Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Juan Garcia de Paredes

Highest percentage of officials recalled since 2018

Welcome to the Thursday, December 21, 2023, Brew. 

By: Juan Garcia de Paredes

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Highest percentage of officials recalled since 2018
  2. A single vote can go a long way
  3. The Federal Register has added 87,328 pages since the beginning of the year

Highest percentage of officials removed from office in recall elections since 2018

Back in June, we released our mid-year report looking at recall efforts through June 22. Now that 2023 is almost over, let’s look at highlights from our just-released year-end report

From Jan. 1 through Dec. 18, Ballotpedia covered 284 recall efforts against 418 officials.  

That’s a small increase in recall efforts and a small decrease in the number of officials targeted for recall compared to 2022. That year, we tallied 267 recall efforts against 450 officials. The most recall efforts we identified in a year was 357 against 545 officials in 2021. 

Here are the key takeaways from this year’s report:

  • Seventy-seven officials were recalled. That’s 18.42% of officials included in recall efforts in 2023—the highest percentage of officials removed from office since 2018.
  • Michigan had the most officials targeted for recall at 141. Michigan also had the highest number of officials targeted for recall in 2022, with 133. 
  • Similar to 2022, city council officials were subject to the most recall efforts in 2023. They accounted for 41.4% of recall targets across all office types. The second-most common group of officials facing recall was school board members. They accounted for 23.2% of all recall efforts in 2023. 

The chart below shows how many officials were included in recall efforts from 2012 to 2023 and how many were removed from office in recall elections.

Michigan was once again the state with the most officials targeted for recall

Michigan led the way in officials targeted for recall this year, with 141. California followed with 57, and Colorado came in third with 30.

Michigan also had the most officials targeted for recall in 2018 and 2022. California had the most officials targeted for recall in every other year since 2016. 

When adjusted for state population using the U.S. Census Bureau’s July 2022 population estimates, Michigan remained the recall leader with 1.41 recalls per 100,000 residents, followed by North Dakota (1.03 recalls per 100,000 residents) and Nebraska (0.97 recalls per 100,000 residents).

City council members drew more recall efforts than any other group—in line with recent years

A total of 173 city council or town board members faced recall campaigns in 2023, more than any other group this year, and more than the 2010-2023 average of 142. 

Ninety-seven school board members faced recall campaigns this year, the second-most, and more than the 2010-2023 average of 83. 

Recalls were also sought for 57 mayors and vice mayors, more than the 2010-2023 average of 50. At the state level of government, 13 state legislators faced recall campaigns, more than the 2010-2023 average of nine, while one state executive did, below the 2010-2023 average of five.

From 2010 to 2022, city council members had the most recall petitions filed against them when compared to other office types with the exception of 2021, when school board members had the most. School board members had the second-most recall petitions filed against them every year except 2021, when they had the most, and 2017, when they had the third-most after city council members and mayors.

The chart below shows the number of officials included in recall efforts by office type from 2010 through mid-December 2023.

Click the link below to read our full 2023 year-end recall report. 

Keep reading

A single vote can go a long way

Over the past few months, we’ve been diving deep into school board and local elections across the country.

Along the way, we’ve come across some tight races, putting into perspective what effect a single vote can have.

It’s true that a single vote rarely decides larger races, like those for Congress or even state legislatures.

Looking just at the past four years, in 2022, the narrowest congressional margin of victory was 546 votes in Colorado’s 3rd District. In 2020, there was a six-vote margin in Iowa’s 2nd District.

And, of the 12,153 state legislative seats up for election during that time, there was one tie in a New Hampshire House race, necessitating a redo election.

But at the local level, where vote totals are often much smaller, one vote can go a long way in determining an election’s outcome.

Take the Lewis Unified School District 502 in Kansas, for example.

Last November, the district held an election for an unexpired term, but no candidates ran.

That opened the door to write-in candidates. Sure enough, voters wrote down the names of six different candidates.

Here’s the catch: each name was written down only once, creating a six-way, one-vote tie for the position. When this happens, a variety of tie-breaking approaches are used depending on the election jurisdiction. Such as:

  • Coin flips
  • Lot drawing
  • etc…

In this case, Jeff Kuckelman ultimately won the election after election officials picked his name in a random drawing.

And that wasn’t the only tie in Kansas’ school board elections.

In Washington County, incumbent Kelsie Beikmann won re-election to the county school board over Lindsey Hatesohl. The two tied with 61 votes, and Beikmann won on a coin flip.

In 2024, Ballotpedia will be publishing a collection of close elections such as this one. For a list of other races decided by 10 votes or fewer, click here

Keep reading 

The Federal Register has added 87,328 pages since the beginning of the year

Between Dec. 11 and Dec. 15, the Federal Register added 1,512 pages for a year-to-date total of 87,328 pages—the most activity since 2020.

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity, accounting for both regulatory and deregulatory actions.

The 87,328 pages are the most pages added by an administration in the third year of their presidency. The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 97,069 pages in 2016.

As of Dec. 15, the Biden administration has added an average of 1,746 pages to the Federal Register each week in 2023.

This week’s Federal Register included the following 586 documents:

  • 499 notices
  • Five presidential documents
  • 31 proposed rules
  • 51 final rules

Certain rules are classified as significant, meaning they have the potential to have large effects on the economy, environment, public health, or state/local governments. This year, the Biden administration has issued 327 significant proposed rules, 272 significant final rules, and 13 significant notices as of Dec. 15.

Some of those significant additions include:

  • A proposed rule on amendments to the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual from the Defense Department;
  • Ten final rules, including a step-by-step process for repatriation of Native American human remains, sacred and cultural objects, and more from the Interior Department.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic coverage that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The coverage area also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.

Click the link below to find more information about weekly additions to the Federal Register in 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017.

Keep reading

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.