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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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Two Billionaires Contribute Another $650,000 in Support of Top-Two Initiative in Oregon

Published on October 28, 2014,

On October 15, this blog reported that two billionaires, John Arnold of Texas and Michael Bloomberg of New York, had contributed, together, $2,750,000 toward the campaign to pass Measure 90 in Oregon. Measure 90 would impose a top-two primary in Oregon.

On October 17, Arnold donated another $250,000 to the “yes” campaign, and Bloomberg donated another $400,000, so the total for the two individuals is now $3,400,000. Much of the money was transferred to Canal Partners Media, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and Marietta, Georgia. An additional $50,000 was given to IndependentVoting, also known as CUIP (Commmittee for a Unified Independent Party), formerly known as the New Alliance Party.

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South Carolina Election Commission Says Votes Cast for Bobby Harrell for State Representative “Won’t Count”

Published on October 27, 2014,

On October 27, the South Carolina Election Commission said that Republican Bobby Harrell will remain on the November ballot for State Representative, district 114. However, the Commission says it doesn’t matter how many votes he gets, his votes don’t count. There could hardly be any clearer example of the decline in the sovereignty of the voter in the United States today. It is one thing for a candidate who is elected to decline to accept the post, but quite another to tell the voters that if they vote for a particular candidate, their votes won’t be honored. See this story.

It seems somewhat likely that because this is a Republican district, Republicans will quickly come up with a write-in recommendation. Harrell recently resigned from the legislature. The ballot will list him, his Democratic opponent, and his Green Party opponent. The 114th district is in Charleston.

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Vladimir Putin Criticizes U.S. Presidential Election Process

Published on October 27, 2014,

Russian leader Vladimir Putin, speaking in his own country, recently criticized the U.S. electoral college. See this Washington Post story. The story quotes him as saying that twice, the person who got the most popular votes failed to take the office. Actually, that has happened four times, in 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.

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Evan Falchuk Lawsuit for Debate Inclusion Fails

Published on October 27, 2014,

On October 27, a state court in Massachusetts refused to require the sponsors of that evening’s gubernatorial debate to include Evan Falchuk, nominee of the United Independent Party. See this story. UPDATE: this story has much more detail about why the judge ruled as she did.

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Maine Inititiative Petition for Ranked-Choice Voting Will Start Circulating Next Month

Published on October 27, 2014,

Two Maine state legislators are sponsoring an initiative petition for ranked-choice voting for gubernatorial elections. The petition drive will begin immediately after the November 4, 2014 election. See this story. The first line of the story describes the move as a “referendum”, but it is obviously an initiative. A referendum asks voters if they wish to retain or repeal a new law that had just passed a legislature.

The state that has come closest to using ranked-choice voting for state office is Vermont, but even though the legislature passed such a measure a few years ago, the Governor vetoed it. Vermont doesn’t have the initiative process. Thanks to Rob Richie and Thomas MacMillan for the link.

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British Politics Analyst See Possibility of Seven Important Political Parties in Great Britain

Published on October 27, 2014,

Peter Franklin, a British politics analyst, here foresees rapid change in the British political party system. Already, the Scottish National Party has made great gains in the last few months, as has the Green Party. Better known is the rapid rise of UKIP, and the decline of the Liberal Democratic Party. Franklin sees further changes ahead.

The consequences of these dramatic changes make it likely that Britain will do as New Zealand did some years ago, and switch to proportional representation, or at least think about it seriously. If that happens, Canada may follow.