Monday, September 17, 2012

Republican candidate ordered off of the ballot in LD13

From, written by Amber McMurray and Haley Madden -

Legislative candidate Darin Mitchell's name should be removed from the Nov. 6 ballot, a judge ruled Monday.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Oberbilling ordered that Mitchell be removed from the ballot after hearing testimony from neighbors and other witnesses who said the GOP
House candidate did not reside in district where he was elected.

But the process for his replacement is a matter of timing, according to Matt Roberts, Secretary of State's Office spokesman.
According to the office interpretation of state statute, the Republican party can appoint a candidate to replace Mitchell if they can do it before the ballots are printed Tuesday night.
If the party cannot meet that deadline - or if Mitchell appeals and the Arizona Court of Appeals does not rule by that deadline - then no name will go on the ballot. Any candidate, however, can file to run as a write-in.

There are procedural requirements/laws that would seem to make it unlikely that the Rs can appoint someone to fill the ballot slot, given that the deadline is 5 p.m. on Tuesday.  From ARS 16-343 (emphasis mine) -

2. In the case of a vacancy for the office of United States representative or the legislature, the party precinct committeemen of that congressional or legislative district shall nominate a candidate of the party's choice and shall file a nomination paper and affidavit complying with the requirements of section 16-311.
C. Any meetings for the purpose of filing a nomination paper and affidavit provided for in this section shall be called by the chairman of such committee or legislative district, except that in the case of multicounty legislative or congressional districts the party county chairman of the county having the largest geographic area within such district shall call such meeting. The chairman or in his absence the vice-chairman calling such meeting shall preside. The call to such meeting shall be mailed or given in person to each person entitled to participate therein no later than one day prior to such meeting. A majority of those present and voting shall be required to fill a vacancy pursuant to this section.
D. A vacancy that is due to voluntary or involuntary withdrawal of the candidate and that occurs following the printing of official ballots shall not be filled in accordance with this section, however, prospective candidates shall comply with section 16-312. A candidate running as a write-in candidate under this subsection shall file the nomination paper no later than 5:00 p.m. on the fifth day before the election.

The other interesting part of section C above (as in "other than the highlighted portion") is the bit about the chair of the district having the largest *geographic area* being the one to call the meeting necessary to appoint someone to fill the ballot slot.  While the AZSOS shows that there are more registered voters in the Maricopa County portion of LD13 than in the Yuma County portion (59K to 35K), geographically speaking, LD13 is more a Yuma County district than a Maricopa County district.

However, that's just trivia, because at this point, while there still could be some rule-bending by the Rs to name someone to fill the vacant ballot spot, it looks as if it's going to come down to a write-in campaign.

While under the provisions of the above section of law, candidates have until five days before the election to file as write-in candidates, realistically, any interested parties should file as soon as it becomes definite that there will be a vacant spot on the ballot.  A successful write-in campaign will need to be up and running ASAP.

Which won't be fun for any of the candidates, but should make for great subject material for wiseasses with blogs. :)

1 comment:

Steve Muratore said...

According to IRC staff, Yuma County is the geographically larger portion of LD13.