special election

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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.

North Carolina: Federal court leaves open possibility for special elections this year | News & Observer

The three federal judges who could decide whether North Carolina will have special elections this year in state legislative races issued notice Friday that they plan to act quickly. The memorandum comes four days after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling unanimously affirming that 28 of North Carolina’s districts used to elect members to the state Senate and state House of Representatives are illegal racial gerrymanders that diluted the overall power of black voters. The challengers of the 2011 redistricting plan submitted a request on Thursday to the three-judge panel asking for quick resolution to fix the gerrymandered districts.

Full Article: US judges correcting NC racial gerrymanders plan to act quickly | News & Observer.

New Jersey: Lawmakers to test Christie again on changing elections | NJ.com

The state Senate approved a bill Thursday that seeks to end special elections in New Jersey to fill congressional vacancies and instead let voters choose replacements in the general election. The bill (S1737) would also require the governor to choose someone of the same political party when filling any vacancies in the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives. The proposal is all but sure to face rejection from Gov. Chris Christie, who vetoed a similar measure in 2013.

Full Article: Lawmakers to test Christie again on changing N.J. elections | NJ.com.

Montana: Special election comes with unusual schedule, polling place changes | KTVH

With less than a day remaining until polls open in Montana’s special congressional election, county officials are busy getting ready. “Sometimes I think of planning the election kind of like planning a wedding, where there’s months and months of preparation,” said Audrey McCue, Lewis and Clark County’s elections supervisor. “The day before the election we’re wrapping up all of those preparations, getting everything ready to go, and then on Election Day, it’s the big event, the main event.”

Full Article: Montana’s special election comes with unusual schedule, polling place changes | KTVH.com.

Utah: Hughes says no lawsuit over special election flap likely, but legislature will make changes in 2018 | UtahPolicy

House Speaker Greg Hughes says he doesn’t expect lawmakers to sue Governor Gary Herbert over the special election to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz, but he does think the governor overstepped his bounds. Lawmakers had talked about a lawsuit after Gov. Herbert refused to call the legislature into session to set the procedure to fill Chaffetz’s seat. Instead, Herbert set up the process to choose a replacement once he steps down on June 30. I warned my colleagues that during our conversations with the governor that if we could not work this out in a reasonable way, this is a battle we could not win,” said Hughes. “I warned my colleagues that this is one of the problems with not being able to call ourselves into a special session like 35 other states.”

Full Article: Hughes says no lawsuit over special election flap likely, but legislature will make changes in 2018.

Montana: Special election costs counties big money | NBC

It’s not often the state has a massive election just six months after deciding the president. Montanans know how high the stakes are. “It’s one of the basic requirements of citizenship is to go out and take part and vote,” Flathead County voter Rod Ayres said. But Montana’s special election, scheduled to take place Thursday between Democrat Rob Quist, Republican Greg Gianforte and Libertarian Mark Wicks, is costing local election offices big money. Montana’s lone U.S. House seat is vacant following Ryan Zinke’s appointment to Secretary of the Interior. We made calls around the region to find out how much this election costs.

Full Article: Montana special election costs counties big money - NBC Montana.

Montana: Special election means additional costs for counties | KRTV

The May federal election brought unexpected expenses for Montana counties. The election to replace Ryan Zinke comes just months after the statewide 2016 general election. There was a big push by county elections officials statewide to bring down that cost by having the option to conduct the election by all-mail ballots. “There was 169 out of 174 commissioners and probably 70% of them were republicans that supported this, all 56 clerk and recorders supported this and we just could not get them to take action on it,” said Cascade County Clerk and Recorder Rina Moore. 

Full Article: Montana's special election means additional costs for counties - KRTV.com | Great Falls, Montana.

Utah: Condensed special election calendar set – and it’s already started | The Salt Lake Tribune

Just one day after Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced his date of departure from Congress, state officials released an expedited timeline to fill his soon-to-be-vacated 3rd Congressional District seat. Filing started Friday afternoon — and remains open for one week — with many candidates having already announced their bids in a mad scramble to join the race. The field will be set by June 30, the day Chaffetz steps down. A special election is scheduled for Nov. 7, aligning with voting for municipal offices. If needed — and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox said it is “very likely” — a primary will be held on Aug. 15. The deadlines, Cox said, are meant to “mirror as closely as possible” the standard process. “This is an election,” he said. “It’s not an appointment.”

Full Article: Utah sets condensed special election calendar -- and it's already started | The Salt Lake Tribune.

Utah: Legislators lobbing threats at Herbert in the fight over a special election to replace Chaffetz | UtahPolicy

Within the bounds of Utah Republican congenial politics, what’s happening now on Capitol Hill between GOP Gov. Gary Herbert and Republicans lawmakers is about as bad as it’s been in recent years. Wednesday, members of the House GOP caucus basically threatened to sue Herbert before the state Supreme Court over whether he will call them into a special session to decide how a replacement for U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz will be picked. Meanwhile, House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, told an open caucus meeting that Chaffetz’s resignation could come as soon as next week, but surely before the end of June.

Full Article: Legislators lobbing threats at Herbert in the fight over a special election to replace Chaffetz.

Utah: Lawmaker fires warning over process for replacing Chaffetz | Deseret News

The conflict between Utah’s governor and state Legislature escalated Thursday after Rep. Jason Chaffetz officially announced his plans to leave Congress, with legislative leadership threatening legal action over how the vacancy is filled. Gov. Gary Herbert has said he will not call a special session of the Legislature for state lawmakers to set the process for replacing Chaffetz, R-Utah, when he steps down June 30. In response, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, issued a statement warning Herbert that “the path forward with the least amount of legal risk would be for the governor to call a special session to allow lawmakers to add appropriate election language to the state code.”

Full Article: Lawmaker fires warning over process for replacing Chaffetz | Deseret News.

Utah: GOP proposes rule change targeting special elections for Congress | Utah Policy

GOP Gov. Gary Herbert may well be facing a group of unhappy Republican Party delegates on May 20. He likely will be one of the few in the South Towne Convention Center advocating for a dual-route for candidates to a U.S. House special vacancy election. These are the same delegates who a year ago came within 140 votes of trying to kick Herbert out of office, giving their majority votes to his challenger, Overstock.com chairman Jonathan Johnson. Johnson failed to get 60 percent of the state delegate votes and faced Herbert in a closed June 2018 primary, where Herbert (popular among Republicans at large) crushed Johnson. Here is the proposed bylaw change, which delegates will vote on next Saturday.

Full Article: Utah GOP proposes rule change targeting special elections for Congress.

Utah: Legislative leader looks at limiting governor’s power to call special session | KSL

The conflict between state lawmakers and Gov. Gary Herbert over how to handle a potential special election to fill a congressional vacancy has sparked a proposal to limit the governor’s power to call special sessions of the Legislature. “In certain circumstances, it looks like we need to be able to call ourselves in special session,” House Majority Leader Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, told the Deseret News on Friday. “The time has come for us to debate this issue.” Wilson said he plans to propose an amendment to the Utah Constitution that would take away at least some of the governor’s control over special sessions. If passed by at least two-thirds of the Legislature, it would go before voters in November 2018.

Full Article: Legislative leader looks at limiting governor's power to call special session | KSL.com.

Georgia: 6th district runoff: Judge orders Georgia to reopen voter registration | Atlanta Journal Constitution

A federal judge on Thursday ordered Georgia to temporarily reopen voter registration ahead of a hotly contested congressional runoff in the 6th District. U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten made the ruling as part of a broader lawsuit by a Washington-based advocacy group, which last month accused Georgia of violating federal law by reducing the amount of time residents have to register to vote. Voter registration shut down March 20 ahead of the deciding runoff June 20 for the 6th District election, which is being held in the northern suburbs of metro Atlanta. Batten, however, ordered registration immediately reopened until May 21.

Full Article: 6th district runoff: Judge orders Georgia to reopen voter registration.

Utah: Who has upper hand in fight over special election? | Utah Policy

In the fight over how Congressman Jason Chaffetz will be replaced in the event he resigns, Gov. Gary Herbert has an advantage. He’s by far the most popular politician in the 3rd Congressional District. Herbert, of course, isn’t running to replace Chaffetz. But in his disagreement with key legislative leaders over the special election process, he enjoys a lot of political capital. He can use it to fend off legislative efforts to dictate how party nominees are chosen in a special election. In case you don’t remember, Herbert is perfectly happy to use Utah’s current election process in a special election, allowing candidates to get on the election ballot either by gathering sufficient signatures or by going through the caucus/convention system – or both.

Full Article: Analysis: Who has upper hand in fight over special election?.

Utah: Lawmakers want to define ‘vague’ special election process if Chaffetz steps down early | St George News

Ever since he announced he may leave office early, state lawmakers have been debating how to go about replacing Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz if he steps down from Congress before January 2019. The United States Constitution declares that a vacancy in the House of Representative must be filled via an election held in the congressional district from which the vacancy originates. In contract, filling a vacancy in the Senate isn’t spelled out in the Constitution, leaving it to a state’s governor to appoint an interim replacement. Chaffetz, who represents Utah’s 3rd Congressional District, said last month that he wouldn’t seek re-election at the end of his term, adding he may not even finish his current term. This has led to a question among state lawmakers as to the process of how a replacement may be elected.

Full Article: Lawmakers want to define ‘vague’ special election process if Chaffetz steps down early – St George News.

Iowa: State officials disagree on what to do if Governor resigns | Iowa State Daily

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller issued a formal opinion Monday that if a governor resigns, the lieutenant governor becomes governor for all intents and purposes, but does not have legal authority to appoint a new lieutenant governor. Sen. David Johnson, I-Ocheyedan, requested the opinion following Governor Terry Branstad’s announcement that, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he will serve as U.S. ambassador to China, according to a release. “The lieutenant governor takes on this authority because she is lieutenant governor,” Miller wrote in his opinion. “In other words, upon a governor’s resignation, the lieutenant governor will hold both the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor.” … Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate disagrees. 

Full Article: State officials disagree on what to do if Branstad appointed | News | iowastatedaily.com.

Utah: Governor, legislative leaders disagree over possible special election | Deseret News

There’s increasing disagreement between Gov. Gary Herbert and fellow GOP legislative leaders over how to handle a special election to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz, if the Republican congressman steps down before his term ends. Chaffetz, who two weeks ago surprised Utahns by saying he would not seek re-election and may not serve out his full term, could announce around Memorial Day that he’s leaving Congress as early as June, sources told the Deseret News. Legislative leaders are pushing for the governor to call a special session of the Legislature to spell out how such an election should be conducted, although there’s been disagreement over that between the GOP majority in the House and Senate. But Herbert has said a special session isn’t necessary. Utah law says simply that when there’s a congressional vacancy, the governor issues a proclamation calling an election to fill it.

Full Article: Governor, legislative leaders disagree over possible special election | Deseret News.

Montana: Voters confused over multiple mail ballot elections | Ravalli Republic

In what may be one of the most confusing election cycles ever, voters who cast their ballots by mail need to pay attention this next week. “We have some voters who are definitely confused right now,” said Ravalli County Clerk and Recorder Regina Plettenberg. “We’ve been getting calls from people telling us that they opened their envelopes and found there weren’t any congressional races on their ballots.” That’s because the absentee ballots for the upcoming special election to select Montana’s sole congressman won’t be mailed out until next week. The mail ballots that voters have already received are for several school and one fire district election.

Full Article: Voters confused over multiple mail ballot elections | Local News | ravallirepublic.com.

Nebraska: Legislature moves bill to let unelected senators serve longer | Associated Press

The Nebraska Legislature gave initial approval Thursday to a measure that could let appointed state senators serve more than two and a half years before they face an election, but several lawmakers say the bill needs more work to ensure voters can choose their representative. Vacancies that occur earlier than 60 days before an election now are filled during the election. A proposal by Sen. John Murante of Gretna would instead require that vacancies occur before Feb. 1 of an election year to be filled in the next election.

Full Article: Nebraska moves bill to let unelected senators serve longer | The Herald.

Utah: Hughes wants a special session immediately to address U.S. House vacancies | Utah Policy

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes says Gov. Gary Herbert needs to call an immediate legislative special session to pass a law detailing how a U.S. House replacement is picked. Last week in his monthly KUED Channel 7 press conference Herbert declined to do so – only the governor may call a special session, and he sets the agenda. Herbert said the governor’s power to call a special U.S. House election is good enough for now, as there is no opening to fill currently. But Hughes, who himself is looking to run in such a special election for Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s 3rd Congressional District, says no time should be wasted.

Full Article: Hughes wants a special session immediately to address U.S. House vacancies.