Arizona: Ballots could split federal, state races to enforce citizenship-to-vote law | Arizona Daily Star

Secretary of State Ken Bennett is directing election officials to separate their federal election ballots from state and local races to keep those who cannot prove citizenship from voting in the latter. Bennett’s order followed a formal opinion Monday by state Attorney General Tom Horne. He conceded that, for the time being, Arizona must allow people who use a special form designed by the federal Election Assistance Commission to register to vote, even though that form does not require proof of citizenship. Arizona voters mandated such proof in 2004. But the U.S. Supreme Court concluded Congress is entitled to require states to accept the federally designed registration form. Horne said Monday that he believes that directive applies only to elections for federal offices like the president and congressional races, which he believes frees Arizona to apply its proof-of-citizenship mandate for anyone who wants to vote for anything from governor on down the ballot.

Virginia: Democrats Sue Over State’s Voter Registration Purge | Businessweek

Virginia’s Democratic Party sued the state alleging that a plan to purge about 57,000 voters from registration lists threatens the constitutional right to vote just weeks before the Nov. 5 election. The lawsuit, which names Republican Governor Robert McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as defendants, seeks a court order barring the state’s election board and county and city registrars from purging voters before the November election. Cuccinelli, a Republican, is running to replace McDonnell, who by law can’t stand for re-election. Members of the Democratic Party of Virginia “and thousands of other citizens will be at risk of having their voting rights unlawfully stripped away through standard-less, ad hoc determinations by county and city registrars,” according to the complaint filed Oct. 1 in federal court in Alexandria.View the formal complaint here.

Yemen: SCER postpones voter registration process | Yemen Times

The Supreme Committee for Elections and Referendum (SCER) will postpone the voter registration process until the country’s National Dialogue Conference (NDC) is over and all political parties have reached a consensus on issues pertaining to elections. National elections are slated for February 2014. SCER was scheduled to begin registering voters in a new electoral system nationwide starting in September. The registration system was crafted as a four-phrase process, each phase lasting 27 days. It was slated to draw to a conclusion at the end of December.

Nebraska: Gale hopes online registration, mail-in ballots boost turnout | McCook Daily Gazette

Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale hopes to increase voter turnout by allowing online registration and expanding on the use of all-mail ballots in special elections. Gale visited McCook Wednesday and said he intended to seek legislative approval in the coming session for online registration and believed the Internet could help the state reach out to more voters. “Hopefully it will be a big convenience, voters wouldn’t have to secure a paper form or even go to their county office,” said Gale. Gale said he planned to confirm the online submissions by asking legislators to allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to populate the voter database with driver’s license numbers and the last four digits of citizen’s social security number. “This will help authenticate citizenship and ensure valid and appropriate registration,” said Gale, adding that he needed legislative authorization to do it.

Nevada: Republican Assemblyman criticized for remarks about minority, young voters | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey, R-Reno, has come under fire this week, including from Sen. Dean Heller, for making comments that may have been factually correct but are unwise in today’s political world. During a Tuesday appearance on a Reno radio talk show, Hickey said Republicans in Nevada may pick up seats in next year’s election because many minorities and young people don’t vote in non-presidential elections. “Probably where we had a million voters turn out in 2012, we’ll have like 700,000,” Hickey told radio station KOH. “A lot of minorities and a lot of younger people will not turn out in a non-presidential (year). It’s a great year for Republicans.” Democrats have a 97,000 voter registration advantage over Republicans and control the state Senate, 11-10, and Assembly, 27-15. Heller, R-Nev., in a statement Thursday called the assemblyman’s comments “divisive, insensitive, and run counter to the basic duties and honor of public service. Assemblyman Hickey should know that it is a privilege to represent Nevada’s many cultures and ethnicities.”

Iowa: Lawsuit challenging voting rules advances in court | Associated Press

Two civil rights groups will proceed with their lawsuit challenging Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz’s authority to pass emergency voting rules in the months before an election. It comes after a judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit over the weekend. Polk County Judge Scott Rosenberg said in a ruling Saturday that since there is nothing to stop the secretary of state from attempting to pass voting rules again prior to an election, the court must hear the case and resolve the issues. “If Schultz refiles these emergency rules before a future election, the same issues will arise of whether he abused the emergency rulemaking process, exceeded his statutory authority, and violated the right to vote,” Rosenberg wrote.

Nevada: Pat Hickey, Nevada Legislator, Explains Minority Voting Comments | Huffington Post

The top Republican in the Nevada Assembly said during a radio talk show Tuesday that low turnout from minority and young voters could contribute to a winning election season for the GOP in 2014. Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey (R-Reno) is coming under fire from state Democrats for comments he made on the Dan Mason Show on KOH 780-AM radio in Nevada. “We have some real opportunities in 2014,” Hickey said during the Tuesday broadcast. “It is a great year in a non-presidential election. Seemingly no Democrats at the top of the ticket against (Republican Gov. Brian) Sandoval. No Harry Reid. Probably where we had a million voters out there in 2012, we have 700,000. A lot of minorities, a lot of younger people will not turn out in a non-presidential. It is a great year for Republicans.”

North Carolina: College students must jump through new hoops to vote where they go to school | Smoky Mountain News

The new voter identification requirement won’t likely affect North Carolinians who have put down roots, but more transient populations including college students may find the new regulations cumbersome.  College students in North Carolina will have to make an extra effort if they want to vote in their college town — though it won’t be an impossible feat. The greatest obstacle for students could be the new photo ID requirement at the polls. But not just any photo ID. A driver’s license with a student’s hometown address won’t fly at the polls. “That was really the number one concern that I was hearing from students,” said Christopher Coward, head of Student Government Association at Haywood Community College. “It might make it harder for students to get out to the polls.” Nothing is technically stopping a college student from registering to vote where they go to school. But the address on a their photo ID must be an exact match to the address they list on their voter registration. “I can think of 20 students right now who probably don’t have their current address on their state-issued ID,” Coward said.

National: White House: Americans Can Register To Vote When Signing Up For Obamacare | TPM

Americans will be able to register to vote when applying for insurance through Obamacare, a White House official told TPM Tuesday, despite reports to the contrary and outcry from congressional Republicans. Mother Jones reported earlier Tuesday on a report from progressive groups, which asserted that the Obama administration was planning to back down from its plan to offer voter registration on the federal marketplace, which will cover 36 states. The source of the claim is unclear, which the Mother Jones article acknowledged, but it sparked some panic among liberal activists. Not to worry, a senior administration official told TPM: Voter registration through the health insurance marketplaces will continue as planned. The official said any reports to the contrary were “inaccurate.” Insurance applications filed under the health care reform law are required by law to have a section for voter registration. The 1993 National Voter Registration Act mandates that any government agencies providing government services must also provide people with access to voter registration.

Editorials: Broken system – plan to move citizenship information from the Kansas Department of Revenue to election officials falls apart | Lawrence Journal World

So much for the “seamless” system of moving citizenship information from the Kansas Department of Revenue to Kansas election officials. The demise of the system touted by Secretary of State Kris Kobach when he pushed for passage of a law requiring new Kansas voters to provide proof of citizenship was confirmed in a recent interview in which Secretary of Revenue Nick Jordan said Kansas no longer plans to require people obtaining or renewing driver’s licenses to produce proof they are living in the U.S. legally. If people voluntarily present birth certificates, passports or other citizenship documents when getting their licenses, that will be noted on their driver’ licenses, but the Revenue Department apparently will take no responsibility for gathering or forwarding that information to facilitate voter registration in the state. The federal “Motor Voter” law requires that people be allowed to register to vote when they get a driver’s license, but it includes no provision for proving citizenship. State officials originally had planned to require additional information on drivers licenses to conform to a 2005 federal anti-terrorism law. However, after learning recently that Kansas already complies with the federal law, the Revenue Department decided to shift its policy. The driver’s license offices have had problems of their own serving customers in a timely fashion, and, as Jordan noted, the primary purpose of those offices is to issue driver’s licenses, not collect voter registration data. “(P)eople are coming in for a driver’s license,” he said, “and we want to move them through.”

Colorado: Officials reviewing voter fraud allegations | Colorado Springs Gazette

About 268 voters registered to vote or changed their address through election day to vote in the Senate District 11 successful recall of Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs. The historic recall elections Tuesday in El Paso and Pueblo counties were the first under a new law that allows election day address changes and voter registration. Christy Le Lait, who ran Morse’s campaign to stay in office, said a stunt illustrating how to abuse that law that was covered widely by the media has cast a pall of doubt over those votes. “What is real, what isn’t, what’s fraud?” Le Lait asked. “I don’t even know how you start to look at that.” Morse, the sitting Senate president, was removed from office by 343 votes in the special election taken to the ballot by citizens angered by stricter gun laws who signed a recall petition. Le Lait said there are no plans to challenge the election results, which could be certified any day.

National: After Contentious, Impromptu Debate on Enforcement Procedures, FEC Deadlocks on Two Advisory Opinion Requests, Approves a Third | In the Arena

Before the Federal Election Commission took up the scheduled agenda at today’s public meeting, a contentious debate broke out over its continued inability to agree on whether and how to revise its enforcement procedures. Commissioners have disagreed over how to handle fact-finding during enforcement investigations, as well as proposed guidelines on information sharing with the Department of Justice. In an hour-long back-and-forth, Commissioners McGahn, Hunter and Petersen all called for prompt consideration of the proposed Office of General Counsel (OGC) Enforcement Manual. Commission Chair Weintraub acknowledged that she had placed a hold on consideration of the manual, but criticized McGahn for publicly discussing the matter. While she did not explicitly state when she would remove the hold, Weintraub argued that only after a new general counsel is appointed and two new Commissioners are confirmed by the Senate would there be enough of a “level playing field” to warrant a vote on the manual. (There is currently one vacant seat on the Commission, and McGahn has announced his plans to leave in the near future.) Commissioner Walther (via phone connection) said that while the agency had made “unprecedented improvements in transparency” regarding its enforcement procedures, it needed to go further. Eventually, Chair Weintraub brought the discussion to a close, citing the fact that the matter was not included on the agenda.

Editorials: McCutcheon Supreme Court case could give money more say in politics | Facing South

Why are social justice organizations up in arms about an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case involving political contribution limits? It might have something to do with America’s widening income inequality, which in many ways is being financed by wealthy campaign donors. A ruling in favor of lifting limits on the amount individuals can contribute would allow the wealthiest of the wealthy to control parties in ways that would make the Great Gatsby proud. McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission is seen by campaign finance reform watchdogs as a sequel to Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that held the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting political independent expenditures by corporations, associations, or labor unions. Independent expenditures are campaign communications that support or oppose candidates but are made independently of the candidate, committee, or party. In other words, the Supreme Court said that money talks and political races are not the venue to hush it — even if spending by Fortune 500 companies might drown out the political expressions of people of color and those of limited means.

Arizona: Petition drive seeks to block ‘bad’ election laws | Camp Verde Bugle

Voters apparently are going to get the last word on controversial changes in state election laws pushed through by Republicans at the end of last session. Backers of a referendum drive turned in 146,028 signatures on petitions to block the changes from being implemented as scheduled on Friday. If the Secretary of State determines there are at least 86,405 valid signatures — and a likely legal challenge falters — the law will remain on hold until voters can ratify or reject it at the 2014 election. “It’s not every day that voters get the opportunity to refer a bad piece of legislation to the ballot,’ said Julie Erfle who chairs the campaign. The last successful referendum drive was in 1998.

Iowa: Activists Ask Judge To Block Rule Allowing Voter Purge ‘Scare Letters’ | TPM

The Iowa chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa have sued Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz (R) over a rule that aims to remove names from voter rolls if a federal immigration database suggests they are not authorized to vote. The ACLU and the LULAC filed a legal motion in Iowa’s Polk County on Wednesday asking the judge to issue a ruling in the lawsuit, originally filed last year, and permanently block Schultz’s rule. Schultz was given tentative permission to use the rule Aug. 14. If the judge approves the request, the activists will have successfully stopped the proposed voter roll purge. The rule in question allows Schultz’s office to cross reference self-identified non-citizens on voter registration rolls with the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program, which the Department of Homeland Security operates. The SAVE program retains information on immigrants in the country on a temporary visa. If a non-citizen on the SAVE list is also listed as a registered voter a letter is sent to the registrant telling him or her that he or she might be illegally registered to vote. If the voter does not respond to that first letter, a second letter is sent reminding “the individual that registering to vote without citizenship is a felony,” according to Schultz’s office. After the second letter a voter might have to appear before a hearing to present evidence on voter eligibility.

Kansas: Issues with voter citizenship rule to linger | Associated Press

Kansas appears likely to be dealing for some time with a significant number of new prospective voters whose registrations remain on hold because they haven’t provided proof of their U.S. citizenship, a legislative committee learned Monday. The issue arose during a meeting of the Joint Committee on Information Technology, as it reviewed the Department of Revenue’s work on a $40 million upgrade of the computer system that handles vehicle titles and registrations, as well as driver’s licenses. The next, still-unscheduled phase of the project deals with driver’s licenses. Department officials told the committee that they don’t have a timetable for requiring everyone who renews a driver’s license to submit documents proving their citizenship. The requirement is in place for people who are getting a new Kansas license.

Ohio: Court Expands Ballot Access Rights for Independent Candidates in Judicial Elections | Ballot Access News

On September 9, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously expanded the ability of independent candidates to run for judicial office, including not only judgeship elections, but elections for Clerk of a Court. The decision is State ex rel Coughlin v Summit County Board of Elections, 2013-3867. Ohio and Michigan have peculiar elections for judicial office. Candidates are either nominated in partisan primaries or in party conventions, or they can petition directly onto the general election ballot if they do not wish to be entangled with political parties. But, oddly, no party names ever appear on the ballot for these elections. Ambiguity in the English language makes it unclear whether to refer to such elections as “partisan” or “non-partisan.”

North Carolina: Voter registration for 2013 election affected by voter ID bill | Tryon Daily Bulletin

North Carolina voters will see some changes during the upcoming election even though the law a new voter ID bill signed by Gov. Pat McCrory doesn’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2016. The new law will specifically require photo identification for the November 2016 election. As of Oct. 1, 2013, however, same day voter registration (G.S. 163.82.6A) is repealed. This means residents will no longer be able to register to vote during early voting. Previously, residents could register to vote during early voting as long as they voted when they registered. Residents will have until 5 p.m. Oct. 11 to register for the Nov. 5 municipal election. Registration can be done at the Polk County Board of Elections Office in the Womack building in Columbus. Another change as of Sept. 1, 2013 is that persons must be at least 17 years old and turning 18 by Election Day in order to register. Previously, North Carolina allowed 16-year-olds to preregister to vote at the department of motor vehicles while obtaining a driver’s license.

Editorials: Creating barriers to voting | San Francisco Chronicle

A recent panel discussion on the Latino vote at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, moderated by actress Eva Longoria, took a couple of unexpected turns. One was the claim of a Republican strategist who said he was blacklisted on the orders of panelist John Pérez, the state Assembly speaker, a flap that drew the most media attention. The other, and more consequential, takeaway was the content of the session itself. The focus was not on immigration reform, education, high unemployment rates or even the Republican Party’s inability to connect with an emerging demographic force in American politics. The main topic of the day? Vote suppression. “This is the No. 1 issue that Latinos and other communities should be worried about,” Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, told the gathered journalists. Sanchez knows a little something about vote-chilling tactics. In 2006, a mailer was sent to 14,000 registered voters with Latino surnames and foreign birthplaces telling them it was a crime for immigrants to vote in a federal election. Her Republican opponent was convicted of obstruction of justice in connection with the scheme.

Iowa: ACLU renews suit over voting rules | Associated Press

Civil liberties groups have renewed their court battle with Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz in their effort to stop him from using a federal immigration database to try to find voters registered in Iowa who might not be citizens. The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa filed documents on Aug. 26 asking a judge to rule on a lawsuit they filed last year or to at least issue a temporary order to keep Schultz from using the data until the lawsuit can be decided. The lawsuit revolves around a voter removal rule Schultz proposed that went into effect March 27. The rule sets up a process to remove voters from registration rolls if Schultz cannot confirm their citizenship by comparing state records with a federal immigration database. After months of negotiations, Schultz obtained permission from the federal government Aug. 14 to get access to the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program, called SAVE. It’s administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of the Department of Homeland Security and used to confirm immigrant citizenship status to determine eligibility for certain federal benefits.

Virginia: Without Warning, 57,000 Virginians Could Have Their Voter Registrations Cancelled | ThinkProgress

With two months until Virginians decide which of two polar opposites — Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli — will be their next governor, tens of thousands of voters could be removed from the rolls in a statewide purge. Approximately 57,000 Virginians have been flagged as being registered in another state, and counties are removing some from the voter rolls without any notice or opportunity to rebut the claim. Before conservatives lose their marbles that this is clear and irrefutable evidence of voter fraud, it’s worthwhile to consider how voter registration works. Each state maintains its own roll rather than a nationwide system. When Joe America, who had been registered in Richmond, moves to Philadelphia and registers there, he’s not required to cancel his Virginia registration before enrolling in Pennsylvania.

Editorials: North Carolina’s Student Voting Battle Is Not Over | Penda D. Hair/Huffington Post

Apparently, it wasn’t enough for the state of North Carolina to pass the most far-reaching and extreme voting law in the nation. The radical rollback of voting rights, signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory a few weeks ago, cuts a week from early voting, eliminates same-day voter registration, creates a strict photo ID requirement (which specifically prohibits college IDs from being accepted for voting), bans the pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds, and expands the ability to challenge voters, among other sweeping provisions. Collectively, these changes make it harder to vote for people of color, students, seniors, people with disabilities and low-income North Carolinians. Yet the state did not stop there. Now two county election boards have employed a top-down approach to take over the voting process at the local level. They are specifically taking aim at student voting. Just days after the state’s restrictive voting law took hold, election officials in Watauga and Pasquotank counties announced policies to drastically curb student voting. First, the local elections board of Watauga County, home to Appalachian State University, voted to eliminate an early voting and general election polling place on campus. Now students seeking to cast a ballot will have to travel to an off-campus voting site that is absurdly difficult to reach: inaccessible by public transportation, and over a mile from campus, alongside a 45 mph road with no sidewalk. Worse still, in the Watauga County election board’s decision to condense what used to be three county polling places into one, this single precinct — which was designed for 1,500 voters and only has 35 parking spaces — will have to serve 9,300 voters.

Iowa: ACLU seeks to permanently block rule on voter registration | Des Moines Register

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa has asked a Polk County judge to permanently block a state rule guiding the removal of ineligible voters from the rolls. The request for summary judgment in the lawsuit against Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schulz is the latest turn in a case that has gone on for nearly a year. If granted, the rule that Schultz’s office enacted earlier this year outlining a process for identifying and removing noncitizens from the state voter rolls would be invalidated. The ACLU argues Schultz does not have the power as secretary of state to write rules on such voting matters.

Washington: Washington state upgrades voter registration program | Bothell Reporter

The Office of the Secretary of State and Washington’s 39 County Auditors are breaking new ground in the coming days as they begin updating over 53,000 voter registration records and mail voter registration information to more than 140,000 potentially eligible, but unregistered residents. Updating such a large number of records and conducting focused registration education recently has become possible, thanks to the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC). ERIC is a non-profit organization that assists states with improving the accuracy of America’s voter rolls and increasing access to voter registration for all eligible citizens. It is governed and managed by states that choose to join, and was formed by seven states in 2012 with assistance from The Pew Charitable Trusts. The seven participating states include Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, Utah, Virginia and Washington. More states are expected to join. “ERIC provides states with a powerful new set of tools that improve the accuracy of voter rolls and expand access to voter registration, achieving both goals more efficiently,” Secretary of State Kim Wyman said.

Zimbabwe: Opposition Party Rejects SADC’s Final Election Report | Bernama

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party has rejected the final report of Southern African Development Community (SADC)’s Election Observer Mission (SEOM) validating Zimbabwe’s July 31 polls as free, fair and credible. SEOM leader Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe on Monday delivered the final report which stated the Zimbabwean election had been held in a credible manner, Zimnbabwean news agency New Ziana reported. But former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party said the mission had failed to take note of various irregularities which it deemed were too many for the election to be given credence.

Kansas: Legislature unlikely to change proof-of-citizenship requirement for voter registration | Lawrence Journal World

A proposal to change the new state law that has put at risk 15,000 Kansans’ ability to vote was rejected in the state House of Representatives on Tuesday and probably will not be revived during the special session. Crowd gathered for rally on Tuesday urging the Kansas Legislature to repeal a proof of citizenship requirement to register to vote. As the Legislature started a special session to fix a constitutionally flawed murder statute, state Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, tried to pass a provision to eliminate the new state requirement that Kansans must show proof of U.S. citizenship with a document such as a birth certificate or passport when they register to vote. Since the proof of citizenship requirement took effect Jan. 1, the voter registration applications of approximately 15,000 Kansans, including 600 in Douglas County, have been placed in “suspense,” which means they aren’t completed.

Editorials: In a victory for voting rights, NC elections board OKs student bid for local office | Facing South

The Republican-controlled North Carolina State Board of Elections voted unanimously Tuesday to overturn a county election board’s ruling barring a student at a historically black college from running for local office because he’s registered to vote on campus. “Justice has prevailed,” Montravias King said after the board’s vote. Back in July, the senior at Elizabeth City State University filed to run for a local council seat. Local Republican Party official Richard “Pete” Gilbert challenged King’s candidacy last month, arguing that because his dorm address was only temporary he did not meet the residency requirements to run for city office. Voting rights advocates pointed out that North Carolina’s residency requirements for running for office and voting are the same. “This is a case about whether college students across the state can be denied the right to vote,” said King’s attorney, Clare Barnett with the Durham, N.C.-based Southern Coalition for Social Justice.

Fiji: Elections will go ahead despite political opposition, voter registration to start in NZ | Islands Business magazine

Despite acceptance from neighbours Australia and New Zealand, two of the four registered political parties in Fiji remain adamant they will not support the Constitution. Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) Senior Executive Tupeni Baba says the two countries have no say in domestic politics. In no way will Australia and New Zealand push us to elections. If we do get to elections when we decide, that the provisions are sufficiently flexible sufficiently fair and transparent then we will urge the people in Fiji to come with us. Question: What I can make out is you do not want elections to happen next year? Well not under the current provisions until the elections can be shown to be independently managed,” said Baba. The National Federation Party’s Raman Pratap Singh says Australia and New Zealand’s acceptance of the Constitution doesn’t matter.

Kansas: Would-be voters are exasperated by Kansas’ new registration law | Kansas City Star

Lee Albee never thought signing up to vote would be so cumbersome. Earlier this year, the Overland Park man registered to vote when he renewed his license at the motor vehicle office. It was supposed to be easy. It wasn’t. Weeks later, the Johnson County election office notified Albee he needed to prove citizenship — with a birth certificate or a passport — if he wanted to register. As it turned out, no one had asked him for those documents at the DMV office. Now he doesn’t have the time to follow up. “They’re making it incredibly difficult,” Albee said. “It’s a pain in the tush.” Albee is among 15,622 Kansans who had their voter registrations set aside until they can prove their citizenship under a new Kansas law that started this year. About 30 percent of those suspended registrations were in Johnson, Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties.

South Carolina: Judge: Merger of Richland County election offices unconstitutional | The State

A SC circuit court judge issued a blunt ruling that the 2011 merger of Richland County’s elections and voter registration offices violates the state constitution. “The General Assembly has returned to its unconstitutional practice of enacting special and single county legislation,” Judge Thomas Cooper wrote in an order made public Thursday. “The Supreme Court has repeatedly found such actions of the General Assembly unconstitutional.” Observers said his ruling voids the 2011 law that reorganized separate county offices and ramped up spending in the year leading up to the November 2012 election, a presidential vote that turned out to be one of the biggest disasters in state history.