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Elections Briefing, March 30, 2021: Florida Elections, Alaska, Israel

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Elections Briefing 3-30-21 FL Elections AKSen Tillis

The elections reform wave hits the Sunshine State, and just as we discuss Lisa Murkowski, she draws a challenger in the Tuesday Briefing.

US Election News

Florida Legislature Weighing Extending Election Water Ban

The above is how the new elections reform bill in Florida will be reported and seen, so it is indeed a good time to get into what’s behind this new legislation. The state legislature, which has been under Republican control for the last 25 years, has before it a bill to expand upon current Florida elections law. At present, electioneering within 100 feet of a polling place is not allowed, and “electioneering” includes a third-party giving campaign material to voters queueing in line. Florida’s new legislation, HB 7041, would extend this no-go zone to 150 feet and expands the definition to include food and drink.1

Republicans and those in support of the bill believe this will reduce the instances of campaigns trying to influence voters on their way to the polls. Democrats and other opponents, like Joe Biden who decried similar legislation in Georgia, believe the bill works against humanitarianism.

Murkowski Draws First Primary Opponent

Over the weekend, we mentioned that Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) will support Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) if she runs again in 2022, despite the possibility of incurring Donald Trump’s wrath. Today, Murkowski has her first declared GOP challenger in Kelly Tshibaka. She is the outgoing State Commissioner of Administration, a sprawling department that includes such subdivisions as the Division of Motor Vehicles and the Office of Personnel and Labor Relations. Tshibaka positions herself as a pro-Trump conservative, taking aim at Murkowski for her lack of allegiance.2

Tillis Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) announced on Monday that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The senator was asymptomatic but has stated he feels his prognosis is positive.3 Despite trailing in the polls for much of the campaign, Tillis surprised the punditry again by winning re-election in 2020 in a key race.

We wish the senator well in his recovery.

International Election News

Netanyahu Opponents Not Aligned on Who Should Lead

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Israel had an election and cannot figure out who should govern. History repeats itself yet again in Israel as neither Benjamin Netanyahu’s right bloc nor the center-left anti-Netanyahu forces have the seats for a majority. Now we come to find out that even among the anti-Netanyahu parties, there is no consensus on who would be prime minister if they govern.4 One would think the first crack would go to Yair Lapid, leader of the second-largest party in the new Knesset, Yesh Atid. Apparently not.

Will Scottish Independence Vote Split?

Everyone in Scotland (who is tuned into politics) wants to know what Alex Salmond’s new Alba Party is going to do to the SNP vote. In theory, if enough people defect from Nicola Sturgeon’s camp to his, he could crack the SNP vote wide open, despite him saying that is not his intent. However, it is not quite so cut and dry. Scotland’s electoral system is one of the more unique, using a combination of first-past-the-post constituency seats and regional proportional representation. If a strong enough party, Alba could shear off some SNP votes and still finish ahead of the Tories, Labour, and Lib Dems in certain areas, which will help them cash in on the list seats.5

Unless Alba is a total flop in May, it seems quite unlikely the SNP will be able to win a majority at Holyrood. Them doing it in spite of a direct competitor siphoning votes would be impressive. Yet, that does not mean pro-independence parties won’t command a majority.

Election Calendar

7 days until the Greenland general election.
13 days until the Yukon territorial election.
25 days until the Louisiana-02 special runoff.
32 days until the Texas-06 special jungle primary.
32 days until the Tasmania state election.

Today’s Further Reading

  1. Jane C. Timm, “Florida Republicans considering new election bill that would effectively ban giving voters water,” NBC News, 29 March 2021.
  2. Andrew Solender, “Republican Who Questioned Election Results Will Challenge Murkowski In Primary,” Forbes, 29 March 2021.
  3. Ali Zaslav, “North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis announces he has prostate cancer but expects full recovery,” CNN, 29 March 2021.
  4. Jonathan Lis, “Anti-Netanyahu Bloc Struggles to Agree on a Candidate for Prime Minister,” Haaretz, 29 March 2021.
  5. Philip Sim, “What does Alex Salmond’s new party mean for the election?,” BBC News, 29 March 2021.

Now For Your Commentary

United States Elections

Massachusetts House 19th Suffolk District Special Election 2021

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