Professor Fights Pennsylvania's Loyalty Oath for Candidates

Professor Gerald Massey, former chairman of the Philosophy Department at the University of Pittsburgh, is actively fighting Pennsylvania’s loyalty oath for candidates. Pennsylvania requires all candidates for state and local office to sign a statement affirming that they are not “subversive” persons. The statute does not define the term. Massey was elected to the Stoneboro, Pennsylvania city council as a write-in candidate last November. The law requires him to sign the oath before being sworn in, but he refused, and he was seated anyway. He has written letters to his legislators, asking them to introduce a bill to repeal the law. Such laws were held unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in a unanimous 1974 decision, but legislatures in the six states that still have them are reluctant to repeal them.

Professor Fights Pennsylvania’s Loyalty Oath for Candidates

Professor Gerald Massey, former chairman of the Philosophy Department at the University of Pittsburgh, is actively fighting Pennsylvania’s loyalty oath for candidates. Pennsylvania requires all candidates for state and local office to sign a statement affirming that they are not “subversive” persons. The statute does not define the term. Massey was elected to the Stoneboro, Pennsylvania city council as a write-in candidate last November. The law requires him to sign the oath before being sworn in, but he refused, and he was seated anyway. He has written letters to his legislators, asking them to introduce a bill to repeal the law. Such laws were held unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in a unanimous 1974 decision, but legislatures in the six states that still have them are reluctant to repeal them.

Utah Electoral College Initiative

Chad Curtis of Orem, Utah, is proposing to circulate an initiative to split Utah’s electoral votes, proportionately to the popular vote. Thus, if Utah has 6 electoral votes (which it will certainly have after 2011), a presidential candidate who polled one-sixth of the popular vote would get one electoral vote. A similar initiative appeared on the Colorado ballot in November 2004, but it was fatally flawed because it didn’t specify whether it would go into effect for 2004 or not. Chad Curtis can be reached at cpc5blw@hotmail.com, or 801-787-3919.

Scholarly Study Boosts IRV

Chris Jerdonek has published “Ranked Choice Voting and Voter Turnout in San Francisco’s 2005 Election”, a scholarly article that shows that ranked choice voting (also called Instant-Runoff Voting) more than doubled turnout in San Francisco’s citywide election for Assessor-Recorder in 2005. Without Ranked Choice Voting, the election would have been decided with a run-off in December. Past data for San Francisco December run-offs (for relatively unimportant office) supports the author’s conclusion. See the article on the webpage of www.fairvote.org.