State of Elections

William & Mary Law School | Election Law Society

Tag: ballot

Nebraska: Cattle, Corn, and the Unicam

By: Eleyse D’Andrea

Debate over partisanship has been a major point of contention throughout American history.  Nonpartisanship in the early twentieth century focused on removing party politics from election processes to lessen the power and influence of political machines on citizens’ voting decisions. At the other end of the spectrum, proponents of partisan structure supported the positive role of political parties as a means of mobilizing citizens to participate in the political process, and furthermore lauded party identification on ballots as central to informed voting. In today’s America, partisanship is common and party ballot identification is a central element of many voting models. Nebraska, however, stands alone as the only state to remove party labels from state legislature ballots


Nebraska sample nonpartisan ballot

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DC Ballot Access Free-for-All?

Is it better to leave the legislative process entirely in the hands of the elite or should the public have input? Recently The Washington Examiner reported on the disparity between getting a candidate on the ballot and getting an initiative on the ballot. According to this article, candidates are required to produce less than 4,000 signatures to qualify for ballot entry while initiatives require approximately 23,300 to qualify.  These standards are given in the DC election code. The candidate requirement is set at 2,000 signatures (for city wide board members participating in a primary)—limited to the political party of the candidate—or 1% of the political party, whichever is less.  If the candidate is not participating in a primary election, then the number of signatures is set at 1.5% of the registered voters or 3,000 signatures, whichever is less. Instead of these set numbers, initiatives require signatures from 5% of registered electors, with this list containing at least 5% of the electors from 5 separate wards. Continue reading

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