The California Supreme Court is out with an important opinion today in Pico Neighborhood Ass’n v. City of Santa Monica: a ruling on the California Voting Rights Act and some of the ways in which it’s distinct from (and similar to) the federal VRA.
Most of the issues addressed by the court are, I believe, issues of first impression for a state supreme court construing a state voting rights act. That includes whether the Gingles 1 requirement (showing that the minority population is big enough and compact enough to constitute more than half of the voters in a single-member district) applies to the CVRA. (The court’s answer: “no.”)
Disclosure: I served as an expert witness in this case.
and that’s bound to be an upgrade. Please send tips her way.
Frank Wilkinson in Bloomberg, in a piece with a Howitzer of a subheader:
Washington County, Pennsylvania, was never known as Crazytown. Then election deniers decided to run for local office.
Redistricting and the “party line” in New Jersey primaries receive some (but not all) of the blame.
The NYT works through the details of a falsifying business records charge and – despite the fact that there’s apparently no legal requirement to do so – the rarity of not making clear the underlying crime to convert the misdemeanor to a felony.
Gene Nichol spitting fire in Slate.
Henry Berger, of the New York City Bar’s Election Law Committee and the state’s Commission on Judicial Conduct, and Kathy Boockvar, former Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, urge New York to return no-excuse mail balloting to the permanent policy menu (the state had the system as a COVID-19 emergency measure but it expired at the end of 2022).
In The Hill, Grant Tudor and Beau Tremitiere highlight their report on the congressional single-member-district statute.
I think various institutions in several states might want a word about the “only one way” in the headline (which op-ed columnists usually don’t write, despite the fact that their names are right underneath).
In response to a question at a city council meeting, an advocacy organization’s representative apparently noted that one county’s implementation of RCV might cost an extra $36,000 for software licensing, ballot design, and the like … and that the organization would be willing to cover the gap. It’s not exactly an inducement to participate, but likely still violates Utah’s new law against accepting private donations. (And the advocate, saying she wasn’t aware of the law, has since backed off of the suggestion.)
I think it’s likely that the laws restricting private funding are going to end up with more complicated impacts than the legislators have foreseen, and not in ways that help local officials administer elections.
The Republic, out of Columbus, Indiana, really nicely connects a national trend to local giving practices.
Bridge Michigan with news on the state’s Attorney Grievance Commission, and its formal complaint against Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, and others (including 3 Michigan attorneys).
WaPo with a profile of Maricopa Supervisor Bill Gates, and the extraordinary pressures on local officials when grifters drive the fever dream of conspiracy viral.
The Oklahoman reviews a new state law aimed at preventing harassment or threats against election workers, and prevents falsely acting as an election official.