Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down U.S. House District Boundaries, Orders New Districts in Time for 2018

On January 22, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the state’s U.S. House districts as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander, and ordered new districts in time for the 2018 election. The decision is only three pages and will be supplemented later. The case is League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania v Commonwealth, 159 MM 2017. If the legislature doesn’t draw new districts by mid-February, the court will draw them. Thanks to Political Wire for this news.

Here is a dissent, signed by two members of the Court. It says the Pennsylvania Supreme Court should have waited until the U.S. Supreme Court issues its pending opinions in somewhat similar cases. However, the Pennsylvania decision is based on the Pennsylvania Constitution, and the cases pending in the U.S. Supreme Court are based on the federal Constitution.

One of the two dissenters also wrote this dissent.

Concord, New Hampshire Monitor Carries Pro-Ranked-Choice Voting Op-Ed, One Day Before Legislative Committee Hears the Idea

The House Elections Law Committee in New Hampshire will hear HB 1540 on Tuesday, January 23. This is the bill to provide for ranked choice voting for federal and state office. The Concord Monitor has this op-ed in support of the idea, authored by Tiani X. Coleman, a leader of the group that advocates better treatment for independent voters.

Also, the Cleveland Plain Dealer has this op-ed by Sam Blankenship, in support of Proportional Representation.

Indiana Ballot Access Bill Passes Senate Committee

On January 22, the Indiana Senate Elections Committee passed SB 328 by 6-3. It lowers the number of signatures for an independent candidate, or the nominee of an unqualified party, from 2% of the last Secretary of State vote, to one-half of 1% of the last Secretary of State vote. If it passes, it takes effect January 1, 2019. Thanks to Craig Marolf for this news.

UPDATE: see this news story about the bill (the lower half of the article).