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Washington Post: As of late Thursday afternoon, 70,039 signatures had been validated by local elections officials, exceeding the 55,736 required to put the measure on the ballot, according to an ongoing “unofficial” tally on the Maryland State Board of Elections Web site.
Miami Herald: Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office won’t rule out suing the Department of Homeland Security for refusing to share its citizenship database with Florida’s elections division in its hunt for noncitizen voters.
Mooreseville Tribune: According to a North Carolina Supreme Court candidate, among the key things lacking at the top of North Carolina government is Christianity.
Tony Mauro at USA Today: The late Supreme Court justice William Brennan used to say that five was the most important number — the number of justices needed to win a majority on a nine-member court. This presidential election year, the most important numbers at the court could be 79, 76, 75 and 73. Those are the ages, respectively, of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer
No Democrat on November Congressional Ballot, Though Democrats Are the Largest Party in the District
Volokh Conspiracy: So reports Richard Winger (Ballot Access News) about the effects of California’s open primary law, under which the top two vote-getters in the primary — regardless of party — compete in the general election.
USA Today: Opponents of same-sex marriage in Washington have gathered enough signatures to force a November referendum on the state’s marriage-equality law, which was to have taken effect Thursday.
NY Times: The North Carolina Judicial Coalition is a new tax-exempt organization, known as a super PAC, supported by wealthy conservative Republicans who are determined to make this year’s race for a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court ideological and expensive.
AP on Yahoo: Voters in two major California cities overwhelmingly approved cuts to retirement benefits for city workers in what supporters said was a mandate that may lead to similar ballot initiatives in other states and cities buried under mounting pension obligations.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Republicans held on to three other state Senate seats in Tuesday’s recall voting. Democratic challengers lost recalls bids against Sens. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls.).
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: The race was a rematch of the 2010 race, when Walker beat Barrett by nearly 6 percentage points. Turnout Tuesday was higher than it had been 19 months earlier, and Walker was leading by 7 percentage points with 96% of the vote counted.
Washington Post: California will make history tomorrow,” Schwarzenegger wrote. “We will see our open primary system and new citizen-drawn districts in action for the first time. There is nothing else like it and I know we are starting yet another national trend.” But just how does it work? And how different is it?
WISPolitics.com: With only about four hours into the Election Day voting, members of the Milwaukee Democratic Party claim that calls are going out to voters telling them if they’d signed the recall, they didn’t need to vote today.
Seattle Post Intelligencer: Joseph Backholm, with Preserve Marriage Washington, said Monday the campaign will turn the signatures in to the secretary of state’s office at 9 a.m. Wednesday. As of this weekend, they had collected nearly 200,000 signatures, well over the amount needed to qualify the measure for the November ballot.
Daniel Pipes at National Review: Djerejian makes a fundamentally faulty assumption here, namely that Islamists can be agents to “broaden political participation.” That illusion remains, two decades later, the abiding hope of the State Department and nearly the whole of the establishment. No, simply put, a deeply anti-democratic ideology cannot bring on democratization. Islamists have picked up on this hope and invariably, including right now in the campaign for the run-off presidential elections in Egypt, present themselves as democrats.
IB Times: Florida state officials will continue their quest to purge purportedly ineligible people from voter-registration rolls, a representative of Secretary of State Ken Detzner said Saturday, in defiance of objections from the U.S. Justice Department and county officials who say the policy violates two federal voting laws.
allAfrica.com: Egypt may be following one set of democratic procedures, but it is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a transition to democracy, irrespective of who becomes the next President. Elections are only one element of democracy, and to reduce democratic practice to what happens at the polling station is highly problematic. We need to ask ourselves what the conditions are that have influenced people’s choices?
Wall Street Journal: Public-employee unions in Wisconsin have experienced a dramatic drop in membership—by more than half for the second-biggest union—since a law championed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker sharply curtailed their ability to bargain over wages and working conditions.
Politico: Attorney General Eric Holder told a council of African American church leaders Wednesday that the “sacred” right to vote is under assault nationwide, with federal lawsuits and at least a dozen state laws that could weaken — or block — minority access to the ballot box this fall.
WTAM.com (includes video): Attorney General Eric Holder, the IRS, and the liberal lawyers at the ACLU will brief several hundred pastors in the African American community on how to participate in the presidential election
Helena Independent Record: Haddon ruled that Montana’s filing deadline for independent candidates “imposes a significant barrier to the exercise of rights protected and guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitutional of the United States and is unconstitutional.”
Religion Clause Blog: Apparently the governor’s timing was motivated by the likelihood that the amendment will attract social conservatives (mostly Republicans) to the polls, and would thus benefit the Republicans in the general election of it were on the November ballot.
Washington Post: A referendum on Maryland lawmakers’ decision to legalize same-sex marriage moved from the realm of the likely to a near certainty on Tuesday as opponents turned in what they said were over 113,000 signatures — more than twice the number needed to qualify the law for the November ballot.
Missouri Family Policy Council: A proposed constitutional amendment to protect the religious freedoms of Missouri citizens and schoolchildren will appear on the statewide August 7th ballot.
Sentinel Journal: Tuesday’s recall election for governor could see the highest turnout for that office in more than a half-century, according to projections released Tuesday by state election officials.
Religion Clause Blog: AINA reported yesterday that many Egyptians, deeply dissatisfied with the choice for President they have in the upcoming run-off election, are blaming the Christian Copts. Islamists are blaming the Copts for the fact that Ahmad Shafik, Hosni Mubarak’s last Prime Minister, came in high enough to be in the run-off with Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy.
AP: The Islamist candidate Mohammed Morsi made the new campaign promises in a news conference, vowing to ensure the full rights of the Christian minority and women if he is elected.
AZ Republic: A Hawaii official sent Bennett’s office verification of birth for President Obama on Tuesday, according to both Bennett and Hawaii officials.
WorldNetDaily: As Arizona officials contemplate whether or not Barack Obama’s name will appear on a ballot this year, the state is being flooded with emails from concerned citizens urging the attorney general to make sure the president is constitutionally eligible to hold the office.
Washington Post: And a recent independent poll showed Obama running just seven points ahead of Wolfe in the southern Arkansas 4th district, which covers one-quarter of the state.
In September of 2011, a coalition of plaintiffs made up of Montana residents, corporations, political committees and a candidate for the Montana House filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of various Montana laws that regulate political campaigns. In February, federal judge Charles Lovell preliminarily enjoined enforcement of several of the challenged laws, holding that those regulations are likely unconstitutional under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Wall Street Journal: On Sunday, the Hawaii attorney general’s office said information Mr. Bennett provided “did not meet the requirements under Hawaii law” and the state “invited him to provide additional legal authority.”
Erik Stanley at the Speak Up Movement Church Blog: The Devon Park United Methodist Church in Wilmington, North Carolina, served as a polling place and also put a message on its church sign that read, “A true marriage is male and female and God.” Voters saw the sign on their way in to vote and some complained about the message. One woman even called the message on the sign “voter intimidation.” . . . The elections board for the county where the church is located plans to address the issue of the church’s sign in the coming days.
Daily Telegraph: Vladimir Putin’s election as Russian President was either the result of a hopelessly inept rigging exercise or voting patterns which contradict the laws of statistics, according to a new study.
EnidNews.com: Fallin nominated former Corporation Commissioner Jim Roth to the Oklahoma State Election Board last fall. Roth has since served as a member of the election board, pending a Senate confirmation hearing.
WorldNetDaily: Secretary of State Ken Bennett had promised to ask Hawaii officials for verification of Obama’s documentation, vowing that if answers are not forthcoming, Obama’s name will not be on the ballot.
Richard L. Hasen at Slate: The news this week that a federal appeals court has refused to block a lower court ruling requiring the disclosure of more funders of campaign ads has campaign finance reformers tasting their first victory in a long time. “It’s the first major breakthrough in overcoming the massive amounts of secret contributions that are flowing into federal elections,” Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21 told the Los Angeles Times.
The American: Therefore, any strategy of waiting for demographics to realize the maximalist position of gay marriage advocates across the country looks to be, at the very least, a lengthy endeavor. States on the margins, like California and Washington, where initial bans commanded marginal majorities, might support gay marriage in the near future. But on a wider scale, movement on the issue, though real, is likely to be far too slow to bring about dramatic change nationally anytime soon . . . The gay marriage movement might have other reasons to be a little less optimistic. Young voters change their political views as they age, and the overwhelming liberal tendencies of college campuses are not reflected in the American electorate.
Des Moines Register: Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins vows he won’t stand quietly by if opponents of same-sex marriage launch a potent campaign to oust him from the bench.
Judge Steve Leben and Judge Kevin S. Burke at MinnPost: In election years, judges frequently come under attack for a specific decision. And since judges generally can’t comment publicly about pending cases beyond what was said in the decision itself, judges can be an easy target.
LifeNews: The pro-life community in West Virginia had an excellent night during its primary election last night as 88 percent of the candidates the main statewide pro-life group endorsed made it past their primary and on to the general election.
NC becomes 31st state to pass marriage amendment: Vote is 61% to 39% with 90%+ of counties reporting
Charlotte Observer: With 90 percent of the counties reporting, the constitutional amendment to make marriage between a man and a woman the “only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized” won resoundingly, 61 percent to 39 percent.
“Once again we see that Americans are married to marriage, the fundamental building block of a healthy, thriving society. The people of North Carolina, like 31 states before them, recognized that marriage should be strengthened and protected from legal attacks. ADF applauds the people of North Carolina who’ve followed in the footsteps of diverse cultures and faiths, throughout history and across the globe, in upholding marriage as the ideal.”
Washington Post: A review of Obama’s top bundlers–those who have brought in $500,000 or more for the campaign–shows that about one in six publicly identify themselves as gay. His overall list of bundlers also includes a number of gay couples who have wed in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage was legal.
AP: Veteran Sen. Richard Lugar’s loss in the Indiana GOP primary provides warnings for President Barack Obama and his Democrats as well as Mitt Romney and fellow Republicans six months before the November election.
NBC (includes video): Republican foreign policy elder statesman Sen. Richard Lugar, 80, first elected to the Senate in 1976, was defeated in the Indiana primary Tuesday by state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who was backed by conservatives ranging from the National Rifle Association to local Tea Party activists to the Washington-based fiscal conservative group the Club for Growth.
Jordan Lorence at Townhall: Therefore, the “domestic partner” plans in Durham, Orange County, and elsewhere give the financial benefits of marriage to unmarried partners without imposing the duties of marriage. That means these local “domestic partner” ordinances treat unmarried couples better than married couples. If local governments want to give benefits to households under no legal duty to support others, they can do so with neutral criteria that apply to all unmarried households.
OregonLive.com: Nonetheless, Richard Baldwin, Nena Cook and Timothy Sercombe each have tried to stand out in the race for one of Oregon’s most influential judicial seats.
David Cortman at Townhall: Recently, she added another statement to the list when she expressed support for the idea of amending the First Amendment. (That’s not a typo.) Pelosi is pushing this under the guise of removing the influence of money from political campaigns. Because her first attempt to do this, via the McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Reform legislation in 2003, was squashed . . .
AP: With Mitt Romney’s GOP presidential nomination all but decided, Ron Paul supporters took control of the Maine Republican Convention and elected a majority slate supporting the Texas congressman to the GOP national convention, party officials said.
BBC: Analysts say the vote has wide implications for the whole eurozone. Mr Hollande has vowed to rework a deal on government debt in member countries.
Judd Gregg at The Hill: It has been a long time getting there, but France now seems to be on the final leg of this journey of self-delusion and self-destruction. The world is becoming more and more competitive, with no time for the self-indulgent as nations seek better lifestyles for their people. The politics of envy and the real reduction in competitiveness of the French society is clearly placing France and many nations in Europe at a tipping point.
KTUU.com: A group of Anchorage voters has formally requested a recount of ballots associated with the city’s troubled April 3 election. The group — consisting of 10 Anchorage voters, and headed by Anchorage attorney Hal Gazaway — is asking that all ballots cast in 15 different precincts be recounted by hand.
Columbus Dispatch: The Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage sued last month, challenging DeWine’s approval of the wording on a ballot amendment proposed by Freedom to Marry Ohio.
Findlaw: In February, the Supreme Court stayed the Montana decision, (now called American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock), pending a petition for writ of certiorari. Justice Ginsburg, joined by Justice Breyer, issued a statement supporting the stay in light of stare decisis, but expressing an interest in re-examining Citizens United.
TPM: The latest release from the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) . . . In PPP’s latest statewide survey of likely North Carolina voters, conducted on April 27-29, 55 percent of respondents said that they will vote for Amendment One while 41 percent said they will vote no . . .
Religion Clause Blog: In France, after a first-round Presidential vote in which Muslims have been vilified, Muslim leaders– particularly in southeast France– are pressing Muslims to vote in Sunday’s run-off election . . .
LifeNews: The Planned Parenthood abortion business waged a $100,000 bet that it could influence a race for the state legislature and it lost that battle.
Gallup: Mitt Romney leads Barack Obama by 17 percentage points, 54% to 37%, among very religious voters in Gallup’s latest five-day presidential election tracking average. Obama leads by 14 points, 54% to 40%, among the moderately religious, and by 31 points, 61% to 30%, among those who are nonreligious.
WILJA.com (ADF materials shown in video): ”Preventing” same sex marriage from being legalized in Maryland, despite the Governor’s signature, is the goal for a group that held closed- door meetings all across the state Wednesday evening.
The Hill: Sen. Orrin Hatch fell just short of an outright victory at the Utah Republican convention, meaning he will face a primary to secure the GOP nomination for his own Senate seat.
NY Post: Call it President Obama’s Committee for the Re-Election of the President — a political slush fund at the Health and Human Services Department. Only this isn’t some little fund from shadowy private sources; this is taxpayer money, redirected to help Obama win another term. A massive amount of it, too — $8.3 billion. Yes, that’s billion, with a B.
Reuters: A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday ruled Arizona may require voters to show identification at the polls, a ruling likely to add fuel to the fiery debate about voting rights in a presidential election year.
Anchorage Daily News: But the Assembly at the meeting delayed certification of the election until at least April 24, and Hall said the inquiry ought to wait too. The postponement allows for the Election Commission to finish counting the remaining 13,434 votes and issue recommendations on just what an investigator ought to be looking for, he said.
Politico: The political arm of Planned Parenthood is going up with a major TV ad buy in a Pennsylvania special election, aimed at sending a message to state Republicans who are attempting to pass a restrictive ultrasound bill.