Monday, July 28, 2014
State-By-State Election/Democracy Fun Facts!
Hey all! You know whenever an organizer comes in from out of town locals inevitably give them the "that might be how it works in x, but that's now how we do things here" spiel? While that's largely untrue, one of the joys of campaigning is learning the little eccentricities that make each state proud or unique. I've been working on this post for a while, and I wanted to share at least one little loosely election-related fact for each of these states united. Some have more! Feel free to correct any errors or add your own! And if you enjoy CampaignSick, please don't forget to subscribe as a patron!
Campaign Love and Mine,
Hawaii has its primaries on a Saturday.
New York has its federal and local/state level primaries on different days.
Mississippi, Louisiana, New Jersey and Virginia have off year legislative elections.
Kentucky has off year gubernatorial but not state senate elections.
Nebraska had a non-partisan, unicameral legislature.
At over 6,000, Illinois has more units of government (i.e., city, county, township, etc.) than any other state.
Maine and Nebraska allocate their electoral votes by congressional district rather than on a winner takes all basis.
In 2002, Arizona became the first state to allow online voter registration.
In Missouri, a person can register to vote online and electronically provide a signature using a mobile device, tablet computer or touchscreen computer, but not a standard desktop computer.
Oregon and Washington are vote by mail states.
North Dakota has no voter registration.
In 1945, Georgia became the first state to lower the legal voting age from 21 to 18.
Two states, Maine and Vermont, allow felons to vote from prison.
The first formal government framework outlining a representative body was the Fundamental Orders adopted by the Connecticut Colony council in 1639. This is where Connecticut got the nickname "The Constitution State."
Alabama has the longest still operative constitution of anywhere in the world. It is 40 times longer than the US Constitution.
Delaware was the first state to ratify the United States Constitution (hence its nickname "the first state").
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is called the cradle of liberty because it was where both the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution were written (duh.) It is also where the first American Flag was sewn, and Betsy Ross was a badass.
Three states, Texas, West Virginia and Michigan, have straight ticket voting.
Arkansas is the only state to have had a seat in its legislature held by a member of the Green Party.
Unaffiliated and third party voters make up a majority of the electorate in Massachusetts and Alaska.
According to Gallup Rhode Island is the most Democratic state and Utah is the most Republican.
"None of These Candidates" is a voting option listed on the ballot in Nevada along with candidates for President of the United States and state constitutional positions. It recently won the Democratic primary for Governor.
The Republican party was founded in Ripon, Wisconsin in 1854 as a new anti-slavery party.
New Hampshire traditionally holds the first primaries in the country, Iowa has the first caucuses.
In Alaska and Idaho, the Democratic party has open primaries while the Republican party has closed primaries.
Maryland's 3rd congressional district has the honor of being the most gerrymandered district in the country.
Florida (oh...so much to say) is the only state with a constitution that (through amendments) prohibits partisan gerrymandering.
In 2008 Oklahoma was the only state in which John McCain won every county.
Minnesota had the highest voter turnout in 2012 and 2008.
In 2012, West Virginia was the only state with a voter turnout of below 50%.
Mississippi saw the greatest voter turnout increase between 2008 and 2012.
South Dakota saw the greatest drop in voter turnout between 2008 and 2012.
In 2012 Wisconsin became the first state to elect an openly gay senator. (Tammy Baldwin!)
California was the first state to have two female Senators at once.
Wyoming (when it was still a territory) was the first state to give women the right to vote.
Montana was the first state to send a woman to Congress (Jeannette Rankin) even before women had universal suffrage in the US.
In 1894 the first women to serve a state legislature were elected in Colorado.
The recorded first female mayor in the world was Susanna Salter of Argonia, Kansas.
In 2012 New Hampshire became the first and only state with an all female congressional delegation.
Tennessee was the last state to ratify the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.
Vermont has the highest percentage of women in its legislature, but has never sent a woman to Congress.
Mississippi sent the first African American Senator to the Senate. (Hiram Revels!)
South Carolina elected the first African American Congressman (Joseph Rainey!)
In New Mexico, Native Americans make up 10% of eligible voters.
North Carolina has the lowest rate of Union membership (and hence union voters) in the United States.
The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was organized in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1881.