New York State Ballot Order

New York state uses a party-column or party-row type of ballot. The order of parties on November 7 will be: Republican, Democratic, Independence, Conservative, Working Families, Green, Libertarian, Rent is Too Damn High/Socialist Equality, and Socialist Workers.

The old-fashioned lever machines only have 9 columns or 9 rows, so the Board has put the Rent is Too Damn High Party (which only has nominees for Governor & Lt. Gov.) in the same column/row as the Socialist Equality Party (which only has a candidate for US Senate).

This is the last year New York or any other state will be using old-fashioned mechanical voting machines.

Court Victory for Alabama Ex-Felons who Wish to Vote

On October 26, the Alabama Supreme Court voted 5-4 to keep a lower court ruling in place, until the lawsuit Gooden v Worley has been fully litigated. The lower court ruling, issued August 23, 2006, lets ex-felons and felons register to vote, at least until the legislature defines the term “moral turpitude”. The Alabama Constitution says persons convicted of crimes of “moral turpitude” can be barred from registering to vote. However, neither the Constitution, nor any state law, defines “moral turpitude”. Over the years, election officials in some counties have said that convictions for drunk driving, attempted burglary, and other crimes, are crimes of “moral turpitude”, whereas elections officials in other counties have said they are not.

Washington Secretary of State Does Not Support Grange Plan

The Washington State Grange plans to work to remove party labels from the ballot, in that state. First it will ask the legislature to pass that idea. If that doesn’t work, it will circulate an initiative to remove party labels from ballots.

Secretary of State Sam Reed, who has previously been an ally of the Grange in election law matters, said on October 26 that he does not support the Grange’s latest idea.

The Grange is motivated to remove party labels from the ballot, because the federal courts have ruled that as long as party labels are on the ballot, political parties then have a First Amendment Freedom of Association right to have some control over who can use their label. The parties used their Freedom of Association right to win a lawsuit against the “top-two” election system in the 9th circuit a few months ago. Although the state and the Grange will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, few expect that Court to hear that appeal.