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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cannabis '14: The WA & CO Memorial Thread on: July 29, 2014, 01:43:05 am
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/07/28/florida-voters-back-medical-marijuana-9-to-1-poll-finds/

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If the latest poll is right, it’s a safe bet that Florida will legalize medical marijuana this November.

A new Quinnipiac University poll finds that 88 percent of voters support the legal use of marijuana for medical purposes, while 10 percent do not. Those attitudes were unchanged from May, but support was six percentage points up from November. The lowest level of support was among senior citizens, who still back the measure roughly 6 to 1. The youngest segment of voters backed it 19 to 1.

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A majority (55%) of voters even supported legalizing marijuana simply for recreational use. The only demographic groups where majorities opposed the idea were Republicans and seniors. Overall support for recreational legalization was up seven percentage points from November.

2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Plan to split California into 6 states advances on: July 24, 2014, 12:52:04 am
The sorts of voters likely to vote in initiatives generally tend to be skew towards those distrustful of government.  A bicameral legislature by its very nature makes passing laws more difficult, which is exactly what those who distrust government should favor.

Turn-out would be pretty good if it was a normal initiative synced with the general election. California recently changed its law so there's no more initiatives in primaries for that reason.

I'd definitely be curious to see how it played out; I don't think it's been tried in any state since Reynolds v. Sims changed the base of representation for all state senates. Especially in a state where Democrats have such big super-majorities. Even some conservatives could support abolition if they see it as working against them (another chamber they have to win). Kind of like how the Oklahoma state senate recently passed the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Plan to split California into 6 states advances on: July 24, 2014, 12:26:55 am
An actual useful 2016 initiative would be one to abolish the California state senate. I'm really surprised that hasn't passed recently in any initiative state considering the popular support there is for things like term limits.

Nebraska doesn't count because they got rid of the lower house Tongue
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cannabis '14: The WA & CO Memorial Thread on: July 23, 2014, 11:45:32 pm
Wow, I didn't realize DC had initiatives.
5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cannabis '14: The WA & CO Memorial Thread on: June 14, 2014, 12:00:06 am
Actually the signature deadline is July 3, 2014 and it looks like that initiative (#53) will make it while the other two probably won't: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/oregon-pot-initiative-nears-signature-target/2014/06/13/556ddfde-f35a-11e3-8d66-029598e98add_story.html

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June 13, 2014

SALEM, Ore. — An initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana use in Oregon could soon qualify for the November ballot.

It needs a total of 87,213 valid signatures by July 3. As of Thursday, supporters had submitted more than 83,500 signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office.

The group New Approach Oregon is behind the initiative, which would legalize recreational pot for those older than 21 and would give the Oregon Liquor Control Commission the job of regulating marijuana like it does alcohol.

http://sos.oregon.gov/elections/Documents/2014-monthly-submission-log.pdf

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Initiative 21 (Oregon Cannabis Amendment, Constitutional) - 116,284 signatures required, 42,974 submitted as of June 13, 2014

Initiative 22 (Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, Statutory) - 87,213 signatures required, 33,844 submitted as of June 13, 2014

Initiative 53 (Control, Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act of 2014, Statutory) - 87,213 signatures required, 83,588 submitted as of June 13, 2014

SurveyUSA kind of polled the initiatives recently too: http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=005a915d-93f5-4dc8-b982-324b58e9eaa7

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Oregon will also vote on several ballot measures. First, on the topic of recreational marijuana, there are three separate measures on the ballot. While each is different, in general, they would allow adults to use, possess, and grow marijuana for their own personal use, while allowing the state to regulate and tax the marijuana. In general, do you support? Or oppose? Allowing adults to use, possess and grow marijuana for their personal use, while allowing the state to regulate and tax marijuana?

Support - 51%
Oppose - 41%
Not sure - 8%
6  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: selective service on: June 05, 2014, 12:34:25 am
Selective Service really does nothing in regards to assisting in the event of a possible draft, considering that basically no one fills the requirement of informing the office of any changes in address. But that really doesn't matter considering the tons of other ways of tracking that in the electronic era. It's a completely pointless office and waste of money. Shame Ron Paul's calls for abolition didn't get more traction.

Supposedly the House voted to eliminate it in 1993 and 1999 but the Senate didn't agree. DeFazio offered an amendment in 2011 to defund the Selective Service but it failed 103-301: http://www.armytimes.com/article/20110216/NEWS/102160318/House-votes-to-keep-draft-registration

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Feb. 16, 2011

The House of Representatives may be in a cutting mood, but that doesn't extend to eliminating draft registration, at least not now.

By a 301-103 vote, the House defeated an amendment that would have terminated funding for the Selective Service System.

Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., who sponsored the amendment to eliminate the $24 million annual draft registration budget, said nobody seriously thinks conscription will return.

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The House of Representatives voted in 1993 and 1999 to terminate draft registration, but the Senate never agreed, leaving the agency running.
7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: California continues left-ward - only 8.5% Republicans left in San Francisco on: June 05, 2014, 12:20:54 am
Could California start giving Democrats higher % margins than New York?
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: State election laws on: June 05, 2014, 12:04:49 am
Bump

Same-day registration (As of June 4, 2014) - Republicans repealed same-day registration in Ohio and North Carolina and have referred a measure to the Nov 2014 ballot to repeal it in Montana. Hawaii will have approved it after the Governor signs it (highly unlikely he'll veto), Illinois approved it for 2014 and Delaware passed it in the state house so it could be the next state to approve it.

States with SDR (grey = not available, green = available, white = in-process):



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Online voter registration (As of June 4, 2014) - Recently approved in a few states. Map (grey = not available, green = available, white = in process):



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Early/absentee voting (As of June 4, 2014) - Minnesota's bill is in effect this year and I think the only other change is Massachusetts passing an early voting bill that will take effect in Nov 20142016. Hopefully Connecticut approves that referendum this year too.


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Automatic voter registration - The Oregon proposal passed the state house last year but
failed 15-15 in the state senate as a Democrat (Betsy Johnson) voted with Republicans against it. Oregon has no lieutenant governor or similar office so ties in the state senate can't be broken.

I have heard the Secretary of State would still like to pass the bill in the 2015 session. There was talk of primarying Betsy Johnson but it didn't happen and Republicans aren't running an opponent against her perhaps as thanks for some of her recent votes. However this year's legislative elections have two Republicans in the state senate running for reelection in 55-56% Obama (2012) seats so it's possible Democrats could up their majority in the state senate from 16-14 to 17-13 (maybe even 18-12) if they don't lose any seats of their own. That could put it back on the table in 2015.

Meanwhile, California might vote on automatic voter registration this year?
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Hawaii will vote for election-day voter-registration next week on: June 03, 2014, 02:50:31 pm
Also Montana will vote on a GOP-pushed referendum to abolish election-day registration this November:

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/politics/article_778d6b9a-e84f-11e3-852b-001a4bcf887a.html

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May 31, 2014

According to the U.S. Election Project at George Mason University, Montana's voter turnout rate in the 2012 presidential contest was 62.6 percent, 4.4 points higher than the national turnout rate of 58.2 percent but 17.5 points lower than the 75.7 percent turnout in Minnesota.

Turnout in Montana may get further downward pressure after this election cycle if an initiative is approved by voters during the November election.

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In 2011, the GOP-controlled Montana Legislature passed a bill to end same-day voter registration that was vetoed by then Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

Again in the 2013 legislative session, Rep. Ted Washburn, R-Bozeman, introduced House Bill 30 to end same-day registration. Sen. Alan Olson, R-Havre, sponsored Senate Bill 405 with the exact same language. But with another Democratic governor, Steve Bullock, it was clear that bills ending same-day voter registration would be vetoed.

To avoid a veto, Olson wrote SB 405 as a “legislative referendum” – a kind of bill that skips the governor's desk and is put before the voters as a ballot initiative. The bill passed through the Legislature on party line votes and is now scheduled to be on the November ballot.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Gubernatorial Election Polls / Re: PA-PPP: Wolf up 25 on: June 03, 2014, 02:17:12 pm
RE: trifecta

Didn't the 2012 state legislative elections in PA take place under the old maps? 2014 is supposedly the first election for the state legislature that takes place under the new ones if I'm reading this correctly: http://paindependent.com/2013/05/supreme-court-pa-house-senate-districts-to-stand/

Any idea how the new districts compare?
11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Hawaii will vote for election-day voter-registration next week on: June 02, 2014, 06:36:30 pm
Wow, Illinois just passed it. But it's for 2014 only?

http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/local/illinois/2014/05/30/election-day-registration-bill-goes-to-gov-quinn/9798461/

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May 30, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Legislature has approved a plan to allow election-day voter registration this year.

The proposal by Democratic House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie was approved Friday, 64-41.

The law would extend in-person early voting hours and allow voters to register on election day. It would also remove identification requirements for in-person early voting and allow public universities to serve as locations for election day in-person absentee voting.

The changes would only be in effect for the November election.
12  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: HOUSE Votes to Stop Medical Marijuana and Hemp Prosecutions on: May 31, 2014, 09:11:02 am
A sham medical program is certainly better than unjust asset forfeiture and incarceration.

Which has less credibility; medical marijuana or marijuana prohibition? The answer is clear.
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Illinois to vote on min wage increase in 2014, will impact larger picture on: May 31, 2014, 01:13:54 am
Why don't they also refer that constitutional initiative authorizing a progressive income tax? That seems like it'd get even more support.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Veterans Affairs Wait Times Scandal on: May 31, 2014, 01:10:04 am
http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/05/health-care-scandal-thats-way-bigger-va
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: OR-PPP: Clinton leads all GOPers by at least 12%. Christie does worst on: May 31, 2014, 01:02:13 am
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There is an issue closely dividing Oregonians right now along gender, party, and generational lines...whether they should be able to pump their own gas. 46% of voters think they should be able to, while 44% wish to stick with the status quo. Men (55/39), Republicans (52/41), and voters under 45 (53/33) all think you should be able to pump your own gas. Women (38/47), Democrats (39/47), and seniors (34/55) all oppose making the change.

Self-service was last voted down 42.5% - 57.5% 32 years ago: http://ballotpedia.org/Oregon_Permit_Fuel_Pumps_at_Retailers,_Measure_4_%281982%29

Wonder how the New Jersey numbers look?
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Gubernatorial Election Polls / Re: CT-Quinnipiac: Malloy vs. Foley could go either way on: May 31, 2014, 12:56:25 am
I think we are all overestimating Malloy here. Look how narrow his margin of victory was last time. With Lukewarm approval ratings and no extended voting in Bridgeport this time, I don't think he's looking so good.

Connecticut Democrats have actually been pretty aggressive on voting rights. CT will have online and same-day registration in 2014; neither of which were available in 2010.

Also that 2014 ballot referral: http://ballotpedia.org/Connecticut_Early_Voting_Amendment,_HJ_36_%282014%29
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Gubernatorial Election Polls / Re: FL-Gov, SUSA: Great Scott in the lead on: May 28, 2014, 03:03:40 am
I'd take GA for FL ... (but better both).

Why GA > FL?

FL-Gov could do a lot of good, particularly with Florida's mass felon disenfranchisement. See Virginia and Terry McAuliffe: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/04/18/3428483/governor-will-automatically-restore-voting-rights-for-all-virginians-with-a-drug-record/
18  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: How should a two-party political system work? on: May 26, 2014, 12:52:53 am
A two-party system is fine, provided that the parties are relatively ideologically coherent and united (which is currently the case, but was not the case during the less partisan 1950s and such, where both parties were basically divided into Southern and Northern wings and party discipline was a lot less strict). Ideologically coherent and unified parties are a good thing, as is partisanship, as they make the consequences of elections more clear and allow voters to make better informed choices.

The problem with our current political system, what makes it so dysfunctional, is not partisanship or a lack of collegiality between the parties. The problems are the filibuster in the Senate and unequal representation in the House and Senate, which prevent a party that wins a majority of the vote from implementing its agenda, so that the voters are able to ratify it or reject it in the next election.

THIS.

But FPTP/two-party systems prevent ideological coherence through artificially limiting the spectrum of parties. It's basically a high electoral threshold that forces people to channel their energy within one of the parties rather than letting them be free to create their own party and campaign for their platform and ideas. That seems like a conservative system designed to protect the incumbents, not an ideal electoral system that best represents the electorate.

The 70-90% one-party majorities we see in a lot of the state legislatures here in the U.S are pretty fake when you think about it.
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: EP elections 2014 - Results Thread on: May 26, 2014, 12:28:17 am
Why are no American users posting here ?

We always post in their elections, so why not return the favour ?

Tongue

I'm trying to put the European Parliament in context but it's confusing even after reading the Wikipedia entries (no legislative initiative, its power relative to all the Commissions/Councils, etc).

Is it wrong to view this election as basically an EU-equivalent of a House of Representatives election here in the U.S.?

Have to say all that proportional representation is pretty awesome.
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Official New England 2014 Megathread on: May 26, 2014, 12:13:03 am
http://www.demos.org/blog/1/16/14/election-day-registration-massachusetts-welcome-aboard

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January 16, 2014

Could Massachusetts become the next state to enact Election Day Registration? If today’s passage by the Commonwealth’s Senate chamber of omnibus voting bill S.1975 serves as indication, it very well could.

S.1975 carries the torch from a similar election modernization package, H.3788, which the Massachusetts House passed last November. While H.3788’s provisions include the implementation of a 10‑day early voting period (which spans from the 11th business day until the second business day prior to Election Day, including the option of holding evening and weekend voting hours) and online voter registration, the Senate bill expands the menu of reforms by not only adding an Election Day Registration amendment, but moreover, a pre‑registration measure for 16- and 17‑year olds.

Pending successful reconciliation of the S.1975 and H.3788 in conference, and subsequently, Governor Deval Patrick’s signature, Massachusetts will become the 14th state to vote Election Day Registration into law, the 20th state to pass statewide online voter registration, the 33rd state to pass early voting, and the 36th state to allow some form of registration prior to the age of 18.

Any insight on why MA-Dems have been so timid on this issue? 8th year of trifecta control and only now it's seriously being considered.

Weak that they ended up punting on election-day registration: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_politics/2014/05/massachusetts_governor_signs_early_voting_bill

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May 22, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts voters will be able to register online and cast their ballots up to 11 days before Election Day under a new law designed to update the state's election laws.

The goal of the new law — which also lets 16- and 17-year-olds pre-register to vote — is to encourage more participation at the ballot box and fully embrace digital technology.

Early voting will apply to all November state elections excluding primaries beginning in 2016 and will also permit early voting by mail.

Patrick signed the bill at a Statehouse ceremony Thursday after the legislation passed the Massachusetts House and Senate.
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cannabis '14: The WA & CO Memorial Thread on: May 26, 2014, 12:07:24 am
http://www.wfsb.com/story/25490875/poll-connecticut-voters-favor-recreational-marijuana

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May 12, 2014

HAMDEN, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut voters support recreational marijuana, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.

There was just a 52 to 45 percent majority and a wide age gap, but voters were in favor of allowing adults to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

"A slight majority of Connecticut voters favor legalizing marijuana for recreational use, with huge age and party gaps," said Douglas Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac University poll.

The poll, released Monday, said voters ages 18 to 29 support the idea 80 to 20 percent. People age 65 and older said they were opposed, 61 to 34 percent.

http://rutlandherald.com/article/20140523/THISJUSTIN/705239979

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May 23, 2014

Advocates for legalizing marijuana are touting a new poll released this week that shows a majority of Vermonters support legalizing and taxing the drug.

The Castleton Polling Institute, part of Castleton State College, released poll results Wednesday showing that 57.2 percent of Vermonters favor legalizing and taxing marijuana similar to alcohol.

The results show 34.3 percent oppose it. Another 8.5 percent remain unsure. The poll has a margin of error of 4 percent.



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It looks likely the third Oregon legalization initiative (not the 2012-ish/Paul Stanford ones) will be on the ballot this November (the signature deadline is July twenty-something, so we'll know for sure then): http://www.oregonlive.com/mapes/index.ssf/2014/05/oregon_marijuana_measure_gets.html

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May 22, 2014

A proposed marijuana legalization campaign in Oregon has received its third $100,000 contribution in less than two months as the group collects the signatures needed to qualify an initiative for the November ballot.

New Approach Oregon, the group sponsoring the marijuana initiative, received $100,000 from Drug Policy Action of New York.  That group helped finance the successful legalization measure in Washington state in 2012 and is closely tied to billionaire George Soros, who has reportedly spent $80 million on legalization efforts over the last two decades.

Also, the Alaska legalization initiative has been bumped from the August primary to the November general election: http://www.alaskacommons.com/2014/05/12/marijuana_intrigue_ushouse/

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When the Alaska state legislature stumbled past the midnight deadline (on 4/20, ironically), the highly anticipated ballot initiative to legalize marijuana was automatically punted from the August primary to the November general election.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 state legislature (general) elections on: May 13, 2014, 11:12:44 pm
The following look like houses that could plausibly flip, just based on the closeness in composition and the number of seats up for election:

Oregon House 33-26 D
Oregon Senate 16-14 D


Oh yeah this was interesting too. One of the state newspapers here actually published a neat table/chart for Oregon's legislative seats that shows every senate and house districts' results for the 2012 Presidential election:

http://gov.oregonlive.com/election/2014/primary/maps/houserate/
http://gov.oregonlive.com/election/2014/primary/maps/senaterate/

It'd be nice to have that kind of data for every state.
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 state legislature (general) elections on: May 13, 2014, 10:51:37 pm
http://wvmetronews.com/2014/05/13/do-republicans-have-a-realistic-chance-to-take-the-house/

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The leadership in the West Virginia House of Delegates is in play for the first time since the 1930s.

That’s how long Democrats have held the majority in the 100-member House. But two years ago the Republicans surprised most state political observers by turning around 11 seats to cut the Democratic margin to 54-46. Since then the Republicans picked up a defection leaving the margin heading into the 2014 election cycle at 53-47.
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Hawaii will vote for election-day voter-registration next week on: May 13, 2014, 10:28:02 pm

Nope...

http://www.wbur.org/2014/05/13/mass-early-voting-bill

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May 13, 2014

BOSTON — A bill designed to overhaul Massachusetts voting laws — including allowing early voting up to 11 days before Election Day — is one step closer to winning approval.

The legislation would also allow online voter registration and let 16- and 17-year-olds pre-register to vote. They would be automatically be registered once they turn 18.

The compromise legislation reconciles separate bills already approved by the House and Senate. It was released Tuesday by a conference committee made up of members of both chambers.

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The advocates didn’t get everything they wanted, including a provision that would have allowed voters to register on Election Day. The bill does create a task force to study other voting issues, however, including whether to enact Election Day registration.

The Senate version of the bill would have allowed Election Day registration, something Republicans opposed saying it could threaten the integrity of the ballot. That version also included the preregistration of 16- and 17-year-olds while the House bill didn’t.
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 state ballot measures on: May 06, 2014, 01:33:36 am
There's going to be a lot more in 2014 than there were in 2013.

Already at 52 measures as of Nov. 2013: http://ballotpedia.org/2014_ballot_measures

Up to 85 as of April 2014.
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