Career-Ending Primary Day in Georgia: Ballots & Boundaries

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Georgia’s primary today will either turn a Democratic congresswoman into a lame duck or delay the inevitable.

Because of redistricting, Rep. Lucy McBath is running against Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux in the suburban Atlanta 7th District. It’s the second of this cycle’s member-vs-member primaries, with two more coming next month in Illinois.

Bourdeaux began the race with a home-court advantage, representing 57% of the population compared to 12% for McBath.

Georgia, Texas Incumbents at Risk in Primaries to Watch

There’s a third candidate in the race, state Rep. Donna McLeod, so we’ll be watching for whether the leader gets an outright majority to avoid a runoff next month. — Greg Giroux

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NEW HAMPSHIRE: CRUNCH TIME
The state with the first-in-the-nation presidential primary will have the last-in-the-nation congressional map.

New Hampshire’s Republican-controlled legislature and Gov. Chris Sununu (R) have until the end of the week to enact a map or the state Supreme Court will take over redistricting duties.

Sununu has opposed two of the legislature’s maps that made sweeping changes and targeted Rep. Chris Pappas (D) for defeat while making Rep. Annie Kuster (D) more politically secure. He hasn’t yet revealed his thinking on the legislature’s latest proposal, which would shift Pappas’s hometown of Manchester into the 2nd District, with Kuster.

The latest from the governor’s press office came in an email this morning: “We have issued no additional comments.”

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has said it would adopt a minimal-change map. That could be a good outcome for Democrats, for the court wouldn’t have to move the current district boundary line much to make the populations of the 1st District (697,737) and 2nd District (679,792) about equal as required by law. — Greg Giroux

NEW YORK: INCUMBENT SHOWDOWN
If New York’s court-drawn map is allowed to stand, US Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney will have to run against one another or just retire.

The lines are configured with 15 safe Democratic districts and three tilted toward Republicans.

One of the burning questions now is whether there will be an appeal or a fresh legal challenge. — Keshia Clukey and Greg Giroux

Redistricting’s Impact: Incumbent-vs-Incumbent

Illinois’s 6th (D-vs-D): Rep. Sean Casten‘s first TV ad highlighted his efforts to free up the supply chain, to reduce gas and prescription drug prices, and to support abortion rights. Casten is running against Rep. Marie Newman.

Illinois’s 15th (R-vs-R): Rep. Mary Miller touted an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association. She’s opposing Rep. Rodney Davis.

Michigan’s 11th (D-vs-D): Reps. Andy Levin and Haley Stevens will debate tonight. They’re running in an Aug. 2 primary in a strongly Democratic district within Oakland County near Detroit. — Greg Giroux

Redistricting Litigation

FLORIDA: HIGHER AUTHORITY
Voting rights and civil rights groups challenging a Florida congressional plan drawn by the governor’s office are asking the state Supreme Court to take over the case.

A state appeals court reimposed a stay allowing a map erasing a minority-access district to remain in effect for the midterms. That stay makes it “almost impossible” for local elections supervisors to meet deadlines ahead of Florida’s Aug. 23 primary, the groups told the state’s highest court in a filing. — Jennifer Kay

KANSAS: DAVIDS SETBACK
Rep. Sharice Davids—Kansas’ lone Democrat in Congress—saw her re-election prospects turn from strong to shaky after a Kansas Supreme Court ruling.

The court upheld a map that shifts Davids from a seat that President Joe Biden won by 11% down to one that would have gone for Biden by a much slimmer 4%.

The three-sentence opinion says a full ruling would come later. Plaintiff attorneys initially won the case at a lower court based on allegations that the lines violated state constitutional protections against partisan and racial gerrymandering. — Alex Ebert

TEXAS: RACIAL BIAS CASE
Texas must defend its 2021 congressional and statehouse election maps against at least some of the racial-discrimination claims by minority-rights activists and the US Department of Justice.

A three-judge panel said lawsuits can proceed that allege state lawmakers acted with discriminatory intent, seeking to dilute votes and to gerrymander along racial lines.

Both sides have two weeks to rework their court filings, and Texas will have another shot at trying to get the revised complaints dismissed. A non-jury trial is scheduled for late December. — Laurel Brubaker Calkins

ARIZONA: LAWSUIT REDUX
The Arizona GOP is again asking a court to overturn the vote-by-mail system used by the majority of voters.

A lawsuit filed by the Arizona Republican Party in Mohave County Superior Court argues that no-excuse early balloting violates the state Constitution and shouldn’t be allowed in the 2022 election. The GOP previously asked the Arizona Supreme Court to consider the issue, but the court declined. — Brenna Goth

Voting Law

ARIZONA: DOUBLE BAN
Arizona has some new election laws and one more on the way.

Signed into law:

  • H.B. 2237 bans same-day voter registrationeven though it’s already prohibited in the state;
  • S.B. 1008 to allow for more automatic recounts in close races;
  • S.B. 1329 requiring county recorders to post online the number of early ballots returned on Election Day; and
  • S.B. 1477 mandating that court clerks send felony convictions to the secretary of state to cancel voter registrations.

Awaiting the signature of Gov. Doug Ducey (R): a measure (H.B. 2236) that would prevent government agencies from registering people to vote without their request. — Brenna Goth

Caught Our Eye

  • A look at one man’s role in making Wisconsin a hotbed of election conspiracy theories. (ProPublica)
  • Fourteen states had significant miscounts in the 2020 Census. (NPR)
  • “The Cost of Conducting Elections,” a report from the National Institute for Civil Discourse and MIT Election Data + Science Lab

Finished Maps

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To contact the reporters on this story: Greg Giroux in Washington at ggiroux@bgov.com; Brenna Goth in Phoenix at bgoth@bloomberglaw.com; Alex Ebert in Madison, Wisconsin at aebert@bloomberglaw.com; Keshia Clukey in Albany, N.Y. at kclukey@bloomberglaw.com; Jennifer Kay in Miami at jkay@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina May at tmay@bloomberglaw.com; Katherine Rizzo at krizzo@bgov.com

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