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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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U.S. Supreme Court Asks for Response in Case Challenging Florida Ban on Judicial Candidates Asking for Campaign Funds

Published on July 30, 2014,

The Florida Bar Association prohibits candidates in judicial elections from asking anyone to make a campaign contribution. In 2009, Lanell Williams-Yulee sent a mass e-mail, asking for campaign contributions, to thousands of voters in her district. The Bar fined her $1,800 and reprimanded her, and the Florida Supreme Court upheld the Bar’s actions.

She appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on June 17, 2014. On July 24, the U.S. Supreme Court asked the Florida Bar Association to respond. The Bar Association had earlier told the U.S. Supreme Court it didn’t intend to file a response, but now, of course, the Bar will do so. Generally, when the U.S. Supreme Court asks for a response, there is a one-in-three chance that the Court will eventually take the case.

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New Mexico Secretary of State Won’t Defend Closed Primary in Court, so Attorney General Asks to Intervene

Published on July 30, 2014,

On July 30, New Mexico Attorney General Gary King asked the Bernalillo District Court that is hearing Crum v Duran to let him intervene in the case. The lawsuit, filed by some independent voters, says that the New Mexico Constitution requires that independent voters be allowed to vote in partisan primaries. The Secretary of State, Dianna Duran, has chosen not to defend the law, and she is the Defendant. Therefore, unless the Attorney General is allowed to intervene, there will be no one to defend the state law that says only party members may vote in party primaries.

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Anonymous Group Publishes Names and Address of Texas Petition Signers on Internet

Published on July 30, 2014,

An anonymous group has posted the names and addresses of all Houston, Texas residents who signed a referendum petition. The referendum would repeal an anti-discrimination city ordinance that is intended to protect anyone from being fired for sexual orientation. The group that posted the signatures says it believes in public disclosure. However, as this article points out, the people who posted the names are themselves keeping their identity a secret. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.

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New Jersey Independent Congressional Candidate Not Allowed to Pursue Ballot Access Lawsuit Without Paying $3,500 for Transcript

Published on July 30, 2014,

Ed Forchion, an independent candidate for U.S. House in New Jersey’s 3rd district, was ruled off the ballot after his petition was challenged. He needed 100 valid signatures. He submitted 200. But his petition was challenged, and election administrators determined that he had only 99 valid signatures. He appealed to Superior Court in June, but was told that he must go to the State Appeals Court.

However, the State Appeals Court won’t hear his case unless he pays $3,500 for a transcript of the proceedings before election officials. See this story.

Forchion says that he should be on the ballot because: (1) he does have 100 valid signatures; (2) if he doesn’t, it is because election officials gave him a map of the district that had errors in it; (3) regardless of all that, the law says challenges are due four days after the petition is submitted, but the Democratic Party official who challenged his petition didn’t object until six days; (4) furthermore the challenge was faxed, and that is not a permissible means for a challenge to be filed.

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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Newspaper Criticizes Pennsylvania Ballot Access

Published on July 30, 2014,

The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has this editorial, criticizing Pennsylvania ballot access. It is unusual for Pennsylvania newspapers to mention the problem that parties can’t remain on the ballot unless they have registration membership of 15% of the state total, which is over 1,000,000 registered members. This editorial does mention that problem.

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Florida State Court Still Hasn’t Ruled on How to Remedy Unconstitutional U.S. House District Boundaries

Published on July 30, 2014,

See this story for an update on the Florida state court lawsuit over the boundaries of the state’s U.S. House districts. A decision is expected in the new few days on what will be done about the fact that on July 10, the boundaries of some of the districts were ruled unlawful.