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Elections Briefing, March 10, 2021: Elections Bills, Cuomo, Australia

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Elections Briefing 3-10-21 Election Reform Cuomo Australia

Democrats are not the only ones speaking out against Georgia’s new elections reform push, and Andrew Cuomo’s political troubles deepen in the Wednesday Briefing.

US Election News

Conflicts Between State, Federal Elections Bills

It’s not as big as the federal For the People Act of 2021, but Georgia’s mammoth elections reform bill is proceeding through the legislature. One person who has added his voice to the debate is Gabriel Sterling, a state elections official who had numerous press conferences with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger during the 2020 election fallout in Georgia.

Sterling, a Republican who came out strongly against claims of fraud in 2020, is generally supportive of Georgia’s new elections reform bill (discussed in a prior Briefing). He is, however, not a fan of the For the People Act of 2021, a federal bill which acts contrary to a number of points Georgia is trying to enact (also discussed previously).1 Georgia another other states are going one way trying to tighten voter ID and absentee voting, and the federal government is attempting to loosen restrictions. This all seems headed for the courts.

Impeachment Resolution Filed Against Andrew Cuomo

The drive to oust New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) went up another notch this week, as Republicans in the state legislature filed an article of impeachment against him.2 This is in response to Cuomo’s scandal involving more than one allegation of sexual harassment while in office. Republicans are in the minority in both houses in New York, so such a move to impeach and remove Cuomo would require significant Democratic support.

Is it forthcoming? Perhaps, as several prominent Democrats have called for Cuomo to resign. He would not even be the first New York governor in this century to do it, as Eliot Spitzer quit in 2008 over the “Client No. 9” scandal. However, it may be a tall order to get that many Democrats, both in the legislature and the courts, on board with impeaching a governor of their own party. Doubtlessly some are hoping he will take the decision out of their hands.

Wyoming Pursuing Bill to Institute Runoffs

Of all the states pursuing changes to their elections this year, Wyoming is one of them. Their elections reform legislation in the Equality State seems a lot less controversial than in other states, however. Wyoming is considering a bill which would require statewide and state legislative primaries to proceed to a runoff if no candidate gets a majority of the vote.3 The bill’s sponsors are Republicans, and the GOP has near universal control of the legislature. If the sponsors can convince enough of their own party to go along, it will happen.

International Election News

Former Australian Deputy PM to Re-enter Politics

John Anderson is a name not uttered in Australian politics in a long while. When last we heard from him, Anderson stepped down as Nationals leader and John Howard’s deputy prime minister in 2005. He left as federal MP for Gwydir, now mostly Parkes, in 2007. Anderson has just announced he will be running for the federal Senate in the upcoming election, expected in 2022.4 He has to get through pre-selection by the Nationals, but if they won’t pick their former leader, who will they pick?

Kosovo Foreign Minister Accused of Vote-Rigging

A high-ranking cabinet minister in Kosovo has resigned from the front bench and her party leadership role after accusations of her campaign offering bribes to election canvassers to tilt the 2021 vote in her favor. Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla denied the allegations while stepping aside.5

Tuesday’s Election Results

Craig Hickman (D) won the Maine Senate special election in the 14th District.6 The Democrat took approximately 62 percent of the vote.

Election Calendar

2 days until the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election.
3 days until the Western Australia state election.
10 days until the LA-02 and LA-05 jungle primaries.

Today’s Further Reading

  1. Scott Detrow, “Georgia Elections Official Responds To Bills That Would Make Voting Harder,” NPR, 9 March 2021.
  2. Dareh Gregorian, “Only one New York governor has ever been impeached. Some lawmakers hope Cuomo will be the second,” NBC News, 9 March 2021.
  3. Doug Randall, “Wyoming Election Runoff Bill Faces Committee Hearing,” KGAB-AM, 9 March 2021.
  4. Tom Lowrey, “Former Nationals deputy prime minister John Anderson seeks political comeback,” ABC News, 8 March 2021.
  5. Associated Press, “Kosovo minister resigns after election bribery allegations,” Everything Lubbock, 9 March 2021.
  6. Jessica Lowell, “Craig Hickman wins Senate District 14 special election,” Kennebec Journal, 9 March 2021.

Now For Your Commentary

United States Elections

2021 Louisiana 2nd District Special Election

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