- Former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe has died after being shot during a campaign speech in Nara early Friday morning. Abe stepped down from his post in 2020 because of health-related reasons after becoming the longest-serving Prime Minister in Japanese history. An unemployed man in his 40s killed Abe; his motive for the shooting is unknown. The mode of assassination is extremely surprising for many, considering Japan has extremely tight gun control policies. Japan only had one gun-related homicide throughout all of 2021. Because of the tight gun control, many have surmised that the suspect killed Abe with a homemade gun. Many world leaders, including Barack Obama and Donald Trump, expressed their condolences to the nation of Japan hours after the shooting.
- President Joe Biden will sign an executive order aimed at protecting reproductive health services on Friday. The president cannot completely re-instate the nationwide right to an abortion through executive orders, which was revoked by SCOTUS’ decision in the Dobbs vs. Jackson case last month. However, the White House will work to support reproductive rights through alternative means, including protecting IUDs, Mifepristone, and patient privacy. While many left-wingers have publically implored Biden to enact more aggressive policies to protect abortion access, such as building abortion centers on federal land within red states, he has shunned these for less controversial measures.
- The Wisconsin State Supreme Court has disallowed absentee ballot drop boxes on a party-line vote. Conservatives ruled that absentee drop boxes can only be placed in election offices, which limits their general accessibility to voters. Republicans argue that will help curtail fraud and ballot harvesting, and incumbent Senator Ron Johnson spoke out in favor of the decision. The 4-3 decision generally sides with Donald Trump, who argued after the 2020 election that ballot drop boxes facilitated fraud. The Republican-controlled Wisconsin State Legislature attempted to pass similar laws cracking down on drop-boxes, but they were vetoed by Democratic Governor Tony Evers.
- North Carolina Green Party Senate Candidate Matthew Hoh has been removed from the ballot, much to the pleasure of national Democrats. Democrats worried that the left-wing Hoh would siphon votes away from their nominee, Cheri Beasley, boosting GOP nominee Ted Budd. Hoh was removed from the ballot by a 3-2 vote by the North Carolina Elections Board, who decided he did not have enough valid signatures to make the ballot. Democrats certainly played a large role in getting Hoh removed from the ballot, much to the chagrin of the NC Green Party. The Elias Law Group, led by Democratic lawyer Marc Elias, played a large part in challenges to Green Party signatures.
|Tues July 19||Maryland Primary|
|MS State House 119 Special General|
|Tues July 26||Charlotte, NC mayoral general (rescheduled from 2021)|
|Greensboro, NC mayoral general (rescheduled from 2021)|
|Tues Aug 2||Arizona Primary|
|KS No Right to Abortion in Constitutional Amendment|
|Ohio State Legislative Primaries|
|Thurs Aug 4||Tennessee Primary|