State of Elections

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Tag: in-depth

Double Dipping? Kentucky Redistricting Plan Creates Dual District Voting

Every two years voters from around Kentucky flock to their precincts to select their member for the United States House of Representatives. As a result of months of candidates’ television and print ads, most voters know the number of their district. However, this year on November 6th when Kentuckians from Bath, Fleming, Harrison, Nicholas, Robertson, and Scott counties open their ballots they will find candidate choices in two different congressional districts. Their ballots will look similar to this one, in that it will list a special election for the 4th Congressional District and a general election for the 6th Congressional District. Such an election peculiarity is not a print mistake by the State Board of Elections. Rather, the cause of this dual district voting is both Kentucky’s new redistricting plan and Representative Geoff Davis’s resignation from Congress.     Continue reading

Emergency Managers: An unconstitutional power grab or necessary evil?

by Lauren Fibel

When a city or school district is unable to pay their bills, and a state’s credit rating is in jeopardy as a result, what options do states have? On November 6th,  Michigan voters will decide the fate of Public Act 4, which Governor Rick Snyder signed into law in March of 2011. Public Act 4 allows the state government to appoint emergency managers for those cities or school districts who are in danger of defaulting on their obligations. Controversially, these emergency managers can act in place of the elected government officials and are allowed to act in what they determine is the best manner for the city. Emergency managers are allowed to renegotiate or terminate the school district’s or city’s contracts, sell city or school district property, acquire debt to be paid back by tax payers and even determine what services and expenditures the city will continue to provide. Currently, more than three cities and two school districts in Michigan are governed by emergency managers, yet some citizens feel that this type of appointment is an unconstitutional power grabContinue reading

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