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  Ballot Access News is edited and published by Richard Winger, the nation's leading expert on ballot access legal issues.

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Poll for U.S. Senate Race in Kansas

Published on July 25, 2014,

On July 25, SurveyUSA released a poll for the U.S. Senate race in Kansas. The results: Republican incumbent Pat Roberts 38%; Democrat Chad Taylor 33%; independent Greg Orman 14%; Libertarian Randall Batson 4%; undecided 11%. See here for more detail.

The Kansas primary is August 5, and both Roberts and Taylor have primary opponents. Nevertheless, they are very likely to be nominated.

Orman has raised approximately $600,000, a higher amount than anyone else running outside the two major parties for Congress this year, except for Marianne Williamson, the California independent for U.S. House who is being kept out of the general election due to the top-two system.

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Fairvote Will Sell a Copy of “United States Congressional Elections 1788-1997″ for Bargain Price, While Supplies Last

Published on July 24, 2014,

The book “United States Congressional Elections 1788-1997″, by Michael J. Dubin, published in 1998, sells new for $409.40. It has election returns for every individual who ever ran for Congress in a general election, including the party label, the vote, and the percentage of the vote.

It is one of my two most precious reference books (the other is “The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the U.S. Congress 1789-1989″, by Kenneth Martis). Fairvote is selling copies of Dubin’s 1,005-page book for only $20, which includes shipping. Obviously there is a limited supply, so it’s first come-first serve.

Amazon does have a few used copies of Dubin’s book for $88.00 plus shipping, but the Fairvote copies are new. To buy the book from Fairvote, send a check for $20 to Fairvote, 6930 Carroll Ave., #610, Takoma Park Md 20912.

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Arizona Concedes that County Distribution Requirement for Statewide Primary Candidates is Unconstitutional

Published on July 24, 2014,

On July 24, the Arizona Secretary of State filed paperwork with a U.S. District Court, conceding that Arizona’s county distribution requirement for primary election statewide candidate petitions is unconstitutional. This came about because the Arizona Public Integrity Alliance and some Arizona voters had earlier filed a lawsuit against the county distribution requirement. The state decided not to try to defend the law, and will ask the Court to rule it unconstitutional. Arizona Public Integrity Alliance v Bennett, 2:14cv-1044.

The law requires statewide candidates, seeking a place on a primary ballot, to collect signatures from at least three counties. The only state that still has a county distribution requirement for statewide candidate petitions is now Pennsylvania. As in Arizona, the Pennsylvania law only applies to candidates in primaries. The Pennsylvania law requires signatures from at least 10 counties.

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Eleventh Circuit Wants Oral Argument in Alabama Minor Party Ballot Access Lawsuit

Published on July 24, 2014,

On July 21, the Eleventh Circuit judges who are hearing Stein v Bennett informed both sides that this case requires oral argument. All the briefs were filed in February and March 2014. It is obvious that the judges feel this is a close case, and they want an oral argument to help them decide it. Neither side had requested oral argument. The issue is the March petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties in Alabama in presidential election years.

In 1991, the Eleventh Circuit had struck down Alabama’s April petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties, in New Alliance Party of Alabama v Hand. That case involved ballot access for a midterm year. Presidential candidates have more ballot access protection than candidates for other office. The Eleventh Circuit has been especially strong on that point.

But Alabama argues that the 1991 precedent doesn’t control this case because back in 1991, the petition deadline was several months before the primary, and the current deadline sets the petition deadline on primary day. Back in 1991, the Alabama primary was in June, but now (in presidential years) it is in March.

Alabama in 2014 will be one of only three, four, or five states with no minor party or independent candidates on the November ballot for statewide office. The others are California, New Mexico, and possibly New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, depending on whether the Libertarian petition in New Hampshire and the Green petition in Pennsylvania succeed. Also, this year, Alabama will be the only state with only one candidate on the ballot for U.S. Senate.

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Independent New Jersey Candidate for U.S. House Waiting for State Appeals Court to Rule on HIs Ballot Access

Published on July 24, 2014,

Edward Forchion, independent candidate for U.S. House, 3rd district, in New Jersey, is still waiting to see if the State Appeals Court puts him on the ballot. See this story.

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California Minor Parties File Reply Brief in Lawsuit that Challenges Top-Two Primary System

Published on July 24, 2014,

On July 23, the Peace & Freedom Party, the Libertarian Party of California, and the Green Party of Alameda County filed this 31-page reply brief in Rubin v Bowen, A140387. The case is now fully briefed. In a few months, the State Appeals Court is likely to set a date for oral argument.