State of Elections

William & Mary Law School | Election Law Society

Tag: 2020 Election

Can the South Carolina Republican Party Really Cancel its Presidential Primary?

By: Trevor Bernardo

GOP state committees in South Carolina, Kansas, Alaska, Arizona, and Nevada have all cancelled their primary or caucus elections for the 2020 presidential election.  The Minnesota GOP also recently announced that Trump would be the only Republican candidate on its primary ballot.  How can state parties avoid holding a primary election, even if only to confirm or re-nominate an incumbent, that will ultimately determine who will be on the general election ballot, and pledge electors to vote in the Electoral College?

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Opinion: Virginia’s (Almost) No-Excuse Absentee Voter Law: A Baby Step in the Right Direction

By: Tyler Wolf

Election season may not be upon us quite yet, but that doesn’t stop some from prematurely speculating that Virginians may find shorter lines at the polling precincts in November of 2020. This prediction seems counter intuitive given the political turmoil and controversy that has galvanized voters in recent years, but it can be explained by the passage of SB-1026 in February of 2019. This bill, now set to take effect in November of 2020, creates an exception to Virginia’s excuse requirements for absentee ballot voting. Democratic State Senator Lionel Spruill, the sponsor of SB-1026, postulates that shorter lines and increased voter access are possible results when the law takes effect. Despite these predictions, the actual impact of this law is questionable, as it does little to curb the effects of excuse-required absentee voting laws in Virginia. As enacted, the law simply carves out a narrow exception to an arbitrary practice that violates ideals of personal privacy and widespread access to voting.

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Seventeen-Year-Old Voters in California

By: Maria Callahan

On January 18, 2019, California Assembly Speaker pro tempore Kevin Mullin introduced ACA 4. The bill is a resolution to propose an amendment to the Constitution of California that would authorize 17-year-olds to vote in primaries or special elections if they will be 18-years-old at the time of the general election, given they are a United States citizen and a resident of the state. Mullin, a Democrat from San Mateo County, told the New York Times that he has proposed amending the Constitution similarly twice before.

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