TagDaily Brew

On Veterans Day, a look at members of Congress who served

Welcome to the Wednesday, Nov. 11, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. 96 current members of Congress have served in the armed forces 
  2. Five states have certified their Nov. 3 election results
  3. Eleven states, Washington D.C., have active travel restrictions due to COVID-19

96 current members of Congress have served in the armed forces 

Ninety-six members—18%—of the current Congress (pre-Nov. 3 election) have served in the armed forces. Of those, 66 are Republicans, and 30 are Democrats. Fourteen of these veterans retired or sought other offices in the 2020 elections, meaning they will not return for the 117th Congress in January.

Of the others, 66 won their re-election campaigns, six were Senators not up for re-election this year, and six are in races that are not yet called. Four—Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Steve Watkins (R-Kan.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), and Denver Riggleman (R-Va.)—lost their bid for re-election.

  • Of the 96 veterans serving in the 116th Congress, 73 served on active duty with one of the four main branches of the service—15 in the Air Force, 36 in the Army, 15 in the Marine Corps, and eight in the Navy. 
  • U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) served in both the Army and Marine Corps. 
  • Twelve members of Congress served in the National Guard, and 11 have served in the reserves. 

According to the American Enterprise Institute, there were 100 veterans in the 115th Congress and 101 in the 114th Congress.

President Woodrow Wilson (D) recognized November 11 as Armistice Day in 1919 to commemorate the armistice agreement that ended World War I in 1918. Congress recognized Nov. 11 as a legal holiday to honor veterans of World War I in 1926. It changed the name from Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day in 1954 to further commemorate the service of veterans in World War II and the Korean War.

Five states have certified their Nov. 3 election results

Election results reported by media sources are regularly referred to as unofficial on Election Night and the days that follow. But when do unofficial election returns become official? Each state has its own process and timetable for canvassing and certifying results in every election.

In a canvass, local and state election officials verify that each ballot cast in the election was correctly counted. Certification is the process where election results are made official. The two processes are closely related, and some states, localities, and commentators use the terms interchangeably to describe the entire process of counting ballots and formalizing results.

Five states have already certified their Nov. 3 election results. Delaware was the first state to do so on Nov. 5. Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Vermont certified their results on Nov. 10. Two states—South Carolina and Wyoming—will certify election results today.

Forty-six states have laws establishing deadlines for certification. Four states—Hawaii, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Tennessee—have no specific date for certification.

The election certification date affects when a recount can occur. A recount is a process where election officials re-tabulate the votes cast in an election to verify the accuracy of the original results. Recount laws and the timing of when a recount can be triggered or requested varies by state. Some states allow for recounts to occur after canvassing but before results are made official through certification. Other states require both the canvassing and certification of results before beginning a recount process. 

The chart below shows state election result certification deadlines relative to the Nov. 3 general election. A longer bar indicates a date further from the general election. Ballotpedia compiled this information from a review of state laws, election administration manuals, election calendars, and inquiries of election officials.

Learn more

Eleven states, Washington D.C., have active travel restrictions due to COVID-19

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, 25 states have issued at least one executive order restricting interstate travel. While each state’s order is different, they generally required travelers from certain states to self-quarantine and limit exposure to others for a specified period of time upon entering the state. In some instances, travelers could be exempt from the requirement if they took or presented a negative COVID-19 test taken within a certain number of days of their arrival.

Of the 25 executive orders issued by governors or state agencies placing restrictions on out-of-state visitors, at least 14 have been rescinded. Eleven states and Washington D.C. currently have active travel restrictions.

For example, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) announced a new advisory Nov. 4 that requires visitors to the city to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in the district. Visitors who are in the city for longer than three days are asked to take a test within 3-5 days of arrival. The advisory asks those who test positive or come into contact with someone who tested positive to refrain from entering the city.

Our Documenting America’s Path to Recovery newsletter tracks the status of reopening in all 50 states and summarizes major changes due to the coronavirus pandemic in politics, government, and elections. It covers the current status of school closures and reopenings, stay-at-home orders, noteworthy lawsuits, travel restrictions, mask mandates, eviction and foreclosure policies and more. 

Documenting America’s Path to Recovery is published every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays—click here to subscribe and get Thursday’s edition delivered to your email!

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Where the state legislatures stand

Welcome to the Tuesday, Nov. 10, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. An early look at partisan balance in state legislatures
  2. Local roundup
  3. Don’t miss tomorrow’s election results briefing

An early look at partisan balance in state legislatures

In the last few Brew issues, we’ve brought you a variety of election results analyses such as the updated statuses of state government trifectas and triplexes and an early look at Pivot Counties results. Today, let’s take a glance at what we know about the status of partisan balance in the state legislatures.

As of Monday, partisan control changed in two state legislative chambers as a result of the 2020 elections—Republicans gained majorities in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and the New Hampshire state Senate. 

Sixteen state-level recounts in New Hampshire begin Nov. 9, 15 of which are state legislative seats. These recounts could affect partisan control of the state legislature. We briefed our Election Help Desk newsletter subscribers on this yesterday afternoon—click here to subscribe.

This is the fourth time this decade that the New Hampshire Legislature has changed party hands.

  • In 2010, the Democrats lost their trifecta when Republicans gained a majority in both the state Senate and House.
  • In 2016, the state gained a Republican trifecta when the party maintained control in the legislature and won the governorship. 
  • In 2018, Democrats gained a majority in the state Senate, causing the state to lose its Republican trifecta.

Majorities in two chambers remained undecided: the Alaska House of Representatives and the Arizona House of Representatives.

Stay tuned for a more detailed analysis of the changes in partisan balance of each seat in state legislatures. More than 500 races—approximately 10% of the state legislative districts up for election this year—remain uncalled.

Learn more

Local roundup

This year, elections were held in 56 of the top 100 cities by population, including elections for 29 mayors. As races continue to be called, we’ve been able to dive into some of the local battleground results. Today, let’s look at the Los Angeles County district attorney election.

George Gascón defeated incumbent Jackie Lacey in the nonpartisan general election for Los Angeles County District Attorney, the nation’s largest local prosecutorial district. Preliminary returns show Gascón defeated Lacey 54% to 46%.

Gascón served two terms as San Francisco District Attorney, winning election to succeed Kamala Harris in 2011 and winning re-election unopposed in 2015. He did not seek election to a third term in 2019. Lacey was first elected as Los Angeles County District Attorney in 2012 and was re-elected unopposed in 2016.

Gascón was endorsed by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Lacey received endorsements from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), California State Treasurer Fiona Ma (D), and the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs’ Association.

Lacey was the first-place finisher in the March 3 nonpartisan primary, winning 49% of the vote to Gascón’s 28%. 

The last time an incumbent Los Angeles County district attorney was defeated in a re-election bid was in 2000.

Other Nov. 3 local battleground races include:

Learn more

Don’t miss tomorrow’s election results briefing

On Wednesday, we’ll take a look at notable updated election results. Join Ballotpedia Managing Editor Cory Eucalitto as he brings you up-to-date on the newly finalized races, recently called ballot measures, and trends from across the country. 

He’ll be addressing topics like:

  • Possible lawsuits and recounts in the presidential election
  • Georgia Senate runoff possibilities
  • Control of the Senate, House, and state government trifecta changes
  • State legislature net seat changes

You won’t want to miss such a fascinating overview of where things stand following Nov. 3! This free webinar will be held tomorrow, Nov. 11, at 11:00 a.m. Central. Click here to reserve your spot.



The 2020 election aftermath—Day 6

Welcome to the Monday, Nov. 9, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Where the 2020 elections stand
  2. Election deadlines for the week beginning Nov. 9
  3. Looking at recounts in the 2016 presidential election

Where the 2020 elections stand

We’ve been tracking election results all weekend as states continue to count remaining ballots. All results in this email are as of 4:00 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 election results certification date was Nov. 5 for Delaware. The next is Nov. 10 for Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia.
    • Louisiana has a majority-vote system and will have second-round elections on Dec. 5. The state’s majority-vote system is one in which all candidates appear on the same ballot in November, regardless of their partisan affiliations. In the races where a candidate did not receive a majority of the vote, the candidates advance to a second round in December.
  • 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?

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) is the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election, according to a consensus call from ABC News, CNN, Fox News, NBC News, and The New York Times. Following the race calls in his favor for Pennsylvania, Biden has won at least 279 electoral votes, putting him over the threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. President Donald Trump (R) won at least 214 electoral votes.

Races remain too close to call in three battleground states: Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina. Biden currently leads in the first two states, totaling 27 electoral votes. Trump leads in North Carolina, which has 15 electoral votes.

Ballotpedia is tracking five states in which the presidential election has been subject either to lawsuits or recount efforts. 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. Two Senate races had been called since Friday: Sen. Susan Collins (R) won the U.S. Senate seat from Maine, and Mark Kelly (D) defeated incumbent Sen. Martha McSally (R) in Arizona. Four other races, all with Republican incumbents, had not been called by a consensus of media outlets. Those races are in Alaska, Georgia’s regular and special Senate elections, and North Carolina.

The composition of the Senate excluding the four uncalled seats is 48 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and two independents who caucus with the Democrats. Thus far, Democrats have flipped two seats, and Republicans have flipped one:

  • Tommy Tuberville (R) defeated incumbent Doug Jones (D) in Alabama.
  • Mark Kelly (D) defeated incumbent Martha McSally (R) in Arizona’s special election.
  • John Hickenlooper (D) defeated incumbent Cory Gardner (R) 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. Early indications are that both races will head to a runoff, and if so, will likely attract significant attention in the coming weeks. Learn more about the races here.

Who controls the House of Representatives?

Control of the House of Representatives as a result of the 2020 elections had not been determined, although news outlets projected that Democrats will retain their majority. We had called 397 of the 435 races. Democrats had won 204 seats to Republicans’ 193. Democrats had flipped two seats, and Republicans had flipped eight, including one held by a Libertarian in 2020.

Learn more

Election deadlines for the week beginning Nov. 9

Now that Election Week is over, what’s next? Here’s a summary of the noteworthy dates and deadlines happening this week.

Between today and Friday, 11 states and the District of Columbia have absentee/mail-in ballot receipt deadlines.

• Nov. 9: Iowa and West Virginia

• Nov. 10: Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York

• Nov. 12: North Carolina

• Nov. 13: Alaska, D.C. Maryland, and Ohio 

Also this week, eight states will observe election certification and/or canvassing deadlines:

• Nov. 10: Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia

• Nov. 11: South Carolina and Wyoming

• Nov. 13: Mississippi  

One state legislature will swear-in new members this week:

• Nov. 9: South Carolina State Legislature

Click here for our full list of election certification dates, and click here for absentee/mail-in voting return deadlines. Our list of state legislature swearing-in dates is here.

Looking at recounts in the 2016 presidential election

On Friday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) announced there would be a presidential election recount in the state due to the race being too close to call. Let’s take a look at what an election recount is and what recounts we saw in both 2016 and the years before.

An election recount is a process by which votes cast in an election are re-tabulated to verify the accuracy of the original results. Recounts typically occur in the event of a close margin of victory, following accusations of election fraud, or due to the possibility of administrative errors. Recounts can either occur automatically or be requested by a candidate or voters.

Following the 2016 presidential election, two states—Wisconsin and Nevada—conducted recounts after receiving requests from candidates. Neither recount changed the election outcome. Below is a brief look at those recounts, who requested them, and what effect they had on vote totals:

Nevada

Reform Party candidate Rocky De La Fuente requested a partial recount of four counties and Carson City, Nevada, on Nov. 29. The recount began on Dec. 5 and finished on Dec. 8. As a result, Trump lost six votes, and Clinton lost nine, subtracting three votes from her margin of victory. Clinton ultimately won the state by a margin of 27,202 votes.

Wisconsin

Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, requested a full recount in Wisconsin on Nov. 25, saying the election had been hacked. Prior to the recount, Donald Trump (R) led Hillary Clinton (D) by 27,257 votes. The recount began on Dec. 1 and finished on Dec. 12. As a result, Clinton gained 713 votes, and Trump gained 844, adding 131 votes to his margin of victory. 

Stein also requested recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania, but neither was completed. In Michigan, Stein ended her request after a series of court challenges, which involved a state ruling that Stein had no standing to request a recount. In Pennsylvania, Stein withdrew her request amid additional court challenges.

According to a FairVote study, between 2000 and 2015, there were 4,687 statewide general elections, 27 of which, roughly 0.58%, resulted in statewide recounts. Of those 27, three changed the election outcome: Minnesota’s 2008 U.S. Senate election, Vermont’s 2006 State Auditor election, and Washington’s 2004 gubernatorial election. None of those three swung the winning candidate by more than 500 votes.

Learn more



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.
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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.
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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!

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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

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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