Bob Mercer notes this morning what the specific changes being proposed for the 2015 Legislative session are, and how that could impact the way candidates do business:
Their proposal calls for checking the validity of a random sample of 5 percent of the signatures on a petition.
A would-be candidate found to have insufficient valid signatures after the spot check could appeal that adverse finding to circuit court.
Currently the secretary of state doesn’t have authority to check whether the signatures come from actual registered voters from the counties they show on the petitions.
The current laundry list of changes being proposed include…
- SOS checks the validity of a random sample of 5 percent of the signatures on a statewide candidate’s petition, but not for State Legislators.
- Eliminating “last day” registered mail requirement for petitions, and requiring all petitions be in the office by the deadline.
- Nomination petitions start circulating one month earlier, starting on Dec. 1.
- A new deadline of the second Tuesday in March to challenge petitions.
I don’t like the inconsistency in item #1, and I think #2 creates an unlevel playing field based on geography. It’s easy to get a petition in under the wire if you live in Pierre, but not so easy if you’re out in Harding county. #3 and #4 – Yes. Full speed ahead.
Other items I’d like to see? In particular, I’d love to see a petitioning process instituted for people to run for the other constitutional offices (excepting Lt. Gov), such as SOS, AG, School & Lands, etc. I think that opens up the process to candidates who might not otherwise consider it. But that might be just me.
What do you think about the proposed changes to election law? And what would you like to see that we don’t currently have?