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Matt Pitsch, Arkansas, initiative, citizen, ballot,

The Rest of the News

Reid Wilson’s very welcome reporting in The Hill, recently, was headlined, “GOP legislators clamping down on voter initiatives.”  This disrespect for the people and their basic, democratic check on legislative power is far too common, and something about which people need to know. For instance, ballot measures in Florida already

Idaho, initiative, ballot, Senate Bill 1159, democracy, voting,

Holding All the Trumps

Last week, Idaho’s Senate Bill 1159 — “the bill to make it much harder to qualify a voter initiative or referendum for the Idaho ballot,” as the Idaho Press summarized it — passed the Senate on the narrowest 18–17 vote. Now headed to the House, the legislation would  nearly double

Michael Madigan, Speaker, House, Illinois, corruption, machine

Clown Car of Felonies

“It’s overkill of epic proportions,” John Kass writes in the Chicago Tribune, “like using a sledgehammer to kill a gnat, or firing off a nuclear weapon to kill a sparrow.” In three columns, Kass tells the story of David Krupa, a 19-year-old DePaul University student, who gathered over 1,700 voter

Maine, Ranked Choice Voting, black box, elections, democracy

The Rank Reality of Math

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) doesn’t like Ranked Choice Voting. Last week, I suggested that’s because he lost his re-election to Congress in his state’s first use of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). Perhaps I spoke too quickly? Congressman Poliquin argues that RCV is a “black-box voting system.” “We heard from

initiative, petition, power, money, elections

Three Bad Propositions

Two propositions on this November’s California ballot, Propositions 8 and 11, have found an opponent. “Both would have voters decide very narrow union-management conflicts in two relatively small medical service sectors,” explains Dan Walters, long the dean of California columnists. Unions are sponsoring Prop 8, which “purports to limit profits

Memphis, ballot, instant runoff, term limits

Intentionally Confounding Incumbents

The three issues on the ballot in Memphis this November are “not complicated,” writes Commercial Appeal columnist David Waters, “unless you read the actual ballot questions.” Which is all most voters will see. All three directly affect the self-interest of members of the Memphis City Council, which placed them on

Party Line, Nudge Nudge

I’m all for government transparency. But transparent politicians? The office of New Mexico’s Secretary of State sent out a press release, yesterday, announcing that Secretary Toulouse Oliver “is formatting the 2018 general election ballot to once again include the option for ‘straight party’ voting.” “The more options people have,” Oliver

voting, elections, democracy, illegal, aliens, migration, borders, citizens

Should Non-Citizens Vote?

“A lot of people would like to say this is an immigration issue. It’s really not,” offered Gary Emineth, the head of North Dakotans for Citizen Voting and a candidate for state senator.   “It’s really about preserving the right for U.S. citizens, and in our case, North Dakota residents,

term limits, elections, voting, limits, white lines, yellow lines, democracy

The Yellow and White Lines

If I’ve heard it one million times, I’ve heard it ten: “We already have term limits; they’re called elections.” A statement usually offered as the beginning and end of wisdom regarding the problems term limits are designed to tackle. Equally “profound” is the collateral claim that “the only term limits

voting age, democracy, elections, adult, maturity

Fiddling with the Franchise

In 2013, Tacoma Park, Maryland, became the first place in the U.S. to allow 16-year-olds to vote in local elections.* Now, Washington, D.C., Councilman Charles Allen, “inspired by the high-schoolers who are campaigning for gun control and filled D.C. streets last month in a massive protest that mesmerized the country,”

Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, data mining, hack, hacking, elections, democracy, meddling

The Real Democracy Hack

A whistleblower in a British data company called Cambridge Analytica accuses his company of stealing as many as 50 million Facebook profiles. This is the latest version of the “hacked the election” meme pushed by the establishment after Trump’s 2016 defeat of Hillary Clinton. Cambridge received data on 270,000 Facebook

Florida, Proposal 97, Constitution, democracy, voting, initiative, Constitution Revision Commission

New-Fangled Vote Counting

Call me old-fashioned, but when you go to the pols to cast your vote on a ballot measure, your Yes vote should count for yes and your No vote for no. And if you choose not to vote, your non-vote should count for neither yes nor no. That’s just common

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