State of Elections

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Category: South Carolina (page 2 of 2)

Weekly Wrap Up


Supreme Court throws out voting machine judgment: The Supreme Court decided this week to throw out a suit against Dallas County over its use of iVotronic voting machines. The Democratic Party sued the county claiming that the confusing straight-party feature of the machines was not approved by the Justice Department. The Supreme Court considered the charge moot since the Justice Department has since approved the use of the machines.


Getting rid of the “winner-take-all” electoral system: Pennsylvania Republican Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi is looking to drop the winner-take-all method and adopt a split system for electoral voting. In the new system an electoral vote would be given to the winner of each of Pennsylvania’s 19 congressional districts with the remaining Senate votes given to the winner of the popular vote. Many PA Republicans, who lost the 2008 electoral vote, argue that a split system more accurately reflects the diversity of voters. Others have criticized the proposition stating that candidates will lose interest in the large battleground state if the vote is split.


South Carolina GOP to cover Primary Election Costs: The Republican Party in South Carolina has agreed to pay all additional costs of the primary election there. This comes after many in the state had expressed concern about covering the costs of the 2012 Republican presidential primary. Nevertheless, several counties have authorized their attorneys to use legal means to protect county interests and coffers. The Republican Party will cover “legitimate costs” over and above what the state Election Commission will reimburse counties for conducting their elections. The Democratic Party does not currently plan to conduct a primary election in South Carolina.

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Paperless Gangstas: The Reliability of South Carolina Voting Machines

The U.S. democratic system is no stranger to meteoric rises.  This is the country that pit a community organizer against a PTA mom from America’s Siberia for the leader of the free world.  Yet our penchant for the underdog doesn’t always mean a free pass.  So when Alvin Greene—an unemployed, cash-strapped veteran who is facing felony obscenity chargeswon the Democratic primary for a shot against incumbent Jim DeMint for the U.S. Senate, a concerned citizen raised some questions.  Specifically, could electronic voting machines be to blame for such a bizarre result? Continue reading

Committees and Campaigns: South Carolina Federal Court Tightens Definition and Loosens Regulations

In the wake of last year’s Citizen’s United ruling, there’s been much deliberation, speculation, and anticipation about how the world of federal campaign finance will be changed – and now the states are getting into the mix.  Decisions in Colorado, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Utah paved the way for Judge Terry Wooten of the United States District Court for South Carolina to rule that the state’s definition of “committee” is unconstitutional in South Carolina Citizens for Life v. KrawcheckGranting partial summary judgment in favor of South Carolina Citizens for Life (SCCL) on their constitutional claim that the South Carolina Ethics Commission was overbroad in defining “committee,” Judge Wooten may have opened the door to influential campaign contributions from organizations whose primary purpose is not to influence elections. Continue reading

Some will Win, Some will Lose, Some States are Born to Sing the Blues: The Coming Battle Over Reapportionment

The stakes are incredibly high, reapportionment is looming, and recent data from Election Data Services shows that neither Democrats nor Republicans will be too pleased come next year. States which have been recently labeled as ‘safe Republican’ in Presidential elections will gain seats, but in more Democratically inclined areas. States recently labeled as ‘safe Democrat’ in Presidential elections will lose some seats. The biggest gain will be in Texas. Texas can expect to gain four House seats, at least some of which will be placed in locations more favorable to Democratic candidates. Meanwhile, New York, a state typically labeled as ‘safe Democrat’ in Presidential elections, will likely lose two House seats. In terms of multi-district moves, Florida will likely gain two seats and Ohio will likely lose two seats. Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington will all likely gain a seat while Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania will all likely lose a seat.

Reapportionment is becoming a problem not only for certain Presidential candidates but also state and federal candidates, especially candidates in the Midwest where rapid population flight is decimating the electoral landscape. The close electoral math is mapping onto reapportionment strategy. Democrats and Republicans are locked in a mortal struggle to gain control of state houses and governor’s mansions across the nation, in anticipation of being able to influence the composition of both state legislatures and Congress over the next decade. Continue reading

Weekly Wrap Up

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

– The U.S. Census bureau has released its population estimates, and if their estimates are correct, 8 states stand to gain Congressional seats in 2010, and 10 states will lose seats.

– An editorial in the St. Petersburg Times accuses Florida’s “No Match, No Vote” law of disenfranchising thousands of minority voters during the 2008 presidential election.  The law denies voter registration to any applicant whose name on the registration form does not match the Social Security or Florida driver’s license databases.

– The Supreme Court has held its last session of 2009, and still has not released its decision in Citizen United v. Federal Election Commission. The Court was expected to overrule existing precedents that allowed the government to limit the amount corporations could spend on campaigns.  However, the long delay has fueled speculation that the Court’s decision may not be as clear cut as expected.  For a review of the issues involved in Citizen United, see this transcript of oral arguments and this analysis of the possible implications of the case.

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