Welcome to the Brew on Monday November 21st.
By: Samuel Wonacott
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Runoff elections are held in at least four states and one territory
- Twelve cities adopt measures to change local election dates
- A preview of the state parliament sessions next year
Runoff elections are held in at least four states and one territory
Election day is over, but not every election that took place on November 8 had a final result. For offices in our jurisdiction, we track runoffs between the top two to determine a winner in four states – Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas – and the Northern Mariana Islands.
This is not necessarily a definitive list as there could be additional runoffs if new elections are called. We are monitoring possible runoff elections in Arizona, Georgia, New Jersey, Texas and the US Virgin Islands.
Here are the confirmed runoffs:
- Arizona: We are reporting on the March 14, 2023 runoff in Districts 6 and 8 for Phoenix city council seats, as no candidate won a majority of the vote in either of those races.
- Georgia: The US Senate between incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) and challenger Herschel Walker (R) is scheduled for December 6th. Warnock received 49.42% of the vote and Walker 48.51% in the November 8 election. Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver received the remaining 2.07%. We covered this runoff in more detail in the Nov. 10 issue of Brew.
- Louisiana: Technically, Louisiana doesn’t hold runoff elections. The November 8 election was considered a primary with all candidates running in the same race. If no candidate received a majority of the primary votes, the top two finishers advanced to a general election on December 10.
- In state government, the Public Service Commission District 3 race and the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal 2nd District race both advanced to the general election.
- Locally, we also report on races that have advanced to the general elections in the 19th Judicial District Court and school boards of Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge and St Tammany.
- Texas: We report December 13th runoffs for mayor and city council seats in Austin and Laredo, and separate December 17th runoffs for El Paso city council seats.
- Northern Mariana Islands: The governor-lieutenant governor race ends with a Nov. 25 runoff between incumbent Ralph Torres (R) and challenger Arnold I. Palacios (independent). Palacios, the incumbent lieutenant governor, was elected to the post as a Republican in 2018. Torres received 38.83% of the vote while Palacios received 33.15% in the November 8 elections. Democratic candidate Christina Sablan received the remaining 28.02%.
Follow the election results using the link below.
Twelve cities adopt measures to change local election dates
Last week we looked at the 132 nationwide ballot measures that voters decided on November 8 (we also recorded a webinar, which you can watch here, summarizing the results of the ballot measures and key takeaways). Today we look at local Measures – in particular local electoral administration measures.
On Nov. 8, 12 municipalities in four states — California, Colorado, Washington and Florida — approved measures to move the dates of local elections from odd to even years to coincide with state elections. San Jose approved a similar measure in June.
A notable move comes from San Francisco, where voters approved Proposition H. It shifts the elections for mayor, sheriff, district attorney, city attorney, and treasurer from odd to even years (in November of the presidential election years). It also changes the signature requirements for ballot initiatives from 5% of the votes cast for the mayor in the previous general election to 2% of registered voters.
In 2019, 177,192 votes were cast in the mayoral election, so that the signature requirement based on the votes cast was 8,860. Under Proposition H, the requirement is set at 2% of registered voters. Currently, according to the latest data, that number would be 9,951.
Voter turnout tends to be higher in even-numbered elections. Basing the signature requirement on registered voters and not on the votes cast in the previous mayoral election was seen as a way of preventing a sharp increase in signature requirements as a result of the change in the mayoral election date.
Other California locations approved measures to move election dates to even-numbered years, including Arcadia, Compton, Long Beach, Modesto, Pomona, Redwood City and San Francisco. Similar measures were also approved in Boulder, Colorado; King County, Washington; and St. Petersburg, Fla.
This year, we’ve covered local electoral action in the 100 largest cities in the United States, in state capitals and throughout California. We’ve also covered a selection of police-related electoral policies and election-related electoral policies outside of the largest cities.
Click below to learn more about this year’s local election activities.
A preview of the state parliament sessions next year
The start of the year after a midterm election always brings brisk activity in state politics as newly elected officers are sworn in and the legislature gets to work.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at when the state legislatures will begin their legislative sessions in 2023 (with the caveat that those dates are subject to change before and during sessions). The length of the meeting varies from state to state.
Here’s a summary of the facts about the upcoming state legislature sessions.
- All 50 states will hold regular meetings in 2023.
- Two states, California and Maine, will call their 2023 meetings in December 2022. California begins December 5, 2022.
- 43 state legislatures will meet in January.
- Two state legislatures — Nevada and Oklahoma — will meet in February.
- The Alabama and Florida legislatures will meet in March, and Louisiana will meet in April.
- Virginia is currently reported to have the shortest session beginning on January 11, 2023 and ending on February 11, 2023.
- Ohio is currently reported to have the longest session beginning on January 2, 2023 and ending on December 31, 2023.
At this point in the year most States are out of session. But four state legislatures met regularly – Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Legislators in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are considered full-time legislators, while New Jersey is considered hybrid, where legislators spend more than two-thirds of a full-time job performing their duties.
The Pennsylvania legislative session is scheduled to end on November 30th. The Ohio session is scheduled to end on December 21st. In Michigan and New Jersey, meetings are scheduled to end on December 31.
Since January, lawmakers in all but four states have held regular sessions. That’s because 46 state parliaments hold regular sessions annually. However, in Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, and Texas, legislatures only hold regular meetings on odd-numbered years.
In addition, state legislatures sometimes meet in special or extraordinary sessions. This year, 17 states held special sessions – Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. California is scheduled to hold a special session starting Dec. 5.
You can follow the 2023 legislature periods at the following link.