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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. District Court Declines to Put Green Party Slate on Illinois Ballot, But Suggests that Two Ballot Access Laws May be Unconstitutional

Published on August 21, 2014,

On August 21, U.S. District Court Judge John J. Tharp, Jr., declined to put the Green Party statewide nominees on the Illinois ballot. The case is Summers v Smart, 1:14cv-5398, northern district. However, the 20-page opinion suggests that the full-slate requirement is likely unconstitutional, and also suggests that the notarization requirement may be unconstitutional. But because the party complied with the full-slate requirement, and also did notarize all the petition sheets it submitted, the opinion says enjoining either or both of those two laws would not make any difference this year. The party did not submit as many as 25,000 valid signatures in any event.

The Opinion says, “This is a situation of the plaintiffs’ own making. Rather than bring a timely lawsuit to enjoin the provisions that the Plaintiffs allege to be unconstitutional in themselves and collectively – the complete slate requirement, the notarization requirement, and the binder-check rules – the plaintiffs waited to sue until the only possible preliminary injunctive remedy was to place them on the ballot notwithstanding the allegedly overburdensome ballot access requirements.” UPDATE: here is a news story.

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Chicago Sun Times Story Says Armed Detectives Rang Doorbells of Voters Who Signed the Libertarian Statewide Petition

Published on August 21, 2014,

The Chicago Times has this story, saying armed private detectives rang doorbells of voters who signed the Libertarian Party’s statewide candidate petition. The story says these detectives then tried to persuade the voters to sign affidavits, disavowing their signature.

As the voter quoted at the end of the story says, the experience will cause him (and surely others as well) never to sign a ballot access petition again.

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Georgia Ballot Access Hearing Set for August 25

Published on August 21, 2014,

Jeff Amason, the Georgia Libertarian Party’s only candidate for the legislature this year, has a court date for his ballot access lawsuit. It will be heard on Monday, August 25, at 10 a.m., in Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta. The issue is whether his petition is valid. He has enough valid signatures, but the state rejected the notarization.

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Oregon Citizens Initiative Review Commission, Randomly Selected Panel of Voters, Opposes Oregon Top-Two Initiative by Vote of 14-5

Published on August 21, 2014,

On August 20, the Oregon Citizens Initiative Review issued these findings about Oregon’s Measure 90, the top-two primary initiative. The group voted to oppose the measure by a vote of 14-5. The group acknowledged the positive points about top-two, but concluded that the harm done by limiting choices in the general election to just two candidates outweighs the good. The report will be printed in the Oregon Voters Handbook, which is mailed to all Oregon voters before the election.

The Oregon Citizens Initiative Review was established by the legislature in 2011. In July 2014, the administrators of the panel announced that this year, the Review would investigate Measure 90, and also the initiative for genetically moderated foods. The process for Measure 90 was conducted August 17-20 in the Salem Convention Center, and anyone could attend. Members of the panel had been selected from ordinary voters in a process that started when 5,000 voters were randomly sent a postal letter, asking if they wished to participate. Those who wished to participate were then chosen randomly, with demographic characteristics of the panel matched to the state’s demographics, for ethnicity, sex, income, residence, and age.

Here is an Oregonian newspaper story about the outcome. The reference in the report to the disqualification of certain political parties refers to the Constitution Party and the Progressive Party. If the measure passes, it is overwhelmingly likely they will lose qualified status, because they are far short of having registration membership of one-half of 1% of the state total. The measure would eliminate the alternate 1% vote test because parties would no longer have nominees.

The Commission hasn’t worked yet on the initiative for genetically modified foods. Thanks to Blair Bobier for the link to the newspaper story.

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Zephyr Teachout Wins Again on Ballot Access

Published on August 20, 2014,

On August 20, a mid-level state court in New York agreed with the trial court that Zephyr Teachout should remain on the New York Democratic primary ballot. See this story. The issue was whether she has been a New York resident for the past five years. Thanks to Blair Bobier for the link.

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Washington Post Story Lists Instances of One Major Party Trying to Influence the Outcome of the Primary of the Other Major Party

Published on August 20, 2014,

Philip Bump has this list of instances when one major party, or its adherents, tried to determine the nominee of the other major party, via advertising. The examples cover the last twelve years, and are mostly gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races. Bump also includes one U.S. House race, and one presidential race, the Democratic contest in 2004. There are many other recent examples involving state legislative races and U.S. House races, especially in California and Washington. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.