Colorado Bill Would Relax Law on Who can Circulate a Petition

Two bills pending in the Colorado legislature would let any resident over the age of 18 circulate any type of petition. They are HB 1085 and SB 83. Current law does not let anyone circulate an independent candidate petition for district or county office (or, a petition to get a candidate on a primary ballot) if that circulator doesn’t live in that district or county.

Connecticut Senator Wants to Outlaw Fusion

Connecticut has three types of political parties. Qualified major parties nominate by primary; qualified minor parties nominate by convention; unqualified parties nominate by primary. Currently, Connecticut permits fusion for the first two types of party, although not the third type.

Connecticut State Senator Mary Ann Handley, Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, has introduced Proposed Bill No. 556, to outlaw all types of fusion. Her action is surprising, since she herself was the beneficiary of fusion in last November’s election. She received 20,969 votes on the Democratic line and 1,118 on the Working Families line; her only opponent received 14,064 votes solely on the Republican line. Although she didn’t need the Working Families votes in order to win, one would think she appreciated them.

Washington Secretary of State Sponsors Bill to Require Minor Party & Independent Candidates to Show Triple Support

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed has written a bill (introduced as SB 5604 and HB 1534) that requires minor party and independent candidates to show popular support three ways before they can qualify for the general election.

First, each candidate needs a petition. Statewide candidates would need 1,000 signatures; US House candidates 500; legislative and county candidates would need 100.

Second, each candidate must pay a filing fee of 1% of the annual salary of the office.

Third, and most strangely, each candidate then goes on the primary ballot (except for presidential candidates) and must poll a minimum number of votes in the primary, in order to be placed on the general election. The minimum number of primary votes equals the number of signatures each had to get.

What is peculiar is that Washington now has separate primary ballots for each major party. It isn’t clear what primary ballot the minor party and independent candidates would appear on, and who would vote on such ballots.

The bill has an obvious drafting error. Whereas on page 14 it says the minor party and independent candidates need a certain minimum number of primary votes, on page 2 it says they don’t appear on the primary ballot.

Washington Secretary of State Sponsors Bill to Require Minor Party & Independent Candidates to Show Triple Support

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed has written a bill (introduced as SB 5604 and HB 1534) that requires minor party and independent candidates to show popular support three ways before they can qualify for the general election.

First, each candidate needs a petition. Statewide candidates would need 1,000 signatures; US House candidates 500; legislative and county candidates would need 100.

Second, each candidate must pay a filing fee of 1% of the annual salary of the office.

Third, and most strangely, each candidate then goes on the primary ballot (except for presidential candidates) and must poll a minimum number of votes in the primary, in order to be placed on the general election. The minimum number of primary votes equals the number of signatures each had to get.

What is peculiar is that Washington now has separate primary ballots for each major party. It isn’t clear what primary ballot the minor party and independent candidates would appear on, and who would vote on such ballots.

The bill has an obvious drafting error. Whereas on page 14 it says the minor party and independent candidates need a certain minimum number of primary votes, on page 2 it says they don’t appear on the primary ballot.

The Final Chapter in Cobb-Badnarik 2004 Recount Requests

After the November 2004 election, the presidential nominees of the Green Party and the Libertarian Party jointly requested a recount of the presidential vote in New Mexico and in Ohio.

Both states had relatively nominal fees for requesting a recount. But elections officials in both states were determined to thwart the requests. In New Mexico, the state retroactively increased the fee ten-fold and a lower court said that was OK. The two candidates couldn’t afford the $1,400,000 new fee for the recount, so they dropped their request, and the voting-counting machines were then reprogrammed so that any recount would be impossible. Later, on May 16, 2006, the New Mexico Supreme Court said the two candidates should have received the recount they had requested after all, but, of course, by then it was too late.

In Ohio, the recount supposedly went ahead. Under the law, a few precincts were supposedly to be randomly chosen. A hand count of these randomly-chosen precincts was then to be compared with the machine total. If they matched, no further recount in that county was needed. On January 24, a jury convicted two Ohio elections officials of rigging the recount. Instead of randomly choosing precincts, they first identified a few precincts in which the hand-count and the machine-count matched. Then they claimed that those precincts had been the randomly-chosen ones; and since totals matched, no further recount of other precincts was needed. As in New Mexico, it is too late to do anything about it.