State of Elections

William & Mary Law School | Election Law Society

Tag: Republican Primaries

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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A Likely Crowded GOP Primary in Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District Would Benefit from Ranked Choice Voting

By: Austin Plier

Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner announced in early September that he will not run for a 22nd term representing the state’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. After a more than 40 year run in Congress, Sensenbrenner’s impending departure will create a sizeable opportunity for ambitious Republicans in the solidly red district. As GOP strategist Brian Fraley put it, the opening is “a once-in-a-political-lifetime opportunity for a whole host of candidates,” as it is the “safest Republican seat in the state.”

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The Front-Loading Problem: North Carolina Joins the Primary

By: Laura Wright

On September 24th, the North Carolina legislature passed House Bill 373 which, if signed by Governor Pat McRory, will move North Carolina’s presidential, state, and local primaries up from May to March 15th. Sponsored by Riddell (R), Whitmire (R), Brockman (D), and Iler (R), the bill passed with a 52-49 vote in the House and a 30-13 vote in the Senate.

With this move of the primary date come some other changes. The last day for candidates to submit their name to the primary ballot is December 16th. In order to get on the ballot, candidates must collect 10,000 signatures from qualified voters who are registered to the party of that candidate. These signatures must be verified at least 10 days before filing. For candidates wishing to get their name on the primary ballot, be they presidential, state-wide, or local, the clock is ticking.

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