Alabama lawmakers are pitching nearly two dozen pieces of legislation to retool the state’s elections process. The effort arrives ahead of a 2018 election that will see all of the state’s constitutional offices and legislative seats on the ballot. It also follows one of the major political upsets of modern era when Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore in December’s special U.S. Senate contest. The most notable of the changes would eliminate future special U.S. Senate elections like the one that Jones won. Proponents say that this will save the state millions of dollars; opponents say it will subvert the democratic process. A floor fight could occur in the Alabama Senate next week.Full Article: Alabama Legislature pitches election reform measures following Senate election stunner | AL.com.
A bill to eliminate special elections when there are vacancies in the U.S. Senate is in position for a vote in the Alabama House of Representatives next week. It comes in the wake of last year’s bruising battle to fill the seat Jeff Sessions left to become attorney general, won by Democrat Doug Jones. House Ways and Means General Fund Committee Chairman Steve Clouse, R-Ozark, said his bill to eliminate Senate special elections “has nothing to do with the personalities in last year’s election. It has everything to do with the cost to the General Fund.” Clouse said $11 million has been allocated to cover the cost of the three rounds of the special election to fill Sessions’ seat.Full Article: Bill to eliminate Alabama Senate special elections advances | AL.com.
Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore released a poem on Christmas Eve, just days before the final totals in his losing effort against Democrat Doug Jones are to be certified. Moore’s self-written poem was posted to Facebook. It tells the story of a young girl whose father had died and the following Christmas miracle. “Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!” the note accompanying the video said. Moore has not addressed his loss to Jones, the first Democrat in more than 20 years to be elected to the Senate from Alabama. The former Alabama Chief Justice hasn’t conceded the race, saying he wanted to wait until all military and provisional ballots were counted. That happened last week and did not change the results of the election.Full Article: Roy Moore releases poem, doesn't concede Senate race to Doug Jones | AL.com.
Alabama: Roy Moore still won’t concede the Alabama Senate race. And those write-in votes? Mickey Mouse got a few | Los Angeles Times
It’s been 10 days and Republican Roy Moore has yet to concede in Alabama’s special Senate race, even as election officials move toward certifying Democrat Doug Jones’ victory in the days ahead. As vote tallies from 100% of the state’s precincts show Alabamians have clearly selected Jones, Moore has offered no indication that he plans to concede the race. On Friday, all of Alabama’s 67 counties were required to officially file their election results to the secretary of state’s office. In a statement, Secretary of State John H. Merrill said his office plans to officially certify the election on Dec. 28. Also Friday, some of the names left on thousands of write-in ballots began to emerge. Some names are surprising. Who knew SpongeBob SquarePants had a constituency?Full Article: Roy Moore still won't concede the Alabama Senate race. And those write-in votes? Mickey Mouse got a few – LA Times.
Arizona: Franks’ immediate resignation puts monkey wrench into special election | Arizona Capitol Times
A quirk in state law could force top contenders to replace Trent Franks to choose between a run for Congress and keeping their current jobs in the Legislature. Gov. Doug Ducey is expected to announce Monday the date for the primary election for those who want to vie for the now-open post in Congressional District 8. That can be between Feb. 26 and March 8. But by law, the deadline to submit nominating petitions will be Jan. 10. And that’s what creates the dilemma for sitting lawmakers.Full Article: Franks’ immediate resignation puts monkey wrench into special election – Arizona Capitol Times.
Michigan: Special election to replace Rep. John Conyers Jr. set for November 2018 | The Washington Post
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has scheduled a November 2018 election to replace disgraced Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), a decision that will leave much of Detroit without representation in Congress for nearly a year. “Having ample time for candidates to make a decision about running for office and file their paperwork gives people more options as to who will next represent them in Congress,” Snyder said in a statement. “In order to allow several months for that to take place and to reduce the financial burden on local taxpayers, the primary and general elections will be held when regularly scheduled elections are already occurring.” The 88-year-old Conyers, who served in Congress for 52 years, stepped down Tuesday after multiple former aides accused him of sexual misconduct.Full Article: Special election to replace Rep. John Conyers Jr. set for November 2018 - The Washington Post.
The process of filling the seat left open by the retirement of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, could take some time to sort out and cost a good bit of money. By law, the governor is required to call a special election to select someone to fill out the remainder of the congressman’s term, which ends on Jan. 3, 2019. The governor can schedule that election whenever he wishes, though it often comes on the date of the next regularly scheduled election — which, at present, is May 7, 2018, when there will be balloting for local boards and millages.Full Article: John Conyers retires: What happens next to replace him in Congress?.
Virginia Democrats formally requested a court-ordered special election for the 28th District House of Delegates seat after revelations that more than 100 voters in the Fredericksburg region cast ballots in the wrong House race. Attorneys for the House Democratic Caucus filed court papers late Wednesday afternoon asking a federal judge to require a special election between Democrat Joshua Cole and Republican Del.-elect Bob Thomas, who won by just 82 votes on Nov. 7. They also requested federal court orders preventing Thomas from being seated in January and requiring the State Board of Elections to withdraw its certification of the results.Full Article: Virginia Democrats seek special election for Fredericksburg-area House race | Local | fredericksburg.com.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has rejected the idea that Sen. Luther Strange could resign his Senate seat, sparking a new special election and potentially blocking Roy Moore from being elected to the Senate. National Republican leaders have called on Moore to step aside as the GOP nominee following allegations of sexual misconduct and assault. Politico reported Wednesday that one idea GOP leaders have contemplated is having Strange resign his seat so Ivey could set a new special election. Strange was appointed to the seat in February when Sen. Jeff Sessions resigned to become attorney general. Ivey, the first female Republican governor of Alabama, rejected that in a Wednesday night interview with AL.com.Full Article: Ivey Quashes Idea of Strange Resigning Early to Block Roy Moore.
Gov. Ivey says there are no plans to change the date of the special election for the Senate. With calls increasing for Roy Moore to step aside and Moore refusing to, Alabama’s Secretary of State gives new details on what’s next. If Moore does step down his name will still remain on the ballot, Merrill says. The reason? “We are too close to the election and there cannot be any changes made to the ballot,” Merrill said. Merrill said the Republican Party cannot substitute a candidate, in part because people in Alabama have already begun voting.Full Article: Sec. of State Merrill says date of special election unlikely to - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news..
One possible consequence of the controversy engulfing Roy Moore’s campaign for the U.S. Senate is apparently off the table. Josh Pendergrass, communications director for Gov. Kay Ivey, said today the governor does not intend to change the date of the Dec. 12 election. “The Governor is not considering and has no plans to move the special election for the U.S. Senate,” Pendergrass said in a text message. Moore has strongly denied the allegation reported by the Washington Post that he dated and had a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32.Full Article: Gov. Kay Ivey has no plans to change Senate election date | AL.com.
What could Louisiana do with $6 million? How far do you think the state could stretch that money in additional infrastructure projects or health care? Those are the questions Secretary of State Tom Schedler is asking after the Oct. 14 elections garnered a scant 13.6 percent voter turnout statewide, and he’s asking lawmakers to allow some incomplete terms to be filled via appointment rather than special election to save voters money. In an interview with The News-Star, Schedler said he’s worked since taking office in 2010 to decrease the number of statewide elections, when possible, to reduce costs.Full Article: Schedler proposes appointments to reduce special elections.
Utah: Records committee: Attorney General opinion on special election should be public | Deseret News
A legal opinion sought by the Utah Legislature about the special election to fill former Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s seat in Congress should be made public, the State Records Committee determined Thursday. Attorney General Sean Reyes’ office wrote an opinion but withheld it from the public, citing an ethical concern over a potential conflict of interest with Gov. Gary Herbert and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, who set up the special election over protests from lawmakers. The opinion was a key point in the dispute earlier this year between both Republican and Democratic lawmakers and the GOP governor over who should have established the process for the special election for the remaining year of Chaffetz’s term.Full Article: Records committee: A.G. opinion on special election to replace Chaffetz should be public | Deseret News.
With various legislator scandals and resignations, the Oklahoma State Election Board is on track to spend as much as a quarter of a million dollars on special elections this year. Eight state legislators have resigned their seats early since Dec. 31, 2016. Along with multiple resignations due to various sex and malfeasance scandals at the Oklahoma Legislature, a few lawmakers also have stepped down over the past year to take new full-time jobs. Among three special elections scheduled for Nov. 14 is one to replace Rep. David Brumbaugh, R-Broken Arrow, who died while in office.Full Article: Lawmaker resignations cause growing special election costs for state | News OK.
In the future, any special U.S. Senate races would happen during a general election cycle and not in a separate off-cycle election like the one currently underway, according to proposed legislation. Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark, has pre-filed for next year’s session a bill to allow the governor to appoint an interim senator until the next general election, which happen every two years. Cost is a driving concern, Clouse said today. The Legislative Fiscal Office estimates that the primary, runoff and general election this year to replace Jeff Sessions will each cost about $3.5 million.Full Article: Bill would align special U.S. Senate races with general elections | State Capital | timesdaily.com.
Federal judges on Monday rejected a request by North Carolina voters who sued over General Assembly district boundaries to hold special elections next March in new districts once lines are redrawn to eliminate illegal racial gerrymandering. The unanimous order by the three-judge panel means the next legislative elections won’t occur until November 2018, as regularly scheduled. But the judges did tell Republican lawmakers who control the legislature that they’ll have to approve new House and Senate boundaries by this September — at least two months earlier than GOP leaders sought. The three judges ordered lawmakers to draw the new maps by Sept. 1 but wrote that they would extend the deadline to Sept. 15 if lawmakers make enough progress on new boundaries in the next few weeks. Such movement would include disclosing remedial plans and creating a method by which the public and other legislators can make comments and present evidence.Full Article: Judges: No special elections for redrawn NC districts - ABC News.
County officials are asking the state to help cover the $1.5 million in primary and general election costs associated with filling the U.S. House seat in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District. State lawmakers, elections officials and a representative from the Utah Association of Counties discussed the cost expectations for the upcoming special election to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, during a Wednesday meeting at the Capitol. Running the special election simultaneously with municipal elections should keep the overall price tag down, officials said, but much of the costs will still fall on the counties. “Money can be saved if you run multiple elections at the same time,” said Justin Lee, deputy director of elections with the lieutenant governor’s office. “We are saving quite a bit of money, but we’re not saving all the money.”Full Article: Counties seek state's help with special election cost | Deseret News.
When former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz resigned on June 30, he sent state officials scrambling to organize Utah’s first congressional special election in 87 years. Now, counties must cough up hundreds of thousands of dollars in unexpected costs to pay for it. As counties gear up for the Aug. 15 GOP primary, they’re estimating it will cost more than $675,000 to host the special election, particularly in areas that otherwise wouldn’t be holding municipal primaries. … With more than 60 percent of 3rd District voters, Utah County will eat the majority of the cost — which Utah County Clerk/Auditor Bryan Thompson says will be paid for out of the county’s “rainy day” fund.Full Article: Chaffetz resignation requires counties to pony up $675K for special election | Deseret News.
North Carolina Republican legislative leaders are re-affirming opposition to a special election this fall or winter for General Assembly seats, but say they’re prepared to redraw districts for the scheduled November 2018 election. The lawmakers’ attorneys responded Thursday to a Greensboro federal court seeking input about what to do after last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Justices agreed nearly 30 districts are racial gerrymanders and should be thrown out. But the high court rejected the Greensboro court’s order for a special election and wrote more work was needed evaluating whether it’s necessary. The GOP leaders say they’ve already laid out a schedule to draw new maps by this November. They say accelerating the timetable could short-circuit public and legislative feedback on maps and could prevent orderly elections.Full Article: Legislative leaders urge court to avoid NC special election | Myrtle Beach Sun News.
Utah: Lawmakers put brakes on action against governor over special election — for now | Deseret News
Lawmakers put the brakes on taking action Wednesday in their ongoing dispute with Gov. Gary Herbert over the special election process to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. “We could give you a bunch of different options today, but I think it’s more important we give you a plan,” House Majority Whip Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton, told the House GOP caucus, promising they’ll see something “relatively soon.” Even an attempt by Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, to have the caucus vote to encourage Chaffetz to rescind his intent to resign on June 30 was shot down by Gibson, who conducted the caucus.Full Article: Lawmakers put brakes on action against governor over special election — for now | Deseret News.