Daily Brew: June 3, 2024

Ballotpedia's daily brew

June 4

Welcome to the Brew of Monday June 3.

By: Briana Ryan

Here’s what awaits you as you start your day:

  1. Three South Dakota counties will decide on voting measures to require hand-counting of ballots and ban automatic vote-counting machines
  2. Voters in South Dakota must select House candidates as congressional races are canceled
  3. The United Democracy Project engaged in satellite spending for New York’s 16th Congressional District election

Three South Dakota counties will decide on voting measures to require hand-counting of ballots and ban automatic vote-counting machines

Voters in three South Dakota counties will decide June 4 whether to ban the use of automatic vote-counting machines and require manual counting of ballots.

Forty-five states – including South Dakota – use paper ballots, and local officials are allowed to count votes using automatic vote-counting machines or systems. Four states – Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia and South Carolina – use mail-in ballots and systems (BMDs) for all voters. One state, Louisiana, uses electronic direct recording (DRE) systems without Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) printers.

South Dakota Canvassing organized the effort to place the three initiatives on the June 4 ballot, while petitions circulated in other counties across the state. Local initiative campaigns must collect signatures from 5% of registered voters in a jurisdiction to qualify for the ballot.

Petitions to ban automatic vote-counting systems are circulating in 34 of the state’s 66 counties. Four counties — Butte, Lawrence, McCook and McPherson — rejected the petitions because some county officials cited legal issues with the petition’s language. Fall River County will hand count primary election ballots.

South Dakota Canvassing cited election security as a reason to support counting ballots. The organization said: “As we consider who to vote for in the upcoming June 4, 2024 primary election, those willing to speak out publicly about election security are among the bravest in the field. Many are afraid to address this issue to take.”

Spink County Auditor Theresa Hodges said, “Manual counting has its place. For small municipal and school elections, generally with one to two contests on their ballot, this is feasible and the most fiscally responsible decision for those entities. For larger ones multi-contest elections, manual counting leaves too much room for human error and is not the most efficient way to tabulate results.”

Minnehaha County Auditor Leah Anderson supported counting the ballots by hand, saying, “If done properly, with a good system and trained in advance, (manual counting) can certainly be effective and efficient, especially in smaller counties .In Minnehaha County, we need a greater number of volunteers with equal party representation to make this happen effectively and efficiently.”

Former Secretary of State Chris Nelson (R) said relying on manual counting would lead to more errors. He said, “I’ve seen hand counting. You had election workers who would be at the polling place at 6 a.m., they would work until the polls closed at 7 p.m., and then they would start counting the ballots by hand. … You These people are working until 2 or 3 in the morning trying desperately to count the ballots accurately, but the accuracy just drops off.”

So far this year, 15 bills have been introduced in 10 legislatures that would require or allow manual counting of ballots. Only one of those fifteen bills was approved: HF4772 in Minnesota. HF4772 adds the ability to use paper ballots in counties where ballots are manually counted. Additionally, two states – Arizona (SB1342) and Kentucky (HB53) – have passed bills that would require some form of eye-to-eye post-election audits this year. This data was collected using our comprehensive election administration law tracker. This easy-to-use database takes thousands of election-related bills in state legislatures and organizes them by topic with neutral, expert analysis from Ballotpedia’s election administration researchers.

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Voters in South Dakota must select House candidates as congressional races are canceled

In addition to the ballot measures, voters in these three counties – and across the state – will also go to the polls to vote in the primaries.

American house

The Democratic and Republican primaries for South Dakota’s At-Large Congressional District were canceled because both primaries were uncontested. In November, incumbent Dusty Johnson (R) will face off against Sheryl Johnson (D).

State law

There are 105 seats available this year: 35 in the Senate and 70 in the House of Representatives. Currently, Republicans control the Senate 31-4 and the House of Representatives 63-7.

  • Thirty-six incumbents – three Democrats and 33 Republicans – are not running for re-election. This is the highest retirement figure since 2016, when 42 incumbents – 10 Democrats and 32 Republicans – retired.
  • South Dakota lawmakers are limited to four two-year terms in each chamber. Of the 36 incumbents not running for re-election, eight senators and seven representatives are term-limited this year.
  • There are 44 contested Republican primaries. This is the highest number of contested Republican primaries since Ballotpedia began tracking the figure in 2010.
  • South Dakota is one of 23 states with a Republican trifecta. The state has had a Republican trifecta since 1995, when Republicans gained control of the Senate.

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The United Democracy Project engaged in satellite spending in New York’s 16th Congressional District

Throughout the year, we report on the most compelling elections – the battlegrounds that we expect will have a meaningful impact on the balance of power in governments or will be particularly competitive.

Today we look at the June 25 Democratic primary for New York’s 16th Congressional District, between incumbent Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D) and George Latimer (D).

According to Spectrum News NY1the “war between Israel and Hamas is a defining issue in the race.” The Washington Post describes Bowman as “one of the most outspoken critics of Israel’s military response to Hamas’s deadly terrorist attacks last fall.” The After says that “pro-Israel groups have rallied behind Latimer and pledged to spend millions to dethrone Bowman.” Bowman says Latimer is “hunting famine. He runs on child starvation, supported by AIPAC and Netanyahu.” Latimer, on the other hand, says Bowman “has been in such clear opposition to Israel for so long that the people have been alienated from the Jewish community.”

Bowman’s experience and platform

Bowman is a former high school teacher and principal who was first elected to Congress in 2020. In the 2022 general election, he defeated Miriam Flisser (R) 64.2% to 35.7%. He continues to stand by his record, saying he has provided more than $1 billion in funding for the district since taking office. Bowman said he is “a member of Congress who is present, turning down corporate donations and delivering results for our community.”

  • Bowman criticized Latimer, saying he “has been an executive in the county longer than I have been in office. Yet not enough resources, investment, time and attention are being given to the parts of the district that are black and brown and progressive. marginalized.”

Latimer’s experience and platform

Latimer is the Westchester County Executive, a former state legislator and a marketing executive. Latimer said he has “helped lead the effort to turn Westchester, a previously solidly Republican county, into a blue firewall that has weathered multiple red waves in recent years.”

  • Latimer criticized Bowman’s conduct during his time in office, citing incidents involving Bowman in altercations with Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). Latimer also criticized Bowman for setting off a fire alarm while Congress was in session.

Bowman and Latimer differ in terms of campaign finance and endorsements

  • On March 31, Bowman had raised $2,702,175while Latimer had raised $3,676,377.
  • The United Democracy Project (UDP) made satellite expenditures for New York’s 16th Congressional District elections this year. UDP is a super PAC affiliated with the pro-Israel lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Commission (AIPAC). On May 30, Open Secrets reported that UDP issued $2,555,998 against Bowman and $2,342,021 for Latimer.
  • Bowman has received support from congressional Democratic leaders, including Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), Whip Katherine Clark (MA-05) and Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar (CA-33). While New York State Representatives Chris Burdick (D) and Amy Paulin (D) endorsed Latimer.

What’s next?

  • On May 13, Bowman and Latimer participated in a debate hosted by News 12. Click here to watch a full video recording of the debate.
  • The primaries are on June 25.

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