State of Elections

William & Mary Law School | Election Law Society

Weekly Wrap Up

Every Friday, State of Elections brings you the latest news in state election law.

– Events in Virginia’s 21st district are moving quickly, and Virginia Beach Circuit Court Judge Fredrick Lowe has scheduled a recount for the 14th of December.

-Hawaii’s chief election officer, Kevin Cronin, has resigned abruptly, shortly after proposing a plan that would close 40% of that state’s polling places.   The plan, Cronin says, is a necessary evil after budget cuts have severely hampered the state’s ability to fund its elections.

– A New Jersey judge has extended restrictions on GOP “ballot security” programs.

– A pro “instant runoff” group in Minnesota has been fined for violating that state’s election laws, as they falsely claimed that Barack Obama, John McCain, and others endorsed a Minnesota ballot measure to institute runoff voting in that state.  Instant runoff voting is a form of voting in which voters rank the candidates by preference.  Obama and McCain are active supporters of instant runoff voting, but they have not actively endorsed the Minnesota ballot measure, as was claimed in some of the group’s literature.*


*Editor’s note: This posting originally implied that Obama and McCain do not support instant runoff voting, when in fact they do. regrets the error.

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  1. You know, I have to tell you, I really enjoy this blog and the insight from everyone who participates. I find it to be refreshing and very informative. I wish there were more blogs like it. Anyway, I felt it was about time I posted, I

  2. Chuck Repke, a DFL activist and head of No Bad Ballots campaign had this to say about the “support” claimed for IRV:

    “What Fairvote/BBC and those that still don’t get it do, is make the leap that somehow once someone has been supportive of a cause even to the smallest degree that it gives you the right to call them a supporter. Well, you
    may be able to get away with that in some context but it is against the law in Minnesota to take that stretch and then claim that support or endorsement on a ballot question or for an individual’s election.

    What the judges basically said is that maybe you as someone in the generalpublic don’t get that you can’t do that but it was not credible that Jeanne Massey and Ellen Brown and Kathleen Murphy and Jay Benanav, and John
    Hottinger and George Latimer (names Massey used in court as people she consulted
    with) and whoever else are a part of that inner circle didn’t know that or shouldn’t have known that. The law has been clear for more than twenty years. Massey is a paid staff of an organization who’s mission is to pass these ballot changes around the state. She is paid to know how to do that orrectly. In Minneapolis she is treated as an expert. To sit on the stand and claim ignorance of the law was not credible to these administrative law judges and I think would have been the case had we gotten the referral to the county attorney.

    So, the natural inference when someone has published multiple false statements and the claim of ignorance is deemed not credible (three times) is that the act was intentional and that was the conclusion the judges came to.”

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