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  Ballot Access News is edited and published by Richard Winger, the nation's leading expert on ballot access legal issues.

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U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania Sets July 31 Hearing Date in Ballot Access Case

Published on July 29, 2014,

On July 29, U.S. District Court Judge Stewart Dalzell set a hearing for July 31, at 10 a.m., in courtroom 15B, for Green Party of Pennsylvania v Aichele, eastern district, 2:14cv-3299. The hearing is at the U.S. District Courthouse in Philadelphia. The Green and Libertarian Parties will present witnesses and will argue for an injunction on these issues: (1) the ban on out-of-state circulators; (2) the notarization requirement; (3) the rule against mixing signatures from residents of different counties on the same sheet, given that the state has its own statewide database of registered voters; (4) the requirement that each petition signer include the year in the “date signed” column; (5) whether the election law, read by its plain words, means that anyone eligible to register to vote (and not just registered voters) may sign petitions. Thanks to Bill Redpath for this news. Bill Redpath, who has collected tens of thousands of signatures for the Libertarian Party in many states, and who wants to work in Pennsylvania (even though he is a Virginia resident) will be one of the witnesses.

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Idaho Republicans Forced to Turn to State Court for a Ruling as to Who is State Chairman of Party

Published on July 29, 2014,

According to this story, an Idaho trial court in Twins Falls has ruled that Barry Peterson is no longer state chair of the Idaho Republican Party. His term expired earlier this year but the recent state convention adjourned without voting on new party officers. Peterson argued that this means he was impliedly re-elected, but the judge disagreed.

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Former West Virginia County Commissioner Hopes to be Elected to Legislature this Year as an Independent

Published on July 29, 2014,

Brenda Hutchinson has qualified for the ballot as an independent candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates in district 58. See this story in the Cumberland Times-News, which is a Maryland newspaper that covers the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. She was a Morgan County Commissioner 2006-2012. She changed her registration from “Democrat” to “independent” earlier this year. She is the only opponent to the Republican incumbent.

No one, other than Democratic and Republican nominees, has been elected to the West Virginia legislature since 1906, when the Prohibition Party elected a member of the lower house of the legislature.

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Lawrence Lessig’s SuperPAC, Formed to Help Pro-Public Funding Candidates, Identifies Two Candidates Who Will Receive Support

Published on July 29, 2014,

Professor Lawrence Lessig is dedicated to getting a bill through Congress next year for public funding for congressional campaigns. Earlier this year he formed a SuperPAC, Mayday, which raised $12,000,000 that will be used to make independent expenditures for congressional candidates who will work energetically for public funding.

On July 28, Mayday announced that it will make independent expenditures on behalf of two particular candidates, Jim Rubens for U.S. Senate in the New Hampshire Republican primary, and Staci Appel in the Iowa general election for U.S. House, district 3.

In the New Hampshire U.S. Senate Republican primary, Mayday seems determined to defeat former U.S. Senator Scott Brown, who is running against Rubens. Mayday is angry with Scott Brown because when he was a Massachusetts legislator and member of Congress from Massachusetts, he said he supported public funding. Now, he doesn’t. Brown has raised $2,623,390 and Rubens has raised $588,591, so if Mayday can help defeat Brown, it will have demonstrated that its support matters. On the other hand, if Rubens wins the Republican primary, that may put Mayday in a dilemma for the general election, because the Democratic nominee will be the incumbent, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and it seems probably that Shaheen also supports public funding.

In the Iowa race, the primary is over and the race will be between Appel, who has raised $1,186,146, and the Republican nominee, David Young, who has raised $828,421, plus a Libertarian and two independents. The Iowa 3rd district is one of the more competitive districts in the nation. In 2012 the vote in the general election was 202,000 votes for Republican Tom Latham, and 168,632 votes for Democrat Leonard Boswell.

Mayday says it will support three other candidates this year, but it has not yet announced who they will be. Originally Mayday had said it would announce all five by July 21, but it did not meet its own deadline.

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Georgia Libertarian Legislative Candidate Files Ballot Access Lawsuit

Published on July 28, 2014,

On July 28, Jeff Amason, the only Libertarian who petitioned to be on the ballot this year for the Georgia legislature, filed a lawsuit in state court to gain a place on the ballot. Even though he successfully obtained the signatures of 5% of the number of registered voters, he is still being kept off the ballot because his wife notarized most of his petition sheets, and she herself circulated a few sheets, although she did not notarize the sheets she circulated. Amason’s campaign is incorporated, and his wife is an officer of that corporation. Georgia law says a corporate officer can notarize documents involving the corporation. The lawsuit is Amason v Kemp, in Superior Court in Fulton County.

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COFOE Web Page Now Has Minutes of 2014 Board Meeting

Published on July 28, 2014,

COFOE, the Coalition for Free & Open Elections, holds an annual board meeting. The minutes of the June 2014 meeting held in New York city are now posted at COFOE’s web page. COFOE is a loose coalition of most of the nation’s nationally-organized minor parties, and has existed since 1985.