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Atlanta Progressive News Story on Pending Libertarian Party Lawsuit on U.S. House Ballot Access
(from: Ballot Access News @ January 16, 2018, 12:48 PM)

The Atlanta Progressive News has this story on the Libertarian Party’s pending lawsuit against Georgia’s ballot access laws for U.S. House.

Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 1/16
(from: Swing State Project @ January 16, 2018, 09:00 AM)

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news.

Please note: The Live Digest is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free space. It?s also an elections-only zone. If you'd like to discuss policy, please visit the latestDaily Kos Elections policy open thread.

Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday.

Tuesday, Jan 16, 2018 4:53:55 PM +00:00 Jeff Singer

AZ-Sen: The GOP firm Data Orbital takes a look at the late August primary for this open seat, and they give Rep. Martha McSally a 31-22 lead over disgraced former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio; former state Sen. Kelli Ward is just behind with 19 percent. The only other survey we've seen of the three-way primary came last week from GOP pollster OH Predictive Insights on behalf of the local ABC affiliate, and they gave McSally a much-smaller 31-29 lead over Arpaio, with Ward at 25. McSally, who is the favorite of the GOP establishment, is likely to be the only candidate with the resources to seriously advertise on TV, and if she's already running at least even with the very well-known Arpaio before she's aired any ads, that's good news for her.

Morning Digest: False missile alert already a real campaign problem for Hawaii Gov. David Ige
(from: Swing State Project @ January 16, 2018, 08:00 AM)

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

? HI-Gov: On Saturday, a stunning set of failures led to the state of Hawaii to issue an emergency alert warning of a ballistic missile attack, and the debacle almost immediately became a campaign issue. First-term Gov. David Ige was already facing a very serious challenge in the Democratic primary from Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, and now he's facing extraordinary scrutiny over the incident. The trauma the event instantly generated for residents will not soon be forgotten: As one Hawaii political scientist, Colin Moore, put it, "Everyone is going to want to talk about their story?that morning when they were terrified, and why it took the governor so long to respond."

Campaign Action

Indeed, Hanabusa immediately began criticizing Ige, focusing on the extraordinary fact that it took officials 38 minutes to retract their false alarm, specifically blaming the governor and saying the fiasco could harm the state's all-important tourism industry. In response, an Ige spokesperson complained, "It is unfortunate that she is using yesterday's event to draw attention to herself while offering no solution." It's more than just a war of words, though: One local pollster noted that Hanabusa appeared on TV to reassure the public before Ige himself did, reinforcing questions about his "lack of leadership."

While Hanabusa probably wouldn't want to turn an issue like this into an attack ad?voters likely wouldn't take kindly to stark reminders of such a frightening event?she also doesn't have to. Pretty much everyone in Hawaii politics is piling on Ige right now, and as the New York Times notes, he faces the prospect of a lengthy series of public investigations on both the state and federal level. There's a good chance this story will dominate right through the August primary, and if it does, that can only be bad news for Ige.

Capital Journal: Trump?s Big 3 Issues | New Nukes | U.S. Warned Kushner on Wendi Deng Murdoch
(from: Washington Wire @ January 16, 2018, 07:41 AM)

Lawmakers and President Donald Trump are returning to Washington from the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to the three themes Mr. Trump most often touched on during the 2016 presidential race: immigration, trade and infrastructure. On immigration, Mr. Trump is locked in negotiations with Democrats over the fate of ?Dreamer? immigrants who came to the [?]

Maine Referendum Petition for Ranked Choice Voting Now Has 55,000 Signatures, with Three Weeks to Go
(from: Ballot Access News @ January 16, 2018, 12:19 AM)

The Maine referendum petition to save ranked choice voting now has 55,000 signatures, according to this story. It needs 61,123 valid signatures, which are due in three weeks.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Hears Partisan Gerrymandering Case on January 17, Wednesday
(from: Ballot Access News @ January 15, 2018, 08:29 PM)

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear League of Women Voters v Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on January 17. The issue is whether extreme partisan gerrymandering violates the State Constitution. On December 29, 2017, the lower state court had upheld the U.S. House districts. See this story.

Federal Election Commission Publishes List of 2018 Primary Dates for Congressional Elections
(from: Ballot Access News @ January 15, 2018, 06:22 PM)

Primary dates are very volatile in the United States. Here is a recent chart from the Federal Election Commission showing the 2018 primary dates, for Congress. Thanks to Thomas Jones for the link.

New Mexico Bill for Automatic Voter Registration
(from: Ballot Access News @ January 15, 2018, 03:17 PM)

New Mexico State Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto has introduced SJR 5. It provides that all adult citizens known to exist would automatically be registered to vote, unless they decline.

Florida Bill to Make it Extremely Hard to Amend State Constitution
(from: Ballot Access News @ January 15, 2018, 03:02 PM)

Florida State Senator Dennis Baxley (R-Lady Lake) has introduced SJR 978. Currently Florida permits initiatives to amend the Constitution, but they must pass with a 60% popular vote. Senator Baxley’s bill would raise that to 66.67% of the popular vote.

Arizona Bill for Closed Primaries
(from: Ballot Access News @ January 15, 2018, 02:49 PM)

Arizona currently has semi-closed primaries (for office other than President). Representative Thomas Thorpe, the Speaker Pro Tem, and five other Republican representatives have introduced HCR 2014. It would alter the Arizona Constitution to say that only registered members of a party may vote in that party’s primary, for all office.

If this bill passes, then the voters would vote on the idea, because it is a constitutional change.

As worded, the bill violates the associational rights of political parties that want to let independents vote in their primaries. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1986 that if a party wants to let independents vote in its primary, then the government cannot block that policy.

Ironically, if this bill became law, the current law making it extremely difficult for Libertarian candidates to get on their own party’s primary ballot would be clearly unconstitutional. The existing law, which is already being challenged by the Libertarian Party in the 9th circuit, says that Libertarian candidates must obtain thousands of signatures to place themselves on a Libertarian primary ballot, but that independent voters can sign such petitions. If the law forbade independent voters from voting in a party primary, then it seems obvious that the law could not continue to allow independents to sign primary petitions. And if independents couldn’t sign Libertarian primary petitions, then the law would make it literally impossible for Libertarians to get on primary ballots (because there aren’t enough registered Libertarians) and the law would be obviously unconstitutional.

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