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Would-be GOP Pressley challenger who lost court battle to get on the primary ballot sues to get on the November ballot

The Herald reports that Rayla Campbell, the Randolph Republican who likes to show up at events in a flag dress, is suing the state to get on the November ballot in the 7th congressional district, currently represented by Ayanna Pressley.

Campbell got 1,200 write-in votes in the Sept. 1 Republican primary for the seat, running against another write-in candidate. The Secretary of State's office decided not to put her on the November ballot because state law normally requires a candidate to get at least 2,000 votes - the same number as the signatures normally required to get on the ballot. The Herald reports Campbell is arguing that number should be cut to 1,000, which would put her on the ballot, the same way the Supreme Judicial Court cut the number of signatures required to get on the primary ballot from 2,000 to 1,000 due to Covid-19 concerns.

After turning in what state officials said was only 544 valid signatures for the primary, Campbell sued when the state said she would not be on that ballot.

The Supreme Judicial Court sided with the state, rejecting Campbell's arguments that she should have gotten special treatment because the district has so many minority and non-English-speaking residents and because the district, which includes such areas as Chelsea and East Boston, was particularly hard hit by Covid-19.

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Comments

Though, I'm struggling to find a Bob Woodward mention in todays Herald....

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Odd, they have a tab on the menu just for Donald Trump and there's nothing in there about Woodward.

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28

yet. Perhaps Peter, I thought you were dead, Lucas will cover it.

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This boggles the mind.

Is she representing herself or is someone paying for this nonsense.

Perhaps Judge Winebox or Candace "not invited to the RNC hatefest" will be replaced soon and this is the audition for their one "black person victimized by lihhhbruhhhlllz" slot?

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33

However, she does have a legitimate subject to litigate here, which is whether the reduced signature requirement automatically comes with a requirement for a similarly reduced number of write-in votes. Normally those requirements are tied together.

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32

I won't be voting for her, but I do agree with her argument about the reduction of needed signatures should also parlay to a reduction of needed votes.

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There isn't a way to collect signatures except in person - that's why the requirement was reduced. There IS a way to vote by mail.

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In addition to reducing the number of required signatures by 50%, the Supreme Judicial Court allowed candidates to collect signatures electronically this year.

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but the SJC should make the final decision, since they made the original one to reduce signature requirements. Other races with write-in candidates may be affected as well.

They need to decide ASAP so that Bill Galvin doesn't miss various upcoming important deadlines for finalizing and mailing out the November ballots.

I had a feeling months ago that we'd end up here.

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Why, back in my day, a flag dress was considered flag desecration.

As in:

4 U.S. Code § 8. Respect for flag
. . .

(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.

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Is she running as a Republican? Doesn't the GOP get to decide who they put on the ballot at this point?

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Either your name is on the primary ballot and you win that, OR you get at least N write-in votes (and more than any other write-in). See the Secretary of the Commonwealth's page on the subject.

The issue to be litigated is whether N = 2000 (as it is in normal years) or was reduced to 1000 by a previous SJC decision that was about signatures.

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But the primary is over, and the primary determines who's listed on the ballot for the general. The relaxation of signature requirements was to be listed on the ballot for the primary, not the general, and was made because of the difficulty of gathering signatures during covid. No such difficulty applies to writing a candidate in on the primary ballot. She may make the argument that she got more write-in votes than the other write-in candidate (I don't know if this is true), but she can't argue that the required number of write-in votes ought to be lowered because of covid.

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then she lost the primary and has no standing to sue. (But the winner might.)

I tend to agree with you, but it's reasonable to let the SJC make the final judgment.