Latest News

What else is on your ballot?

The 2016 presidential race has captured the attention of the entire nation, but there's a lot to be decided this November beyond Clinton v. Trump. Let's look at the other important races and initiatives that'll be decided across the US.

Congressional Races
Elections will be held for 34 of the 100 U.S. Senate seats in 2016. Ballotpedia predicts that only nine of those 34 races will be competitive in the general election. Yet, despite the usual lack of competitiveness in congressional elections, 2016 is a very volatile year for the U.S. Senate. Control of the Senate is up for grabs in 2016 so no surprise, resources from both sides are pouring into the Senate races.

Elections will be held for all 435 U.S. House seats in 2016. Heading into the election, Republicans held a majority of 246 seats to Democrats' 186, while three seats were vacant pending special elections. Ballotpedia predicts that only 23 of the 435 House races (5.3 percent) will be truly competitive in the general election.

Gubernatorial Races
Twelve governors are defending their seats this year. Although neither party is likely to make a huge gain in governorships this year, the races play into the larger balance of power conversation. Learn more from the National Governors Association. One race to watch? Missouri, where right now, polls show the candidates at a statistical tie.

State Legislative Races
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 10,000 candidates are seeking state legislative seats. Voters will determine who sits in 5,917 seats in 86 chambers in 44 states. That’s more than 80 percent of the total 7,383 seats that exist in the US. In many states, party control of their legislature will be in question, which in turn can change the makeup of the nation. Learn more here and here.

Ballot Measures
Many states have processes by which voters weigh in on issues and legislation by approving or rejecting questions on their ballot. It's known as direct democracy, and it can be a way for lawmakers and advocates to cut through the red tape of legislative process.
162 statewide ballot measures have been certified for the ballot in 35 states. Of these measures, 71 were put on the ballot by citizens through signature petitions, rather than by state legislatures. Eight measures were on pre-November elections, leaving 154 measures for statewide ballots in November.
According to Ballotpedia, more than 205 million US residents will be affected by the results of ballot measures in this election. Below is a breakdown of notable issues on the November ballot according to the populations that will be affected by certain ballot measure topics:

  • Marijuana - 82.0 million residents live in states that could loosen rules on marijuana in November.
  • Minimum wage - 21.6 million residents live in states that could increase minimum wages in November.
  • Gun control - 50.5 million residents could be subject to additional gun control regulations.
  • Tobacco - 51.4 million residents could see tobacco taxes increase after the November election.
  • Taxes - 123.3 million residents could see changes in tax policy in their states in November, including issues like tax increases, tax revenue allocation, and tax exemptions.


Looking for more?

33 Things This Election Will Decide That Have Nothing to Do With Trump or Clinton
The Consumerist Guide To Your 2016 Ballot Initiatives

Thanks to Ballotpedia, National Conference of State Legislatures, Multistate and the National Governors Association.