Topic: Elections and Referendums

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Massachusetts Right to Repair Initiative

United States Elections and Referendums

The Massachusetts "Right to Repair" Initiative, also known as Question 1, appeared on the Massachusetts 2012 general election ballot as an initiated state statute. The Right to Repair proposal was to require vehicle owners and independent repair facilities in Massachusetts to have access to the same vehicle diagnostic and repair information made available to the manufacturers' Massachusetts dealers and authorized repair facilities. The initiative passed with overwhelming voter support on November 6, 2012, with 86% for and 14% against. The measure, originally filed four times with the Massachusetts Attorney General, was filed by Arthur W. Kinsman, and was assigned initiative numbers 11-17.

2019 Ballot Initiative In early 2019 the Massachusetts Legislature submitted bills advocating change to close loopholes associated with wireless transmission of diagnostic information. Advocates supporting an update to the Massachusetts Right to Repair law have announced that the required signatures have been gathered to place Right to Repair on the November 3, 2020 ballot.

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National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

United States Politics Elections and Referendums United States/U.S. presidential elections

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is an agreement among a group of U.S. states and the District of Columbia to award all their electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The compact is designed to ensure that the candidate who receives the most votes nationwide is elected president, and it would come into effect only when it would guarantee that outcome. As of March 2020, it has been adopted by fifteen states and the District of Columbia. Together, they have 196 electoral votes, which is 36% of the Electoral College and 73% of the 270 votes needed to give the compact legal force. Certain legal questions, however, may affect implementation of the compact.

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Sortition

Greece Politics Elections and Referendums

In governance, sortition (also known as selection by lot, allotment, demarchy, or Stochocracy) is the selection of political officials as a random sample from a larger pool of candidates. Filling individual posts or, more usually in its modern applications, to fill collegiate chambers. The system intends to ensure that all competent and interested parties have an equal chance of holding public office. It also minimizes factionalism, since there would be no point making promises to win over key constituencies if one was to be chosen by lot, while elections, by contrast, foster it. In ancient Athenian democracy, sortition was the traditional and primary method for appointing political officials, and its use was regarded as a principal characteristic of democracy.

Today, sortition is commonly used to select prospective jurors in common law-based legal systems and is sometimes used in forming citizen groups with political advisory power (citizens' juries or citizens' assemblies).

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United States Pirate Party

United States/U.S. Government United States Politics Pirate Politics Elections and Referendums Politics/Political parties

The United States Pirate Party (USPP) is an American political party founded in 2006 by Brent Allison and Alex English. The party's platform is aligned with the global Pirate movement, and supports reform of copyright laws to reflect open source and free culture values, government transparency, protection of privacy and civil liberties. The United States Pirate Party also advocates for evidence-based policy, egalitarianism, meritocracy and the hacker ethic as well as the rolling back of corporate personhood and corporate welfare. The USPP has also made a priority to advocate for changes in the copyright laws and removal of patents. It is the belief of the party that these restrictions greatly hinder the sharing and expansion of knowledge and resources.

The party's national organization has existed in multiple incarnations since its 2006 founding. Its most recent is the Pirate National Committee (PNC), formed in 2012 as a coalition of state parties. The PNC officially recognizes Pirate parties from 8 states, and tracks and assists in the growth of more state parties throughout the United States. The board of the USPP is the board of the PNC. The current Chair of the Pirate National Committee is Lindsay-Anne Gorski (née Brunner).

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October Suprise

United States Politics Elections and Referendums

In American political jargon, an October surprise is a news event deliberately created or timed to influence the outcome of an election, particularly one for the U.S. presidency, or sometimes an event occurring spontaneously that has the same effect. Because the date for national elections (as well as many state and local elections) is in early November, events that take place in October have greater potential to influence the decisions of prospective voters. Thus these relatively last-minute news stories could either completely change the entire course of an election or strongly reinforce the inevitable.

The term "October surprise" was coined by William Casey when he served as campaign manager of Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign. However, there were October election-upending events that predated the coining of the term.

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1876 United States presidential election

United States Politics Politics/American politics Elections and Referendums United States/U.S. presidential elections

The 1876 United States presidential election was the 23rd quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 7, 1876, in which Republican nominee Rutherford B. Hayes faced Democrat Samuel J. Tilden. It was one of the most contentious and controversial presidential elections in American history, and gave rise to the Compromise of 1877 by which the Democrats conceded the election to Hayes in return for an end to Reconstruction and the withdrawal of federal troops from the South. After a controversial post-election process, Hayes was declared the winner.

After President Ulysses S. Grant declined to seek a third term despite previously being expected to do so, Congressman James G. Blaine emerged as the front-runner for the Republican nomination. However, Blaine was unable to win a majority at the 1876 Republican National Convention, which settled on Governor Hayes of Ohio as a compromise candidate. The 1876 Democratic National Convention nominated Governor Tilden of New York on the second ballot.

The results of the election remain among the most disputed ever. Although it is not disputed that Tilden outpolled Hayes in the popular vote, after a first count of votes, Tilden had won 184 electoral votes to Hayes's 165, with 20 votes from four states unresolved: in Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina, each party reported its candidate had won the state, while in Oregon, one elector was replaced after being declared illegal for being an "elected or appointed official". The question of who should have been awarded these electoral votes is the source of the continued controversy.

An informal deal was struck to resolve the dispute: the Compromise of 1877, which awarded all 20 electoral votes to Hayes; in return for the Democrats' acquiescence to Hayes' election, the Republicans agreed to withdraw federal troops from the South, ending Reconstruction. The Compromise in effect ceded power in the Southern states to the Democratic Redeemers, who proceeded to disenfranchise black voters thereafter.

The 1876 election is the second of five presidential elections in which the person who won the most popular votes did not win the election, but the only such election in which the popular vote winner received a majority (rather than a plurality) of the popular vote. To date, it remains the election that recorded the smallest electoral vote victory (185–184), and the election that yielded the highest voter turnout of the eligible voting age population in American history, at 81.8%. Despite not becoming president, Tilden was the first Democratic presidential nominee since James Buchanan in 1856 to win the popular vote and the first since Franklin Pierce in 1852 to do so in an outright majority (In fact, Tilden received a slightly higher percentage than Pierce in 1852, despite the fact that Pierce won in a landslide).