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Reason-Rupe Presidential Poll (September 21, 2012, 12:37 PM)
On September 21, a Reason-Rupe Poll for the presidential race was released. When respondents are asked to choose between President Obama and Mitt Romney, the results are: Obama 48%, Romney 43%, 2% volunteered someone else, 1% said they would not vote, and 6% didn’t know or refused to answer. When the respondents are asked to choose among Obama, Romney, and Gary Johnson, the results are: Obama 49%, Romney 40%, Johnson 6%, someone else 1%, would not vote under 1%, don’t know or refused 4%.
It is unfortunate that pollsters don’t list more candidates. The recent Gallup Poll, listing five candidates, should be a model.
The Reason-Rupe Poll also shows that 65% of respondents have never heard of Gary Johnson. Thanks to PoliticalWire for the link.
Virginia Attorney General Says Virgil Goode is Properly on the Virginia Ballot (September 21, 2012, 12:07 PM)
According to this story, Virginia’s Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, says that Virgil Goode, Constitution Party presidential nominee, is properly on the ballot. He has finished investigating the Goode petition.
North Dakota Supreme Court Won?t Put Medical Marijuana Initiative on Ballot; Court Will Explain Why at a Later Date (September 21, 2012, 11:21 AM)
On September 19, the North Dakota Supreme Court refused to put this year’s medical marijuana initiative on the ballot. The Court said it would explain its reasoning later. The case is Zaiser v Jaeger, 20120346.
This year, North Dakota statewide initiatives needed 13,452 valid signatures. Proponents submitted over 20,000 signatures, but the Secretary of State determined that many of the signatures were forged, so he invalidated the measure without determining exactly how many signatures are valid and how many are forged. Proponents of the initiative asked the Court to declare that an initiative can’t be invalidated without a determination of how many signatures are valid, but they did not prevail. When the Court issues its opinion, it is possible it will not decide the issue and will perhaps merely say that the lawsuit had been filed too late. Some ballots had already been printed.
North Dakota, South Dakota, and California are the only states that still ban out-of-state circulators for statewide initiatives, and the California restriction cannot be enforced because the Ninth Circuit already ruled that out-of-state circulators cannot be banned. Probably if North Dakota did not ban out-of-state circulators, there would have been no petition fraud. Proponents of the North Dakota medical marijuana initiative hired eight members of the University of North Dakota football team, and they have been charged with forgery. If proponents had been able to hire out-of-state circulators, chances are high they would have hired honest, talented professionals and the initiative would now be on the ballot.
Maryland Democrats Official Endorse Write-in Candidate for U.S. House, First District (September 21, 2012, 10:35 AM)
On September 17, Maryland Democrats formally endorsed John J. LaFerla for U.S. House, First District. On September 20, he filed as a declared write-in. The Democratic nominee whose name is printed on the ballot, Wendy Rosen, tried to withdraw from the race after it was revealed that she had voted in both Florida and Maryland during 2006 and also in the 2008 primaries. However, she was too late to remove her name from the ballot.
Therefore, the ballot will show the names of the Republican nominee (incumbent Andy Harris), the Democratic nominee who is no longer campaigning, and the Libertarian nominee, Wayne Boda; and there will be a strong write-in candidate. LaFerla had lost the Democratic primary this year for the First District seat by a vote of 10,907 to Rosen and 10,850 for LaFerla.
This incident shows that Maryland is wise not to ban “sore losers” from at least being write-in candidates in the general election. Thanks to Doug McNiel for the news.
South Carolina has a Legislative Race with Only an Independent and a Libertarian on the Ballot (September 20, 2012, 09:35 PM)
The South Carolina ballot will contain only two candidates for State House, 26th district. They are Raye Felder, who is on the ballot as an independent, and Jeremy C. Walters, Libertarian. Felder is actually a Republican, but she was eliminated from the Republican primary ballot because she didn’t file copies of her campaign finance papers both electronically and on paper by the March deadline. Over 100 candidates for state and local office in South Carolina made the same legal error.
In South Carolina, independent candidates are on the ballot as “by petition” instead of “independent.” Here is Walters’ campaign web page; here is Felder’s campaign web page. The district is new and is centered on Fort Mill, which is a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina. Walters got some publicity last month when he appeared at a joint campaign appearance with Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson.
The old district 26 was in a different part of the state, so the incumbent, Eric Bikas, a Republican, didn’t run for re-election in any district. Bikas is age 26 and several months ago was told to leave the legislature because he appeared on the House floor without a coat and tie. See this story.
The Arkansas Supreme Court still hasn’t released its opinion on whether the statewide medical marijuana initiative should remain on the ballot. See this story from six days ago, which says that the Court said it would rule on the briefs, without benefit of any oral argument.
Other states that still can’t finalize their ballots include Colorado, Connecticut, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. In Colorado, a U.S. District Court will hear arguments on September 21 on whether bar codes should be on ballots. The Connecticut Supreme Court still hasn’t decided which party should be listed first on the ballot.
Arizona?s Only Independent State Legislator Isn?t Running for Re-Election (September 20, 2012, 06:21 PM)
In April 2012, Nicholas Fontana was appointed to the Arizona House of Representatives to represent the 29th district. He is the first independent state legislator since Arizona because a state in 1912 (except that his predecessor in that district had switched to being an independent but then had resigned a few days later).
Fontana is not running for re-election. The only candidates who will be on the ballot in the 29th district are two Democrats. Each Arizona state house district elects two members.
Michigan Republican Party Took Opposite Position on Withdrawing from Presidential Primary in 1980 than it Does in 2012 (September 20, 2012, 03:53 PM)
As has been reported already, this year the Michigan Republican Party intervened in court to keep Gary Johnson off the ballot because his name appeared on the 2012 Republican presidential primary ballot. He had tried to withdraw but his withdrawal form was faxed in at 4:03 p.m. and the deadline was 4 p.m.
Back in 1980, the Republican Party took a different position. This has only come to light on September 20, when the briefs from a 1980 ballot access case in the Michigan Supreme Court were retrieved from storage. That case is Michigan Republican State Central Committee v Austin, no. 51492 in the State Court of Appeals, and 65178 in the Michigan Supreme Court.
In 1980, the deadline for someone to withdraw from the Republican presidential primary was March 21 at 4 p.m. Anderson, who did not want to be on the Republican presidential primary ballot, did not withdraw until April 24, in a letter that the Secretary of State did not receive until April 28. In 1980, the Michigan Republican Party wanted Anderson to be permitted to withdraw from the primary ballot. The Republican Party even filed a lawsuit to force Michigan to remove Anderson from the primary ballot. The party’s brief acknowledges that Anderson was late to withdraw, but the brief says he should be allowed to withdraw anyway, because “If one accepts the interpretation of the Attorney General then one is forced to conclude that the (withdrawal deadline) statute will not pass constitutional muster. In the first place, the deadline for filing is the same as the deadline for withdrawal so that, in effect, there is actually no time period for withdrawal. Second, the statute requires that the ballot be permanently fixed approximately two months before the election. In a volatile Presidential race, such a time constraint is unreasonable.”
Thus, the Republican Party in 1980 argued that Anderson’s withdrawal should be permitted even though it was not received until 38 days past the withdrawal deadline, yet in 2012 it argued that Johnson’s withdrawal request should be denied because it was three minutes too late. The 2012 withdrawal deadline was December 9, 2011, which is 103 days earlier than the 1980 withdrawal deadline.
U.S. District Judge in Georgia Still Hasn?t Acted on Reconsideration Request in Ballot Access Case (September 20, 2012, 03:29 PM)
U.S. District Court Judge Richard W. Story, a Clinton appointee, ruled against the Constitution Party and the Green Party in their presidential ballot access case on July 17, before the state had even answered the complaint. He relied on precedents that do not involve presidential elections, and seemed not to notice that the case only concerns presidential ballot access.
Plaintiffs asked for reconsideration on July 24. Almost two months has passed and Judge Story has taken no action on the request for reconsideration. The case is Green Party of Georgia v State, northern district, 1:12cv-1822.
U.S. Supreme Court Puts Arizona Voter Registration Case on October 5 Conference (September 20, 2012, 02:38 PM)
The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether to hear Arizona v Inter Tribal Council at its October 5 conference. This is the lawsuit, formerly named Gonzalez v Arizona, over whether Arizona can require extra information when individuals who are registering to vote use the federal postcard voter registration form. The federal form does not ask for proof that the applicant is a U.S. citizen (other than the applicant’s signature, signed under penalty of perjury). Arizona law requires that such proof be attached when individuals register to vote. The Ninth Circuit had ruled that Arizona is not free to (in effect) amend the federal form with additional requirements. In the U.S. Supreme Court, the case is 12-71. Thanks to Thomas Jones for this information.
When the Ninth Circuit heard this case, one of the three judges was retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Occasionally retired U.S. Supreme Court Justices sit on U.S. Court of Appeals panels.
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