Top State Stories 11/8
NC: Feds to monitor elections in 5 North Carolina counties for possible violations
The U.S. Justice Department will be monitoring elections in five North Carolina counties Tuesday for possible violations of federal voting law, even as state election officials announced they are investigating more than a dozen disturbances at polling sites.
WI: Wisconsin court decides not to block immediate counting of military votes
A judge has denied a request that would have required military ballots in Wisconsin to be sequestered. The decision is in response to a lawsuit by a Republican state lawmaker and others asking for the state’s election officials to block the immediate counting of all military absentee or mail-in ballots in this week’s elections.
MS: Mississippi ballot initiative process remains in court-induced coma
Mississippi voters who are used to seeing ballot measures may be surprised to find none during Tuesday’s midterm election, as the state’s voter initiative process remains in a court-induced coma. Last summer, in a case challenging voters’ approval of medical marijuana, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that the entire initiative measure process was invalid. A new process still has not been put in place.
HI: Hawaii struggles to revise gun laws after Supreme Court decision
Pressure is mounting on state and county lawmakers in Hawaii to finalize new gun laws more than four months after the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the right to carry firearms outside the home.
TN: Multiple Tennessee counties report issues with ballots tied to congressional races
Election officials in three Tennessee counties, including the ones that encompass Nashville and Memphis, have reported early voters casting ballots in the wrong congressional races. There are now 70 precincts across the state split between congressional districts, the result of increasingly sophisticated gerrymandering.
TX: Caught between feuding politicians, nonprofits shoulder burden of Texas’ migrant busing program
Texas has transported about 13,000 migrants to Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. But in the absence of communication between the state and those cities, nonprofits are having to pick up the pieces for this mass movement of migrants.
CA: Poverty drops in California but only because of child tax credit, COVID relief funds
Poverty fell in California during the COVID-19 pandemic, recent data shows, largely due to state and national safety net programs, especially the expansion of federal child tax credits. But a deadline to file for those tax credits expires this month, prompting advocates in California and a few state lawmakers to sound alarms.
NV: Nevada county drops pre-election hand count plans until after Election Day
In rural, deep-red Nye County, Nevada — where conspiracy theories about the 2020 election fueled plans by county officials to adopt a process for counting votes by hand — election officials will not resume the process of hand counting thousands of ballots until after polls close on Election Day.
SC: More than a half million South Carolina voters cast ballots during inaugural early voting period
More than a half million South Carolina voters cast ballots during the state’s early voting period, according to State Election Commission data. The two-week early voting period, which concluded Saturday, marked the first time the state has offered true early voting before a general election.
OK: Native leaders hope voter turnout can close the gap in Oklahoma governor’s race
Tribal citizens in Oklahoma hope their voting power can decide close contests in a state where roughly 11% of adults are Native American. Only Alaska has a larger share. But they will need to turn the tide on historically low voter turnout, stemming from a time when Native people weren’t allowed to vote at all.
MI: Challenge to Michigan’s new congressional districts dismissed by US Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed an appeal stemming from a Republican lawsuit challenging Michigan’s newly drawn congressional districts. The high court’s order effectively upholds a lower court’s decision allowing the midterm election to proceed under the new maps.
GA: Georgia revenue continues to soar after two years of surpluses
After two years of surpluses, Georgia’s revenue collections were up again in October, posting a gain of 9.3%. Nothing, from talk of a national recession to the slumped stock market to rising interest rates, has so far dented the state’s revenue picture.
WA: Washington voter turnout lagging behind pace of last midterm election
Voter turnout in Washington for Tuesday’s election is running behind the pace of the last midterm four years ago. About 1.5 million ballots have been returned statewide — about 32% of registered voters. That’s down from nearly 35% at the same point in 2018.
OR: Oregon’s voter turnout is more sluggish than past years
Oregonians are in no rush to vote this year, despite an election season that could profoundly reshape the state’s governance structure and representation in Congress. Whether the slow start means fewer people will actually vote this year than comparable cycles remains to be seen.
NY: About 1.5M votes have already been cast in New York
During nine days of early in-person voting that concluded Sunday, about 1.2 million New Yorkers cast their ballots, according to data from the state Board of Elections. In addition, as of the latest count Friday, 303,122 absentee ballots had been returned by voters, with 226,794 still outstanding around the state. Nearly two-thirds of the absentee ballots issued were requested by registered Democrats, according to the state Board of Elections.
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