The amended version of Bill 45-34, a measure from Sen. Joe San Agustin seeking to eliminate primary elections on Guam, was moved to the voting file during session yesterday. Lawmakers debated the provisions of the bill, with San Agustin emphasizing the cost-saving goal of the bill, noting that the primary elections are paid for by the public through appropriations made to the Guam Election Commission. Eliminating the primary elections would generate savings, he said. The Legislature’s Committee on General Government Appropriations convened a public hearing for the bill in August, during which Sen. Michael San Nicolas, committee chair, estimated the cost of holding a primary election at around $400,000. San Nicolas added that the 2016 primary resulted in about 2,000 spoiled ballots, which came to an estimated cost of about $32,000.Full Article: Lawmakers to vote on bill eliminating primary elections | Guam News | postguam.com.
The governor may be the determining signatory on which two competing pieces of legislation being debated in the Guam Legislature would become law. Bills 156-34 and 45-34 attempt to legislate election reform related to primaries. While Bill 156 intends to change the date of the primary election and the date of filing candidate nomination papers – to ease the burden on the Guam Election Commission – Bill 45 would eliminate the primary entirely. Sen. Mary Torres introduced Bill 156, while Sen. Joe San Agustin introduced Bill 45.Full Article: Election reform may depend on governor | Guam News | postguam.com.
In a 33-page ruling, an Alaska Superior Court judge has ruled that the Alaska Democratic Party may run candidates in its primary who are not officially aligned with any political party. In practical terms, this means a non-Democrat could win against a registered Democrat in the Democrats’ primary, and then go on to represent the Democrats in the general election. For example, if Gov. Bill Walker decides to run in the Democrats’ primary, he might beat Mark Begich, whom many have thought is considering a run. If he won in the Democrats’ primary, he’d have to appear on the General Election ballot as a Democrat, according to the court ruling.Full Article: Judge rules Democratic Party can run 'nonpartisans' in their primary - Must Read Alaska.
Colorado Republican leaders on Saturday voted down an attempt by party activists to cancel the 2018 primary in order to prevent participation by unaffiliated voters. State voters last year approved changes that allowed Colorado’s 1.4 million unaffiliated voters to cast ballots in either the Democratic or Republican primary. The changes also included an “opt-out” provision that allowed for canceling primaries if the vast majority of a party’s leaders agree. In Saturday’s vote, 67 percent of the Republican central committee voted to stick with the primary system, versus 33 in favor of opting out, Republican Party spokesman Daniel Cole said. Party leaders also agreed to revisit the issue in two years, he said. The vote came after some Republicans activists said only party members should be able to participate in candidate selections, so that those chosen would better reflect GOP values.Full Article: Colorado GOP votes down move to cancel 2018 primary | Myrtle Beach Sun News.
Utah: Count My Vote may take initiatve to the ballot because of constant efforts to dismantle SB54 | Utah Policy
The organizers behind Count My Vote say they’re encouraged the SB54 compromise worked beautifully in the recent GOP 3rd CD primary election. But, the ongoing effort to undo that agreement may push them to take the issue of eliminating the caucus system directly to the people. UtahPolicy.com previously reported that Count My Vote was readying to refile their petition initiative to do away with the caucus/delegate/convention route to the ballot, leaving only a direct primary. Rich McKeown says the constant effort to do away with the legislative compromise has changed the dynamic. “It has been an absolute struggle,” said McKeown. “We have given some thought about taking this to the people. It never went to the people. It was a compromise with the legislature, so that’s the consideration we have. We’re trying to assess the landscape and trying to determine whether to move forward.”Full Article: Count My Vote may take initiatve to the ballot because of constant efforts to dismantle SB54.
National: In one corner of the Internet, the 2016 Democratic primary never ended | The Washington Post
On Friday afternoon, a judge in South Florida dismissed a lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee, brought by people who accused it of committing fraud during the 2016 primary to the detriment of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt). Neither the DNC nor ousted chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) responded to the dismissal when asked to comment. Within hours, the attorneys who bought the suit, Jared and Elizabeth Beck, were providing updates on the case to the blogger and fantasy author H.A. Goodman. Calling out the people and outlets who they believe had covered them unfairly, the Becks described a legal system so corrupt that there could be no fair accounting for what the DNC did. It would be up to alternative media to get the truth out. “This population has been battered by propaganda, and misinformation, and corrupt politicians for so long,” Jared Beck said. “If you go into court, and you represent anyone but a rich person or a powerful corporation, the chances of you having a fair day in court are slim to none.”Full Article: In one corner of the Internet, the 2016 Democratic primary never ended - The Washington Post.
A year-long legal battle over the Democratic National Committee’s handling of the 2016 presidential primary came to an end Friday, with a federal judge in Florida dismissing a class-action suit brought by supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). “To the extent Plaintiffs wish to air their general grievances with the DNC or its candidate selection process, their redress is through the ballot box, the DNC’s internal workings, or their right of free speech — not through the judiciary,” Judge William Zloch, a Reagan appointee, wrote in his dismissal. “To the extent Plaintiffs have asserted specific causes of action grounded in specific factual allegations, it is this Court’s emphatic duty to measure Plaintiffs’ pleadings against existing legal standards. Having done so . . . the Court finds that the named Plaintiffs have not presented a case that is cognizable in federal court.”Full Article: Florida judge dismisses fraud lawsuit against DNC - The Washington Post.
A national nonprofit has pledged $140,000 to help supporters of a constitutional amendment that would move South Dakota to an open primary system for many races, the nonprofit’s spokesman said Tuesday. New York-based Open Primaries is supporting the amendment campaign’s signature-gathering efforts, spokesman Jeremy Gruber said. The proposed amendment would have the top two finishers in a primary advance to the general election regardless of party. Backers of the amendment hope to start gathering signatures around Sept. 1, campaign chairman Joe Kirby of Sioux Falls said. They must submit nearly 28,000 valid signatures to the secretary of state by November 2017 for the amendment to appear on the 2018 ballot.Full Article: South Dakota open primaries campaign to get $140K boost | The Daily Republic.
Fear of moderate and centrist members who have joined Likud could cause anyone who has joined the party recently to not be able to choose the party’s next Knesset list, Likud officials said Sunday. The party has embarked on a series of steps against the so-called New Likudniks, a group of centrists who want the party to become more moderate and return to values they say existed when Likud was led by then-prime minister Menachem Begin and are no longer prevalent in the party.Full Article: Likud to lengthen waiting period for voting - Israel News - Jerusalem Post.
Utah: ‘Count My Vote’ readying 2018 ballot initiative to eliminate caucus/convention system for nominating candidates | Utah Policy
UtahPolicy.com has been told that the group behind Count My Vote has decided to run a citizen initiative petition in 2018 that will do away with the caucus/delegate/convention route for candidates and only allow candidates to get on the primary and general election ballots via gathering voter signatures. When CMV’s 2014 petition was in public discussion, various polls showed a majority of citizens supported the so-called “direct primary” option. Also, UtahPolicy is told the new initiative will say that any vacancy in a partisan office will be filled by special election. Right now it is usually filled by appointment by local party officials.Full Article: 'Count My Vote' readying 2018 ballot initiative to eliminate caucus/convention system for nominating candidates (updated).
A Wayne County Circuit judge on Tuesday denied an election challenger’s request to have all city absentee ballots from the August primary thrown out, saying there’s no evidence to justify the move and doing so would “disenfranchise” voters. Chief circuit Judge Robert Colombo Jr., following an hour-long discussion in his courtroom, said he would not grant Detroit resident Anita Belle’s request to invalidate the Aug. 8 absentee ballots on claims they were tainted. Colombo said he would not throw out the city’s absentee ballots or enter an injunction to prevent the Detroit Election Commission from using the results “when there is no evidence there was a problem with absentee ballots.”Full Article: Judge: Detroit absentee ballots from primary will stand.
Utah County voters reported continued confusion at the polls Tuesday after more than 68,000 unaffiliated voters received incorrect mail-in primary election ballots. While unaffiliated voters could still cast ballots in the Republican 3rd Congressional District primary race, those who received the incorrect ballot had to bring that ballot to a polling station and choose to affiliate as a Republican to vote in the GOP primary. The situation was confusing for some voters who either discarded the ballot or already sent it in, not knowing their vote in the Republican primary would not be counted unless they went to the polls to affiliate with the party. Utah County elections officials made efforts to correct the issue and clear up confusion by sending out nearly 70,000 mailers, informing those unaffiliated voters that they could bring their ballots to the polls, affiliate with the Republican Party and cast a vote in the 3rd District race.Full Article: Utah County ballot blunder causes confusion at polls | Deseret News.
The Colorado Republican Party is considering whether to cancel the June 2018 primary elections for Congress, the governor’s office and other offices, and instead nominate candidates through an existing caucus process dominated by insiders. The move is permitted under Proposition 108, a ballot question approved in 2016 that overhauls how major-party candidates are selected in Colorado and allows the state’s 1.4 million unaffiliated voters to cast ballots in either the Republican or Democratic primaries. A caveat in the new law allows political parties to opt out of the new law by a 75 percent vote of its central committee.Full Article: Colorado GOP weighs whether to cancel its 2018 primary election.
Both chambers of the General Assembly have agreed that they want to move up North Carolina’s future primary elections for president and statewide offices, but they may have to come up with a compromise about when that change would start. The House on Tuesday voted nearly along party lines to approve a bill that would permanently move the primaries from May to March. But the 71-46 vote came after members agreed to delay the bill’s start date until 2020. Two months ago, the Senate unanimously approved the permanent change, starting in 2018. The measure now returns to the Senate, where lawmakers must decide whether they want to accept the House amendment or force negotiations on a compromise.Full Article: Change could lead to compromise in push to move up primaries | Associated Press | greensboro.com.
California: Trump wouldn’t release his tax returns, so lawmakers move to make it mandatory for California’s primary | Los Angeles Times
Legislation to require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns in order to gain a spot on California’s presidential primary ballot won passage in the state Senate on Wednesday, but only after a tense debate that largely centered on President Trump. Senate Bill 149 was approved on a strict party-line vote, 27-13. The bill now moves to the state Assembly, and was one of the last bills debated during a marathon session at the state Capitol to consider bills before a Friday deadline for action. The bill would require presidential candidates to file copies of their income tax returns with state elections officials for the five most recent taxable years. Failure to do so would mean their name wouldn’t appear on California’s presidential primary ballot. The legislation was introduced in December, in the wake of Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax returns during the 2016 campaign. The president has continued to reject calls for the information.Full Article: Trump wouldn't release his tax returns, so lawmakers move to make it mandatory for California's primary - LA Times.
California may hold its presidential primary elections in March after lawmakers in both chambers of the Legislature passed bills Thursday to increase the influence of the nation’s largest and most diverse state. The state Senate passed a bill to move California’s primary from June to the third Tuesday in March. The state Assembly voted to move the primary to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March. One of the bills must pass both houses and be signed by the governor for the date to change.Full Article: California lawmakers vote for earlier primary elections - Business Insider.
With a U.S. Senate election later this year and statewide contests in 2018, Republicans are again trying to keep Democrats out of GOP runoffs. “We feel it’s important, simply, that we pick our team and they pick their team,” said Terry Lathan, chairwoman of the Alabama Republican Party. Senate Bill 108, which passed that chamber, and House Bill 372, require the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office to create rules and procedures to keep someone from voting in a runoff if they didn’t vote in the preceding primary.Full Article: GOP proposal would prevent crossover voting | State Capital | decaturdaily.com.
Colorado: Unaffiliated? You can vote in Colorado’s 2018 party primaries. But should the party you choose be public information? | The Colorado Independent
Next year, unaffiliated voters —the state’s largest voting bloc—for the first time will be able to help choose the Democratic or Republican nominee in a Colorado governor’s race while still remaining unaffiliated. That’s because voters last year passed a ballot measure allowing those who choose not to join a political party to participate in the party primaries. Unaffiliated voters, however, can only pick one primary to vote in— they can’t vote in both.
And here’s something those non-party people should know: The primary they choose could become public information. Colorado’s Republican secretary of state, Wayne Williams, is pushing for such disclosure as he develops rules to implement the new law before the 2018 statewide gubernatorial primaries. He says such transparency is about voter integrity.
Colorado: Critics blast plan to track unaffiliated voters casting ballots in Colorado’s party primaries | The Denver Post
A proposal backed by the Colorado secretary of state to track which primaries independents vote in is drawing fire from critics who say it could undermine the intent of two initiatives that opened party primary elections to unaffiliated voters. If approved, it would allow Colorado’s political parties to obtain voter-specific data on who’s voting in each primary, much as they do with voters who register as Republicans or Democrats. Supporters of such a move, including Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams and both political parties, say it’s needed to ensure the integrity of the state’s elections. But elections officials in Denver and Arapahoe counties dispute that line of reasoning, saying they don’t need to know that information to properly administer and audit an election.Full Article: Critics blast plan to track unaffiliated voters casting ballots in Colorado’s party primaries – The Denver Post.
California: Moving to March primary gaining traction: Legislation on presidential races passes key Assembly committee | San Mateo Daily Journal
Legislation to elevate the political influence of one of the nation’s most populous states by bumping up California’s presidential primary received bipartisan support this week as it heads toward the Assembly floor. Assembly-man Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, seeks to move California’s typically June primary to the first Tuesday of March during presidential elections. On Wednesday, Mullin’s bill passed 6-1 through the Assembly’s Committee on Elections and Redistricting, garnering support and dissent from two Republicans. The goal is to provide California, the sixth largest economy in the world and where 1 in 8 U.S. voters resides, with a more influential role in deciding presidential nominations for both the Republican and Democratic parties, Mullin said.Full Article: Moving to March primary gaining traction: Legislation on presidential races passes key Assembly committee - - San Mateo Daily Journal.