Ballot Access News is edited and published by Richard Winger, the nation's leading expert on ballot access legal issues.


Dallas Morning News Story Suggests Upcoming Fox Republican Presidential Debate Could Provide Basis for Court Case Over Natural Born Requirement

This Dallas Morning News story raises the idea that the upcoming August 6, 2015 Republican presidential debate could provide a means for a court challenge over the meaning of Article II’s “natural born citizen” requirement for President. If Fox is limiting the debate to the top ten Republicans, and Ted Cruz is one of those ten, the article says conceivably whoever is eleventh might have standing to contest whether Cruz qualifies. Thanks to Bill Van Allen for the link.


California Bill to Cancel Special Elections if Only One Candidate Qualifies to Appear on Ballot

California State Senator Sharon Runner has introduced SB 49, to give the Governor discretion to cancel special legislative elections if only one person files to be on the ballot. See this story.

Current law already says that a special election should be canceled if only one candidate files to be on the ballot and no one files as a declared write-in candidate. However, it is believed that there has been no instance of only one candidate filing for a legislative special election, and no write-ins filing either, at least back to 1967. Before 1967, California special legislative elections were non-partisan and had no party labels on the ballot. The existing law is in any event not functional, because the deadline for a write-in candidate to file is two weeks before any election, and it is logistically impossible to cancel an election within two weeks of the expected election date. The early voting period is four weeks before election day.

A handful of other states don’t hold legislative elections (regular or special) if only one person files to be on the ballot, but they are all states that either don’t permit write-in votes, or which set a write-in filing deadline months before the election. Those states are Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, and Oklahoma.


Washington Post Article on How Much Virginia Government is Spending to Defend Districting Plan in Court

The Washington Post has this article about the high cost to the government of Virginia, to defend its redistricting plan in federal court. The challengers argue that the redistricting plan packs too many African-Americans into a minority of districts in which they are in the majority, thus diminishing their clout in many other districts.


Nevada May Create a February Presidential Primary and Yet Retain June Primary for Other Office

According to this post at FrontloadingHQ, Nevada SB 421 may be amended to provide for a February primary for president and yet retain the June primary for all other office. Currently, Nevada doesn’t have a presidential primary, and its primary for all other office is in June.

The drawback for this idea is that it costs the government more money to hold both a February and a June primary.


Virginia Legislator, Elected to the House Earlier This Year as an Independent, Will Run for State Senate as an Independent

According to this story, Joseph D. Morrissey will be an independent candidate for Virginia State Senate this year. Virginia holds regular elections for the legislature in November of odd years. See the fourth paragraph.

Morrissey was elected to the House as an independent on January 13, 2015, in a special election. He defeated both his major party opponents, winning with a plurality of 42.3%.

He intended to run for State Senate this November as a Democrat, but even though he submitted three times as many signatures as were required to get on the Democratic primary ballot, he was told he didn’t have enough signatures. Even though he submitted affidavits from people who had signed his petition, but whose signature had been invalidated, he still wasn’t put on the primary ballot.


Pennsylvania Governor Nominates an Independent to be State Treasurer

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, has nominated Timothy Reese to be the new state treasurer. Reese is a registered independent. Treasurer is an elected partisan office in Pennsylvania, and if Reese wishes to run for re-election, he will do so in 2016. See this story. Thanks to Michael for the link.