Redistricting Axes Two Incumbents Today: Ballots & Boundaries

The music stops today for two Illinois members of Congress who’ll be left without seats.

The primaries under new congressional lines double-bunked Democratic Reps. Sean Casten and Marie Newman in one district and Republican Reps. Rodney Davis and Mary Miller in another.

Casten and Newman, who are seeking the 6th District in metropolitan Chicago, are progressives who underscored their support for abortion rights even before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade four days before the primary.
Read more: Congresswoman Brings Up Her Own Abortion in Pivotal Election

Photos: US House Clerk

Over the weekend, ex-President Donald Trump headlined a rally for Miller, who blasted the more senior Davis for voting to create a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission. (It never became law and Davis opposed the creation of the current select committee.)
Read more: Trump’s Sway and a Five-Term Career Tested in Illinois

Photos: US House Clerk

Illinois is the only state with two incumbent-vs-incumbent matchups. The remap previously prompted Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R) to retire. HERE’S a comprehensive look at all of today’s key primaries. — Greg Giroux

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Nebraska today is holding its first special US House election since 1951, and it’s a little complicated.

Either state Sen. Mike Flood (R) or state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks (D) will win the election and finish the term of ex-Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R) in the 1st District — only the victor won’t be representing exactly the same people as Fortenberry.

Nebraska enacted its new congressional map last September with an “emergency clause” that put the revised lines immediately into effect.

It could be confusing for constituents, some of whom will continue to be represented by their pre-redistricting congressman until a full-term successor takes office in January. The other special elections this year, in California and Texas, were done the old-fashioned way—under existing district lines. — Greg Giroux

See also: Ex-GOP Rep. Fortenberry Gets Two Years Probation, $25K Fine (AP)

A federal court tomorrow is to review potential replacements for a congressional map with a single majority-Black district. The state’s Republicans want the US Supreme Court to intervene before then.

The National Republican Redistricting Trust and four Republican congressional representatives from Louisiana have joined Alabama and a dozen other states in filing briefs supporting the Louisiana GOP’s request for a stay from the high court. Their amicus briefs argue that the Louisiana case overlaps with an Alabama case the high court will consider in October.

“Unless stayed, the lower court’s decision will encourage federal courts to buck this Court’s admonitions and continue placing States in the untenable position Louisiana currently faces: with elections soon approaching, either racially gerrymander their own citizens to comply with court orders, or have the court-ordered gerrymanders imposed upon them,” the states’ brief said.

Louisiana Republicans already told the district court they don’t intend to submit any proposal for a congressional map creating a second majority-Black district. — Jennifer Kay

Ballot Initiatives

California’s secretary of state will lock in the 2022 ballot measure list this week.

Expect two sports-betting measures—one to legalize in-person tribal gaming, the other to allow placing online bets—as well as a rerun of a 2020 initiative to regulate kidney dialysis clinics, a constitutional amendment on the right to an abortion, and an effort to repeal the state’s flavored tobacco ban.

Still to be determined: Will voters get a chance to cast ballots on an $18 minimum wage, and on higher taxes for the rich, either to prepare for the next pandemic or to put more money toward lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

(Michael Bloomberg, the majority owner of Bloomberg Government’s parent company, has campaigned and given money in support of a ban on flavored e-cigarettes and tobacco.) — Tiffany Stecker

Voting Law

A new state law (S.253A/A.1144A) allows absentee ballots with stray marks or writing to be counted in New York, as long as the intent of the voter is unambiguous. Previously, stray marks could disqualify a ballot.

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) also signed into law a measure (S.6901B/A.7933C) that adds a non-binary gender X option for gender designations in state committee or convention positions that require representation by individuals of different genders.

Meanwhile, the New York State Supreme Court in Staten Island struck down a New York City law that would have allowed noncitizens to vote in local elections. — Keshia Clukey

Arizona’s early voting law survived its latest challenge.

Opponents of a requirement (S.B. 1003) that missing signatures on early ballots be fixed by 7 p.m. on Election Day didn’t prove the requirement places an unconstitutional burden on people with disabilities and some other kinds of voters, according to a federal court order.

US District of Arizona Judge Dominic W. Lanza dismissed that challenge but allowed another part of the case to contine that contests a mandate (S.B. 1485) that people be dropped from the early voting list if they skip casting their mail-in ballots in two consecutive election cycles. The complaint argues the law disenfranchises voters of color. — Brenna Goth

Arizona would spend $1.5 million testing new ballot paper and ballot drop box surveillance under a budget bill Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is expected to sign this week.

Lawmakers approved a measure (H.B. 2862) to give $1 million to county recorders in the upcoming fiscal year to try out ballot features such as watermarks or unique identifiers. An additional $500,000 would be used to install and maintain constant video surveillance for ballot drop boxes in several counties. — Brenna Goth

Caught Our Eye

  • The decline of competitive congressional districts reflects deeper causes of partisan polarization. (FiveThirtyEight)
  • The US Supreme Court rules that North Carolina Republicans can defend a photo ID law in court. (NBC News)
  • A few pens cost this incumbent his place on the ballot. (Cincinnati Enquirer)


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To contact the reporters on this story: Greg Giroux in Washington at; Jennifer Kay in Miami at; Brenna Goth in Phoenix at; Keshia Clukey in Albany, N.Y. at; Tiffany Stecker in Sacramento, Calif. at; Alex Ebert in Madison, Wisconsin at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina May at; Katherine Rizzo at