The death of North Carolina Rep. Walter B. Jones over the weekend opens up a safe Republican seat on the state’s east coast. The governor must call a special election for the 3rd District. But there is no statutory time frame, so the timing will be up to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. Further west, in the 9th District, voters are still waiting to hear whether there will be a special election for the vacant seat — the results of the 2018 election between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready have not been certified. The North Carolina State Board of Elections is holding an evidentiary hearing on allegations of election fraud on Feb. 18.Full Article: There’s at least one special election coming to North Carolina soon.
Tennessee: Path to new voting machines in Shelby County gets longer with special elections | The Daily Memphian
Don’t look for new voting machines for the October 2019 Memphis elections. Shelby County Elections Administrator Linda Phillips says the special election in state Senate District 32 has pushed back plans for the move to new machines with a paper audit trail. “I do not believe it would be possible to have them in place and do the training and all of the work necessary to have them used in the October elections,” Phillips said Thursday on The Daily Memphian Politics podcast. Early voting was to open Friday in the special primary election for the state Senate seat Republican Mark Norris gave up to become a federal judge. The winners of the primaries advance to a March 12 special general election. The Shelby County Election Commission still plans to issue a request for proposal, or RFP, soon that sets standards for what a new voting system must have for potential vendors to submit bids. The RFP must be cleared by county attorneys and purchasing officials.Full Article: Path to new voting machines gets longer with special elections - The Daily Memphian.
The Democrat in a North Carolina congressional race marred by accusations of election fraud said Monday that his team is already preparing for the possibility of a special election that would supersede the allegedly tainted contest held last month. “We’re gearing up right now in case we do have a special election. This is in the hands of the North Carolina State Board of Elections that’s launched an investigation,” Dan McCready said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Last week, the North Carolina board of elections voted unanimously against certifying the results of November’s midterm election in the 9th Congressional District, which showed McCready losing by around 900 votes to his Republican opponent, Mark Harris.Full Article: North Carolina Democrat preparing for special election in contested congressional race - POLITICO.
Arizona: A Special Election To Replace Senator McCain Must Be Held In 6 Months, Claims New Lawsuit | Arizona Politics
The constitutionality of Arizona’s law giving Governor Doug Ducey the right to control the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the passing of John McCain has been challenged in federal court. A group of plaintiffs led by William Tedards filed the action against Ducey and Senator Jon Kyl yesterday and asks that the Governor be required to call for a special election within six months. Their contention is that the 17th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (text below) which requires that U.S. Senators be elected invalidates the Arizona law (also below) that the special election for a Senate vacancy can only be held at a biennial general election. McCain passed away in August, too late for Governor Ducey to add a primary and general election to be held by November 6, 2018. Instead, he appointed former Kyl to the seat, even as Kyl indicated that he might very well only stay in the position through the end of 2018. That would permit the Governor to make a new appointment for another two years, for a total of 28 months.Full Article: Arizona's Politics: AZ LAW UNCONSTITUTIONAL? A Special Election To Replace Senator McCain Must Be Held In 6 Months, Claims New Lawsuit (BREAKING, READ).
Ohio: Franklin County finds hundreds of uncounted votes in already too-close-to-call special election | The Hill
Ohio election officials on Wednesday found 588 previously uncounted votes in its hotly contested special election for the state’s 12th Congressional District. Officials found the votes in a Columbus suburb, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, netting Democratic candidate Danny O’Connor 190 more votes and narrowing his race against Republican Troy Balderson to 1,564 votes. “The votes from a portion of one voting location had not been processed into the tabulation system,” the Franklin County Board of Elections said in a news release obtained by the paper. Balderson, who was backed by President Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) during his campaign, claimed a narrow victory on Tuesday night for the district which Trump won and which has been held by a Republican since 1983.Full Article: Ohio county finds hundreds of uncounted votes in already too-close-to-call special election | TheHill.
Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, wants to make a drastic change to how legislative vacancies are filled, taking power away from party delegates and giving it to voters. Currently, when a legislator steps down from office, their replacement is determined by a vote of party delegates from their district. Most recently, Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, retired and Republican delegates in her district chose Rep. Keith Grover, R-Provo, as her replacement. Once Grover’s appointment is approved by Gov. Gary Herbert, GOP delegates in his former House district will then get to pick his replacement. Bramble argues it’s time to scrap that replacement method in favor of a special election.Full Article: Utah may move to special elections to fill legislative vacancies.
Arizona: Lawmakers at odds over a bill that could keep a McCain successor off the ballot this year | The Washington Post
State lawmakers in Arizona are sparring over legislation that would give a Republican successor to Sen. John McCain a pass on having to stand for election in November even if the ailing six-term senator resigns or dies before the end of next month. Leaders of the Republican-controlled state Senate say they plan a vote next week on the measure, which could have implications on control of the U.S. Senate and has intensified the spotlight on the health of McCain (R-Ariz.), who is battling brain cancer. Democrats have cried foul and are vowing to block the bill, which they say reflects how worried Republicans are about defending GOP-held seats, even in a red state like Arizona. The state’s other U.S. Senate seat is also on the ballot in November, as Sen. Jeff Flake (R) is not seeking reelection.Full Article: Arizona lawmakers at odds over a bill that could keep a McCain successor off the ballot this year - The Washington Post.
Gov. Greg Abbott has asked Attorney General Ken Paxton for a legal opinion on whether Abbott can suspend state election law to call a special election “as soon as is legally possible” to fill the congressional seat left vacant when embattled U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, resigned two weeks ago. In a letter to Attorney General Ken Paxton Thursday, Abbott said he is concerned that state and federal law may not allow an election earlier than September. Abbott said he is concerned that coastal Texans continuing to seek federal relief from Hurricane Harvey damage lack representation in Congress. Abbott writes in the letter that “it is imperative to restore representation” to the voters of the 27th Congressional District, which stretches from Corpus Christi to Bastrop and Caldwell counties. Abbott noted that all of the district’s 13 counties are covered by his most recent disaster declaration for areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.Full Article: Greg Abbott seeks to call a special election for Farenthold seat.
Arizona Republicans appeared to back off their efforts Wednesday to rig the rules to keep Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) seat in their column, pulling from the state Senate floor a proposed change in state law that would have guaranteed a lengthy appointment from the GOP governor should the ailing senator leave office in the coming weeks. Statehouse Republicans seemingly tried to pull a fast one on their Democratic counterparts, quietly adding an emergency clause to a bipartisan bill to clean up special election laws in the state that would have handed Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) assurance that he’d get to appoint a replacement for McCain through 2020.Full Article: AZ GOP Appears To Back Off Attempt To Rig Rules For McCain’s Senate Seat – Talking Points Memo.
Seven voters in New York’s 25th Congressional District have filed a lawsuit against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, for failing, so far, to call a special election. The seat has been vacant since long-serving Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter died on March 16. The plaintiffs said because the governor has not issued a Proclamation of Election in a “reasonably timely manner,” they have been denied their constitutionally-protected rights to vote and to representation. The suit claimed Cuomo is required to call the election and should have been prepared to do so promptly after Slaughter died.Full Article: NY-25 Voters File Lawsuit To Force Special Election.
Wisconsin: Gov. Scott Walker abandons court fight to hold off special elections | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
An appellate judge Wednesday became the third in a week to rule against Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to hold off on two special elections, prompting Walker to abandon an attempt to take the issue to the state Supreme Court. Walker is expected to order the special legislative elections by Thursday’s noon deadline set by a judge last week. Walker and his fellow Republicans who control the Legislature this week have been advancing legislation that could avoid the special elections and they could still pursue that option — which would trigger a new court fight.Full Article: Gov. Scott Walker abandons court fight to hold off special elections.
Michigan: Federal judge dismisses complaint to hold earlier elections to replace Conyers | Detroit Free Press
The special election dates to replace former U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, who resigned last year amid complaints of sexual harassment, will remain in August and November after a federal judge dismissed a complaint by voters who wanted the election to be held sooner. U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith dismissed the complaint against Gov. Rick Snyder, who set the special election dates to coincide with the August primary and the November general election. The schedule left some voters in Conyers’ 13th congressional district angry that the seat would be vacant for a year. The plaintiffs — Debra Rhodes, Gloria Mounger, Thomas Williams, Laura Dennis, and Vivian Wordlaw — argued that the the vacancy left them disenfranchised and violated the voting rights act.Full Article: Elections to replace Conyers will remain in August, November.
Wisconsin: Walker Says He Dropped Special Elections Appeal Because It Was Clear He Would Lose | Wisconsin Public Radio
Gov. Scott Walker said he decided to drop an appeal of a special elections lawsuit because it became clear he was not going to win in court. Walker was rebuked by three judges over the past week for his decision to delay calling special elections in Wisconsin’s 1st Senate District and 42nd Assembly District. Walker considered appealing his case to the state Supreme Court where conservatives hold a 5-2 majority, but he changed his mind and called special elections for June 12. Walker said he made the decision when it became clear the plaintiffs who brought a lawsuit to force him to call the elections were going to win.Full Article: Walker Says He Dropped Special Elections Appeal Because It Was Clear He Would Lose | Wisconsin Public Radio.
Wisconsin: Judge today reaffirms ruling that Walker must call special elections for two seats that have been vacant over a year | Wisconsin Gazette
A circuit judge today reaffirmed a prior ruling that ordered Scott Walker to call for special elections in two legislative districts that have remained unrepresented for over a year. The seats became vacant when Walker tapped Republican Sen. Frank Lasee and Rep. Keith Ripp to serve in his administration. The initial ruling came from Dane County Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds, who was appointed by Walker. Reynolds ruled last week on a case brought by voters in the two districts, who argued that Walker’s failure to act had left them disenfranchised. Their judges asked Reynolds to force Walker to call the elections, and she did, ordering him to do so by Thursday.Full Article: Judge today reaffirms ruling that Walker must call special elections for two seats that have been vacant over a year | News | wisconsingazette.com.
Wisconsin: Judge orders Scott Walker to hold special elections in Holder suit | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Dealing a setback to Gov. Scott Walker and other Republicans, a judge ruled Thursday the governor must call special elections to fill two vacant seats in the Legislature. Walker declined to call those elections after two GOP lawmakers stepped down to join his administration in December. His plan would have left the seats vacant for more than a year. Voters in those areas took him to court with the help of a group headed by Eric Holder, the first attorney general under Democratic President Barack Obama.Full Article: Judge orders Scott Walker to hold special elections in Holder suit.
If a voter in Wisconsin sues the state to try and compel the governor to call a special election, they might have a hard time finding precedent for that action. A plaintiff in such a case can make specific arguments about what state law requires a governor to do when a state legislative seat becomes vacant, and perhaps broader constitutional arguments about the right of citizens to elect their representatives. But special-elections lawsuits are hard to find in Wisconsin’s legal history, and similar suits in other states have little to no bearing on how a judge should interpret Wisconsin law. On top of that limitation, federal courts haven’t really given state-level judges much to go on.Full Article: A Lack Of Precedent In Wisconsin's Special Elections Lawsuit | WisContext.
If the time is short, leave the seat empty. The House Constitution, Campaigns and Elections Committee on Wednesday approved a constitutional amendment that would end special elections for legislative vacancies that take place 13 months before the next statewide general election. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Rusty Glover, R-Semmes, got altered before passing the Senate last week. The proposal at first would have allowed the governor to appoint legislators to vacancies if there were less than two years remaining in the term. But Glover said that idea — which would expand the chief executive’s powers in a state government weighted toward the Legislature — faced a struggle.Full Article: Some special elections would end under proposed amendment.
Call it a political paradise if you live in certain places in Alabama and don’t miss an opportunity to cast a vote. The practicality of it all, however, remains questionable. Simply put, there are three special election cycles ongoing right now to fill vacancies in the Alabama legislature. But the winners of those races will not be elected until after the ongoing legislative session ends. And unless they are re-elected in the state’s regular 2018 election cycle, which begins with the June 5 Democratic and Republican primaries, they will leave office without ever casting a single vote as a state lawmaker. “There’s no logic to it but it doesn’t have anything to do with logic,” said John Merrill, the state’s top elections official as Secretary of State.Full Article: 'No logic' to Alabama's special elections, which may be outlawed anyway | AL.com.
An pro-Democratic redistricting group headed by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sued Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, on Monday for declining to hold special elections for two vacant seats in the state legislature. The National Democratic Redistricting Committee alleged in the lawsuit filed in Dane County Circuit Court that Walker was violating the law and denying Wisconsin voters representation by leaving the elected offices unfilled until 2019. The seats, one in the state Assembly and the other in the state Senate, became vacant in December when two Republican lawmakers resigned to accept jobs in Walker’s administration.Full Article: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker sued for not calling special elections.
Wisconsin: Eric Holder’s group sues Gov. Scott Walker over special elections | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A group led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sued Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Monday over his refusal to call special elections to fill two open legislative seats. Fresh off a victory in a Senate special election last month, Wisconsin Democrats have demanded that Walker call these two additional special elections and give their party an opportunity to notch more wins. With Democrats seeing an opportunity — and Republicans seeing a threat — the controversy over the special election has taken on a strong political cast. Holder’s group, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, jumped into the fight Monday, bringing the lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court on behalf of Wisconsin Democrats who live in the two districts.Full Article: Eric Holder's group sues WI Gov. Scott Walker over special elections.