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Ranked-choice voting is the current statutory law of Maine for the primary elections scheduled for June 12, 2018. The superior court reported seven questions to the Supreme Judicial Court addressing the Secretary of State’s planned implementation of ranked-choice voting in Maine’s primary elections to be held on June 12, 2018. The Court answered Question 3 on its merits and held (1) the Court assumes without deciding that the Maine Senate has standing to seek a declaration regarding the legal status of ranked-choice voting in the June 2018 primary elections and to challenge in court the operational planning of the Secretary of State; (2) the answer to Question 3 is that ranked-choice voting is Maine’s statutory law for the June 2018 primary elections; (3) Questions 1 and 2 are not justiciable; and (4) the remaining questions are moot. View "Maine Senate v. Secretary of State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied Relator’s motion for leave to amend his complaint and denied the writ of mandamus he sought to compel Respondents, the City of Columbus and the Franklin County Board of Elections, to remove a proposal to amend the Columbus city charter from the May 8, 2018 ballot. On March 9, 2018, Relator filed a formal protest against the proposed charter amendment, arguing that it was substantively unconstitutional and that the summary language was false and deceptive. Three days later, the office of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted approved the final ballot language. The board of elections then informed Relator it would not hold a hearing on his protest. Relator then filed this complaint against the city and the board of elections seeking a writ of mandamus. The Supreme Court (1) denied the writ, holding that the language of the proposed Columbus charter conveyed enough information for voters to know what they were being asked to vote on; and (2) denied as moot the motion for leave to amend the complaint to name Husted as a respondent. View "State ex rel. Schuck v. Columbus" on Justia Law

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The Mayor of Chicago appoints the city’s Board of Education, 105 ILCS 5/34-3. Until 1995, the Mayor needed the consent of the City Council; now the Mayor acts independently. Plaintiffs claimed that the system violated the Voting Rights Act, 52 U.S.C. 10301 (section 2). School boards elsewhere in Illinois are elected; plaintiffs say that failure to elect the school board in Chicago has a disproportionate effect on minority voters. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the complaint. Section 2(a) covers any “voting qualification or prerequisite to voting or standard” that results in an abridgment of the right to vote; it does not guarantee that any given public office be filled by election rather than appointment, a civil service system, or some other means. Whether having an appointed board is “good government” or good for pupils is irrelevant to the Act. While more minority citizens live in Chicago than in other Illinois cities and do not vote for school board members, neither does anyone else. Every member of the electorate is treated identically, which is what section 2 requires. View "Quinn v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied writs of mandamus sought by Relators to compel respondent members of the Columbus City Council to approve an ordinance placing a proposed city-charter amendment on the May 8, 2018 ballot and to compel respondent Franklin County Board of Elections to place the proposed amendment on the ballot. The Court held (1) Relators’ petition was insufficient because it did not comply with the plain and unambiguous language of the one-proposal rule in Columbus Charter 42-2(d), and therefore, the Columbus City Council had no clear legal duty to place Relators’ petition for charter amendment on the ballot; and (2) the Franklin County Board of Elections had no clear legal duty to place Relators’ petition for charter amendment on the ballot because the city council had not passed an ordinance approving the placement of the amendment on the ballot. View "State ex rel. Beard v. Hardin" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted the writ of mandamus requested by Jason Stevens to compel the Fairfield County Board of Elections to issue a certificate of nomination to certify Stevens’s name for placement on the May 8, 2018 primary-election ballot as a candidate for election to the Ohio Democratic Party State Central Committee. Stevens filed a petition to appear on the May 8 primary ballot as a Democratic candidate. The Board voted to deny Stevens access to the ballot because his voting history did not show he was a member of the Democratic Party. The Supreme Court granted the relief requested by Stevens, holding that, based on the plain language of Ohio Rev. Code 3513.05, Stevens satisfied the statutory requirements to stand for election to the Ohio Democratic Party state Central Committee, and the Board thus abused its discretion and acted in clear disregard of applicable legal provisions when it disallowed his candidacy. View "State ex rel. Stevens v. Fairfield County Board of Elections" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus requested by Jonathan Heavey and Adam Hudak certifying their names to the May 8, 2018 ballot as candidates for the Democratic Party’s nominees for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, holding that Heavey and Hudak failed to show, by clear and convincing evidence, a legal right to have their names placed on the May 8 ballot. Because the county boards of elections verified the validity of only 854 signatures in Heavey and Hudak’s part-petitions, Secretary of State Jon Husted did not certify Heavey and Husted as candidates for the May 8 ballot. In their present action, Heavey and Hudak alleged that Husted and the boards disregarded applicable law by rejecting at least 146 valid signatures. The Supreme Court denied relief, holding that Heavey and Hudak did not present clear and convincing evidence that they were at least 146 erroneously-rejected signatures. View "State ex rel. Heavey v. Husted" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the writ of mandamus requested by Jonathan Heavey and Adam Hudak certifying their names to the May 8, 2018 ballot as candidates for the Democratic Party’s nominees for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, holding that Heavey and Hudak failed to show, by clear and convincing evidence, a legal right to have their names placed on the May 8 ballot. Because the county boards of elections verified the validity of only 854 signatures in Heavey and Hudak’s part-petitions, Secretary of State Jon Husted did not certify Heavey and Husted as candidates for the May 8 ballot. In their present action, Heavey and Hudak alleged that Husted and the boards disregarded applicable law by rejecting at least 146 valid signatures. The Supreme Court denied relief, holding that Heavey and Hudak did not present clear and convincing evidence that they were at least 146 erroneously-rejected signatures. View "State ex rel. Heavey v. Husted" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court ordering a new Democratic special primary in this challenge brought by Plaintiff, a losing candidate, holding that the number of absentee ballots invalidated as a result of the Court’s disposition of the issues remained sufficiently high to place the reliability of the November 14, 2017 special primary results seriously in doubt. After the results of the special party were determined, Plaintiff challenged them pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 9-329a, arguing that improprieties in the absentee balloting process had undermined the reliability of the results. After a hearing, the trial court ordered that a new special primary be held as a result of the improprieties. The Supreme court affirmed, holding that the trial court (1) improperly concluded that supervised absentee balloting at a certain nursing home did not comply with the statutory provisions governing that process; (2) correctly concluded that Conn. Gen. Stat. 9-140b(a) prohibits a party official or candidate from directing a police officer to retrieve absentee ballots from electors and to deliver them to the town clerk; and (3) correctly concluded that certain absentee ballots were not “mailed” within the meaning of that term, as used in section 9-140b(c). View "Keeley v. Ayala" on Justia Law

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Judge Persky was appointed to the superior court in 2003 and has been reelected. Dauber and others submitted a “Petition for Recall of Judge Aaron Persky” to the Registrar of Voters (Elections Code 11006, 11020-11022). Judge Persky responded that under the California Constitution, the Secretary of State was the proper official for the recall of state officers and that the petition contained an “incorrect and misleading” demand for an election to choose a successor because a vacancy would be filled by the Governor. An amended recall petition was submitted to the Registrar and approved for circulation. Judge Persky sought a temporary restraining order to compel the Registrar to withdraw its certification and refer the matter to the Secretary of State; to enjoin the petition’s circulation until the Secretary of State certified it; and to enjoin circulation while the petition contained the "misleading" statement. The court of appeal affirmed that the Registrar was the proper official to approve recall petitions for superior court judges and that the Persky recall petition was not misleading. The statutory process for recall of a “local officer” was expressly made applicable to recall of a superior court judge and is not contrary to the state constitution; it does not impermissibly distinguish between appellate courts and superior courts, including their classification as “state” or “local” officers. View "Perksy v. Bushey" on Justia Law

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Judge Persky was appointed to the superior court in 2003 and has been reelected. Dauber and others submitted a “Petition for Recall of Judge Aaron Persky” to the Registrar of Voters (Elections Code 11006, 11020-11022). Judge Persky responded that under the California Constitution, the Secretary of State was the proper official for the recall of state officers and that the petition contained an “incorrect and misleading” demand for an election to choose a successor because a vacancy would be filled by the Governor. An amended recall petition was submitted to the Registrar and approved for circulation. Judge Persky sought a temporary restraining order to compel the Registrar to withdraw its certification and refer the matter to the Secretary of State; to enjoin the petition’s circulation until the Secretary of State certified it; and to enjoin circulation while the petition contained the "misleading" statement. The court of appeal affirmed that the Registrar was the proper official to approve recall petitions for superior court judges and that the Persky recall petition was not misleading. The statutory process for recall of a “local officer” was expressly made applicable to recall of a superior court judge and is not contrary to the state constitution; it does not impermissibly distinguish between appellate courts and superior courts, including their classification as “state” or “local” officers. View "Perksy v. Bushey" on Justia Law