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

On Tuesday, June 14, North Dakotans went to the polls to vote to repeal a bill that allowed the expansion of corporate farming in the state. Voters overwhelmingly chose to repeal SB 2351 by a measure of 75 percent to 25 percent. According to the National Agricultural Law Center at the University of Arkansas, eight other states also have laws or statutes that limit or prohibit corporate farming.

William & Mary Law School's Election Law Program launched the "State Election Law eBenchbook" to aid judges in navigating election codes around the country. The website will be a resource for judges as the November election approaches, providing the information needed to help them interpret law and rule quickly.

Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections, like many redistricting cases, is complicated. The lower court opinion, including a dissent, is nearly 200 pages long. So it is difficult to know what the Supreme Court will focus on.

But what those challenging the plan seem most upset about is that the lower court concluded race does not “predominate” in redistricting unless the use of race resulted in an “actual conflict” with traditional redistricting criteria. 

Voters from 12 Virginia House of Delegates districts claim their districts were uncon

 

Members of The Council of State Governments’ Overseas Voting Initiative Technology Working Group discussed during a recent CSG eCademy webcast technology that could help U.S. military and civilians overseas in the voting process.

2016 appears poised to be another big year for state and local transportation-related ballot initiatives following a big year in 2015. While voters won't consider many of them until November, a handful have already been decided in primary and special elections this Spring. Public transit funding appears to be the major focus of many 2016 ballot measures but funding for roads and other modes is also receiving attention, as are policy changes that seem designed to pave the way for future transportation funding enhancements.

The Supreme Court held unanimously in Wittman v. Personhuballah that three members of Congress from Virginia lacked “standing” to intervene in a lawsuit alleging that Virginia’s redistricting plan resulted in an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. One legislator ultimately told the Court he would not be affected by its decision; the other two legislators failed to identify evidence indicating rejecting Virginia’s plan would harm them.

A redistricting plan amounts to an unconstitutional racial gerrymander in violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause if the legislature’s predominant consideration in drawing electoral boundaries was race and the plan fails strict scrutiny (it isn’t narrowly tailored to advance a compelling state interest).

Minnesota is taking the leap from party-run caucuses to state-run primaries. On Sunday, May 23, Gov. Mark Dayton signed the change into law for the 2020 presidential election.

The Virginia Department of Elections is revolutionizing how the public and election officials see election data at a local and state level. Last week, the Virginia Department of Elections released the Virginia Election Data Project, which provides election and voter data online in an interactive, user-friendly format. The project was completed by department and local registrars, with the assistance of the Pew Charitable Trusts Election Initiative.

CSG Midwest
Under a new law that received unanimous approval in the state Legislature, Iowa is making it easier for members of the military and other overseas residents to vote. HF 2147 gives overseas voters an extra 30 days to request and return special absentee ballots. (The period of time was extended from 90 days to 120.) Statutory language also was changed to prevent overseas ballots from being rejected by county auditors.

For U.S. service members and citizens living overseas, participating in elections back home can be a challenge—requiring requests for ballots in advance of Election Day and allowing sufficient time for their return stateside to be counted. The Council of State Governments’ Overseas Voting Initiative, or OVI, is working cooperatively with the Federal Voting Assistance Program, a U.S. Department of Defense agency, to develop best practices for state and local election administrators to help make voting an easier, faster and more accurate process for military and other overseas U.S. citizen voters—and the election administrators who serve them. In this FREE CSG eCademy webcast, members of the CSG OVI’s Technology Working Group discuss the group’s efforts to research improvements incorporating technology that can help U.S. election officials facilitate and improve the overseas voting process for their constituents. Presenters also share progress toward the development of the CSG OVI Technology Working Group recommendations, which will be released in December at the CSG 2016 National Conference in Colonial Williamsburg, Va.

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