California Democrats Also Challenge Write-in Restriction

The California Democratic Party is filing papers on August 4 to intervene in the lawsuit filed by the Sonoma County Republican Party (that lawsuit is called Sonoma County Republican Central Committee v McPherson). California Democrats also want to be able to nominate candidates by write-in at their own primary. Therefore, both major parties will be asking a state court to overturn a California election law that makes it very difficult for parties to nominate candidates at their own primaries via write-in votes.

Federal Court Re-Draws 5 Texas Districts, Orders Non-Partisan Primaries on November 7

On August 4, a 3-judge U.S. District Court redrew 5 Texas congressional districts (15, 21, 23, 25 and 28). The March primary results for those 5 districts are now of no significance. Candidate filing for those 5 districts is re-opened. All candidates will run as though the election were non-partisan in November. If no one gets 50%, a run-off will be held in December. League of United Latin American Citizens v Perry, 2:03-cv-354.

The 5 incumbants in those 5 districts are Ruben Hinojosa (D), Lamar Smith (R), Henry Bonilla (R), Lloyd Doggett (D), and Henry Cuellar (D).

Candidate filing closes August 25.

Ballot Access Cases Pending in 16 States

Constitutional ballot access cases are now pending in Alabama (11th circuit), Alaska (state court), Arizona (9th circuit), Arkansas (US District Court), California (state court), Hawaii (US District Court), Illinois (7th circuit), New Hampshire (state court), New York (2nd circuit), North Carolina (state court), Ohio (6th circuit and US District Court), Oklahoma (state court), Pennsylvania (3rd circuit), South Carolina (US District Court), Washington (9th circuit) and West Virginia (state court).

Working Families Party Sues Over Ballot Access in South Carolina

On July 26, the Working Families Party of South Carolina filed a federal lawsuit, to win the ability to nominate candidates this year. The legal deadline for a new party to turn in its petition (to be able to participate in that year’s election) is 6 months before the general election. The Working Families Party complied with that deadline. However, the state still won’t let it nominate any candidates because it says the petition should have been turned in earlier. The Natural Law Party won a similar lawsuit in South Carolina in 1996, but the state won’t follow that precedent. The case is Working Families Party v South Carolina Election Commission, 3:06-cv-2125.

Missing Ohio Write-in Ballots Found

At the May 2006 Ohio primary, 28 individuals in Summit County filed to be write-in candidates for Democratic or Republican county central committee members. The official election returns showed that no write-in candidate received any write-in votes. One of the candidates, David Worhatch, persisted, and finally was permitted to inspect the ballots on July 31. He found some valid write-ins for himself and other write-in candidates. County elections officials said they will be more careful in the future.