Good morning, it’s Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, a week out from the midterm elections. In today’s edition, turnout news from across the nation, more polls than you can shake a stick at, and the Texas race with no candidates:
TURNOUT: 23,919,686 voters have cast ballots in the 2022 midterm elections, according to projections this morning from the U.S. Elections Project. That’s about 20% of the total turnout from the 2018 midterm elections.
Other turnout nuggets: More than 1.16 million North Carolinians have returned ballots so far. Democratic turnout lags by 3.5% from 2018. (Carolina Journal) In Illinois, 400,000 voters have returned ballots and another 290,000 have voted in person. (Illinois Department of Elections) Early voting in New Jersey is up 36% over last year’s state-level elections, and 43% of all vote-by-mail ballots have been returned. (New Jersey Globe) In Maine, 16% of voters have already voted, on pace to surpass early voting in the last gubernatorial election in 2018. (Portland Press Herald)
ARIZONA: The Department of Justice is weighing in on behalf of voters who have filed a lawsuit seeking to bar extremist groups from surveilling ballot drop boxes. DOJ wrote to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals expressing concern that the surveillance violating the Voting Rights Act. (AZ Mirror)
FLORIDA: Parents and teachers have refiled a lawsuit seeking to block the new Florida law restricting classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation, known pejoratively as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. A federal judge dismissed an earlier version of the suit on Sept. 29, but plaintiffs now argue they have suffered “concrete harms” from the law. (Orlando Sentinel)
MISSISSIPPI: Gov. Tate Reeves (R) has called the legislature into special session this week to consider an economic development project that will bring $2.5 billion in capital investment into the state, which he called the biggest project in state history. No details about the business involved or the subsidies and benefits the state would dole out yet. (Y’all Politics) Reeves said he’ll push for full elimination of the state income tax next year. (Y’all Politics)
OHIO: The state Tax Credit Authority approved an estimated $71 million in job creation tax credits for a new electric vehicle battery factory Honda plans to build in Fayette County. Ohio says it will spend another $85 million on water and road upgrades near the site. (Columbus Dispatch)
CALIFORNIA: Assemblywoman Tina McKinnon (D) says she will revive a bill to unionize state legislative staffers. The bill died in committee this year, though it won significant support in both the Senate and the Assembly. McKinnor, a new member who won a June special election to fill a vacancy, is a former legislative staffer herself. (Capitol Weekly)
MAINE: Competing campaigns over the future of Maine’s two largest electric utilities both say they have secured enough signatures to qualify ballot initiatives for next year. One group wants to force the utilities to sell assets to a nonprofit run by elected officials. The other group, financed by the two utilities, say they have gathered enough signatures to force voters to approve a $1 billion bond sale that would finance the buyout. (Maine Public Radio)
NEVADA: The Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board said it will authorize up to 40 cannabis consumption lounges as early as next year. Half would be established by existing dispensaries. The other half would be independent lounges operated by businesses that do not dispense their own marijuana products. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
VIRGINIA: Local elections officials are scrambling to process 149,000 “motor voter” applications sent to them over the weekend by the state Department of Elections after a computer failure last month. Voters filled out the registration forms before the Oct. 17 deadline, but the IT error delayed processing. Voters whose registrations don’t get processed in time can still vote, but they must cast provisional ballots. (Washington Post)
WASHINGTON: The last 10 emergency COVID-19 orders issued by Gov. Jay Inslee (D) came to an end Monday, two and a half years after Inslee issued the first state of emergency declaration. (Everett Herald)
MASSACHUSETTS AG: Former Boston City Councilmember Andrea Campbell (D), likely the next Attorney General of Massachusetts, has a unique story — and a unique perspective on the criminal justice system. Read our profile of her unusual path toward statewide office here.
ARIZONA GOV: Former television broadcaster Kari Lake (R) leads Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) 49%-47% in a new OH Predictive Insights survey, a margin virtually unchanged from Lake’s 46%-44% lead a few weeks ago. Of note, the survey finds former Maricopa County Supervisor Adrian Fontes (D) leading state Rep. Mark Finchem (R), a leading election denialist, 48%-42% in the race for Secretary of State.
NEVADA GOV: Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) leads Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R) 45%-41% in a new OH Predictive Insights poll conducted for The Nevada Independent. An OHPI poll a month ago found Lombardo leading, 45%-42%.
NEW MEXICO GOV: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) leads meteorologist Mark Ronchetti (R) 49%-46%, according to an Emerson College poll for The Hill. Both candidates have narrowly net-positive ratings. Emerson’s last poll here, in early September, found Lujan Grisham up 48%-43%.
OKLAHOMA GOV: Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) leads state Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister (D) 49%-40%, according to a new Emerson College poll. It’s Emerson’s first foray into the Sooner State, and the first poll that we’ve seen all year that finds Stitt leading comfortably.
MICHIGAN GOV: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) leads online talk show host Tudor Dixon (R) 52%-43% in a new WDIV/Detroit News poll. The last poll conducted for the two outlets, in late September, had Whitmer up 50%-32%, so Dixon has gained some ground. Whitmer’s job approval rating stands at 53%, pretty strong for a swing-state governor.
COLORADO GOV: Gov. Jared Polis (D) leads University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl (R) 54%-40% in a new Emerson College poll for The Hill, virtually unchanged from a month ago.
ALABAMA GOV: Gov. Kay Ivey (R) leads teacher and speech pathologist Yolanda Flowers (D) 60%-25% in a new poll from Cygnal, the Republican firm. The poll found 54% will vote to ratify a new state constitution that eliminates outdated and racist language. Just 16% are against the revisions. (AL.com)
IOWA: The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee will meet Dec. 1-3 in Washington to decide the fate of the Iowa caucuses, according to Iowa DNC member Scott Brennan. (Des Moines Register) The Rules and Bylaws panel has been telegraphing a change in the early vote order after the disastrous 2020 caucuses.
By The Numbers
$225 million: The amount in sales and excise taxes Massachusetts collected from retail marijuana purchases through May, according to the Cannabis Control Commission, up 27% over the last fiscal year. The commission reported $1.1 billion in overall sales between January and May. (Eagle-Tribune)
18%: The increase in the number of abortions performed in Oregon in August, after the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down Roe v. Wade. Providers have reported anecdotes of people traveling to Oregon to seek abortions. A near-total abortion ban is in effect in Idaho. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
Off The Wall
Meet the world’s newest social media stars, Nibi and Ziibi, two beavers at the Newhouse Wildlife Rescue facility in Chelmsford, Mass., who are at war with each other. Nibi, not enamored of her new companion, built a dam to keep Ziibi out of her part of their shared enclosure. The video captured by rescue facility staff went viral. (Boston Globe)
Voters in Dallas County have an unusual choice in the race to elect a judge in the 301st District Court: No one. No candidate filed to run in the contest, so three candidates — Earl Jackson (R), Michelle McKinney (D) and Mary Brown (D) — are running as write-ins. Brown, the incumbent, missed the ballot when her consultant did not file necessary signatures on time. (Dallas Morning News)
This A+ L.A. Times headline: “The 13 scariest places in L.A. to be when you’re high.”