Alabama’s Largest Newspaper Urges a December 12 Vote for Doug Jones, Or at Least a Write-in Vote

On November 19, Alabama’s largest newspaper, and two other major newspapers, have an identical front page editorial urging voters to vote for Doug Jones, the Democratic nominee. The editorials also say if the voter cannot do that, the voter should cast a write-in vote. See this editorial from the Birmingham News, which is also in the Mobile Press-Register and the Huntsville Times.

It is conceivable that Roy Moore could change his mind and withdraw. There are precedents from Minnesota and New Jersey that the ballots could be reprinted, with a Republican Party substitute, even though some voters have already voted absentee. If Alabama election laws forbid that, the legislature could theoretically be called into special session to pass an emergency bill authorizing late substitution in case of a late withdrawal. But none of that can happen unless Moore withdraws first.

If Moore does withdraw, justice requires that the Republican Party should be permitted to substitute a new nominee.

A Gravis Poll released November 17 shows that Jones has 47%; Moore has 42%; and undecided or write-in has 11%.

Socialist Party Enters Candidate in Wisconsin Special Legislative Election

Wisconsin is holding a special election on January 16, 2018, to fill the vacant Assembly seat, 58th district, in Janesville. The Socialist Party has petitioned to run Christopher Lewis Cook for the seat. Assuming his petition is valid, he will be the first Socialist Party legislative candidate on the ballot anywhere in the U.S. since 2012, when the party had two candidates on for the Indiana legislature. Here is a link to the Wisconsin elections commission site, showing the candidates. Thanks to Michael for the link.

Massachusetts Bill to Force Presidential Candidates to Reveal Tax Returns Appears Dead

Massachusetts, for the last month, has been the only state in which it was possible for any state, this year, to pass a law requiring presidential candidates to reveal their income tax returns. The Massachusetts bill, SB 365, had a hearing on September 6, but it hasn’t moved out of the committee since then. The lack of any movement indicates almost certainly that the bill is dead.

Bill Schifino, Member of Florida Constitutional Revision Commission, Submits Proposal for a Semi-Closed Primary

Bill Schifino, a member of the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission, has submitted this proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution. It is proposal P62. The Commission will vote on whether to include this idea, in early 2018. The Commission has the power to put ideas for changing the state constitution on the November 2018 ballot.

Schifino’s proposal says that independent voters are free to choose any party’s primary ballot.

Currently, Florida has closed primaries, except that if only members of one party file for any particular office, then all voters can vote in that primary. Except for those special kinds of elections, Florida is the only state in the south in which independent voters cannot vote in any primaries.