HTML Online Editor Sample

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

formats

Filing Closes for Three California State Senate Special Elections

Published on January 24, 2015,

California will hold special elections for three State Senate seats on March 17. Filing has now closed. Very few candidates filed. In two of the three races, only members of one party are running.

In the 37th district in Orange County, the only candidates are three Republicans: John Moorlach, Naz Namazi, and Donald Wagner.

In the 21st district in Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties, only one candidate filed, Republican Sharon Runner.

In the 7th district in Contra Costa County, four Democrats and one Republican filed. The four Democrats are Susan Bonilla, Joan Buchanan, Steve Glazer, and Terry Kremin. The Republican is Michaela Hertle.

formats

Pennsylvania Bill for Statewide Initiative

Published on January 24, 2015,

Eight Pennsylvania State Senators have introduced SB 92, which would amend the State Constitution to allow statewide initiatives. The measure has four Democratic and four Republican sponsors. The Democrats are Lisa Boscola, Judith Schwank, Rob Teplitz, and John Wozniak. The Republicans are Patrick Browne, Mike Folmer, John Rafferty, and Scott Wagner.

The measure would require the signatures of 5% of the last gubernatorial vote, and that standard would be needed in 45 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. That aspect of the bill violates the U.S. Supreme Court 1969 decision Moore v Ogilvie. Statewide petitions cannot have county distribution requirements.

formats

Details of British Debates Firmed Up

Published on January 24, 2015,

See this story for details about the 2015 British election debates. There will be two debates in which the leaders of each of seven political parties are included. Then there will be one debate between the leaders of the Conservative and Labour Parties.

The first two debates will be on April 2 and April 16. The two-party debate will be April 30. The election is May 7. The seven party leaders who will participate in the first two debates are: Natalie Bennett, Green; David Cameron, Conservative; Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat; Nigel Farage, UKIP; Ed Miliband, Labour; Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish National Party; and Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru.

formats

North Dakota Ballot Access Bill Has Hearing on January 29, Thursday

Published on January 23, 2015,

North Dakota HB 1260 will be heard in the House Government & Veterans Affairs Committee on January 29, at 8 a.m., Thursday. This is the bill that deletes the minimum vote turnout needed in a partisan primary before that party can nominate candidates. In North Dakota, all qualified parties nominate by primary. North Dakota has an open primary, so any voter is free to choose any party’s primary ballot. However, unless between 10% and 15% of all the primary voters choose any particular party’s primary ballot, that party can’t nominate any legislative candidates.

HB 1260 is sponsored by Rep. Corey Mock (D-Grand Forks) and is co-sponsored by Representatives Rick C. Becker (R-Bismarck), Dan Ruby (R-Minot), Blair Thoreson (R-Fargo), and Nathan Toman (R-Mandan). North Dakota is the only state that still has a minimum vote test for parties to be able to use their primaries. A similar law in Minnesota was invalidated in 2004 by the Minnesota Supreme Court, in a case filed by the Independence Party.

formats

Good Government Groups File Amicus Curiae in Defense of Independent Redistricting Commissions

Published on January 23, 2015,

On January 23, several good-government groups filed this amicus curiae brief in Arizona State Legislature v Arizona State Redistricting Commission, a case that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear on March 2, 2015. The issue is whether Arizona and other states can constitutionally let independent commissions draw boundaries for U.S. House districts. The legislature argues that Article One of the U.S. Constitution says only state legislatures can write election laws for congressional elections.

The amicus explains the harms that partisan gerrymandering does to the U.S. election system, and is signed by the ACLU, the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Democracy 21, and the League of Women Voters of the U.S. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.

formats

Connecticut Bills for an Earlier Presidential Primary

Published on January 23, 2015,

Two bills have been introduced in the Connecticut legislature for an earlier presidential primary. SB 610 would move both major party presidential primaries from the last Tuesday in April to the first Tuesday in March. SB 599 would move only the Republican presidential primary, and would move it to the first Thursday in March. Thanks to Josh Putnam for this news. The dates of presidential primaries in Connecticut have no impact on anything relating to minor party or independent candidate ballot access.