Election News

Kansas Congressional Map Invalidated

A Kansas judge has thrown out the state's enacted congressional map, calling it an "intentional, effective pro-Republican gerrymander that systematically dilutes the votes of Democratic Kansans." Per Politico, "it was the first time a court has declared that the Kansas Constitution prohibits political gerrymandering." 

The prior map became law in February when the Republican-controlled Legislature overrode the veto of Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly.

The ruling is expected to be appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court. June 1 is the filing deadline for the state's August 2 primary.

Florida Legislature Passes DeSantis Redistricting Plan; Shapes Added to Interactive Map

The Florida Legislature passed a redistricting plan Thursday, sending it to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). As the map originated from the governor's office, his signature would seem to be a foregone conclusion. As such, the new shapes have been added to the 2022 House Interactive Map.  

The new map is quite favorable to Republicans, with the party expected to gain up to four seats in this fall's midterm elections. In that scenario, Democrats would lose three, as the state gained a district after the 2020 Census.

The graphic below compares the two maps. The new map is colored based on the spread between Joe Biden and Donald Trump in 2020, as calculated by Matthew Isbell, publisher of The MCIMAPS Report. That analysis shows 18 seats where Trump won by >5%. Districts 15 and 27, the only two seats decided by <5%, are both held by Republicans. 

Live Results: California Assembly District 17 Special Election

We're tracking one legislative special election this week.

California State Assembly District 17

Democrats hold 57 of 80 seats in the California Assembly. There are 19 Republicans and one independent. Members serve two year terms. The next regularly scheduled elections are in November. Those will be contested under redistricted boundaries.

Three seats are open, all were previously held by Democrats. Vacancies in Districts 62 and 80 held primaries on April 5. Those general elections will be June 7, the same date as the statewide primary.

District 17 is located in San Francisco. The seat became vacant when Democrat David Chiu was sworn in as San Francisco City Attorney in November. 

Florida Legislature to Defer to DeSantis on Congressional Redistricting

In a joint statement issued Monday, Republican leaders of both branches of the Florida Legislature announced they will defer to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on congressional redistricting. The Legislature is awaiting a map acceptable to the governor, which they will evaluate and presumably pass during the upcoming April 19-22 special session.

DeSantis had previously vetoed a plan passed by the Legislature. While the map was favorable to Republicans, it did not go far enough in meeting the governor's demand to make District 5 more compact.

In its current format, District 5 stretches across the northern tier of the state. It was shaped that way after court-ordered redistricting prior to the 2016 election and is intended to let Black voters elect a representative of their choice. Democrat Al Lawson is now in his third term there.

Overview and Live Results: New York Assembly District 20 Special Election

This week, we have an unusual Thursday special election to to fill a legislative vacancy.

New York State Assembly District 20

Democrats hold a large majority in the New York State Assembly. The party controls 106 seats, alongside 42 Republicans and one Independence Party member.

Members serve two-year terms. The next regularly scheduled elections will be in November. These will be contested using redistricted boundaries. Note that these new districts are being challenged in court. A judge ruled the maps unconstitutional on March 31. That decision has been stayed by a higher court while the appeal proceeds.

District 20 borders the New York City borough of Queens in southwestern Long Island. Republican Melissa Miller resigned in February after being appointed to the Hempstead town board. She won her third term by 59% to 41% in 2020.

Ohio Republican Rep. Bob Gibbs Announces Retirement

Citing an "irresponsible" redistricting process, six-term Ohio Republican Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH-07) announced his retirement Wednesday. Gibbs will serve through the end of this Congress.

In his statement, Gibbs expressed frustration that the new congressional map was finalized - and perhaps only in effect for 2022 - just a week prior to the start of early voting, particularly since the new 7th district only contains about 10% population overlap with the existing 7th. (Gibbs isn't the only member seeing large shifts, some of which is driven by the fact that Ohio is losing a district.)

Per Cleveland.com, Gibbs was also facing some primary challengers "including Max Miller, a well-funded former White House aide to [and endorsed by] ex-President Donald Trump." 

Early voting for the May 3 primary began on Monday. Due to ongoing redistricting litigation around the state legislative maps, the primary for those elections will be conducted at a later date.

Overview and Live Results: California Congressional District 22, Other Special Elections

This week, we're tracking a number of special elections, highlighted by the all-party primary for a vacant congressional district in California. There are legislative races in California, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. On the municipal front, voters in Milwaukee will elect a mayor.

Congressional Special Primary Election

California District 22

This seat has been open since the start of the 117th Congress in January. Republican Devin Nunes vacated the seat to lead Trump Media & Technology Group. 

In California, all candidates appear on a single primary ballot. In regular elections, the top two advance to the general election. This is also the case in special elections, unless one candidate gets a majority of the primary vote. In that case, they are elected. If a special general election is needed, that will take place on June 7, the same date as the statewide primary. 

Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton to Retire

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton (MI-06) announced Tuesday that he won't seek reelection this year. Now serving his 18th term, Upton is third in House Republican seniority.

Upton was one of 10 House Republicans that voted to impeach Donald Trump last January. He is the fourth of those to retire; most of the others are facing a Trump-endorsed primary challenger.

House Special Election Calendar

On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a special election proclamation for the vacancy in TX-34. As a result, we now have election dates for each open U.S. House seat.

Democrats currently hold a 221-209 edge over Republicans. There are five vacancies.

These special elections will all use the existing district boundaries (prior to redistricting). Table is ordered by the date of the first election in each district.

Sarah Palin, Santa Claus Among 51 Looking to Fill Vacant Alaska House Seat

Don Young (R) had been Alaska's lone U.S. House representative for over 49 years when he died on March 18. There is clearly a lot of pent-up demand, as 51 candidates have filed to take his place. A nonpartisan primary will take place entirely by mail. Ballots will be sent out in May and must be postmarked by June 11. 

The top four finishers in the primary will advance to the August 16 special general election, which will use ranked choice voting to determine a winner. Both the all-mail primary and the structure of the election are firsts for Alaska. August 16 is the same date as the statewide primary, where voters will separately choose four nominees for the full two-year term to be contested in November's general election.

The party distribution of the 51 candidates: 17 Republican (R), 13 nonpartisan (N), 10 undeclared (U), 6 Democratic (D), 3 Libertarian (L), 1 Alaska Independence (AK), 1 American Independent (AI).