentee/mail-in ballots represented 5.5% of all ballots cast in Wisconsin.
  • Wisconsin law allows election officials to begin counting absentee/mail-in ballots after polls close on Election Day.
  • Wisconsin requires all voters to present photo identification at the polls. For more information about Wisconsin’s voter ID requirements, click here
  • Early voting in Wisconsin opens on Oct. 20 and ends on Nov. 1. 
  • In Wisconsin, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Wisconsin is in the Central time zone. 

Learn more