Elections

The Council of State Governments’ Elections Center offers our members and other interested parties data and analysis regarding the 2014 elections. Looking at elections in all three branches of state government from across the nation, the Elections Center is a resource for both pre- and post-election party control data and how the outcomes might affect various policy areas heading into 2015.

Post-Election Legislative Control

 

2014 Gubernatorial Winners

2014 Lieutenant Governor Winners

2014 Secretary of State Winners

2014 Attorney General Winners

2014 Treasurer Winners

2014 Auditor Winners

2014 State Supreme Court Winners

2014 Current State Officials Winning Congressional Seats

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill’s office has launched its new online voter registration system just in time for the March 1, 2016 Alabama Presidential Primary. This makes Alabama the 30th state, plus the District of Columbia, to offer online voter registration.

Individuals who wish to register to vote in Alabama may either fill out the online registration form or print an application online, both of which would go to county registrar’s offices for final processing. The deadline to register for the Alabama primary is...

For decades, Iowa has served as the national kickoff event for the presidential election season, hosting the first caucus of the year. But who actually informs the process? Iowa hardly provides a demographic snapshot of the nation--with a population that is 94% white and with high proportions of Evangelical Christians. Who are the Iowa caucusgoers who set the stage for the national presidential election season? Here's a snapshot of who participates in the Iowa Caucuses.

Winter Storm Jonas swept through Washington, D.C., last week leaving behind icy roads and a quiet city. Due to the storm, which left 250,000 people without power and may end up costing the U.S. economy more than $1 billion according to several media reports, major legislative action was stalled on Capitol Hill.  The House of Representatives cancelled all legislative activity last week, and the Senate returned on Wednesday to continue debate on a bipartisan energy reform bill.   

On Feb. 1, Iowa voters will gather in select caucus sites to choose their respective national parties’ presidential candidates. However, for the first time in the history of the Iowa Caucus process, active duty members of the military and civilians living abroad will be allowed to participate and cast their vote. The Iowa Caucus has served as the first major electoral event of the U.S. presidential nominating process since 1972. Both the state Republican and Democratic Iowa parties administer their own set of caucuses that are subject to their own set of rules that can change from time to time (e.g., voters in each party's caucus must be registered with that party, voters can change their registration at the caucus location, etc.).

CSG Midwest
A recent decision in Michigan to eliminate straight-ticket voting leaves the Midwest with only two states that offer this option on ballots. At one time, states commonly allowed individuals to vote for all partisan candidates through a single selection — their choice of party. But according to Ballotpedia, this began to change in the 1960s and 1970s. Before the passage of SB 13 in Michigan, Wisconsin had been the last state in this region to end straight-ticket voting, in 2011.

Multiple States have begun the process of sending out absentee ballots to voters, officially kicking off the 2016 Presidential Preference Primary season. In 2010, the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment, or MOVE Act, was passed by the U.S. Congress, requiring states to transmit validly-requested absentee ballots to Uniformed Services, their family members and U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S. no later than 45 days before a federal election. To date, 11 states have sent their absentee ballots abroad: New Hampshire, South...

In December, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two of its most significant cases of the term so far for states. It is difficult to predict what the court will do based on oral arguments but it is the only clue the court offers.

In Shapiro v. McManus the Supreme Court held unanimously that a three-judge court must be convened to decide a constitutional challenge to a redistricting plan even if the judge to which the request was made doesn’t think the challenger will win.  

Stephen Shapiro, dissatisfied with Maryland’s “crazy-quilt gerrymandering,” sued Maryland arguing its congressional redistricting plan violated his First Amendment right of political association. While a plurality of the Supreme Court stated in Vieth v. Jubelirer (2004) that political gerrymandering cases cannot be brought under the Equal Protection Clause, Justice Kennedy, concurring in the same case, suggested such claims may be possible under the First Amendment.  

For decades, members of the U.S. military and their dependents experienced problems at every step of the overseas voting process: registering to vote, requesting and receiving absentee ballots, and returning absentee ballots. State and local election administrators face challenges associated with maintaining accurate registration rolls for a highly mobile and transient population, some of whom reside in remote areas of the world. While significant progress has been made, there is still room for states to improve the military and overseas voting process. In this session, key stakeholders shared their experiences and perspectives in working to enhance voting for overseas Americans. They also discussed the need for state-level policy improvements to better enfranchise this important voting population. This session also explained how CSG, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program, is helping to improve the U.S. military and overseas voting process through the CSG Overseas Voting Initiative.

For decades, members of the U.S. military and their dependents living abroad experienced problems at every step of the overseas voting process: registering to vote, requesting and receiving absentee ballots, and returning absentee ballots. These voters face unique voting obstacles due to their mobility, the time required to transmit ballots, and the patchwork of rules and regulations required by the 55 sets of election laws of the states and territories. What’s more, state and local election administrators face challenges associated with maintaining accurate registration rolls for a highly mobile and transient population, some of whom reside in remote areas of the world.

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