State of Elections

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Tag: School Board elections

Back to School: Noncitizen Parents in San Francisco Able to Vote in School Board Elections

By: Joseph Montgomery

One year ago, San Francisco voters approved a ballot measure that allows noncitizen parents of K-12 schoolchildren to vote in local school board elections.  This measure, known as Proposition N, received 53% of the vote in the November 2016 election.  Specifically, it allows San Franciscan parents, legal guardians, or legally-recognized caregivers to vote for school board members, regardless of their immigration status.  The person must be of legal voting age and not in prison or on parole for a felony conviction.  Proposition N will become effective for the November elections in 2018, 2020, and 2022, and can only be extended after that through an ordinance by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

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Colorado School Board Recall Election Raises Questions about Campaign Finance Disclosures and the Role of Outside Money

By: Eric Speer

A county school board recall election in Colorado has brought focus once again to the influence of outside “dark money” on local political races. And campaign finance observers say that much of it will never be traced back to its source because of a confluence between IRS reporting regulations and a 2002 amendment to the Colorado constitution.

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You Know What Election Day Needs? More Stickers!

Can you spell Nakamura? San Diego School Board trustee Katherine Nakamura, who is attempting a write-in reelection bid, thinks it’s a doozy, and wants her voters to be able to use stickers with her name pre-printed on them.  Unfortunately for her, she lost in the primary election, and San Diego city rules say that write-in campaigns are not permitted.  Nakamura has brought her case before the California Superior Court, requesting that she be permitted to stage a write-in campaign and that voters be permitted to place stickers with her name on them on the ballot, rather than actually writing in her name.  The court has yet to decide whether any write-in votes will count, but it gave Nakamura the green light to seek the 200 signatures required to qualify as a write-in candidate.  The court did decide, though, that Nakamura can distribute stickers, and that voters can bring the stickers to the polling places, but that they may not paste them on the ballot.  Indeed, California law prohibits the use of stickers to express votes for write-in candidates.  Does this law make sense?  Is it constitutional?  This post seeks to analyze the arguments for and against such a law.

In 1926, the California Supreme Court decided that the placement of a sticker on a ballot is not “writing,” and as such is not a permissible way to vote for a write-in candidate.  In support of its position, the court explained the repercussions of allowing the use of stickers, quoting the Illinois Supreme Court: “[I]f [stickers] may be resorted to by one candidate, they may be by all, and the official ballot might become but little more than a convenient card upon which to paste private tickets printed and circulated in secret. The use of such tickets would revive the evils sought to be guarded against by ballot law.” Continue reading

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