Posted by Joan Hanna on April 14, 2016 in Blog

AAI compiles a weekly roundup of election news tracking key races across the country as well as legislation that will impact voting rights ahead of the 2016 elections. For AAI’s coverage of presidential candidates and races, make sure to check out our profiles over at #YallaVote’s Election Central. And for more state specific information, head over to our election map and click on your state. You can read previous editions of our 2016 Election News Roundup right here at its headquarters.


New York Primary is Important for Both Parties

In the run up to New York’s presidential primary on Tuesday, April 19th Secretary Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are leading by double-digits according to a joint NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll. Ohio Governor John Kasich trails Trump, 54 to 21 percent. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is close behind Kasich at 18 percent. On the Democratic side, Senator Bernie Sanders is 14 points below Clinton and hoping for an upset, like the one he produced in Michigan. The odds are not in his favor, though. New York has a closed primary, which limits Independents, who helped him win in both Michigan and Wisconsin. Tuesday’s contest  is being billed as monumental for both parties. However, even if Trump wins with more than half the vote, there’s no way he can walk away with all of New York’s 95 delegates because of the state’s primary rules. Nearly all 44 of the state’s Democratic Superdelegates have pledged their support to Clinton. Read more about New York here


Potentially Chaotic Election Day in New York

In last week's Roundup, we mentioned the New York Board of Elections has been inundated with calls and complaints about voter registration status. Now, election officials are bracing for a semi-chaotic day. They expect many ineligible voters to show up at the polls. These include those who think they can register on site and Independent voters who are barred from participating because New York has a closed primary. Independents are barred from participating unless they changed their party affiliation back in October. Read more about New York here



Florida Lt. Governor Supports Anti-BDS Bill

Florida Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera recently weighed in on the state’s newest law which makes it illegal for the Sunshine state to contract with or invest in companies boycotting Israel. Lopez-Cantera says the effort sends the message that “[Florida] stands firmly with Israel” even though he could not pinpoint any specific businesses engaged in a boycott. Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Palestine Legal have spoken against the growing number of anti BDS bills as an attack on free speech. The Supreme Court Case NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. protects the first amendment right to boycott. Read more about Florida here

Portman and Strickland Agree to Debate in Ohio

Candidates for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat, incumbent Sen. Rob Portman and former Gov. Ted Strickland have agreed to five debates ahead of the November 8 election. The debates will be held throughout Ohio. Polling suggests that Portman and Strickland are locked in a tight race. Announcement of the debates come as 85% of Ohioans said that they did not know enough about the candidates. Portman has raised over $15 million for his campaign. Read more about Ohio here



Date Set for Michigan Special Election

Governor Rick Snyder has set a special election for the seat previously held by Detroit Senator Virgil Smith. Smith is serving a 10-month jail sentence on a felony charge. Snyder released a statement saying the move would ensure “the people of the 4th Senate District are given the opportunity to select the representation they need in the Legislature as soon as possible.” Those interested in running should file their intent by Tuesday, May 10th. Read more about Michigan here



Maryland’s Upcoming Primary; Automatic Voter Registration Bill Dies

Early voting for Maryland’s April 26 primary has begun and will run through April 21. Polling stations are open between 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. Clinton holds a double-digit lead over Sanders while Trump is ahead by 10 points, with Kasich in second.


Last week, Maryland’s Senate considered a bill that would have made voter registration automatic. SB350 would have required the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and other social service agencies to provide information about eligible adults to the State Board of Elections. It was voted down 21-24 because of privacy concerns. Read more about Maryland here