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Elections Briefing, March 25, 2021: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Newfoundland

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Elections Briefing 3-25-21 Michigan Wisconsin NL Election

What else is there to do in an election off-year than change the way elections work, or probe the ones you just had? That and more in the Thursday Briefing.

US Election News

Michigan Considering Consolidating Mid-Year Elections

Elections reform is picking up in the Great Lakes State. Among new changes being considered by the House are consolidating municipal elections in May and August to a date in the middle, empowering county clerks to cut deceased voters, and requiring training for something called “poll challenges.”1 (The Minnesota Republican Party has a write-up on this, and it’s the ability of an average John Q. Voter or party officials to challenge another voter’s eligibility on the spot.) It’s still at the committee level, but even if the GOP legislature passes it, it would have to win the favor of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).

Does Pennsylvania Need Stricter Postal Vote Deadlines?

One knock against Pennsylvania during the last presidential election’s count was how long it took. Ballots trickled in days after the election and the count of the mail-in vote came in small batches. However, the state is also looking at the application process for getting those postal votes. Pennsylvania’s legislature is considering a recommendation from the commonwealth’s County Commissioners Association and others to set a deadline for requesting an absentee/mail ballot of 15 days prior to the election as opposed to seven now.2 Proponents of the change feel it will give elections boards in Pennsylvania time to process and mail ballots in a timely fashion, and ensure they are returned in time.

Wisconsin Assembly to Investigate Biden’s Win

On a party-line vote, the Wisconsin State Assembly has decided to investigate Joe Biden’s November 2020 victory in the Badger State.3 Biden won the state’s 10 electoral votes by a margin of less than one percent, which did not it itself put him in the White House, but it did help. The GOP has a 60-38 majority in the lower house.

Wisconsin was one of a handful of states that the Trump campaign contested after the 2020 election, claiming that the result was fraudulent.

International Election News

Finally Election Day in Newfoundland and Labrador

Today, at long last, the polls (theoretical though they may be) close in the 2021 Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election. We will soon find out who will run the province, but do not expect there to be a live counting of the votes on CBC or wherever else you watch. Because of the mail-in nature of the vote this time, and the significant logistical difficulties the province has had, all results will be declared in bulk on Saturday at noon local time. It may feel more like a British general election in that regard.

More on Israeli Election Results

With only about ten percent of the vote left to count, Likud, Benjamin Netanyahu’s party, will be the clear first-place finisher with 30. This is slightly less than where the exit polls projected them. Of course, the name of the game is constructing a coalition with 61 seats. His potential partners are: Shas 9, UTJ 7, and Religious Zionism 6. That only gets him to 52, while the committed anti-Netanyahu parties, led by Yesh Atid, would add up to 56. All will depend on what Yamina and the United Arab List (Ra’am) do.4

It just wouldn’t be an Israeli election without a lack of clarity.

Election Calendar

Today is the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election.
18 days until the Yukon territorial election.
30 days until the Louisiana-02 special runoff.

Today’s Further Reading

  1. Beth LeBlanc, “Michigan House panel considers eliminating May elections, requiring poll challenger training,” The Detroit News, 23 March 2021.
  2. Julian Routh, “Westmoreland official tells Pa. election committee tighter deadlines needed to apply for mail-in ballots,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 23 March 2021.
  3. Scott Bauer, Associated Press, “Assembly approves investigation into Wisconsin election,” Fox 11 News, 24 March 2021.
  4. Haaretz, “Israel Election Results: Exit Polls and Real-time Vote Count Updates,” Haaretz, 24 March 2021.

Now For Your Commentary

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Elections Briefing, March 24, 2021: #MOSen, #ALSen, #Israelex4

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