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Oklahoma Ballot Order Lottery puts Libertarian Party on Top Line in November 2018 Election
(from: Ballot Access News @ July 15, 2018, 11:06 AM)

On July 12, the Oklahoma State Board of Elections conducted its customary drawing to determine the order of parties on the November ballot. The Libertarian Party ended up with the top spot; Republicans are next; Democrats are third. Thanks to Chris Powell for this news.

The reason Oklahoma has a lottery for ballot position is that the Republican Party won a lawsuit against the old law back in the 1990’s. The old law said specifically that Democrats should always have the top line. Back then Oklahoma had a majority of Democrats in state government.

First Oral Argument in Lawsuits Against ?Winner-take-all? Electoral College
(from: Ballot Access News @ July 14, 2018, 01:26 PM)

On Tuesday, July 10, attorney David Boies argued in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in a case charging that the winner-take-all system for choosing presidential electors violates the Fourteenth Amendment. Ridriguez v Brown, c.d., 2:18cv-1422. Boies is famous for having represented Al Gore in the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 in Bush v Gore.

Here is a four-minute you tube by a witness to the recent oral argument in Los Angeles. The judge is Consuelo Marshall, a Carter appointee. She was hearing the California government motion to dismiss the case. Apparently, during the argument, she said very little to indicate what her attitude is toward the case.

There are similar cases pending in Texas, Massachusetts, and South Carolina, but none of them have had oral arguments yet.

New Mexico Recount Doesn?t Find Enough Libertarian Gubernatorial Write-ins to Put Party?s Gubernatorial Candidate on November Ballot
(from: Ballot Access News @ July 14, 2018, 12:59 PM)

The New Mexico Libertarian Party held a primary on June 5. It had no gubernatorial candidate whose name was printed on the ballot, but it had a write-in gubernatorial candidate, Bob Walsh. Write-in candidates in primaries need as many write-ins as the number of signatures that would have been needed to put that same candidate on the primary ballot. For 2018 statewide Libertarians, the requirement was 230 write-ins. The original count showed Walsh with 175 write-ins.

He requested a recount in eight counties, but the results only gained him eleven votes, so he is still short and his name won’t be on the November ballot. However, some news stories erroneously have said that therefore the party will lose its status as a major party. Actually section 1-7-7 says, “‘Major political party’ means any qualified political party, any of whose candidates received as many as 5% of the total number of votes cast at the last preceding election for the office of Governor or president, as the case may be, and whose membership totals not less than one-third of 1% of the statewide registered voter file.”

UPDATE: see this thorough article in New Mexico Politics, which does a good job of explaining the controversy over the vote test.

Constitution Party Plans to Petition Statewide in Pennsylvania This Year, for First Time in Midterm Year Since 1998
(from: Ballot Access News @ July 14, 2018, 12:03 PM)

The Constitution Party hopes to place a nominee on the Pennsylvania ballot this year for Governor. The party needs 5,000 signatures by August 1. If the drive succeeds, it will be the first time since 1998 that the party has been on statewide in Pennsylvania in a midterm year. In 1998, it receoved 10.44% of the vote for Governor for its nominee Peg Luksik.

Twelve Write-in Candidates in California Primary Place Second and Will Run in November
(from: Ballot Access News @ July 13, 2018, 10:15 PM)

On July 13, the California Secretary of State released the official tally for the June 5, 2018 primary. In three U.S. House races and nine Assembly races, a write-in candidate placed second and will appear on the November ballot. Naturally, these were all races with only one candidate whose name had been printed on the ballot. See the summary pages here.

The three U.S. House races were the 13th, 19th, and 32nd districts. Republican write-ins placed second in the latter two districts, and a Green placed second in the 13th district.

For Assembly, Republicans placed second via write-ins in these districts: 7, 20, 27, 61, and 64. Libertarians placed second with write-ins in these districts: 4, 21, 51, and 69. The 4th district race is easily the most dramatic, because there were three write-ins. The Libertarian got 132, the Republican got 130, and the Green got 128.

Colorado Republican Party Wins Lawsuit to Add a Legislative Candidate to November Ballot
(from: Ballot Access News @ July 13, 2018, 07:58 PM)

On July 12, a Colorado trial court put Scott Honeycutt on the November 2018 ballot as a candidate for State House, 62nd district. He would have been unopposed for the Republican primary on June 26, if he had been on the primary ballot. He was not on the primary ballot because paperwork from the Republican Party, establishing that he had enough support at a party meeting to be on the primary ballot with no petition, was late. See this story.

LNC Chair Nicholas Sarwark at FreedomFest
(from: Independent Political Report @ July 13, 2018, 04:06 PM)

FreedomFest is “an annual festival where free minds meet to celebrate ?great books, great ideas, and great thinkers? in an open-minded society. It is independent, non-partisan, and not affiliated with any organization or think tank with over 200 different speakers, over 125 general sessions, debates, panels, lectures and other presentations.”

Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark appeared on the panel, ?The Libertarian Outlook Here and Abroad,? Wednesday 11 July 2018 with Li Schooland and Thomas D.… Read more ...

How nasty is Georgia GOP race for governor? Former frontrunner accuses rival of 'evil' in his heart
(from: Swing State Project @ July 13, 2018, 03:38 PM)

On behalf of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the local Atlanta ABC affiliate Channel 2 Action News, the University of Georgia is out with a poll of the July 24 GOP runoff for governor of Georgia that gives Secretary of State Brian Kemp a 44-41 lead over Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.

Goal Thermometer

This is the third poll we've seen here since late June: GOP firm Cygnal, which says they're neutral in the runoff, gave Cagle a 44-43 edge, while Kemp released a Public Opinion Strategies survey showing a 45-45 tie. Cagle outpaced Kemp 39-26 in the first round of the primary in late May, and it's probably not a good sign for him that these polls don't find him taking much more support despite his huge spending edge.

If Cagle or his allies have better number, they're not releasing them. What Cagle is releasing, though, is a whole lot of self-pity and vitriol in Kemp's direction. Cagle has been on the defensive since Clay Tippins, who took fourth place in May, released a recorded conversation with Cagle last month where the lieutenant governor admitted to supporting a bad bill solely to stop a super PAC from backing another candidate. Kemp has used that audio in an ad against Cagle, and earlier this month, his campaign released audio of Cagle telling Tippins that primary voters were too extreme and driven by identity politics.

On Thursday, just after a heated debate, Cagle accused Kemp and Tippons of engaging in a "set up" to hurt him and using his words out of context, and he predicted there was more audio to come. And Cagle did not stop there:

"Who does this? Who is a person that is that evil in their heart, to come in and mislead someone in a way that leads them down a path, to get them to say certain things, that they can then shape a narrative around? It?s just an evil act. A very evil act. It?s a dirty trick, and it?s wrong, and I can?t believe the news would continue to print this kind of horrible act."

We've seen a lot of very nasty primaries, but this is the first one where we can remember one candidate characterizing an intra-party rival as "evil." The GOP's post-runoff unity breakfast should be super fun.

Despite all his problems, Cagle does have a lot more money to spend over the next few weeks. Cagle outraised Kemp $3.7 million to $1.6 million from April 1 to June 30, and he had a $1.3 million to $700,000 cash-on-hand edge. Cagle also has some well-funded outside groups on his side. Democrat Stacey Abrams meanwhile took in $2.75 million during this period, and she ended June with $1.6 million in the bank.

Help Stacey Abrams beat whomever emerges from this bloody GOP race. Please chip in $3 today.

Voting Rights Roundup: Michigan poised to vote on sweeping set of voting rights reforms this fall
(from: Swing State Project @ July 13, 2018, 03:01 PM)

Leading Off

? Michigan: In a huge development for voting rights in Michigan, voting rights groups have turned in more than 430,000 signatures to put a state constitutional amendment on the November ballot that contains a slew of key voting reforms, far above the 316,000 signatures required by law. The measure includes automatic voter registration and same-day voter registration, removes the requirement of an excuse to vote absentee, protects the state?s straight-ticket voting option, and allows for elections to be routinely audited to ensure accuracy.?

Campaign Action

?Michigan is currently one of the worst states when it comes to making voting as accessible as possible. In particular, it's one of just 13 states that has no early voting at all and also requires an excuse to vote absentee. But Republican lawmakers have exempted anyone age 60 or older from the excuse requirement?a transparent way to make it easier for that particular GOP-leaning demographic to cast a ballot.

Similarly, the GOP has tried multiple times to do away with straight-ticket voting because black voters use it more than whites. Eliminating it would likely produce longer lines on Election Day (it?s much quicker to vote a straight ticket than to fill out every race on a ballot) in disproportionately Democratic-leaning precincts?and thus dissuade people from voting. A federal court temporarily blocked the latest repeal effort in 2016, but the GOP is appealing.

If this amendment makes it onto the ballot, which seems likely, and becomes law, Michigan would instantly become of the states where it?s easiest to register and vote. That?s particularly so because of the automatic registration provision, which would apply to any eligible voter who does business with the secretary of state's office concerning their driver's license or state ID.

What?s more, a separate initiative to end Republican gerrymandering by creating an independent redistricting commission is already on the ballot this fall. Michigan voters will therefore have two crucial opportunities to make their democracy fairer for everyone.

Florida Democratic Party Lawsuit on Order of Candidates on Ballots Won?t Get a Decision Until After 2018
(from: Ballot Access News @ July 13, 2018, 02:08 PM)

The Florida Democratic Party sued the Secretary of State earlier this year, over the law that says the party that won the last gubernatorial election will always have its nominees listed first on general election ballots. Jacobson v Detzner, n.d., 4:18v-262. On July 12, the U.S. District Court set forth some deadlines for the case. Discovery will not be complete until November 8, 2018, so it is obvious that the case won’t be settled until after this year’s election is over.

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