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California Recall on Hold
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court (of course!) has ruled to postpone the California recall election:
Why the hell is this a federal issue? Shouldn't this be handled entirely by state courts? Why does the federal government have jurisdiction?
Article 2, Sections 15(a-b) of the California Constitution read:
The certification happened on July 29, and the next regular election (for the Presidential primary) will be on March 2, so section (b) can't apply. Section (a) instructs the state to hold the election in no more than 80 days. A federal court order to postpone the recall election is tantamount to ordering the state to violate its own constitution.
This is not good. Nearly half of Californa's population was in a punch-card ballot zone — and used them with apparent success — in 2000. Are punch-card ballots so egregiously awful that it's worth provoking a state constitutional crisis to prevent their use?
I see the movement away from punch-card ballots at best as simply an incremental improvement in the quality of voting machinery. I think the claim that the mere use of such ballots is disenfranchisement is ludicrous.
I hope the U.S. Supreme Court overturns this 9th Circuit decision, and I hope they're mean about it.
FWIW, voting in my area of Oregon is done with punch-card ballots. We don't appear to have any trouble with them.