Tagelections

Anthony Brindisi (D) concedes in New York’s 22nd Congressional District election

Incumbent Anthony Brindisi (D) conceded the election to represent New York’s 22nd Congressional District on Feb. 8, 2021, to Claudia Tenney (R). His concession follows several months of legal challenges from Brindisi and Tenney over the validity of certain absentee and affidavit ballots cast in the Nov. 3, 2020, election.

Brindisi announced his concession hours after the New York Board of Elections voted to certify the results of the election. Tenney led by 109 votes.

In a statement, Brindisi said: “Today I congratulated Claudia Tenney and offered to make the transition process as smooth as possible on behalf of our community. […] It is time to close the book on this election and focus on building a better community and more united country for our children.”

Tenney responded to Brindisi’s Feb. 8 concession in a tweet: “I really appreciate Anthony’s call today and thank him for his service. He graciously offered to help ensure a smooth transition and I look forward to working with him over the coming days to complete that process on behalf of everyone in NY22.”

To read more about the legal proceedings in New York’s 22nd Congressional District, click here.



Special election runoff to be held on Feb. 23 in Texas state House district

A special general runoff election has been scheduled for February 23 in District 68 of the Texas House of Representatives. Craig Carter (R) is facing David Spiller (R) in the runoff. Carter and Spiller advanced from the general election on January 23, earning 18% of the vote and 44% of the vote, respectively. Governor Greg Abbott (R) issued a proclamation on February 4 to schedule the runoff.

The seat became vacant after Drew Springer (R) won a special election for District 30 of the Texas State Senate on December 19, 2020. Springer was elected to the state House in 2012. He won re-election in November 2020 with 85.5% of the vote.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have an 82-67 majority in the Texas House. Texas has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

As of February, 26 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year.

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Burlington, Vermont voters will decide on March 2 whether to adopt ranked-choice voting for city council elections

On March 2, Burlington, Vermont voters will decide Question 4, a measure to implement ranked-choice voting for city council elections beginning in March 2022.

The Burlington City Council attempted to place a ranked-choice voting measure on the November 2020 ballot, but it was vetoed by Mayor Miro Weinberger (D) after receiving a 6-5 vote from the city council. It would have implemented RCV for city council, mayoral, and school commissioner elections. The council amended the measure to only include city council elections and reconsidered it for the March 2021 ballot. It was approved on September 22, 2020. Mayor Weinberger signed the measure on October 3, 2020. 

The vote will be the first time the city voters decide on RCV after repealing it in 2010. In 2005, Burlington voters amended the city’s charter to implement RCV—referred to as instant runoff—for mayoral elections. The 2005 measure was approved by 64% to 36%. It was used in the 2006 and 2009 mayoral elections.

On March 2, 2010, voters repealed ranked-choice by a vote of 52% to 48%. The measure to repeal ranked-choice voting was placed on the ballot through a ballot initiative petition drive after the 2009 mayoral election.

The Yes on 4: Better Ballot Burlington campaign is co-chaired by Former Governor Howard Dean (D) and City Councilmember Zoraya Hightower (Vermont Progressive Party). Hightower said, “I believe [RCV] helps elect leaders that are more representative of our city and cities across the country.” Mayor Weinberger opposes the amended measure saying, “[Prior use of ranked-choice voting] led to campaigns being very hesitant to define differences and distinctions between themselves on substance because of concerns of alienating second and third votes from other candidates. I was a campaign chair of a mayoral election during that period. I just don’t think it worked well.”

A ranked-choice voting system (RCV) is an electoral system in which voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First-preference votes cast for the failed candidate are eliminated, lifting the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority.

As of 2021, one state (Maine) had implemented RCV at the state level, one state (Alaska) had adopted but not implemented RCV, eight states contained jurisdictions that had implemented RCV at some level, and another five states contained jurisdictions—including New York City—that had adopted but not yet implemented RCV in local elections.

All active registered Burlington voters will be receiving an absentee ballot the week of February 8. Voters may return their absentee ballot by mail, drop box, or at an election polling place on March 2. Polling places will be open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on election day. Voters may register to vote in-person on election day.

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An early look at the 2022 Senate elections

On November 8, 2022, 34 Senate seats will be up for election. These elections—along with any vacancies, special elections, or appointments that may occur in the meantime—will determine whether the Senate maintains a 50-50 partisan split with effective Democratic control, Democrats strengthen their majority, or Republicans take control of the chamber.

Of the 34 Senate seats up for election in 2022, Republicans currently hold 20 and Democrats hold 14. 

Democrats are not defending any Senate seats in states Donald Trump won in the 2020 presidential election. Republicans are defending two Senate seats in states Joe Biden won: Pennsylvania (held by Sen. Pat Toomey) and Wisconsin (held by Sen. Ron Johnson).

• In Pennsylvania, Biden defeated Trump (R) 50.0%-48.8%.

• In Wisconsin, Biden defeated Trump 49.5%-48.8%.

*Early race ratings*

Outlets including The Cook Political Report, Inside Elections, and Sabato’s Crystal Ball. Have released early race ratings. The outlets agreed in their ratings of 15 races as Safe/Solid Republican and 10 as Safe/Solid Democratic. The nine elections with more competitive ratings from two or more outlets are:

Toss-up or Democratic advantage

• Arizona

• Georgia

• New Hampshire

• Nevada

(Toss-up or Republican advantage)

• Florida

• North Carolina

• Ohio

• Pennsylvania

• Wisconsin

Four of the seats up for election in 2022 changed party hands the last time they were up for election. In 2020-2021, Democrats picked up Senate seats in special elections in Georgia and Arizona. In 2016, Democrats picked up Senate seats in Illinois and New Hampshire.

The last time these Senate seats were up for election, seven were won by a margin of fewer than 5 percentage points.

• In Wisconsin, Ron Johnson (R) won by 3.4 percentage points in 2016.

• In Missouri, Roy Blunt (R) won by 2.8 percentage points in 2016.

• In Arizona, Mark Kelly (D) defeated incumbent Martha McSally (R) by 2.4 percentage points in the 2020 special election.

• In Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto (D) won by 2.4 percentage points in 2016.

• In Georgia, Raphael Warnock (D) defeated incumbent Kelly Loeffler (R) by 2.1 percentage points in the special runoff election last month.

• In Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey (R) won by 1.5 percentage points in 2016.

• In New Hampshire, Maggie Hassan (D) defeated incumbent Kelly Ayotte (R) by 0.1 percentage point in 2016.

Three incumbents have announced they are not seeking re-election: North Carolina’s Richard Burr (R), Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey (R), and Ohio’s Rob Portman (R). 

Click below to follow along with the latest on 2022’s Senate elections.

https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_Senate_elections,_2022

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14 candidates file to run for mayor of Anchorage

The city of Anchorage, Alaska, will hold a nonpartisan general election for mayor on April 6, 2021. The filing deadline for this election was January 29. If no candidate receives at least 45% of the vote in the general election, a runoff election will be held on May 11 between the top two candidates.

Fourteen candidates filed to run for the open seat: Anna Anthony, David Bronson, Jeffrey T. Brown, Darin Colbry, Forrest Dunbar, Bill Evans, Bill Falsey, Heather Herndon, Jacob Kern, George Martinez, Reza Momin, Mike Robbins, Albert Swank Jr., and Joe Westfall.

Austin Quinn-Davidson became the acting mayor of Anchorage on October 23, 2020, following the resignation of Ethan Berkowitz. In the statement announcing his resignation, Berkowitz said, “My resignation results from unacceptable personal conduct that has compromised my ability to perform my duties with the focus and trust that is required.”

As of February 2021, the partisan breakdown of the mayors of the 100 largest U.S. cities was 64 Democrats, 25 Republicans, four independents, and seven nonpartisans.

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Three candidates file to run in Louisiana House District 82 special election

Candidates interested in running in the special election for the District 82 seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives had until January 27, 2021, to file. The primary is scheduled for March 20, and the general election, if needed, is set for April 24.

Louisiana elections use the majority-vote system. All candidates compete in the same primary, and a candidate can win the election outright by receiving more than 50% of the vote. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the top two vote recipients from the primary advance to the general election, regardless of their partisan affiliation.

Three candidates—Raymond Delaney Jr. (D), Edwin Connick (R), and Laurie Schlegel (R)—filed to run in the special election.

The special election became necessary after Charles Henry (R) resigned his seat on January 12. Henry was elected to the state House in 2019 with 70.5% of the vote.

Louisiana has a divided government, and no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Republicans control the state Senate by a 27-12 margin and the state House by a 66-35 margin with two independents and two vacancies. Democrat John Bel Edwards was elected governor of Louisiana in 2015.

As of January 2021, 25 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

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Filing period to close Feb. 3 for municipal elections in two Ohio cities

The candidate filing deadline to run for elected office in Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio, is on February 3, 2021. Prospective candidates in Columbus may file for the following municipal and school district offices:

  • City attorney
  • City auditor
  • City council (3 seats)
  • Columbus City Schools Board of Education (3 seats)

In Cleveland, prospective candidates may file for the following municipal offices:

  • Mayor
  • City council (17 seats)
  • Municipal court judge

The primary elections are scheduled for May 4, and the general elections are scheduled for November 2.

Columbus and Cleveland are the first- and second-largest cities in Ohio, respectively. Columbus is the 16th-largest city in the United States by population, and Cleveland is the 48th-largest. The Columbus City Schools district is the largest school district in Ohio; it served 50,219 students as of the 2017-2018 school year.

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Filing deadline passes for special Louisiana congressional, state executive elections

Candidates interested in running in the special election for Louisiana’s 2nd and 5th Congressional Districts and District 4 of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) had until January 22, 2021, to file. The primary is scheduled for March 20, and the general election, if needed, is set for April 24.

The 2nd Congressional District special election was called after it was announced that Cedric Richmond (D) had been chosen as a senior adviser to the president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement for the then-incoming Joe Biden presidential administration. Richmond served from 2011 until he left office on January 15. Fifteen candidates filed for the seat, including eight Democrats, four Republicans, one Libertarian, and two independents.

The 5th Congressional District special election was called after newly elected officeholder Luke Letlow (R) died on December 29, 2020, from complications related to COVID-19. He was scheduled to assume office on January 3. Thirteen candidates filed for the seat, including two Democrats, nine Republicans, and two independents.

The BESE special election was called after Tony Davis (R) left office to devote more time to his job as a senior director at the National Association of Manufacturers on January 20. Davis served from 2016 to 2021. Six candidates filed for the seat, including two Democrats, two Republicans, and two independents.

Louisiana elections use the majority-vote system. All candidates compete in the same primary, and a candidate can win the election outright by receiving more than 50 percent of the vote. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the top two vote recipients from the primary advance to the general election, regardless of their partisan affiliation.

Ballotpedia is also covering two Court of Appeals special elections and one state legislative special election in Louisiana on March 20. The state legislative special filing deadline is January 27.

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Ballotpedia’s 2020 Candidate Connection report: 16.4% of candidates completed surveys this election cycle

For the third year in a row, Ballotpedia invited candidates to take part in our Candidate Connection initiative. The survey was open to the 29,002 federal, state, and local candidates that Ballotpedia covered in 2020. Ballotpedia received submissions from 4,745 candidates—or 16.4%—who were running for seats across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The report answers questions such as:

  • Which state had the highest number of respondents? Texas, with 391 candidates.
  • Which type of office saw the highest completion rate? Congress, 32.9% of congressional candidates completed the Candidate Connection survey.
  • What percentage of respondents won their election bids? 15.7% of respondents.

Ballotpedia’s 2020 Candidate Connection report includes comparisons to the 2018 and 2019 response rates, information about the surveys completed in 2020, and responses from notable candidates in 2020. Learn more by clicking the link.

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30 state legislative races were decided by fewer than 100 votes in 2020

Thirty (0.5%) of the 5,875 state legislative races in 2020 were decided by fewer than 100 votes. Twenty-nine of the 30 races were in state houses, and one was in a state senate.

Partisan control changed in 15 (50%) of the 30 races. Thirteen of the partisan changes (43.3% of the 30 races) were Republican pickups, and two (6.67%) were Democratic pickups. Fifteen seats did not change partisan control.

Of the 86 state legislative chambers that held elections in 2020, 14 (16.3%) had at least one race that was decided by fewer than 100 votes.

The narrowest margin in any state legislative election last November was for a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Incumbent Timothy Fontneau (D) defeated Harrison deBree (R) by a margin of four votes.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives had 11 races decided by fewer than 100 votes—more than any other chamber. As of 2010, there were, on average, 3,291 people in each New Hampshire House district, making them the smallest state legislative districts in the country.

The Vermont House of Representatives had five races decided by fewer than 100 votes—the second-highest number after the New Hampshire House. As of 2010, there were, on average, 4,172 people in each Vermont House district, making them the second-smallest state legislative districts in the country.

Most of the races took place in districts with small population sizes compared to the rest of the country. Twenty-four races (80%) were in districts with a population of less than 25,000. Districts that size made up 26.3 percent of all state legislative districts as of 2010.