Victory in NY Party Registration Lawsuit

Today the 2nd circuit affirmed a 2003 decision of a US District Court, and agreed that New York state must let voters register as members of parties that are not qualified parties. Green Party of NY v NY State Bd. of Elections. Now, parties that manage to place a statewide nominee on the ballot will have the right to a list of all voters who register into that group. At the present time, groups that may receive such a list are the Green, Libertarian, Socialist Workers Parties (of course, the qualified parties of New York also have access to such a list; they include the Democratic, Republican, Independence, Conservative and Working Families Parties).

The decision will be useful in a planned lawsuit against Iowa, one of only two states that still will not permit anyone to register into a nonqualified party (the other such state is Kansas). There are also a handful of states that physically permit voters to register into unqualified parties, but refuse to keep a tally of such voters).

Badnarik, Cobb Campaigns Raise Money for Full Ohio Presidential Recount

Ohio will have a full recount of all Presidential votes, thanks to Michael Badnarik of the Libertarian Party and David Cobb of the Green Party. The two Presidential candidates raised the required $150,000 fee to order the recount.

Badnarik and Cobb said they aren’t trying to overturn President Bush’s 136,000-vote victory in Ohio, but just want to ensure that all votes were counted properly in the face of concerns about Election Day irregularities.

The actual cost of the recount to county election boards will be about $1.5 million.

In New Hampshire, the Ralph Nader campaign has requested and paid for a hand recount in 11 wards where the results seemed anomalous in their support for President Bush and where the votes were counted on optical scan machines – primarily the Diebold AccuVote Machine.

Judge Refuses to Stop Vote Count in San Diego Mayor’s Race, Write-In Challenger Maintains Slim Lead

Retired Imperial County Court Judge refused to halt the vote count in the San Diego mayor’s race, a victory for a maverick city councilwoman who has mounted a surprisingly strong write-in campaign.

The retired Imperial County judge took over the case after all 124 members of the San Diego Superior Court bench were recused because incumbent Mayor Dick Murphy is a former judge. He issued the ruling to a packed courtroom at 3 p.m today.

The decision came as the vote tally showed the race tightening between Councilwoman Donna Frye, a 52-year-old surf shop owner, and Murphy.

Monday’s ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed by Frye’s opponents on the grounds that the election must be a runoff between the top two finishers in the primary — in this case, Murphy and county Supervisor Ron Roberts. The challenge was brought six days after the election.

Jones stopped short of dismissing the lawsuit, but said that Frye’s opponents had waited too long to challenge her campaign. When Frye entered the race five weeks before the Nov. 2 election, there were “no protests, no cries of illegality, no lawsuits.”

Attorney John Howard, who brought the legal challenge, said he planned to appeal. The incumbent mayor has also indicated he plans a legal challenge if the final vote count goes against him.

The registrar’s office released the latest tally at 8 a.m. Monday. The write-in-candidate — presumably Frye — is leading the contest with 151,759 votes, followed by Murphy, who has 149,928 votes.

It’s worth noting, however, that only 146,737 votes have been verified for Frye. An estimated 50,000 absentee and provisional ballots have still not been factored into the final numbers.

The registrar’s office has until the end of the month to certify the election.

Judge Refuses to Stop Vote Count in San Diego Mayor's Race, Write-In Challenger Maintains Slim Lead

Retired Imperial County Court Judge refused to halt the vote count in the San Diego mayor’s race, a victory for a maverick city councilwoman who has mounted a surprisingly strong write-in campaign.

The retired Imperial County judge took over the case after all 124 members of the San Diego Superior Court bench were recused because incumbent Mayor Dick Murphy is a former judge. He issued the ruling to a packed courtroom at 3 p.m today.

The decision came as the vote tally showed the race tightening between Councilwoman Donna Frye, a 52-year-old surf shop owner, and Murphy.

Monday’s ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed by Frye’s opponents on the grounds that the election must be a runoff between the top two finishers in the primary — in this case, Murphy and county Supervisor Ron Roberts. The challenge was brought six days after the election.

Jones stopped short of dismissing the lawsuit, but said that Frye’s opponents had waited too long to challenge her campaign. When Frye entered the race five weeks before the Nov. 2 election, there were “no protests, no cries of illegality, no lawsuits.”

Attorney John Howard, who brought the legal challenge, said he planned to appeal. The incumbent mayor has also indicated he plans a legal challenge if the final vote count goes against him.

The registrar’s office released the latest tally at 8 a.m. Monday. The write-in-candidate — presumably Frye — is leading the contest with 151,759 votes, followed by Murphy, who has 149,928 votes.

It’s worth noting, however, that only 146,737 votes have been verified for Frye. An estimated 50,000 absentee and provisional ballots have still not been factored into the final numbers.

The registrar’s office has until the end of the month to certify the election.

Libertarian Party Elects Arizona Superior Court Judge, 20 Other Candidates

Maricopa Superior Court Judge John Buttrick won approval for retention of his seat with 73% of the vote.

Buttrick is a well-known Libertarian Party activist who was appointed to the bench in 2001. This was his first election after his appointment. He had been challenged by several lawyers coming before his as “biased” for his libertarian beliefs. These challenges went all the way to the state Supreme Court but were all defeated.

Butrick ran as the LP candidate for Governor in 1994 and for the state legislature in 1998.

Also, the LP elected at least 20 candidates for a city councils and other offices around the country.

124 Judges Disqualified From Hearing Challenge to San Diego Mayoral Write-In Win

In the latest twist in San Diego’s mayoral race, the entire bench of the San Diego Superior Court removed itself Wednesday from hearing a lawsuit challenging the legality of the election. The case was then assigned to a retired judge from Imperial County who will hold a hearing Monday in the downtown San Diego courthouse.

As vote counts continue to indicate that write-in candidate Donna Frye defeated the incumbent mayor, suits continue to be filed to challenge the legality of the win.

The plaintiffs, who allege violations of the Constitution’s First and 14th amendments, contend Frye’s write-in candidacy is invalid because the City Charter does not allow write-in candidates to run in a general election. They also contend (although this hardly seems like a legal issue) that write-ins illegally siphon off votes from the two ballot candidates. The city charter says that the voters are to choose between the top two candidates nominated at the primary election. There is no provision in the city charter for write-ins, although state law directs that all elections be open to write-in candidates, and even the city’s municipal code explicitly allows write-ins in both primary and general elections. The first suit filed, by local lawyer John Howard, asks the court to direct that the election be held over again.

The judges disqualified themselves because the incumbent mayor had served as a judge for 15 years and was known to the entire court.

Ironically, voters also approved Proposition F, a measure backed by the incumbent, to give the mayor a significant increase in power over the city government.