TagDaily Brew

The U.S. Supreme Court’s latest redistricting decisions

Welcome to the Wednesday, March 9, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. Redistricting roundup—North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin
  2. One incumbent defeated in Texas’ state legislative primaries
  3. Article III federal judicial nominations update

Redistricting roundup—North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin

Congressional redistricting has been completed for 369 of the 435 (84.4%)  U.S. House districts. State legislative redistricting has been completed for 1,655 of 1,972 state Senate seats (83.9%) and 3,884 of 5,411 state House seats (71.8%).

Let’s check in on the latest redistricting news out of North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin. 

U.S. Supreme Court

On March 7, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down requests to decide congressional redistricting cases in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, leaving state court-imposed congressional maps in place in both states.  

In North Carolina, the Court declined to block the Wake County Superior Court’s Feb. 23 ruling that rejected the Legislature’s congressional map in favor of court-imposed congressional district boundaries. Earlier, the North Carolina Supreme Court had ruled 4-3 on Feb. 4 that the Legislature’s original congressional map—passed on Nov. 4, 2021—was unconstitutional. The state supreme court gave the Legislature until Feb. 18 to draw a new map.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in the case was unsigned, meaning the Court did not reveal the decision’s author. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote a concurring opinion that agreed with the decision not to intervene and also stated that, given the petitioners’ concerns, the court should hear oral arguments and decide the case next term. Justice Samuel Alito issued a dissenting opinion to the Court’s order, which Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch joined. 

In a separate ruling, the Court also upheld the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Feb. 23 ruling that selected the state’s congressional boundaries. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court took over Pennsylvania’s redistricting process after Gov. Tom Wolf (D) vetoed the Legislature’s map on Jan. 15.

Florida

The state supreme court approved the Legislature’s new state district boundaries on March 3. The state Senate approved the maps 34-3 on Jan. 20. The state House approved them 77-39. 

State legislative boundaries in Florida are passed via a joint resolution, are not subject to gubernatorial veto, and are automatically submitted to the Florida Supreme Court for approval. 

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Supreme Court approved Gov. Tony Evers’ (D) new congressional and legislative district boundaries on March 3. Previously, in November 2021, Evers vetoed legislatively-approved maps that had passed both chambers along party lines. The state supreme court took over the process because of a September 2021 ruling in which it agreed to decide new districts if the legislature and governor failed to do so. On Nov. 30, the court announced it would seek to make as few changes as possible to the current legislative and congressional maps adopted in 2011, and invited Evers, lawmakers, and others to submit new map proposals. 

The court accepted Evers’ proposal 4-3 because, according to Justice Brian Hagedorn, who wrote for the majority, “The Governor’s proposed senate and assembly maps produce less overall change than other submissions.”

On Nov. 30, the court announced it would make as few changes as possible to the legislative and congressional maps that were adopted in 2011.

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One incumbent defeated in Texas’ state legislative primaries

Texas held the first statewide primary of the 2022 election cycle for federal and state offices on March 1. Heading into the primaries, it was guaranteed that at least one of the 151 state legislative incumbents seeking re-election would lose.

That incumbent turned out to be Rep. Art Fierro (D), who represents District 79. Fierro lost to Rep. Claudia Ordaz Perez (D), who represents District 76. As a result of redistricting, Perez was drawn into House District 79, setting up an incumbent vs. incumbent primary. Ordaz defeated Fierro 65% to 35%.

As of March 4, Fierro is the only state legislative incumbent who lost in Texas’ primaries. If no other incumbents lose re-election when additional races are called, the number of incumbents defeated in primaries or primary runoffs in Texas would reach a decade-low for the legislature.

There are several outstanding races featuring incumbents, all of which involve House Republicans.

Two races are uncalled—Districts 64 and 91. In the three races, the incumbents advanced to runoff elections on May 24. Those runoffs will be held in:

  1. House District 12: Rep. Kyle Kacal v. Ben Bius;
  2. House District 60: Rep. Glenn Rogers v. Mike Olcott; and,
  3. House District 85: Rep. Phil Stephenson v. Stan Kitzman.

In the Senate, three incumbents faced primary challengers, and all three won. No incumbent senator in Texas has lost a primary or primary runoff since 2014.

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Article III federal judicial nominations update

Let’s catch up on the state of judicial vacancies. Through March 1, there were 80 vacancies for the 890 authorized federal judicial posts. Seventy-eight of those vacancies were for Article III judgeships. This report is limited to Article III courts, where appointees are confirmed to lifetime judgeships.

  1. In the past month, one judge has been confirmed.
  2. In the past month, two judges have been nominated (this  includes nomination announcements in addition to nominations officially received in the Senate).

By March 1, 406 days in office, President Joe Biden (D) has nominated 83 judges to Article III judgeships. Let’s look at how that compares to a few previous presidents. The figures below include unsuccessful nominations.

By March 1… 

  1. President Donald Trump (R) made 104 nominations, 76 of whom were ultimately confirmed.
  2. President Barack Obama (D) made 52 nominations, 47 of whom were ultimately confirmed.
  3. President George W. Bush (R) made 132 nominations, 77 of whom were ultimately confirmed.

The following charts show the number of Article III judicial nominations by president by days in office during the Biden, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush administrations (2001-present). 

The first tracker counts all Article III nominations, including unsuccessful nominations (for example, the nomination was withdrawn or the U.S. Senate did not vote on the nomination), renominations of individuals to the same court, and recess appointments. A recess appointment is when the president appoints a federal official while the Senate is in recess.

The second tracker is limited to successful nominations, where the nominee was ultimately confirmed to their respective court:

For more information on federal judicial vacancies, click the link below.

Keep reading



A look at historical data on midterms and state legislative elections

Welcome to the Tuesday, March 8, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. A look at changes in state legislative seats during a president’s first midterm election
  2. Previewing Milwaukee’s April 5 mayoral special election
  3. Newcomers will win more than half of Nebraska state Senate districts up for election this year

A look at changes in state legislative seats during a president’s first midterm election

The 2022 election cycle is the first midterm election of Joe Biden’s (D) presidency. Historically, the incumbent president’s party loses seats in state legislative elections. Here are a few historical facts.

  • Since 1922, Democratic presidents have seen their party lose an average of 388 state legislative seats in their first midterm elections. Republican presidents have seen an average loss of 345.
  • Two presidents in that time—Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) and George W. Bush (R)—saw their parties gain state legislative seats in the first midterm elections of their presidencies. In Roosevelt’s first midterm election in 1934 during the Great Depression, Democrats gained 94 state legislative seats. During Bush’s presidency, Republicans gained 129 seats in the 2002 midterms, the first after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
  • Since 2010, Democrats have had a net gain of state legislative seats in two election cycles—2012 and 2018—while Republicans have had a net gain in three—2014, 2016, and 2020. 
  • Barack Obama (D) saw a net loss of 702 Democratic state legislative seats during his first midterm in 2010, the largest loss for any Democratic president since at least 1921. 
  • Donald Trump (R) saw a net loss of 349 Republican state legislative seats in 2018.

Currently, there are 3,271 Democratic state legislators (44%) and 4,016 Republicans (54%).

The chart below shows the overall net changes in state legislative seats during the first midterm election of each presidency. Partisan totals represent those as a result of regularly-scheduled elections. The totals do not include any special elections or other changes that may occur between elections. Some presidencies were combined in the event of a resignation or death in office.

Keep reading 


Previewing Milwaukee’s April 5 mayoral special election

Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at a lot of statewide races, but let’s shift gears and take a look at a local race we are watching closely this year.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is holding a special general election for mayor on April 5, which was called after Mayor Tom Barrett (D) resigned on Dec. 22, 2021, to become the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg.

Voters will decide between Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson and Common Councilman Robert Donovan, both of whom advanced from a seven-way primary on Feb.15 with 42% and 22% of the vote, respectively.

Wisconsin Public Radio’s Corrinne Hess wrote that the special election “could mean a historic change for Milwaukee. Wisconsin’s largest city could have its first elected Black mayor, or with Donovan, have a conservative leader for the first time.”

Both candidates have served on Milwaukee’s Common Council. 

Johnson was first elected to the council in 2016. In 2020, council members elected him as council president. Upon Barrett’s resignation, Johnson, as president, also became acting mayor. Donovan served on the council from 2000 until his retirement in 2020. Barrett defeated Donovan in the 2016 mayoral election 70%-30%.

Public safety has played a central role in the race. 

Johnson says his public safety plan is comprehensive and includes measures to prevent violence. Johnson said he led an effort to secure funds for 200 additional police officers while on the council.

Donovan highlighted his 20 years on the Common Council and his past chairmanship of the city’s Public Safety Committee and Anti-Graffiti Policy Committee. Donovan said his public safety plan would increase police staffing and foot and bicycle patrols.

Johnson said Donovan’s plan was outdated. Donovan said the city experienced its worst bout of violence during Johnson’s time as council president.

Ballotpedia is covering 32 mayoral elections in 2022—24 in the 100 largest cities by population and eight in state capitals falling outside of the 100 largest cities. At the start of this year, 62 of the 100 largest cities’ mayors were Democrats, 26 were Republicans, and 11 were independent or nonpartisan. One mayor’s affiliation was unknown. 

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Newcomers will win more than half of Nebraska state Senate districts up for election this year

Thirteen Nebraska state Senate districts, 54% of the total holding elections this year, are open, meaning no incumbent is running for re-election. This guarantees that newcomers to the legislature will represent those districts next year. It is also the largest number of open districts since 2014 when 17 incumbents were term-limited.

The filing deadline for candidates running for state and federal office in 2022 in Nebraska was Feb. 15, 2022. In the state’s unicameral legislature, elections will take place in 24 of the 49 Senate districts.

Nebraska is one of 15 states with term limits for its state legislators. Senators are limited to two consecutive four-year terms. In 2022, two outgoing legislators are retiring while the remaining 11 cannot seek re-election due to term limits.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • Sixty-six candidates filed for the 24 districts, equaling 2.8 candidates per district, the most since at least 2014 when there were 2.7 candidates per district.
  • While Nebraska’s Senate is officially nonpartisan, using publicly available voter information from the state’s Voter Information Lookup, Ballotpedia identified the partisan affiliations of 63 candidates: 17 Democrats, 39 Republicans, three Libertarians, and four registered as nonpartisan.
  • Every Nebraska district uses a single top-two primary where every candidate runs and the two with the most votes advance to the general election. This year 14 primaries (or 58%) are contested. This is the most contested primaries in the state since at least 2014.
  • Incumbents are running in six of those contested primaries, meaning 55% of incumbents seeking re-election. That’s the most incumbents facing contested primaries since at least 2014.

Republicans currently control the Senate representing 32 districts to Democrats’ 17. Nebraska’s state legislative primaries are the fourth in the country, scheduled for May 10.

Keep reading



COVID-19 emergencies still active in 23 states

Welcome to the Monday, March 7, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. COVID-19 emergency orders have expired in 27 states
  2. New single-member House districts boost total number of state legislative primaries in West Virginia this year
  3. Two incumbents among candidates in Republican primary for West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District

COVID-19 emergency orders have expired in 27 states

At the start of the pandemic, governors and state agencies in all 50 states issued orders declaring emergencies related to the COVID-19 virus. These orders allowed officials to access resources unavailable to them during non-emergencies, like stockpiles of medical goods and equipment, and temporarily waive or suspend certain rules and regulations. 

As of March 4, 23 states are under an active COVID-19 emergency. Emergency orders have expired in 27 states. 

Alaska and North Dakota were the first states to end their COVID-19 emergency orders, doing so on April 30, 2021. Most recently, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) ended Indiana’s statewide emergency on March 4. Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) ended the statewide emergency on March 1.

Some governors ended their original emergency orders and issued new ones. In Maryland, for example, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) ended the original statewide COVID-19 emergency on July 1, 2021, saying, “Thanks in large part to the hard work, the sacrifices, and the vigilance of the people of Maryland, we have finally reached the light at the end of that long tunnel. Each and every one of you—your actions—have made this day possible.” On Jan. 4, Hogan declared a 30-day emergency to “keep our hospitals from overflowing, to keep our kids in school, and to keep Maryland open for business, and we will continue to take whatever actions are necessary in the very difficult days and weeks ahead.” Hogan did not renew the emergency when it expired on Feb. 3.

Governors in Alabama, Delaware, Kansas, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia also ended their emergencies and later reinstated them. 

In Michigan and Wisconsin, the state supreme court ended statewide COVID-19 emergencies. On Oct. 5, 2020, Michigan’s emergency ended when the Michigan Supreme Court ruled Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) lacked the authority to issue and extend emergency and disaster declarations after the legislature declined to extend those orders earlier that spring. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ended the statewide emergency on March 31, 2021, ruling 4-3 that Gov. Tony Evers (D) overstepped his authority when he declared several states of emergency since the start of the pandemic without legislative input.

Keep reading


New single-member House districts boost total number of state legislative primaries in West Virginia this year 

West Virginia’s House of Delegates elections will look different this year than they have in previous elections. Previously, the West Virginia House of Delegates used multi-member districts, with 100 seats divided among 67 districts. However, as part of the most recent redistricting process, the Legislature replaced those districts with 100 single-member districts. As a result, 84 of the 85 incumbents running for re-election are doing so in new districts.

A multi-member district sends two or more members to a legislative chamber. The majority of states use single-member districts at the state level, but 10 states have at least one legislative chamber with multi-member districts. 

The West Virginia Senate kept its multi-member districts, in which two senators represent each of the 17 districts. One seat from each district is up for election each cycle, and senators are elected to staggered four-year terms. The 13 incumbent senators seeking re-election are all running in the same districts they represented before redistricting.

The filing deadline for candidates running for state or federal office in West Virginia was Jan. 29—the fourth filing deadline of this election cycle. Here are some other highlights from West Virginia:

  1. Overall, 295 major party candidates filed for the 117 districts holding elections this year – 100 Democrats and 195 Republicans. This equals 2.5 candidates per seat, matching 2020 but lower than the 2.6 in 2018.
  2. Twenty-three of the 117 (20%) districts with elections have no incumbent running.. Four are in the Senate and 19 are in the House. Nine are in House districts that did not exist before 2022, three are in districts that were previously multi-member, and seven are in districts that remain single-member.
  3. 30.8% of possible primaries are contested, the lowest percentage since 2016. However, 72 total primaries are contested, the most since 2014, because of the 33 new single-member House districts. Seventy-two contested primary elections will take place out of a possible 234 (30.8%). 
  1. Ninety-eight incumbents are seeking re-election—22 Democrats and 76 Republicans. Thirty-six incumbents (37%) will face primary challengers, the lowest percentage since 2014.

West Virginia’s state legislative primaries are, along with Nebraska’s, the fourth in the election cycle, scheduled for May 10.

Keep reading 


Two incumbents among candidates in Republican primary for West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District

Speaking of West Virginia, let’s take a look at another marquee battleground primary – the Republican primary for the state’s 2nd Congressional District. 

Five candidates are running in the May 10 primary. As a result of redistricting, U.S. Reps. David McKinley (District 1) and Alexander Mooney (District 2) are running for re-election in the same district. These two candidates have received the most media attention and noteworthy endorsements.

McKinley was elected to represent District 1 in 2010. McKinley told MetroNews in an October 2021 interview he was focused on proving to voters in the new district that he can deliver tangible results. McKinley’s campaign website highlighted as key issues the U.S.-Mexico border, economic revitalization including investing in coal and natural gas, and U.S. relations with China. Gov. Jim Justice (R) and 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang (D) endorsed McKinley.

Mooney was elected to represent District 2 in 2014. In an October 2021 interview with MetroNews, Mooney said his conservative record should appeal to voters in the district. Mooney’s campaign website highlighted as key issues the 2nd Amendment, the state’s opioid epidemic, and reducing regulation of the state’s energy industry. Former President Donald Trump (R), the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, and the House Freedom Fund endorsed Mooney.

McKinley has criticized Mooney for previously holding office in Maryland and running unsuccessful campaigns in both Maryland and New Hampshire. Mooney said he became a West Virginian by choice and that his eight years in the U.S. House representing the state should matter more than his past campaigns.

Mooney calls McKinley a Republican in name only, citing McKinley’s votes in favor of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 and the creation of a January 6 commission. McKinley said his infrastructure vote reflected what was best for his constituents and that he only supported the initial creation of a bicameral January 6 commission and not the final House-only committee.

Susan Buchser-Lochocki, Rhonda Hercules, and Mike Seckman are also running in the primary.

Keep reading



How school mask requirements have changed over time

Welcome to the Friday, March 4, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. A look at school mask requirements since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination brings the total number of upcoming Article III judicial vacancies to 40
  3. #FridayTrivia: How many U.S. Senators have announced their retirements so far this cycle?

A look at school mask requirements since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

Since Feb. 1, 10 states have ended their school mask requirements and leaders in four more announced an end within the next week. Only one state, Hawaii, has not announced an end to its school mask requirement.

  • Thirty-five states required masks in schools at some point since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Some states issued requirements specifically covering schools while others were by-products of more general statewide mask requirements.
  • On June 10, 2020, Maryland and Washington became the first states to issue school reopening guidance requiring masks in schools at the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Wyoming was the latest state to issue its first school mask requirement, which began on Dec. 7, 2020, and ended June 1, 2021. North Dakota had the shortest statewide school mask requirement, from Nov. 14, 2020, to Jan. 18, 2021.

All 14 states with Democratic trifectas had school mask requirements at some point during the pandemic. Of the remaining 21 states, 10 have had Republican trifectas throughout the pandemic and 10 have had divided governments. One state—Virginia—changed its trifecta status from Democratic to divided after Republicans won the governorship and House during the 2021 elections.

Since the start of the pandemic, nine states have banned school mask requirements, four of which—South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia—had previously required masks in schools. Arkansas’ ban was the first to take effect on April 28, 2021. Court action laters suspended that ban on Sept. 30, 2021.

Virginia most recently banned school mask requirements. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) issued an executive order banning mask requirements on Jan. 24, 2022, which was later overturned in court. Youngkin subsequently signed a bill into law banning requirements, which took effect on March 1.

Of the nine states that have banned school mask requirements, eight have had Republican trifectas throughout the pandemic, with Virginia as the remaining state.

In 10 states, neither a requirement nor a ban ever took effect either because they were never proposed or because they were blocked before taking effect. Those states include six with Republican trifectas throughout the pandemic—Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Nebraska, Missouri, and South Dakota—two with divided governments—Alaska and Kansas—and two whose trifecta statuses changed from divided to Republican during the pandemic—Montana and New Hampshire.

Keep reading 

Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination brings the total number of upcoming Article III judicial vacancies to 40

The total number of upcoming Article III judicial vacancies rose to 40 on Feb. 28, 2022, after President Joe Biden (D) formally nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court caused by the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer.

Article III judgeships refer to federal judges who serve on one of the 13 U.S. courts of appeal, 94 U.S. district courts, and on the Court of International Trade. These are lifetime appointments made by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

These positions are not yet vacant but will be at some point in the future with every judge having announced his or her intent to either leave the bench or assume senior status. In the meantime, these judges will continue to serve in their current positions.

The president and Senate do not need to wait for a position to become vacant before they can start the confirmation process for a successor. For example, Judge Ellen Hollander on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland announced she would assume senior status only after the confirmation of her successor. There are currently eight nominees pending for upcoming vacancies.

Twenty-four vacancy effective dates have not been determined because the judge has not announced the date he or she will leave the bench. The next upcoming scheduled vacancy will take place on March 18, 2022, when U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa Chief Judge John Jarvey retires.

In addition to these 40 upcoming vacancies, there are 78 current Article III vacancies in the federal judiciary out of the 870 total Article III judgeships. 

Biden has announced nominees for 37 Article III positions. Nine are awaiting a hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee, 11 are awaiting a vote from the committee, and 17 are awaiting a final confirmation vote in the full U.S. Senate.

Keep reading 

#FridayTrivia: How many U.S. Senators have announced their retirements so far this cycle?

In Monday’s Brew, we brought you an update on U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) who announced last week that he would retire on Jan. 3, 2023, triggering a special election this November. With his announcement, Inhofe became one of a number of senators who have announced their retirements so far this cycle, the largest number recorded since 2012.

How many U.S. Senators have announced their retirements so far this cycle?

  1. 3
  2. 16
  3. 7
  4. 12


Voters in three states to decide on changes to the ballot initiative process this year

Welcome to the Thursday, March 3, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

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

  1. Voters will decide on legislative proposals adding restrictions to ballot initiative processes in Arizona, Arkansas, and South Dakota in 2022
  2. An update on the Tuesday elections
  3. Ohio U.S. House candidate filing deadline passes

Voters will decide on legislative proposals adding restrictions to ballot initiative processes in Arizona, Arkansas, and South Dakota in 2022

Voters in at least three states will decide legislative proposals to change citizen-initiated ballot measure processes this year. Legislatures in Arizona, Arkansas, and South Dakota have passed constitutional amendments on ballot initiatives. All three states are Republican trifectas. Here’s a quick recap of how they got to the ballot.

  • The first vote on an initiative-related constitutional amendment will be on June 7, 2022, in South Dakota. Amendment C would require a three-fifths vote at an election to approve ballot measures designed to increase taxes or fees or require the state to appropriate $10 million or more in the first five fiscal years following enactment. The state Legislature passed the constitutional amendment in March 2021. Senate and House Democrats opposed the proposal. Republicans were divided 69 to 24.
  • In Arizona, voters will decide two constitutional amendments at the general election in November. Republicans in the legislature backed two proposals that would make changes to the ballot initiative process. Legislative Democrats opposed both.
    • One would allow legislators to amend or repeal voter-approved ballot initiatives if any portion has been declared unconstitutional or invalid by the Arizona Supreme Court or U.S. Supreme Court. Currently, the Legislature cannot amend or repeal voter-approved ballot initiatives due to Proposition 105 (1998), also known as the Voter Protection Act, with an exception for changes that further a measure’s purpose and receive a three-fourths vote in each legislative chamber. 
    • The other amendment in Arizona would add a provision to the state constitution that requires citizen-initiated ballot measures to embrace a single subject. Based on a 2017 state Supreme Court ruling, the state constitution’s existing single-subject rule applies to legislative bills but not citizen-initiated measures.
  • Finally, the Arkansas State Legislature passed a constitutional amendment requiring a three-fifths vote for voters to approve citizen-initiated measures and constitutional amendments. Voters will decide the issue on November 8. In the Arkansas House, 72 Republicans and two Democrats approved the amendment, and one Republican and 17 Democrats opposed it. In the Senate, the vote was divided along party lines, with Republicans voting for and Democrats voting against.

The four measures that Arizona, Arkansas, and South Dakota legislatures put on the 2022 ballot were among 231 legislative proposals related to state and local ballot measures and recall processes that Ballotpedia tracked in 2021. Thirty-six proposals were approved, including bills that have already been signed into law. 

2021 had the most ballot measure-related legislative proposals nationwide since 2011 when there were 263 such bills proposed and 14 approved. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 178.3 legislative proposals related to state and local ballot measures were introduced each year. On average, 23.9 of those measures were approved.

Seventy statewide measures have been certified for the ballot in 31 states so far this year, five more than the average number certified at this point in other even-numbered years from 2010 to 2020. 

Here’s an update on other recent ballot measure activity:

From 2010 to 2020, the average number of statewide ballot measures certified in an even-numbered year was 164. 

Keep reading


An update on the Tuesday elections

Results are still coming in from Tuesday night’s elections. While the primaries in Texas were the main event, our team was also watching elections in Connecticut, Michigan, and Vermont. Here are some highlights, with vote totals as of 1:30 p.m. Central Time on March 2:

  1. Abbott wins re-nomination: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott won the Republican nomination for a third term Tuesday over seven challengers. Abbott had 66.5% of the primary vote. Former state party chairman Allen West followed with 12.3%, while former state Sen. Don Huffines had 11.9%. No other candidate had more than 5%.
  2. Paxton and Bush advance to runoff: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and challenger George P. Bush, the current public lands commissioner, advanced to a runoff as Paxton seeks a third term. Paxton had 42.7% of the vote to Bush’s 22.8%. A candidate needed at least 50% of the vote to win outright. The runoff between Paxton and Bush will take place May 24.
  3. U.S. House incumbent may head to runoff: U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar appeared headed to a potential May 24 runoff against challenger Jessica Cisneros in the Democratic primary for Texas’ 28th congressional district. Cuellar led Cisneros 48.5% to 46.8%. A candidate needs at least 50% of the vote to win the primary outright. Cisneros earlier ran against Cuellar in the 2018 primary, which Cuellar won 51.8% to 48.2%.
  4. Democrats pick nominee for safe U.S. House district: Greg Casar, a former member of the Austin City Council, won the Democratic nomination for the 35th congressional district outright over three others, winning 61.7% of the vote. Casar, who has endorsements from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), is expected to win the November general election; three race ratings agencies list this district as Safe Democratic.
  5. Vermont voters approve group of municipal measures: Voters in Vermont’s capital of Montpelier approved all 10 municipal measures on Tuesday’s ballot. The measures included four municipal bonds totaling $27.4 million, five measures approving planned expenditures, and one tax increase. The narrowest vote of approval was 54-46 on a $2 million property purchase bond. Montpelier, with a population of 8,074 as of the 2020 census, is the smallest state capital nationwide.

Keep reading 


Ohio U.S. House candidate filing deadline passes

The filing deadline for candidates running for U.S. House in Ohio is tomorrow, March 4. Candidates running for statewide office and state legislative seats had until Feb. 2 to file.

All 15 of Ohio’s seats in the U.S. House will be up for election this year. Ohio’s 15 seats in the round of apportionment following the 2020 census is a one-seat decline from the 16 the state was apportioned in 2010 and is the smallest number of seats apportioned to Ohio in any round of redistricting since 1820.

Ohio’s primaries for U.S. House and other offices will take place May 3. Ohio’s U.S. House candidate filing deadline is the ninth U.S. House filing deadline this year. Ohio is one of 21 states with a U.S. House filing deadline taking place in March.

Keep reading



Redistricting updates (and, of course, Texas)

Welcome to the Wednesday, March 2, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. Redistricting roundup: The latest news from Louisiana and Ohio
  2. Texas primary election results
  3. President Joe Biden’s approval at 41%, congressional approval at 20%

Redistricting roundup: The latest news from Louisiana and Ohio 

We’re back with another redistricting update—this time from Louisiana and Ohio. 

To date, 36 states have adopted congressional district maps.

Meanwhile, 37 states have adopted legislative district maps.

Now, let’s look at the news out of Louisiana and Ohio.


Louisiana

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) has until March 14 to sign or veto the legislature’s new congressional and legislative maps, or allow them to become law without his signature. The legislature approved those maps during a special legislative session that ended Feb. 18. If Edwards does not act by March 14, the maps will automatically become law. 

Republicans have majorities in both chambers of the Louisiana Legislature.

Regarding the state’s congressional map, The Advocate’s Blake Paterson wrote, “Republicans passed two identical maps — Senate Bill 5 and House Bill 1 — that would maintain the status quo of a single majority-Black district and would all but guarantee Louisiana sends five Republicans and one Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives in the congressional midterms this fall.”

After the Legislature approved the maps, Gov. Edwards said, “I remain adamant that the maps should reflect the growth of the African American population in our state over the last 10 years…and I do have concerns that several of the maps do not fulfill that moral and legal requirement.”

The congressional redistricting bill passed the state Senate, 27-10, strictly along party lines. The state House of Representatives approved it 64-31, with 61 Republicans, two independents, and one Democrat voting in favor and 27 Democrats, three Republicans, and one independent voting against. 

Ohio

The Ohio Redistricting Commission voted 4-3 to approve new legislative district boundaries on Feb. 24 and plaintiffs had until Feb. 28 to file objections to those maps with the Ohio Supreme Court. The commission has until March 3 to respond to those objections before the court rules on the constitutionality of the maps, which is expected next week.

According to Cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias, “The maps the redistricting commission approved on Thursday favor Republicans to win 54% and Democrats to win 46% of Ohio’s state legislative districts. That matches the percentage of the statewide vote each party got during the last decade’s worth of statewide, partisan elections.” The Springfield News-Sun’s Jim Ganes wrote that groups challenging the maps say that “19 House and seven Senate seats lean Democratic by less than 4%, while no Republican districts are that close.

In two 4-3 rulings on Jan. 12 and Feb. 7, the Ohio Supreme Court struck down commission-passed legislative maps for not adhering to the state’s 2015 constitutional amendment that created a bipartisan state legislative redistricting commission. The amendment requires that the districts are contiguous and forbids district plans from favoring or disfavoring either political party. 

The redistricting commission also met on March 1 to draw new congressional district boundaries. The state supreme court ruled 4-3 on Jan. 14 that the map state lawmakers approved was unconstitutional. The Columbus Dispatch’s Jessie Balmert wrote that “Ohio’s GOP-controlled Legislature passed a map in November that could have given the GOP a 12-3 advantage.”

The candidate filing deadline for major-party congressional and legislative candidates in Ohio is March 4.

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We’ve got Texas primary election results

Yesterday, Texas voters decided a raft of federal, state, and local Republican and Democratic primaries, and our team worked late into the night to collect those results and monitor the most significant developments. 

In tomorrow’s Brew, we’ll bring you in-depth coverage of the biggest storylines from the Texas races. You can also subscribe to The Heart of the Primaries, our weekly dive into key congressional, legislative, and executive races. This week’s edition will go out tomorrow, so click here to sign up!

In the meantime, check out our March 1 election hub to see all the latest results from Texas, Vermont, and other states that held elections. 

If you’re interested in seeing results from our key Texas battleground races, click on the links below:

Additionally, click here for Texas Senate election results and here for Texas House of Representatives election results.  

Texas is the only state with a statewide primary in March. April, with no statewide primaries, is the calm before the storm. The primary schedule gets more crowded in May and June, when a combined 30 states will hold primaries. 

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President Joe Biden’s approval at 41%, congressional approval at 20%

Last night, President Joe Biden (D) delivered the annual State of the Union address before Congress. With that in mind, let’s turn to the latest presidential and congressional approval ratings.

As of March 1, Ballotpedia’s polling index shows Biden at 41% approval and 54% disapproval. Biden’s approval rating peaked at 55% on May 26, 2021. His lowest rating came on Feb. 18, when it reached 40%.

Congress was at 20% approval and 67% disapproval. At this time last month, its approval rating was 17%. The highest approval rating this Congress has received is 36%, on July 16, 2021, and the lowest approval rating it has received is 14%, on Jan. 26.

Ballotpedia’s polling index takes the average of polls conducted over the last thirty days to calculate presidential and congressional approval ratings. We average the results and show all polling results side-by-side because we believe that paints a clearer picture of public opinion than any individual poll can provide. The data is updated daily as new polling results are published.

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Vermont Town Meeting day on Tuesday; Montpelier voters to elect town officials and vote on 15 ballot questions

Most towns in Vermont will hold town meetings on Tuesday, March 1. These meetings are held every year on the first Tuesday of March. Citizens of the towns elect officials, but they also directly decide on the town’s annual budget, specific appropriations, and other policy issues through ballot questions called articles.

Towns in Vermont use two methods for electing officials and deciding ballot questions: (a) floor voting or (b) Australian ballots, which are ballots cast at a polling place like during in-person, election-day voting for other elections. Towns can also use a combination of the two methods. Floor voting takes place when town citizens congregate in one location and hold debates and vote on motions.

Floor voting can take place through (a) voice votes; (b) hand counts, usually used when the moderator cannot tell the results of a voice vote; or (c) paper ballots passed out, filled in, and collected at the meeting. State law requires paper ballots to be used to elect officials when they are elected through floor voting.

Vermont law makes town meeting day a holiday for employees of the state. It also allows all employees in the state to take unpaid time off for town meeting day, with an exception for the essential operation of the state’s business. State law allows towns to hold town meetings for floor votes on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday before the first Tuesday in March. Polls, however, must be open for Australian Voting on Town Meeting Day if that method is used.

According to the Vermont Secretary of State’s voting methods and turnout statistics by town for 2021:

  • about 65% of listed towns used Australian ballot voting to elect town officers, and 35% used floor voting;
  • about 28% used Australian ballot voting for approving a budget, and 72% used floor voting;
  • about 37% used Australian ballot voting for ballot questions; and
  • about 56% moved to Australian ballot voting in 2021.

To get a clearer idea of town meetings, which are unique to New England local government, we’ll look closer at the officers and articles that voters in Montpelier, Vermont, will decide at their 2022 town meeting.

Montpelier voters will use Australian ballot for all officials and ballot questions. They will choose

  • the mayor;
  • District 1, 2, and 3 city council members;
  • a parks commission member;
  • two cemetery commission members;
  • Montpelier Roxbury School District board members, school treasurer, and school clerk; and
  • a Central Vermont Public Safety Authority Board member.

They will also vote on 15 local ballot questions: 10 town questions; four school district questions; and one question for the Central Vermont Public Safety Authority, which includes the towns of Montpelier and Barre. Three questions were put on the ballot through signature petitions. Binding, financial expenditure measures can be added to the Montpelier ballot through a petition signed by 10% of registered voters.

Citizens will vote either in favor of or against specific proposals deciding:

  • mayor and city council member compensation;
  • a $10.66 million budget for debts, expenses, and taxes in the 2022-2023 fiscal year;
  • two measures proposing town appropriations for specific purposes;
  • four bond issue measures;
  • a property tax within the town’s designated downtown area;
  • Montpelier Roxbury School District board member compensation;
  • a $26.94 million budget for the Montpelier Roxbury School District;
  • an additional appropriation for the Capital Reserve Fund of the Montpelier Roxbury School District and a measure allowing the district board to spend audited fund balances for operations; and
  • an appropriation for the Central Vermont Public Safety Authority District of $30,000—with $15,900 from Barre City and $14,100 from Montpelier.

Ballotpedia is covering local measures in 2022 that appear on the ballot for voters within the top 100 largest cities in the U.S. and all state capitals, including those outside of the top 100 largest cities. Ballotpedia is also covering a selection of notable police-related and election-related measures outside of the top 100 largest cities and all local ballot measures in California. Ballotpedia’s 2022 local ballot measure coverage in Vermont includes Montpelier.

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An update on US Senate retirements

Welcome to the Monday, February 28, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. Inhofe announces retirement from U.S. Senate
  2. Biden nominates Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court 
  3. West Virginia U.S House delegation shrinking from three to two sets up primary between two representatives

Inhofe announces retirement from U.S. Senate

On Friday, Feb. 25, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced he would retire on Jan. 3, 2023. Inhofe’s current term ends in 2027. He was most recently re-elected in 2020, defeating Abby Broyles (D) 62.9% to 32.8%. His retirement will trigger a special election in November 2022. In an interview with The Oklahoman, Inhofe endorsed Luke Holland, his chief of staff, to replace him in the U.S. Senate. 

Oklahoma’s other U.S. Senator, James Lankford (R), is up for re-election this year, meaning that both Oklahoma’s senate seats will be on the November ballot. The last time a state decided two U.S. Senate elections in one year was November 2020. That year, Georgia voters decided a regular Senate election between incumbent David Perdue (R) and Jon Ossoff (D) and a special Senate election between incumbent Kelly Loeffler (R) and Raphael Warnock (D). In 2018, Mississippi also held regular and special Senate elections. 

States have different methods for filling U.S. Senate vacancies. In 37 states, vacancies are temporarily filled by gubernatorial appointment. A special election, coinciding with the next regularly scheduled election, is then held to replace the appointee. In the remaining 13 states, a special election is required within a certain time frame to fill the vacancy. Of those 13 states, eight allow for an interim gubernatorial appointment.

Inhofe was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994. Before that, his political career included many of Oklahoma’s top political offices. He served in the state House from 1967 to 1969 and the state Senate from 1969 to 1977. From 1978 to 1984, Inhofe served as Mayor of Tulsa. He was elected to the U.S. House in 1986, a position he held until he became a U.S. Senator in 1994.

Inhofe is the longest-serving member of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation and the seventh most senior Senator. 

So far, six Senators whose terms end in 2023 have announced they will not seek re-election this year. Five are Republicans and one is a Democrat. 

As of February 2022, 43 members of the U.S. House have announced they will not seek re-election.

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Biden nominates Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court 

On Feb. 25, President Joe Biden (D) announced he would nominate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by Stephen Breyer. Breyer announced his retirement on Jan. 27, saying he planned to serve until the court’s 2022 summer recess, which typically begins in late June or early July.

In a statement, the White House said: “Jackson is an exceptionally qualified nominee as well as an historic nominee, and the Senate should move forward with a fair and timely hearing and confirmation.”

Jackson currently serves as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Biden nominated her to the post in April 2021. The Senate voted 53-44 to confirm Jackson on June 14, 2021. Previously, Jackson was a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia from 2013 to 2021. Jackson has also worked in private practice, as a federal public defender, on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and as a law clerk for Breyer.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on Jackson’s nomination, after which the full Senate will vote on her confirmation. The confirmation vote can take place before Breyer leaves the court, with Jackson’s swearing-in delayed until his departure.

Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation vote will be the first to take place in a Senate with a 50-50 partisan split. In recent years, confirmation “yes” votes have grown more partisan. Since Justice Samuel Alito’s confirmation in 2006, nominees have received an average of 4 votes from senators who don’t caucus with the President’s party. Since 1967, when the Senate held its first roll call confirmation vote after Hawaii became the 50th state, the overall average of opposition party confirmation “yes” votes is 29. These averages do not include votes from independent or third party senators.

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West Virginia U.S House delegation shrinking from three to two sets up primary between two representatives

Thirteen candidates are running for West Virginia’s two U.S. House districts. The filing deadline to enter those races was Jan. 29. One Democrat and five Republicans are running for their respective party nominations in the 1st Congressional District, while two Democrats and five Republicans are running for their respective party nominations in the 2nd Congressional District. That’s 6.5 candidates per district, more than the 4.7 candidates per district West Virginia had in 2020 and the 6.3 in 2018. 

This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census, which resulted in West Virginia losing a U.S. House district.

The loss of the state’s 3rd Congressional District has resulted in Reps. David McKinley (District 1) and Alexander Mooney (District 2) competing in the District 2 Republican primary. Rep. Carol Miller (R), who currently represents District 3, is running in District 1. Currently, there are five U.S. House races in 2022 where two incumbents have declared their candidacy for the same congressional district. Following the 2010 census, there were 13 districts where multiple incumbents ran against each other in the 2012 primary or general elections.

Since 2012, there have only been two election cycles in West Virginia with an open seat—2014 and 2018.

West Virginia’s U.S. House primaries will take place on May 10. The candidate with the most votes wins the primary, even without a majority, so no runoff elections will take place.

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Stay informed this primary election season with our sample ballot tool

Welcome to the Friday, February 25, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. How you can use Ballotpedia to stay in the know on election day
  2. State supreme courts in North Carolina and Pennsylvania enact new redistricting plans
  3. #FridayTrivia: How many state legislative seats are up for election in 2022?

How you can use Ballotpedia to stay in the know on election day

On March 1, Texas will hold the first statewide primaries of the 2022 election cycle. Voters will pick nominees in races ranging from the U.S. House to governor to county clerks.

At Ballotpedia, we want to make sure you have all the tools to vote with confidence. If you’re voting next Tuesday, or want to take a look at any upcoming elections in your area, get prepared by using our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!

Here’s how it works: 

  • Enter your address (we don’t store or retain any of your information when you do that).
  • Select an upcoming election date. Several dates might be listed if there is more than one coming up in your area.
  • View the list of candidates that will be on your ballot. Ballotpedia covers every federal, state executive, and state legislative election. We also have comprehensive info for the 100 largest cities by population. For municipal elections we are covering in Texas, click here.
  • Click on a candidate to read their biography, view past election results, and learn more about their campaign themes. We also provide race overviews. Where the office names are linked, you can click to learn more about the race in general.

You can contact your state or local election administrator to view an official sample ballot.

For even more information on the go, be sure to download our My Vote app, which allows you to research the elections and candidates on your ballot, save your choices, and access important election information. 

Another important way Ballotpedia brings you information about your upcoming elections is through our Candidate Connection survey. Every candidate we cover is invited to fill out this survey, which gives voters a chance to hear directly from who’s running for office.

We have full candidate survey completion in 13 competitive primaries in Texas. In each of these races, every candidate has completed a survey. These primaries are listed below. Click on a candidate’s name to view their survey responses to see how the candidates compare on the issues.

U.S. House

State executive

State legislative

* Rep. James Talarico (D) currently represents House District 52 and is running in District 50 due to redistricting.

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State supreme courts in North Carolina and Pennsylvania enact new redistricting plans

Over the past couple of days, we’ve seen two states—North Carolina and Pennsylvania—enact new redistricting maps. In both states, previous maps faced legal challenges bringing us to where we are today. Here’s a quick summary of how the process played out:

North Carolina enacted new congressional and state legislative district maps on Feb. 23 after the Wake County Superior Court signed off on maps of the state’s 170 legislative districts approved by the Republican-controlled General Assembly last week.

The court rejected a congressional map supported by the legislature and instead adopted a plan proposed by a panel of court-appointed special masters. This panel consisted of three former state judges: Tom Ross (D), Bob Edmunds (R), and Bob Orr (I). North Carolina was apportioned 14 congressional districts following the 2020 census, an increase of one from previous years.

The General Assembly originally enacted maps on Nov. 4, 2021, but they were challenged in court. On Feb. 4, with the four justices registered as Democrats in the majority, the state supreme court declared the maps unconstitutional in a 4-3 decision, leading to the redraw.

Legal challenges delayed the state’s candidate filing process for the 2022 elections. With the new maps enacted, candidate filing resumed on Feb. 24 and will end on March 4 for primaries scheduled for May 17.

Pennsylvania finished its redistricting process on Feb. 23 after the state supreme court enacted new congressional district lines. Pennsylvania was apportioned 17 congressional districts following the 2020 census, a decrease of one from previous years.

The court chose from over a dozen submitted maps, including one proposed by the Republican-controlled state legislature. In a 4-3 ruling, the Democratic-controlled court ultimately selected the Carter map, submitted by a group of Pennsylvania citizens who were petitioners in a redistricting-related lawsuit.

The state supreme court assumed authority over the redistricting process after Gov. Tom Wolf (D) vetoed the legislature’s enacted congressional map on Jan. 26. Mapmaking authority initially passed to a lower court but, in a Feb. 2 order, the supreme court ruled that it would have control over the process.

Pennsylvania’s primary elections are scheduled for May 17.

Overall, 37 states have completed congressional redistricting for the current cycle compared to 40 at this point following the 2010 census. Similarly, 38 states have finished redrawing state legislative lines compared to 40 as of Feb. 25, 2012.

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#FridayTrivia: How many state legislative seats are up for election in 2022?

On March 1, voters in Texas will participate in the first primary elections of the 2022 cycle. Among the races on the ballot include all 181 of the state’s legislative seats. These seats are just the first in one of the largest state legislative election cycles in recent memory. More state legislative seats are up for election this year than at any point since at least 2010. And we will be bringing you coverage of every single one!

How many state legislative seats are up for election in 2022?

  1. 5,875
  2. 7,930
  3. 4,322
  4. 6,166


Kentucky U.S. House elections feature first open seat since 2016, most candidates since at least 2014

Welcome to the Thursday, February 24, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

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

  1. Kentucky sees largest number of U.S. House candidates since at least 2014
  2. Committee behind an initiative to increase the minimum wage for tipped workers in D.C. submits signatures for the June ballot
  3. Thirty-nine state legislative special elections scheduled for 2022

Kentucky sees largest number of U.S. House candidates since at least 2014

The filing deadline for candidates running for state or federal office in Kentucky was just about a month ago – Jan. 25, 2022. This year, 31 candidates are running for Kentucky’s six U.S. House districts: nine Democrats and 22 Republicans. That’s 5.2 candidates per district, the highest number of candidates per district in the state since at least 2014.

Democrats currently represent one U.S. House district in Kentucky and Republicans represent five.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  1. This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Kentucky was apportioned six districts, the same number it received after the 2010 census.
  2. One district—the 3rd—is open with Rep. John Yarmuth (D) retiring from politics. Yarmuth was first elected in 2006 after defeating Rep. Anne Northup (R). The 3rd District has not been open since 1994.
  3. This is the first election cycle since 2016 featuring an open U.S. House district in Kentucky.
  4. With six districts, there are 12 possible primaries, two for each district. Of that total, voters will participate in eight contested primaries (67%), more than in 2020 and equal to the total in 2018. There will be three contested Democratic primaries and five for Republicans.
  5. Of the five incumbents seeking re-election, four are facing primary challenges, the same number as 2020, both of which are the highest since at least 2014. All five incumbents are Republicans.
  6. Every district is set to feature major party competition, meaning at least one Democrat and at least one Republican filed to run. Since 2014, only the 2016 election cycle saw uncontested general elections for U.S. House in Kentucky when two Republicans won without any Democratic opposition.
  7. The open 3rd District has nine candidates running, more than any other district: two Democrats and seven Republicans.

Kentucky and four other states—Idaho, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania—are holding primary elections on May 17.

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Committee behind an initiative to increase the minimum wage for tipped workers in D.C. submits signatures for the June ballot

This Tuesday, the DC Committee to Build a Better Restaurant Industry submitted 34,000 signatures to the D.C. Board of Elections in an effort to place Initiative 82 on the June ballot. Initiative 82 would incrementally increase the tipped minimum wage from $5.05 in 2021 to match the minimum wage of non-tipped employees in 2027. In D.C., the minimum wage for non-tipped employees was $15.20 as of July 2021.

In D.C., proponents have 180 days from the time the Board of Elections approves the initiative to gather a number of signatures equal to at least 5 percent of the voters registered citywide. Signatures from 5 percent of registered voters in five of eight city wards are required to meet the city’s distribution requirement. For Initiative 82, approximately 26,000 valid signatures are required to be certified for the ballot. The Board of Elections has 30 days to count and review the signatures.

Adam Eidinger, a campaign organizer, said, “This is where the citizens get to write the law. If the Council’s not gonna help restaurant workers, a restaurant worker can write the law, propose it and put it directly to the voters.”

The proposed change was previously approved by D.C. voters as Initiative 77 in June 2018 by a margin of ​​55.74% to 44.26%. However, the Washington, D.C., Council voted 8-5 to repeal the measure in October 2018. The repeal was sponsored by the chairman of the D.C. Council, Phil Mendelson (D), whose term as chairman expires in 2023. At the time, Mendelson said, “77 may be well-intentioned, but the very people the Initiative is intended to help are overwhelmingly opposed. If we want to help workers – protect them from harassment and exploitation – there are better ways than Initiative 77.”

Mendelson told NBC4 Washington that he opposes Initiative 82 but would not try to repeal it if it were passed by voters again. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) also opposed the initiative in 2018 but has yet to take a stance on Initiative 82.

Initiative 82’s endorsers include the metro area chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, Our Revolution DC, and SEIU 32BJ.

Initiative 82 is one of several ballot initiatives this year related to the minimum wage. In November, Nevada voters will decide on a $12 minimum wage ballot measure. Campaigns are also collecting signatures for minimum wage initiatives in California, Idaho, Michigan, and Nebraska.

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Thirty-nine state legislative special elections scheduled for 2022

Thirty-nine state legislative special elections have been scheduled in 19 states in 2022. Fourteen special elections have taken place already. The 14 already-held elections filled vacancies left by 11 Democratic lawmakers and three Republicans. Candidates from the same party as the former incumbent have won every state legislative special election so far this year.

By this time in 2021, 27 special elections had been called in 16 states. There were 33 special elections called in 15 states by this time in 2020. No seats flipped in the 14 special elections that had taken place between the two years; six in 2021 and eight in 2020.

An average of 57 seats were filled through special elections in each of the past six even-numbered years. An average of 85 special elections took place in the past six odd-numbered years. Between 2011 and 2021, one party (either Republicans or Democrats) saw an average net gain of four seats nationally each year.

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