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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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Filing to Run for Chicago Office Closes Monday, November 24

Published on November 22, 2014,

Chicago holds an election for city office, including the three citywide offices, in February 2015. The petition filing deadline is Monday, November 24. Citywide candidates need 12,500 valid signatures. See this story, which explains the difficulty of obtaining these signatures for candidates who are not backed by the Democratic Party organization. The elections are non-partisan but the Democratic Party still has a very large influence in the process.

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United States Election Project Revises 2014 Turnout Data

Published on November 22, 2014,

The United States Election Project, which studies turnout, has revised its figures for the November 2014 election. See here. The Project still estimates that 36.2% of the voters who could have participated did so. The link has figures for each of the 50 states, unlike the original data that omitted Indiana, Missouri, Utah, and Washington.

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U.S. Supreme Court Sets Oral Argument Date for Case Involving Outdoor Signs

Published on November 22, 2014,

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear Reed v Town of Gilbert on January 12, 2015. This is the case challenging restrictions on outdoor signs. Although it is not an election law case, all First Amendment cases inevitably affect election law. The Ninth Circuit had upheld the town’s restrictions on signs, both as to size, and as to how long they may remain up. The case was brought by a church that doesn’t have its own church building and depends on signs to inform the public of where its services are.

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Michael Steele, Former Republican National Chairman, Seems to Favor National Popular Vote

Published on November 21, 2014,

Michael Steele, former Republican National Committee Chair, seems inclined to support the National Popular Vote Plan for presidential elections. See this story.

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Oregon Genetically Altered Food Initiative Likely to Need a Recount

Published on November 21, 2014,

As of the close of business on Friday, November 21, the Oregon initiative requiring labels for genetically engineered foods is very close. “Yes” is 752,163; “no” is 753,239. With a margin of only 1,076 votes, and many remaining uncounted ballots, it seems somewhat likely a recount will be held. See this story.

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Constitution Party Wins One Partisan Office in Louisiana, Likely to Win a Second in December 6 Run-Off

Published on November 21, 2014,

On November 4, Constitution Party member Ronnie Broughton was re-elected to the Webster Parish, Louisiana School Board, in a partisan election. Because he was unopposed, that office in his district was omitted from the ballot.

Also on November 4, Constitution Party member Randy Fontenot placed first in a partisan election for Police Chief of Eunice, Louisiana. He was opposed by two Democrats and two Republicans, and got 40.8% of the total vote. Because no one got 50%, he is in the December 6 run-off against a Democrat. He is likely to win because his Democratic opponent only got 23% of the vote in November. Because the Constitution Party is not ballot-qualified in Louisiana, Fontenot’s name was on the ballot with no party label whatsoever next to his name. He is a registered member of the Constitution Party, and in November 2012, was the lead presidential elector candidate for the Constitution Party.