Saturday, February 27, 2016

Supreme Court rejects appeal, candidate stays on Democratic Presidential ballot

The Mississippi Supreme Court ordered the Secretary of State to place Dr. Willie Wilson of Chicago on the Democratic Party Presidential primary ballot.  The Court rejected an appeal by Secretary of State Dibbert Hosemann yesterday.   Local attorney and Democratic party warhorse Sam Begley represented Dr. Wilson.

The February 25 opinion spells out the facts of the case quite succinctly:

Dr. Willie Wilson timely submitted his petition and qualification papers to the Mississippi State Democratic Executive Committee (the “Party”), to run for President in the 2016 Democratic primary. The Party rejected Dr. Wilson’s petition but later reconsidered and requested the Mississippi Secretary of State to place Dr. Wilson’s name on the primary ballot. But, because absentee and overseas military voting had already begun, the Secretary of State refused. The Circuit Court of Hinds County refused to grant Dr. Wilson an injunction and he appealed. Under the particular facts and circumstances of this case, we find that Dr. Wilson’s due process rights were violated, so we reverse and render....

Others who wish their names to appear on the primary ballots may file petitions with that party’s state executive committee between January 1 and January 15 of the presidential election year. Their petitions must be signed by a total of not less than five hundred (500) qualified electors of the
state, or . . . signed by not less than one hundred (100) qualified electors of each congressional district of the state.

Then, no more than two working days following the qualifying deadline—this year by January 19—the party must submit the names of qualified candidates to the Secretary of State to be added to the State’s electronic Statewide Election Management System.5 Rather than notifying Dr. Wilson prior to the January 19 deadline, the Party waited until 1:04 p.m. on January 20—one day after the deadline had passed—to notify him that his petition had been rejected. So, strictly applying the statutes without reading into them any grace period, the Party did not inform Dr. Wilson that he had not qualified until after the statutory deadline to submit his name had passed and he had lost the opportunity to timely contest the Party’s decision.

Three days later, absentee voting began, and the Secretary of State was required by federal law to have mailed ballots to members of the military overseas by that time.6 So, even had the Secretary of State ignored the January 19 deadline—again, for which Mississippi law provides no exception— Dr. Wilson had only from 1:04 p.m. on Wednesday, January 20, to some time on Friday, January 22, the day ballots were prepared and printed for distribution and mailing the following day, to have the Party correct its mistake and notify the Secretary of State that his name should be included on the ballot.

Oops.  The party admitted it dropped the ball. The opinion spells out the mistake in even more detail:

 Dr. Wilson’s name was not among those placed on the ballot by the Secretary of State as a candidate generally recognized throughout the United States or Mississippi. So, on January 14, 2016, he timely filed with the Mississippi Democratic Party a petition to have his name added to the ballot. His petition complied in every respect with Mississippi law. But on January 19—the statutory deadline for the Party to submit names of qualified candidates to the Secretary of State—the Party informed the Secretary of State that Dr. Wilson had not qualified.7 Rather than informing Dr. Wilson that same day that he had been rejected, the Party waited until 1:04 p.m. on the following day—January 20—to advise him that his petition had been rejected.

The very next day—Thursday—Dr. Wilson (a resident of Chicago, Illinois) located and retained an attorney who appealed to the Party to reconsider its incorrect decision. The party admitted its mistake to Dr. Wilson’s attorney on Monday, January 25—three days after the deadline to inform the Secretary of State to halt the presses and add Dr. Wilson’s name to the ballot.

 However, the Secretary of State told the Democratic Party tough luck, we've already printed sample ballots and mailed out absentee ballots so we are going with what we already have.

The court replied back to the Secretary of State and Democratic Party that it was tough luck for them as well as Dr. Wilson's due process rights were violated.   The Court ruled that the party denied him a "reasonable opportunity to present his case".  The court further opined "granting due process after it is too late is not due process."

The court ordered the Secretary of State to place Dr. Wilson's name on all electronic voting machines and paper ballots to be used in the March 8 primary.  Dr. Wilson waived any right to challenge military or absentee ballots.  The court ruled that his name will not be placed on any absentee ballots.

The Secretary of State appealed the order. He argued absentee ballots were sent to voters and they had a right to vote on the corrected ballot.   The court held:

We grant Dr. Wilson’s petition for interlocutory appeal and order the Secretary of State to add Dr. Wilson’s name to the electronic Statewide Election Management System, so that it may be made available through electronic voting machines for the Democratic primary on March 8. We also order that any voting precincts using paper ballots for the March 8 election prepare ballots that include Dr. Wilson as a candidate. However, Dr. Wilson’s name is not required to be added to any absentee ballots prepared or issued to voters. Finally, we accept Dr. Wilson’s express waiver of any right to challenge absentee ballots going forward. No motion for rehearing will be allowed and the Clerk of Court is directed immediately to issue the mandate.

Dr. Wilson, welcome to Mississippi.


Anonymous said...

Looks like the all-might Dilbert got his arse handed to him. Granted, the mistake was due to the incompetence of Sam Begley Esquire's party (the state Dems) but once they admitted that they ignored the law - something not unusual for Democratic officials - Dilbert decided that his all-knowing edict should be followed.

If instead of trying to grandstand and convince the Justices of his intelligence and right, he had proceeded to deal with this issue in January it would have saved the taxpayers of the State hundreds of thousands of dollars over something that is not going to amount to a molehill. Wilson isn't going to get enough votes statewide to equal the number of ballots being reprinted in one Hinds County precicnt.

Anonymous said...

Largely unknown third candidate Willie Wilson courts South Carolina Democrats

Anonymous said...

Coming soon to a courtroom near you: Failbert Hosermann v. Mississippi Dimocrat Party for a recovery of all additional election-related costs caused by the negligence of Ricky Cole and his band of idiots. FYI, democrat idiots, it will be a very big number.

Anonymous said...

Afraid not, 4:13. No penalty there. Yes, Dems screwed up. But they corrected their screwup but not by the deadline. (And yes, deadlines matter as the Supremes had to point out to Chrissie and his schyophants a couple of years ago.) But - once Rickey and his crowd corrected their mess, Dilbert just didn't want to cooperate because, of course, he is all knowing and he knew best. It was his stance that led to this increased cost and there will be no such lawsuit or fine.

Anonymous said...

"It's Delbert, ma'am"............

Anonymous said...

The democratic nominee was decided many years ago. It doesn't matter if she is in jail at election time, where she really belongs, the democrats will still back her.
Bernie doesn't even want to win.

Anonymous said...

Going to be interesting to see how this all shakes out. Someone is going to be stuck with a big bill. I'm not willing yet to bet who sucks it up, but it will be either the Democrat Committee, which probably doesn't have the money to pay it, or the SOS office.

Five counties are having to reprint optical scan ballots - at close to thirty cents each. Based on current law they have to enough ballots for 75% of the total registered voters (in Hinds, that is roughly 120k ballots). All counties are having to reprogram and retest their machines - probably requiring overtime to get it done a week before the election. If this costs less than a million I would be shocked.

Popcorn anyone? Gonna be fun to watch it play out.

Anonymous said...

Why do the democrats even vote? It has already been decided.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that the democrats are always the ones that pull this type shit and continually get away with it??

Anonymous said...

I feel for the large counties that have 400+ machines that have to be tested that had already done the majority of their testing. Also, what about the people that have voted absentee? How is that going to play out?? Will they have to go vote again or will the the ballot they cast absentee be counted?

Anonymous said...

People wake up. It doesn't matter. Is there anyone expecting the democratic party to change. Are you expecting honesty? Were you born yesterday?
You can replace the word democratic with republican and the rest will still be true.

Pete Perry said...

8:03. The ballot they cast will be counted. If, by chance, they wanted to vote for this unknown, they could show up on election day and vote in person, thus cancelling their absentee ballot.

But the candidate did agree in an 'agreement' with the SC and their ruling that he would not challenge any absentee ballot because his name was left off the absentees.

Anonymous said...

Actually, each county will have to bear the cost of reprinting its paper ballots, not the state. These include absentee and affidavit ballots. The SOS office doesn't print these. So expect each county to look for reimbursement from the Democratic Party.

Anonymous said...

Each county will have to bear the cost - on the front end. But not for printing absentee ballots because Begley smartly agreed on behalf of his client not to contest absentees for not being the complete ballot, and therefore due to the short timeframe, absentees are not going to be reprinted.

Counties that use touchscreens will have to print some paper ballots, but only for affidavit and emergency. That won't amount to much cost. The issue is the five counties that use paper ballots for all voting. Those will have significant costs to ballots.

All counties are having to reprogram and retest machines, either scanners or touchscreens. Lots of cost there.

As to who pays for these costs, it is yet to be seen. I am sure the state is going to say it is the cost of the Democratic Party. The Dems are going to say it is not their cost, and there is nothing in law for them to pay any cost. The counties are going to say it shouldn't be their cost.

I'm not betting, but if I did, the end cost will be sucked up by the taxpayers of the counties.

Anonymous said...

1:00, isn't that the way it always goes? The tax payers can afford it and most will not complain because it is their political party.

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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