Allies of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo plan to petition to get the “Women’s Equality Party” on the November ballot. The party would nominate Cuomo, so he would then be on the ballot with four lines: Democratic, Working Families, Independence, and Women’s Equality. See this story.
No One Qualifies for One Florida Legislative Seat, Leading to a Vacancy and a Need for a Special Election in December
Because no one qualified to run for one Florida state house seat, the seat will become vacant later this year, and the state must hold a special election, probably in December, to fill it. See this story.
Ann Arbor City Council Candidate Wins Ruling that Absentee Ballots That Don’t List Him Cannot be Counted
On July 22, a U.S. District Court in Michigan ruled that any absentee ballots received in the Ann Arbor, Michigan, city council race, that don’t include candidate Bob Dascola, cannot be counted. See this story.
Dascola had won a court order in the same case in May 2014, putting his name on the ballot. The election is in August. Some absentee ballots were mailed out by election officials that did not include his name. Absentee voters who were sent the defective ballot were also sent a correct ballot later. But the latest issue was what to do with any defective ballots that were sent in by voters. There will probably be very few such ballots.
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Increase Congressional Power Over Campaign Spending
On July 17, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee passed SJR 19, a proposed constitutional amendment. It says, “Section 1. To advance democratic self-government and political equality, and to protect the integrity of government and the electoral process, Congress and the States may require and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections. Section 2. Congress and the States shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation, and may distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other artificial entities created by law, including by prohibiting such entities from spending money to influence elections. Section 3. Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress or the States the power to abridge the freedom of the press.”
The measure has 46 co-sponsors. Here is the list.
On July 19, the Mountain Party (the West Virginia affiliate of the Green Party) held a state nominating convention and decided to enter a candidate in the U.S. Senate race. He is Bob Henry Baber. See this story for more detail.
That race will probably have five candidates on the ballot. The Libertarian nominee is John Buckley, a former Virginia state legislator. The Constitution Party is almost finished with its petition drive for its nominee, Phil Hudok.
U.S. District Court John Tharp will hear arguments in Summers v Smart on August 13, in Chicago. This is the Green Party’s ballot access case, filed on July 14. The case is being expedited because the state wants to certify the November ballot in late August. In the meantime, the “binder check” process for the statewide Green Party petition hasn’t started yet.
The Libertarian Party “binder check” process is almost finished, and it appears the party has 31,000 valid signatures. It needs 25,000. However, the challengers will next to try invalidate all the signatures collected by a few circulators, even the signatures that have been ruled valid. The same thing happened to the Libertarian statewide slate in Illinois in 1998. Even though there were enough signatures ruled valid, in the end the party did not appear on the ballot because the State Board of Elections eliminated all the signatures collected by certain circulators.