A Republican primary for an open state House seat has been moved to the November general election after a write-in candidate who had closed the primary withdrew from the contest. Secretary of State Ken Detzner declared the Republican House District 56 primary a universal election, based on a state law, and moved the contest to the No. 6 general election. The decision came after David Joseph Patzer of Mulberry submitted a handwritten note Wednesday to the state Division of Elections stating his withdrawal from the contest.Full Article: House races moved to November after write-in withdraws – Florida Politics.
While this year’s elections have seen some interesting twists, one of the most problematic could be the printed stickers used by those voting for Provo mayoral write-in candidate, Odell Miner. In a generous move, Miner had transparent stickers printed with his name and a filled-in voting oval or bubble to affix to the mail-in ballot in the hopes of making things easier for those voting for him. Bryan Thompson, Utah County clerk/auditor, was uneasy about Miner using the stickers in case a reading machine got jammed or had some other problem. However, Thompson said he couldn’t stop Miner from doing it either. “I told Odell you may not see all of your count,” Thompson said.Full Article: Elections office fills in blank ovals on ballots | Provo News | heraldextra.com.
Editorials: Closing Florida’s write-in loop hole a way to protect voters’ rights | Tallahassee Democrat
Of all the wide-ranging suggestions the Constitution Revision Commission has received, there are two dealing with Florida’s election laws that we hope the panel will put on the 2018 ballot for a statewide referendum. Actually, the Legislature should have taken care of these things the old-fashioned way long ago. But since the elected politicians won’t, we hope the CRC will act to close the “write-in loophole” and bring about open primaries next year. First, that write-in gimmick. The last time the state constitution was overhauled, 20 years ago, commissioners decided that when only Republicans or only Democrats run for an office, everybody should be allowed to vote in the primary in that race. But then the Division of Elections issued a legal opinion decreeing that write-in candidates are real contenders for a public office. Legally, on paper, perhaps they are — but as a matter of practical politics, they’re not. Meaning no disrespect to sincere, well-intended people who can’t afford the qualifying fee, so they offer themselves as write-in candidates, they have no chance of winning. Not one state legislator ran as a write-in, nor has anyone won that way in modern times.Full Article: Closing Florida's write-in loop hole a way to protect voters' rights.
The Florida Constitution Revision Commission got off to a cautious start Monday, advancing only two of more than 1,400 constitutional changes that had been filed by the public. The commission, which meets every 20 years and has the power to put constitutional amendments on the 2018 general-election ballot, voted to give further consideration to a measure to close the so-called “write-in candidate loophole” in state election law and to an amendment that would remove obsolete language related to a failed high-speed rail plan. Commissioner Sherry Plymale of Palm City asked the commission to give preliminary support to an amendment (700396) from Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg that seeks to end the practice of closing party primaries when a write-in candidate is on the general election ballot.Full Article: Florida constitution panel advances write-in candidate change.
Lawyers for the Green Party and the Republican Party (yes, you read that right) are joining in a lawsuit asking a federal judge to throw out the results of a special Pennsylvania House election in a North Philadelphia district last month. The suit says the election, won overwhelmingly by Democrat Emilio Vasquez, was marked by widespread voter intimidation and election tampering. “I’ve been practicing election law in Philadelphia for 12 years,” GOP attorney Linda Kerns said. “And what happened that day is the worst case of election code violations in Philadelphia history, and I think that’s saying a lot.”Full Article: Democrat's write-in victory for Pa. House challenged in court — NewsWorks.
Pennsylvania: Controversial 197th District special election heading to federal court? | Philadelphia Inquirer
Tuesday’s controversial special election to fill the state House’s 197th District seat may be moving from the polling place to federal court, as Philadelphia’s City Commissioners prepare to start tallying the votes Friday morning. Lawyers for Republican nominee Lucinda Little, the only candidate who was listed on the ballot, and Green Party nominee Cheri Honkala, who waged a write-in campaign, sent letters to the Commissioners Thursday, demanding that they seal and preserve the ballots. Both camps alleged widespread voter fraud in the North Philadelphia district. Little won just 198 votes, which was 7.4 percent of the 2,681 ballots cast. In an unusual development, 2,483 write-in votes were cast.Full Article: Controversial 197th District special election heading to federal court?.
If you can’t make up your mind from this list of presidential candidates, you’re not trying. Sure, voters will see Republican Donald Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Libertarian Gary Johnson on their ballots on Nov. 8 and during ongoing early voting. But they’ll also have 15 write-in candidates for president to choose from, ranging from Green Party candidate Jill Stein to a guy who goes by the name Joe Exotic. Delaware County election officials caution that people who want to make their vote — even a write-in vote — count have to write in one of the 15 write-in candidates certified by the state. “If it’s not a certified write-in candidate, that office doesn’t get a vote,” Delaware County Clerk Mike King told The Star Press. So votes for Daffy D. Duck or Amanda Hugginkiss will not be counted. But voters will be able to write in Matthew “None of the Above” Roberts, a political science professor from Michigan who told a newspaper he wants to spark a “conversation” about the political system, or Richard Duncan, an economist from Ohio.Full Article: Write-in candidates include 'None of the Above'.
Florida: Phantom write-in candidates bar more than a million voters from Florida elections | Tampa Bay Times
In his secretive and impossible bid for public office, James Bailey will accomplish only this: He will deprive thousands of residents from voting for their state legislator. Bailey, 28, is a write-in candidate for a state House seat in Vero Beach, a three-hour drive from his home in Clearwater. He’s not campaigning or raising money. He faces possible fines for refusing to file routine campaign paperwork. He won’t answer phone calls and e-mails. Yet his sham candidacy is manipulating the outcome of a race involving four Republicans. Because only one party fielded candidates, the primary should serve as a general election where all voters, not just Republicans, cast ballots. Such a “universal” primary is the intent behind a 1998 constitutional amendment passed by Florida voters to open up one-party contests to the entire electorate.Full Article: Phantom write-in candidates bar more than a million voters from Florida elections | Tampa Bay Times.
The Idaho Legislature is considering another primary election bill which, for voters who plan to vote Republican, further complicates this spring’s two primary elections. The new bill, SB 1195, proposes to move the deadline for switching party affiliation prior to voting in the upcoming May 17 primary election. The bill would move the current deadline for affiliating with the Republican Party from March 12 to Feb 12. Those voters who are officially affiliated with a party other than the Republican Party have already missed the Dec. 9, 2015, deadline to affiliate and participate in the Republican presidential primary race. The Idaho Legislature voted last year to separate the Republican presidential primary elections from all of the other statewide and local primary races that are set for May 17 this year.Full Article: New bill proposes to move deadline for switching party affiliation - Coeur d'Alene Press: Political.
What happens on Election Day in a town where nobody runs for office? People can still fill out a write-in candidate, but what if there are only two people to choose from and they’re also the only two registered voters? Spencer Mountain in Gaston County hasn’t had a town government or a single voter in the last four years, but on Tuesday the only two people living there wrote themselves in on the ballot. “They’ve not had city council meetings, they’ve not had a mayor, they’ve had nothing, so it’s quite interesting,” said Adam Ragan. “It’s an interesting situation.”
Michigan: Governor signs bill to fix Flint election, opening up ballot for mayoral candidates | MLive.com
Candidates for mayor of Flint can start focusing on the campaign and forget about whether they’ll be on the primary election ballot. Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation today, June 5, to authorize extension of the filing deadline for the August primary election, a move that will allow for a standard showdown for the city’s top job. Incumbent Dayne Walling, businesswoman Karen Weaver, and two city councilmen — Wantwaz Davis and Eric Mays — are in line for spots on the ballot, city officials have said.Full Article: Governor signs bill to fix Flint election, opening up ballot for mayoral candidates | MLive.com.
A bill to fix Flint’s tangled 2015 election has cleared the state Legislature and is headed to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk. Both the state House of Representatives and Senate on Wednesday, June 3, approved the legislation, which would allow the city to include the names of mayoral candidates on the August primary ballot even though they missed the April 21 deadline for filing nominating petitions. City Clerk Inez Brown’s office mistakenly told those candidates and candidates for two City Council seats the wrong filing deadline — April 28. Without a change in the law, Flint voters face a write-in-only campaign for mayor in November and no primary election.Full Article: Flint election-fix bill clears state Legislature, heads to Gov. Snyder | MLive.com.
Political hopefuls in Flint may get another chance to get on the city’s ballot this year after a snafu left most candidates off the August primary ballot. The Senate Elections and Government Reform committee unanimously voted Thursday to extend the filing deadline for candidates who want to run for city offices in Flint. The issue came up when Flint Clerk Inez Brown mistakenly told candidates that the filing deadline for city offices was April 28, when it was actually April 21. As a result, Mayor Dayne Walling, Councilman Wantwaz Davis and businesswoman Karen Weaver filed their petitions after the deadline.Full Article: Bill changing Flint's election deadline clears committee.
It’s too soon to say whether or not Jamie Grant will be re-elected to his House District 64 seat. But not really. He will be elected and everyone knows this. Grant, who was first elected in 2010, is literally the only name on the ballot for the special election being held Tuesday. Voters will head to the polls in parts of both Hillsborough and Pinellas to cast their ballots in Grant’s shoo-in bid. Early voting in the election wrapped up over the weekend.Full Article: Ridiculous, unnecessary special election in HD 64 wraps up today - SaintPetersBlog.
The General Assembly wants to tinker with how elections operate in Iowa. Since the opening of the 2015 session, there have been five bills relating to the electoral process offered in the House and Senate. They range from a bill to allow small cities to hold their municipal elections by absentee ballot only to a wholesale change to how elections are funded in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. Senate File 10, offered up by state Sen. Brad Zaun (R-Urbandale), would require runoff primary elections whenever there is an “inconclusive” primary election. Iowa law requires a candidate to have at least 35 percent of the vote to win a primary election. When no candidate reaches the 35-percent threshold, a convention is held to determine the winner. U.S. Rep. David Young was the fifth-place finisher in the June primary election last year, but won the Republican nomination after several ballots at a district convention.Full Article: Legislators propose changes to election regulations » The Iowa Statesman.
The absurdity that has marred the HD 64 contest since last summer continues, with GOP candidate Miriam Steinberg dropping out of the special election GOP primary scheduled for February. That means that Jamie Grant, the former incumbent, will now face (and likely destroy) write-in candidate Daniel Matthews in the special general election contest scheduled for April 21. The contest will cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, with the outcome not in doubt, as no write-in candidate has ever won an election in Florida. Even if Steinberg had qualified by the noon deadline on Tuesday, she would remain a heavy underdog to Grant, who was first elected to the half-Pinellas/half-Hillsborough district back in 2010 and re-elected in 2012. He defeated Steinberg last month by a 59.5 percent to 40.5 percent margin.Full Article: Miriam Steinberg fails to qualify in HD 64 special election - SaintPetersBlog.
As expected, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday ordered a special election for the vacant seat in Florida’s House District 64 for Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. The special primary election will be Feb. 10, with a special general election set for April 21. That means nearly 158,000 district residents won’t have representation in the state House of Representatives for the bulk of next year’s legislative session, which runs March 3-May 1. The move also potentially resets the field, with a new – though abbreviated – round of candidate qualifying set for 8 a.m. Dec. 15-noon Dec. 16. The previous incumbent, Republican Jamie Grant, on Monday said he will again file to run. He’s represented the district, covering northwest Hillsborough and eastern Pinellas, since 2010. His GOP challenger, Tampa engineer Miriam Steinberg, was less sure she would run again. In non-binding Nov. 4 results, Grant had won with 59.5 percent of the vote.Full Article: Scott orders special election for Tampa House seat | TBO.com, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times.
Residents of Carrollwood, Citrus Park, Oldsmar and Safety Harbor won’t have a representative in the Florida House — for now. State lawmakers voted Tuesday to throw out the results of the House District 64 election, creating a vacancy in the Tampa Bay area. Gov. Rick Scott is expected to call a special election. Lawmakers admitted that Tuesday’s vote was unusual. Although incumbent state Rep. Jamie Grant was recently declared winner of the contest, an appeals court ruled that a write-in candidate was wrongly withdrawn from the race. “There was a conflict between the 1st District Court of Appeal and the secretary of state, and we felt just based on that alone, that we would work to try to actually speed (up) the process by having a special election,” said House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island.Full Article: Florida House rejects Tampa's District 64 election results; special vote to come | Tampa Bay Times.
Residents of Carrollwood, Citrus Park, Oldsmar and Safety Harbor won’t have a representative in the Florida House — for now, at least. State lawmakers voted Tuesday to throw out the results of the House District 64 election, creating a vacancy in that district. Gov. Rick Scott is expected to call a special election. State Rep. Jamie Grant, R-Tampa, had already raised questions about the integrity of the Nov. 4 contest, which he won comfortably. Earlier this month, he pointed out that an appellate judge deemed the election unconstitutional. “You can’t send a candidate to Tallahassee to office on the back of an election that was deemed unconstitutional,” he told the Herald/Times.Full Article: Florida House rejects elections returns for District 64 | Naked Politics.
A communications breakdown between state and county elections officials looks like it will cost more than $13,000 in unanticipated expenses that will be picked up by Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott out of her taxpayer-funded budget. The glitch was the result of Kourtney Ann Waldron, a write-in candidate for Florida House in District 53, dropping out of the race last month. Waldron on Sept. 11 notified the Florida Department of State’s Division of Elections of her decision to withdraw. But the state did not pass the information on to Scott’s office before ballots were printed a week later. So the local ballots, including absentee ballots, included a line for a write-in candidate in the District 53 race. Scott — who said she found out on Sept. 29 about Waldron’s withdrawal from a voter — decided she needs to inform voters that there no longer is a write-in candidate in the race.Full Article: State's write-in glitch costs Brevard $13,000 to fix.