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Arizona Republic Carries Article Explaining How Arizona Omnibus Election Law Bill Injures Minor Parties (June 19, 2013, 12:52 AM)
The Arizona Republic has finally mentioned that the omnibus election law bill, HB 2305, contains a provision inserted at the last minute that makes it far more difficult for minor party members to get on their own party’s primary ballot. Although the bill has received a great deal of publicity over the last few weeks, this is the first mainstream media article that mentions that problem with the bill.
The bill is on Governor Jan Brewer’s desk. Activists are hoping for a veto.
Abortion Vote in U.S. House Suggests Type of Primary Does Not Influence Congressional Behavior (June 18, 2013, 09:01 PM)
On June 18, the U.S. House passed HR1797 by 228-196. The bill bans abortions after twenty weeks. It allows exceptions for rape and incest, but only if the rape or incest had already been reported to police. The bill passed on a virtual party line vote. Republicans voted for the bill 222-6, and Democrats voted against it 190-6.
The six Republicans who voted against the bill included two Republicans who said they voted against the bill because it has an exception for rape or incest. The four Republicans who voted against the bill because they are opposed to further restriction of abortion are all from states that have closed or semi-closed primaries: Charles Dent of Pennsylvania (a closed primary state); Richard Hanna of New York (a closed primary state); and Rodney Freylinghuysen and Jon Runyan, both of New Jersey (a semi-closed primary state).
Proponents of top-two primaries constantly preach that a top-two system produces more moderate legislators, but the June 18 vote is another fragment of evidence that they are wrong. Political science research generally finds no correlation between partisanship and type of primary.
California Ballot Access Bill Moves Ahead (June 18, 2013, 08:01 PM)
On June 18, California AB 1419 passed the Senate Elections Committee unanimously. It moves the deadline for a group to qualify as a political party from January to July, in presidential election years. It has already passed the Assembly.
Mike Duggan Kept off Detroit Mayoral Ballot by Michigan State Court of Appeals (June 18, 2013, 06:42 PM)
On June 18, the Michigan State Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that Mike Duggan, a leading candidate for Mayor of Detroit, can’t be on the ballot. The lower court had come to the same conclusion. He will appeal to the State Supreme Court. The law says a candidate must have been registered to vote for a year before filing his petition to be on the ballot. Duggan could easily have complied if he had waited to hand in his petition until the deadline. Unfortunately for him, he submitted the petition before the year was up. See this story. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.
New Jersey Bill Advances, Would Move this Year?s General Election from November to October (June 18, 2013, 06:12 PM)
On June 18, the New Jersey Senate State Government Committee passed SB 2858, which moves this year’s general election for state office from November 5 to October 16. The rationale for the bill is that as long as the state is having a special U.S. Senate election on October 16, it might as well have the state election office on the same day. The same committee also passed SB 2857, to provide that when Governors appoint a U.S. Senator that choice must be of the same party as the party of the former Senator.
Bill to Move District of Columbia Primaries from April to June Not Likely to Pass (June 18, 2013, 04:44 PM)
According to this story, the bill in the Washington, D.C. city council to move the primary for all office (including president) from April to June is unlikely to pass. Thanks to Political Wire for the link.
On June 18, U.S. District Court Judge William J. Haynes ruled that Tennessee’s law, giving the two largest parties the best spots on the general election ballot, is unconstitutional. He also again struck down the law that requires newly-qualifying parties to submit 40,042 valid signatures (2.5% of the last gubernatorial vote).
Judge Haynes had struck down the number of signatures in the same case, but the Sixth Circuit had remanded the case back to him, and requested that he review the number of signatures again. The Sixth Circuit mentioned that in 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld Georgia’s petition requirement of 5% of the number of registered voters. In response, Judge Haynes reaffirmed his original decision, pointing out that Tennessee is obviously not concerned about crowded ballots, because it allows presidential primary candidates to get on the ballot with only 2,500 signatures; and it lets all candidates for other office get on primary ballots with only 25 signatures. Also he mentioned that Tennessee lets independent candidates get on the ballot for President with 275 signatures and independent candidates for all other office only need 25 signatures.
The part of the decision on ballot order of candidates is surely the most thorough court opinion on that subject ever written. The opinion contains an exhaustive report on research on whether ballot access order affects voting behavior.
Ken Bennett, Arizona Secretary of State, says he will ask the Election Administration Commission, a federal agency, for permission to add extra questions to the federal voter registration form, a path suggested by yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court opinion. Thanks to Thomas Jones for the link.
California Election Law Bills Move Ahead (June 18, 2013, 12:37 PM)
Various California election law bills of interest have been set for Committee hearings. AB 1419, which moves the deadline for a group to qualify as a political party in presidential years from January to July, has a hearing in the Senate Elections Committee on June 18. SB 213, which repeals all residency requirements for circulators, has a hearing in the Assembly Elections Committee on June 25. AB 1038, which makes it illegal to pay registration drive workers on the basis of how many registrants in any particular party they obtain, has a hearing in the Senate Elections Committee on July 2.
On June 14, the Maine Supreme Court refused Ralph Nader’s request for reconsideration, in Nader v The Maine Democratic Party, case number Was-12-499.
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