Maryland Deadline Victory Confirmed

As noted earlier, on August 26, the Maryland State Board of Elections conceded that a 2015 law requiring independent candidates to file a declaration of candidacy in February is unconstitutional. The concession had come after an independent candidate for Baltimore city council, Dan Sparaco, had sued to overturn the requirement. That case was Sparaco v Lamone, 1:16cv-1579.

However, on August 25, two other candidates for Baltimore city council in the same district had sued the State Board of Elections to protest the Board’s concession in the Sparaco lawsuit. That new lawsuit was Schlakman v Maryland State Board of Elections, 1:16cv-2968.

But, on September 20, the Judge who was handling both cases dismissed the Schlakman lawsuit, so that the good precedent established by the Sparaco lawsuit will stand.

Lewis & Clark County, Montana, Will Reprint 56,000 Ballots in Order to Add New Libertarian Nominee for U.S. House

According to this story, just one county in Montana, Lewis & Clark, will reprint 56,000 ballots because the Libertarian Party nominee for U.S. House died last week and the party was permitted to replace him with a new nominee. Lewis & Clark is one of Montana’s more populated counties, and includes the state capitol, Helena. The story does not say how many other counties must reprint ballots.

Helsinki Accords Organzation, OSCE, Plans to Send 500 Foreign Observers to Evaluate U.S. Election

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) plans to send 500 election observers to the United States, to evaluate the November 8 election. These observers would include Canadians as well as Europeans. See the web page of OSCE about its plans for U.S. observations.

In 2012, OSCE only sent 44 observers. OSCE feels there are so many problems with U.S. elections, it needs more observers. Of course the U.S. is a member of OSCE and U.S. observers regularly observe elections in other nations that are part of OSCE. Thanks to Election Administration Reports for the link.

West Virginia Newspaper Story on How Election Officials Coped with Contradictory Ballot Access Rulings

This West Virginia newspaper story describes how county election officials were first ordered to remove various independent candidates from the November ballot (due to a State Supreme Court decision) and then were ordered to keep them on the ballot (due to a federal court decision a few days later). Fortunately for some county election officials, the original printed ballots had listed the candidates, and nothing had been done to block out their names, so the original ballots could be used.

Rocky De La Fuente Sues Virginia Over Requirement that Candidates for Presidential Elector Must Include Full Social Security Number on Declaration of Candidacy

On September 21, Rocky De La Fuente sued Virginia over its requirement that candidates for presidential elector must provide their full Social Security number to the State Board of Elections, before the petition for presidential ballot access may begin to circulate. De La Fuente v Alcorn, e.d., 1:16cv-1201.

The state form says the number is needed to identify the candidate in the voter rolls. This seems obviously not true. The form also asks for the voter’s name and address. That should be sufficient to identify the individual.

De La Fuente’s complaint says he was not able to circulate his petition as early as he otherwise would have, because so many potential presidential elector candidates refused to become candidates for presidential elector once they saw they had to provide their full Social Security Number.