Arizona State Court Removes a Republican Legislative Candidate from Ballot, but Appeals Court Puts Him Back On

On September 17, a lower state court in Arizona removed Darin Mitchell from the November ballot. He had won the Republican primary in August for State Representative, 13th district. See this story. Mitchell is appealing to the State Court of Appeals, but Maricopa County wants to start printing its ballots tonight. It is not clear that the Republican Party can replace him. UPDATE: on September 18, a state Appeals Court restored him to the ballot. See this story. The reversal came less than an hour before the ballot-printing process was to start. FURTHER UPDATE: the case has been appealed to the State Supreme Court, but the State Supreme Court left him on. See this story.

In Arizona, voters elect two representatives from each state house district. If Mitchell had remained off the ballot and the Republican Party had not replaced him, then write-in votes would have determined the winner. If Mitchell were off the ballot, there would only be one name on the ballot (Republican Steve Montenegro) but the voters are allowed to choose two representatives. No Democrat, no independent, and no minor party member had filed to run in this district. Anyone may file as a declared write-in candidate up until five days before the election.


  1. So basically even a green could win.

  2. Get moving here! Fill in these seats with third party and independent candidates!!

  3. How common are these two-member districts? Do the voters get one vote, or two? It seems like an opportunity; a minor party candidate could win with 34% or less, instead of 50% or less.

  4. Richard Winger · · Reply

    #4, no state has limited voting for state or federal office. In all states, for federal and state office, if the voters are electing two representatives, then every voter gets two votes, and every party may run two nominees.

    Limited voting in the U.S. only applies to local elections in certain states.

    States with some multi-member legislative districts are Arizona, Idaho, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia. There were many more states on that list 50 years ago.

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