Lawsuit Filed Against “Top Two” Primary in Washington

On May 19, the Republican Party of Washington state filed a lawsuit in federal court against the “top two” primary system passed by the voters in Washington last November. Washington State Republican Party v Logan, 05-927-Z, Seattle. About ten counties in Washington will be holding partisan elections for county office this year, and the lawsuit will thus be processed fairly quickly. The Democratic and Libertarian Parties also filed papers asking to intervene on the side of the Republican Party.

Lawsuit Filed Against "Top Two" Primary in Washington

On May 19, the Republican Party of Washington state filed a lawsuit in federal court against the “top two” primary system passed by the voters in Washington last November. Washington State Republican Party v Logan, 05-927-Z, Seattle. About ten counties in Washington will be holding partisan elections for county office this year, and the lawsuit will thus be processed fairly quickly. The Democratic and Libertarian Parties also filed papers asking to intervene on the side of the Republican Party.

Omnibus Ohio Bill Advances

On May 17, the Ohio House of Representatives passed HB3, which, among other things, provides that voter registration forms should let voters register into particular parties. However, the bill provides that if the voter affiliates with a party that is not ballot-qualified, the voter should be deemed to be an independent. Similar practices have been held unconstitutional in New York, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Colorado. Since the list of members is useful to all political parties, not just qualified political parties, if HB 3 passes, will be subject to a legal attack by any unqualified party in Ohio that does run nominees (in 2004, such groups included the Libertarian and Constitution Parties). HB 3 also raises the fee for requesting a recount from $10 per precinct to $50 per precinct, a reaction to last year’s presidential recount.

British Columbia Almost Votes in Alternate Vote System

On May 17, 57.2% of the British Columbia voters voted to change their voting system to a more proportional system. However, the law required the system to pass with 60%, so it didn’t pass. However, advocates for alternative voting systems are buoyed up by knowing that a substantial majority of the voters voted for the system, and new proposals will be brought forward.