State of Elections

William & Mary Law School | Election Law Society

Tag: recall election

Reconsidering the Recall in the Rockies

By: Helen L. Brewer

Colorado is one of 19 states in which voters can recall elected officials from office at any time. Generally, recall elections occur when a certain percentage of a state’s population (determined by state law) signs a petition demanding a recall election be held. In some states, two elections are held: one in which voters must vote “Yes” or “No” on whether to recall the official against whom the petitions were directed, and a second election (if a majority of voters votes “Yes” in the first election) in which the recalled official’s successor is elected. In other states, including Colorado, these questions are placed on the same ballot – the recall process culminates in a single election. Continue reading

John Doe is Dead – Wisconsin Supreme Court Denies Motion to Reconsider

By Dan Sinclair

It appears Wisconsin’s controversial “John Doe” investigations into conservative political groups is finally at an end. Again.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court Wednesday reaffirmed an earlier ruling that halted the investigations, declaring the acting special prosecutor has no grounds to continue investigation of groups suspected of illegally coordinating with the recall election campaigns of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

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Colorado Recall Election Highlights Voter Suppression

Last month, two state senators lost their positions in hotly contested recall elections. As well as bringing further attention to the ongoing national gun debate, it these elections also highlighted claims of voter suppression. A major concern came from District Judge Robert McGahey’s ruling allowing two Colorado Libertarians on the recall ballot. The effect of this ruling in essence meant that Colorado voters could no longer use mail-ballots to a cast a vote in this election, despite the fact that the General Assembly passed House Bill 13-1303 in early August. Continue reading

WI (campaign finance): Serious spending by candidates in Wisconsin recall elections

“[T]he $43.9 million spent on the recalls more than doubled the previous record for spending by candidates and groups in legislative races, which was $20.25 million for 99 Assembly seats and 16 Senate seats in the 2008 general elections.”  Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

Wisconsin recently made national news for nine state Senate recall elections, and as the above quote indicates, these recall elections were not cheap campaigns. In an oversimplification of the reasons behind the recalls, 6 Republican and 3 Democrat state Senators  “were targeted for recalls in the bitter fighting over Gov. Scott Walker’s budget initiatives. The Republicans were targeted for voting to seriously limit public employee bargaining, the Democrats for leaving the state for three weeks to prevent that vote from taking place.

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