Robert Healey, on the Master-Lever Lawsuit

The second subject I asked Robert Healey about at Saturday’s Tenth Amendment rally at the Rhode Island Statehouse was the status of his lawsuit to eliminate the master-lever from the Rhode Island ballot by this November’s election. In addition to his own suit, Mr. Healey also discussed a second suit, filed by independent Gubernatorial candidate Joe Lusi, seeking to have the master-lever removed…

“Our case is coming up for a hearing on September first. We’re going to get a full-day hearing. Our expert witness that we have is Dr. William Salka, out of Eastern Connecticut State University…he ran the numbers we provided him from the Board of Elections and there’s a clear pattern that in cities and towns that have non-partisan races the master lever would impact those races in a negative way…”Audio: 48 sec

“…Joe [Lusi] is on the ballot and Joe has filed a Federal lawsuit as of yesterday…he’s challenging the master lever and he’s challenging the placements on the ballot because of the lottery situation. And he raises a very interesting point, because there’s a Rhode Island statute that says that your name cannot appear twice on any ballot, and yet if you pull the Republican lever, you have a choice of pulling the lever, which is one time on the ballot or, if you pull the candidate lever, it’s twice on the ballot…”Audio: 1m 32 sec

“…Judge Smith has indicated at a conference that he would probably decide the matter within two days, so we should have a pretty definitive answer on the master lever at the end of the day on the third of September.”Audio: 22 sec

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Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
13 years ago

Connecticut prohibits “master lever” option in its state constitution. It will be interesting how the courts in this case have ruled.
I do not think the Democrats in the R.I., General Assembly would approve the elimination of a “master lever” as it could hasten the end of their political careers especially in politically competitive areas.
As a Republican, I think I would be helped by elimination of the “master lever” generally. In Hopkinton there are over 600 more Democrats than Republicans.
Real change happens often by court action: legialative reapportionment throughout the country in the 1960’s, the “one man, one vote principle”, and in Rhode Island years ago if you voted in a party primary or signed nomination papers for a partisan candidate that made you a member of that party for twenty-six months. Also a number of town candidates in R.I., ran at large for a numbered seat such as First Councilman, Second Councilman, etc., that was elimnated in the 1970’s as a result of court action. Now the top five or seven are elected regardless of a “numbered seat”. This should not be confused by council members elected by wards as this was a different thing.
I will be listed in the number two position as a Hopkinton Town Council candidate as a Republican.However all independents are listed on the bottom.
Jonathan Osborne who I am not acquainted with was listed as a Socialist in his unsuccessful bid for State Senate, District #34 in 2008; is running as a Independent for Town Council in 2010 in Hopkinton. He will be listed last on the ballot.

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