Missouri Bills to Convert Primaries from Open to Closed

Bills have been introduced in each house of the Missouri legislature to change primaries from open to closed. The bills are SB 907 by Senator Andrew Koenig (R-Manchester) and HB 1450 by Representative Dan Stacy (R-Blue Springs).

The bills are flawed, because they don’t have a provision allowing parties to invite independents to vote in their primaries. In 1986 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Tashjian v Republican Party of Connecticut that parties have the freedom to let independents vote in their primaries, if they wish.

Federal Lawsuit Filed Against New Florida Ban on Paying Initiative Petitioners on a Per-Signature Basis

On January 21, a federal lawsuit was filed against the new Florida ban on paying initiative circulators on a per-signature basis. Florida Right to Pray Together v Lee, n.d., 4:22cv-33. The case is assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle, a Clinton appointee. Here is the Complaint. The case also challenges the new law requiring that the names and addresses of paid petitioners be printed on the initiative petition sheets, and the new law requiring paid circulators to register with the Secretary of State before they can work.

Montana Green Party Decision, Striking Down Unequal Distribution Requirements, is Now Published in Federal Reporter

Last year the Ninth Circuit struck down Montana’s unequal distribution requirement for petitions to create a new party. Montana Green Party v Jacobson. That decision is now reported, at 17 F.4th 919 (2021). The fact that the decision is now in the Federal Reporter makes it easier to cite, in future cases challenging other unequal distribution requirements. Arizona and Iowa are the two remaining states that still have county distribution requirements for petitions for new parties, or for independent candidates.

Unequal distribution requirements for statewide petitions for minor parties and independent candidates have also been struck down in the last 52 years in Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wyoming.

President Trump’s Administration Drafted an Executive Order for Secretary of Defense to Seize All Vote-Counting Equipment

The administration of former President Donald J. Trump drafted an executive order, directing the Secretary of Defense to seize the vote-counting equipment used across the nation for the November 3, 2020 election. The order is dated December 16, 2020, but it was never issued. The presidential electors had met on December 14, 2020.

Here is a copy. Thanks to ElectionLawBlog for the link.