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Elections Briefing, April 2, 2021: South Carolina, Kentucky, Greenland

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Elections Briefing 4-2-21 South Carolina Kentucky Greenland

What’s South Carolina’s latest plan for elections reform, and what’s the deal with an upcoming Nordic election? Find out in the Friday Elections Briefing.

US Election News

South Carolina Elections Bill to Pushes Senate Control of Election Commission

The legislature in South Carolina is trying to change the way the State Election Commission fills its vacancies. Not only that, but the South Carolina State Senate is also finding a way to make sure they create some vacancies to fill.

On Thursday, South Carolina’s Senate advanced a bill, S 0499, which proposes to restructure the Elections Commission. Specifically, the bill will give the Senate the power to confirm the governor’s nominees to the board and push out five members who have been serving on it. Gov. Henry McMaster (R) is not said to be in favor of the bill.1

Texas Advancing Bill on Ballot Restrictions

The Lone Star State is just one of most American states trying to push elections reform in 2021, following the long and winding 2020 election. Texas’s State Senate passed a bill aimed at tightening restrictions on circumstances surrounding the obtaining of a postal ballot, among other items. Early voting hours would be capped at 9pm, postal ballots will not be allowed to be sent to a voter if they do not request it, and drive-through voting stations would be banned.2

Republicans rule in the legislature, so as long as Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is on board, the GOP will get this legislation through quickly.

Kentucky Legislature Passes Bipartisan Elections Overhaul

In a number of cases across the country, elections reform legislation is getting passed on party-line votes with some strong opposition. Kentucky has bucked that trend, as Gov. Andy Beshear (D) is likely to sign off on an elections bill that commanded huge majorities in the Republican-dominated legislature. (To be fair, the GOP would be able to override his veto, anyway.) Some of the highlights of the new legislation is that early voting dates will be expanded in the commonwealth and counties will be able to set up a “super-precinct” that any county voter can utilize.3


International Election News

Bolsonaro Shuffles Cabinet Ahead of Election Year

Brazil is heading to the polls in 2022, and President Jair Bolsonaro has taken some significant knocks as a result of his COVID-19 response (or lack thereof). With ex-President Lula pushing him in opinion polls, Bolsonaro has shuffled his cabinet in an effort to get in with the right people ahead of his re-election run. Running on a platform of “law and order” in 2018 as it will be in 2022, the president has chosen police officer Anderson Torres to be his new Minister of Justice in an effort to get officers behind him.4

If Lula keeps going the way he’s going, it’s going to take more than that for Bolsonaro to secure re-election, but he knows where his political bread is buttered.

Climate, Mining Key Issues in Greenland Election

No, the main issue is not whether or not Donald Trump or any US president can buy it. In a few days, the people of the non-populated but very large island Greenland will head to the voting booths to choose their new government. Greenland has natural resources, and tapping them has been a central issue of the campaign. The Siumut ruling party supported the Kvanefjeld mining project, but its government collapsed over the issue. The Inuit Ataqatigiit party opposes it, and they just might win in a few days.5

The people of Greenland may shortly be choosing between economic opportunity and environmentalism.


Election Calendar

4 days until the Greenland general election.
10 days until the Yukon territorial election.
22 days until the Louisiana-02 special runoff.
29 days until the Texas-06 special jungle primary and the Tasmania state election.

Today’s Further Reading

  1. Jeffrey Collins, Associated Press, “South Carolina senators want say in who runs election agency,” WCBD-TV, 1 April 2021.
  2. Alexa Ura, “Texas Senate advances bill limiting how and when voters can cast ballots, receive mail-in voting applications,” The Texas Tribune, 1 April 2021.
  3. Lawrence Smith, “Massive election bill awaiting Kentucky governor’s signature,” WDRB-TV, 1 April 2021.
  4. Gabriel Stargardter, “Analysis: Brazil’s Bolsonaro seeks police support before elections with reshuffle,” Reuters, 1 April 2021.
  5.  Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Nikolaj Skydsgaard, “Greenland to hold election watched closely by global mining industry,” Reuters, 31 March 2021.

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