John Merrill, Alabama Secretary of State, Observers Russia Parliamentary Election

On September 18, Russia held a parliamentary election. Fifteen parties were on the ballot, and four of them won seats. One of the foreign election observers was Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill. See this story about his observations on the Russian election.

Merrill is presiding over the Alabama general election of November 8, 2016. Alabama’s election this year gives voters far fewer choices, and fewer due process protections, than almost any other state in the United States. Alabama is one of only two states in which the Democratic and Republican Parties are the only two parties on the ballot; the other state is Tennessee. Alabama forces the two leading minor party presidential candidates, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, to appear on the ballot without their party label.

Alabama disqualified the third presidential candidate who petitioned as an independent, Rocky De La Fuente, on August 27, after having told him he had enough valid signatures and that his petition was valid. The late decision to remove him is being contested in court, with a decision expected on Friday, September 30.

The Alabama Libertarian Party had petitioned for party status in one county this year, but even though the party submitted twice as many signatures and double-checked its own petition and found it valid, Jefferson County officials said it was not valid. The county officials did not even tell the party why its petition had been rejected. The party considered suing but in the end did not find an attorney.

Detroit News Endorses Gary Johnson for President

The September 29 Detroit News has this endorsement of Gary Johnson for President. The Detroit News is one of the two daily newspapers in Detroit.

Also, the print New York Times of September 28 has an op-ed by Gary Johnson. The title in the print edition is “The Party That Offers Real Choice”, but the title on-line is “Take a deep breath voters; there is a third way.” Thanks to Warren Redlich for the Detroit News link.

Peoria Journal-Star Says if Ballot Access Can’t be Liberalized, Revolution is Possible

The Peoria Journal-Star in this editorial deplores the Illinois ballot access law that kept independent David Gill off the ballot for U.S. House, 13th district. It expresses disappointment that Justice Elena Kagan refused to help him get on the ballot. At the end it even suggests that if ballot access laws continues to block free elections, revolution is possible. Thanks to several people who sent this to me.

U.S. District Court Holds a Telephone Hearing in Rocky De La Fuente Alabama Sore Loser Case on September 27

A U.S. District Court in Alabama will hold a telephone hearing in De La Fuente v Merrill on Tuesday, September 27. This is the case on whether the Secretary of State violated the constitution when he put Rocky De La Fuente on the ballot, and then at the end of August noticed De La Fuente had run in the Democratic presidential primary this year in Alabama, and removed him from the ballot.

It turns out that Alabama must reprint all the ballots it already printed anyway, because of an error noticed on September 26 concerning the language of a ballot measure.