Kansas: Bills on straight-party voting, removing candidate from ballot headed to full House | Lawrence Journal-World

A House committee advanced two bills Monday that would change the way elections are conducted, despite objections from Democrats that one of the bills would impose significant costs on county governments. House Bill 2104 would provide that candidates could be removed from the ballot only if they die on or before Sept. 1. And in those cases, the party affiliated with that candidate would be required to name a replacement. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach had asked for the bill, saying it was a response to controversy in the 2014 election when Democrat Chad Taylor was allowed to withdraw from the U.S. Senate race. Taylor’s withdrawal request did not explicitly state that he would be unable to fulfill the duties of that office if he were elected, as required under current law. The Kansas Supreme Court eventually upheld Taylor’s withdrawal anyway, saying it was enough that he cited the relevant statute in his request. And a three-judge district court panel later ruled that the Democratic Party could not be forced to name another candidate, despite a law saying the party “shall” name a replacement in such cases.

National: Straight-Party voters face a tangled ticket | Rock Hill Herald Online

In 2008 nearly 43 percent of York County voters pushed a single button, voting for all the candidates in their party of choice. That strategy has some petition candidates on the ballot this year encouraging people to vote for the candidates of their choice. About 250 candidates across the state were disqualified from the June primary elections after the S.C. Supreme Court ruled they didn’t file paperwork properly. Among those disqualified were Republican Gary Williams, running for the York County Council District 6; Democrat Roy Blake, running for York County Council District 4; and Republican John Rinehart, running for York County Council District 2. (Joe Thompson, running as a petition candidate against Republican Wes Hayes in S.C. Senate District 15, joined the race after the primary.) Instead Williams, and others, had to get enough voters to sign a petition to put his name on the ballot. Williams is spreading the word while canvassing neighborhoods and has mailed information telling voters how to vote for petition candidates. Those details “will be in anything I mail out or hand out” until the campaign is over, he said.