Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Recountsgivingukkah edition


The Virginia AG race recount, that is. There are some election lawyers in the Commonwealth who won't see much of their families tomorrow, or for a while. But they don't do this for free, so the Christmas and/or belated Hanukkah gifts are going to be freaking sweet.

Daniel Strauss over at TPM has a nice rundown of the timeline, procedures, and other ins-and-outs of the Virginia recount process, if you're into that kind of thing. 

Fun fact! A legit rerun-and-recount-the-actual-ballots recount is really only possible because of legislation Senator and 2005 AG recount casualty Creigh Deeds introduced in 2008. When it came to new-fangled optical scan ballots, the law extant in 2005 had only provided that the printout of the results be reexamined, rather than the actual ballots themselves be re-run through the tabulator. Sen. Deeds' recount law means all the ballots will actually be recounted. Hooray democracy!

Meanwhile, elsewhere...
  • Department of loose threads: That petition drive in Michigan to get a law on the books that would require insurance companies to offer abortion coverage only through a separate rider on a customer's policy has taken another step forward. Next, the state Board of Canvassers will meet to certify the signatures on December 2, which advances the measure to the Michigan legislature. The GOP-controlled body then has 40 days to approve, reject, or not act on the measure, which prohibits purchase of the rider after becoming pregnant and has no exceptions for incest or rape. That 40-day period only runs when the legislature is in session, which means the action window will extend at least into late January 2014. If the legislature rejects or takes no action on the petitions, the measure will appear on the November 2014 statewide ballot.
In other news, 
  • A Democratic state Senator in Colorado has resigned in the face of another recall pushed by opponents of the state's new gun safety laws. Her sacrifice was calculated; If she were to lose that recall election, Senate Democrats would lose their majority. Now a Democratic replacement will be appointed and will serve through 2014. 
  • A Republican lawmaker in Oklahoma has bought into the right-wing media freakout over the alleged "knockout game" epidemic and plans to address the apparently non-existent problem in his state by forcing more youths to be tried as adults and establishing a 10-year minimum sentence for unprovoked battery. Justice!
  • In Kentucky, new state legislative district maps have resulted in a rush of Democrats filing as challengers in the new and altered districts -- a positive indicator as Democrats seek to retain their state House majority and erode the GOP's Senate majority in 2014. A popular Democrat running in the state's marquee race won't hurt, either.
  • A 21-year-old college student is about to become a state legislator in Mississippi. He insists that "GOD DONT [sic] LIKE UGLY!" and is apparently anti-"shiggidy." Your move, Netflix series writers. 
As always, holler with any questions, concerns, complaints, comments, thoughts, hopes, dreams.... And have an excellent holiday. I'm thankful you read down this far. 

For the Week of November 27, 2013

The following 3 state legislatures are actively meeting this week: MASSACHUSETTS, NEW JERSEY and OHIO.

Omnibus Election bill HB 3647 was substituted with HB 3772. This bill relates to early voting and online voter registration. 
A special run-off election was held November 26 for House Districts 5 and 110.*  *See above item on Mississippi's youngest lawmaker. 
The Legislature was scheduled to convene a special session November 25. 

Early Voting bill AB 4460 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Committee on State Government. This bill would allow voters to cast their votes at specially designated polling places, starting on the 15th day before the general election, and ending on the Sunday before Election Day.

Conduct of Elections bill AR 195 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Committee on State Government. This bill urges Congress to develop and enact new coverage formula to help identify and end discrimination in voting under the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.


The House Finance and Appropriations Committee met November 26 to discuss H.B. 208 and S.B. 206, which create program oversight and reform systems for the Medicaid program. 

The Paid Family Leave Study Committee met November 25 to work on recommendations for a proposal to address paid family leave in the state.

h/t Stateside AssociatesProject Vote.

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