Alaska Legislature’s Regular Session Adjourns without Passing Any Election Law Bills

On the evening of May 17, the Alaska’s regular legislative session adjourned for the year. Governor Bill Walker immediately called the legislature into special session, but the special session can only act on matters that the Governor listed, and election law matters are not on his list. The main purpose of the special session is to pass a budget.

Bills that failed to pass include HB 5434, the National Popular Vote Plan bill; and HB 200, for a top-two primary. The sponsor of the top-two bill, Representative Gabrielle Ledoux (R-Anchorage) says she may try to get her idea on the ballot as an initiative in 2018. Ledoux is one of several Alaska Republican representatives who voted to organize the House under Democratic Party leadership.

New Pennsylvania Registration Data

The Pennsylvania Department of State has released a voter registration tally for the May 2017 primary, which was held earlier this week. The percentages are: Democratic 47.94%; Republican 38.29%; Libertarian .55%; Green .15%; other and independent 13.08%.

In November 2016, the percentages were: Democratic 48.34%; Republican 37.85%; Libertarian .56%; Green .16%; other and independent 13.09%. Thanks to Michael for the link.

New York Assembly Passes Bill Moving Independent Candidate Petition Deadline from August to May

On May 15, the New York Assembly passed AB 3052 by 127-16. Among other things, it moves the deadline for independent candidate petition deadlines from August to May. Here is the text; see section 13, subdivision 9, of the bill, at the bottom of page seven. The bill sets the deadline at 23 weeks, which means it would always be between May 25 and May 31.

That deadline would be held unconstitutional under Anderson v Celebrezze, which said that states cannot have such early petition deadlines, especially not for president. Deadlines in May or later months have been struck down in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nevada, Rhode Island, and South Dakota.

The bill’s author, Assemblymember Michael Cusick, claims the provision is needed to comply with the federal law that requires overseas ballots to be mailed no later than 45 days before any federal election. This is an absurd thing to say. No state can print its general election ballot until the major parties hold their presidential conventions, which range between mid-July and the first week in September. Furthermore the bill sets the New York primary (for office other than president) on the fourth day of June, and obviously the general election ballot can’t be printed before the primary.

New York is in the Second Circuit. There are no Second Circuit precedents because no state in the Third Circuit have ever had such early deadlines. The only three states in the Second Circuit are New York, Vermont, and Connecticut. The latter two states have August petition deadlines for independent candidates and the nominees of unqualified parties.