Articles Posted in Election Law

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Kelli Jo Griffin was convicted for the crime of delivery of a controlled substance. Griffin later registered to vote and cast a provision ballot in a municipal election. The county auditor concluded that Griffin was not eligible to vote due to her felony conviction and rejected her ballot. Griffin filed a petition asking the district court to declare that her felony conviction did not disqualify her from voting under the Iowa Constitution. The district court denied relief. At issue on appeal was whether the felony crime of delivery of a controlled substance is an “infamous crime” under the voter disqualification provision of the Iowa Constitution. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Constitution permits persons convicted of a felony to be disqualified from voting in Iowa until pardoned or otherwise restored to the rights of citizenship. View "Griffin v. Pate" on Justia Law

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On March 11, 2014, Anthony Bisignano filed an affidavit of candidacy for Iowa Senate in District 17 with the Iowa Secretary of State. Ned Chiodo filed an objection to the affidavit of candidacy, claiming that Bisignano was disqualified from holding public office based on his prior conviction of the crime of operating while intoxicated (OWI), second offense. A three-person state elections panel denied the objection, and the district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that a person convicted of the crime of OWI, second offense, is not disqualified from holding a public office in Iowa. View "Chiodo v. Section 43.24 Panel" on Justia Law

Posted in: Election Law

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The Iowa Right to Life Committee (IRTL) filed a complaint in the U.S. district court, alleging, inter alia, that Iowa's campaign finance laws unconstitutionally imposed political committee status on corporations whose major purpose was something other than nominating or electing candidates. The district court certified two questions to the Supreme Court. At issue before the Court was whether a corporation must form a political committee under Iowa law if it wants to spend more than $750 advocating the election or defeat of Iowa candidates. The Court answered that a corporation like IRTL may engage in express advocacy without forming a political committee because a corporation making independent expenditures aggregating over $750 in a calendar year becomes an "independent expenditure committee" within the meaning of Iowa Code 68A.404 but not a "political committee" within the meaning of Iowa Code 68A.102(18) or a "permanent organization" within the meaning of Iowa Code 68A.402(9). View "Iowa Right to Life Comm., Inc. v. Tooker" on Justia Law