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Elections Briefing, March 26, 2021: Wyoming Bill, IA-02, France

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Elections Briefing 3-26-21 Wyoming Kansas France

What happened to Wyoming’s primary election bill, and what is France’s president saying about international interference in their elections? Happy Friday from the Elections Briefing.

US Election News

Wyoming Defeats Primary Election Runoff Bill

As we discussed in a previous Briefing, Wyoming’s legislature was considering a bill to make primary elections in the state subject to runoffs. We say “was” because the Senate voted it down by a single vote, 15-14, on Wednesday. Both Democrats (yes, there are only two) and 13 Republicans voted against the bill. Proponents felt it would ensure the will of the majority of a party’s voters during the primary process, while opponents spoke out about it being too expensive to hold possible additional elections.1

This may be bad news for a flurry of GOP candidates seeking to knock Rep. Liz Cheney (R) out in a primary next year, as she can win in theory with a plurality of the vote. To wit, Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R), who is running against Cheney, voted for the bill.

Some Democrats Balk at Idea of Overturning IA-02 Race

There is a possibility that the US House will intervene in the Iowa 2nd District election from 2020 to the point where they overturn it and install a Democrat. While some on Team Blue may be thrilled with the chance of flipping a seat with a House vote, not all Democrats in the chamber want to go down this road. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) flipped the seat in 2020 by a six-vote margin, but Rita Hart (D) contends there are still ballots out there that could hand her the election – 22 to be exact. Hart would need to have won 14 of them (64 percent) to tie and 15 (68 percent) to win.2

It would seem there is a fine line in politics between election integrity and not wanting to flex too much muscle. Getting the result right is always the best course of action, but on the other hand, the precedent this one would set would be slippery.

Kansas Taking Up Its Own Election Reform Bill

Election reform is all the rage in state legislatures around the country. The newest state to get cranking is Kansas, who have seen a bill proposed to limit executive branch authority. If passed, the governor, secretary of state, and the state’s judiciary will be prohibited from changing laws on the books as related to elections, among other items. They are also considering a proposal to to prevent any tampering or changing of votes on a ballot, physical or electronic.3


International Election News

Israel Election Results Update

With the final results now known, the weeks of political haggling begin again in Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party finished first as expected, but with just 30 seats. His party will be the largest in the new Knesset, but the problem once more is this: in their robust multi-party system with proportional representation, majorities are unheard of in Israel, and lately, no coalition is even finding enough seats for a majority. One would think Israel will try to avoid a fifth election, but you would have also thought they would want to avoid the second, third, and fourth.

Macron Warns Erdogan Over 2022 French Election Tinkering

France will vote in its next presidential election in 2022. The incumbent president of the Fifth Republic, Emmanuel Macron, wants to be sure Turkey will not be interfering in it. In a television interview this week, Macron stated that he thought the Turkish government, specifically President Erdogan, was going to stick their noses into the 2022 election. The two countries have no love lost, and Macron considers Erdogan taking sides (or worse) in the upcoming poll to be too much. It is worth noting at this point that Macron has not made any specific accusations on this matter.4


Election Calendar

11 days until the Greenland general election.
17 days until the Yukon territorial election.
29 days until the Louisiana-02 special runoff.
36 days until the Texas-06 special jungle primary.

Today’s Further Reading

  1. Camille Erickson, “Bid to change primary election process in Wyoming fails,” Casper Star Tribune, 24 March 2021.
  2. Kristina Peterson, “Iowa Election Challenge Alarms Some House Democrats,” The Wall Street Journal, 25 March 2021.
  3. Rebekah Chung, “Kansas senators consider election bill limiting powers of governor, Secretary of State,” KSNT-TV, 24 March 2021.
  4. Nicolas Pinault, “Macron Warns Turkey Not to Interfere in French Elections,” Voice of America News, 25 March 2021.

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