Tuesday, May 2, 2017

CA Switch to March Primary if Passed Threatens Top-Two

Thanks to Richard Winger of Ballot Access News for this post and remarks about these Bills.

California State Assembly Member Kevin Mullin (D-22nd District), Speaker Pro Tempore, which is the Second-Highest position in the California Assembly after the Speaker, has introduced AB 84, in the Senate SB 568 by State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-33rd District), to move the California Primary for all offices from June to early March, in Presidential years.

The Bill, if enacted, would have consequences for the Top-Two system. A system in Presidential years in which all Candidates for Congress and Partisan State office would need to file in the year before the Election would very likely be Unconstitutional.

Again, my idea to split Party Official Elections on a Separate Ballot is needed.

SB 84 passed the Senate Elections Committee unanimously on April 18th. Alex Padilla, AB 84 passed the Assembly Elections Committee on April 26th by 6-1. Secretary of State, strongly supports the Bills.

If these bills pass, the Top-Two system that has been in effect since 2011 will be vulnerable to a New Legal challenge. Normally, an Election Law that bars all Minor Party Candidates from the General Election Ballot would be held Unconstitutional under Williams v Rhodes, U.S. Supreme Court in 1968, and 14 other Supreme Court Decisions.

The current Top-Two system prevents all Minor Party Candidates from running in the General Election, unless they are running in a Race in which only one Major Party Candidate files.

By changing to a March Primary, there will be no means to get on the Primary Ballot except by filing in the year before the Primary. No State in U.S. history has ever before had a Legal system in which All Routes to the General Election Ballot are foreclosed fro Candidates who don't file in the year before the Primary.

Many Federal Court Decisions have held that States must provide some means onto the General Election Ballot for Candidates who don't get into the Race until the middle of the Election year. Otherwise, the Voters lose the ability to respond to unexpected events.

When California has March Primaries for all offices in 1996, 2000, and 2004, at least there were avenues for late-declaring Independent Candidates to get onto the General Election Ballot by filing a Petition in the prior August.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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