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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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New York Conservative Party Has Best Vote Showing Since 1990

Published on December 22, 2014,

At the November 4, 2014 election, the Conservative Party of New York polled the highest percentages for Congress and state legislature since 1990. In the 2014 election, for U.S. House, 8.46% of the voters who were able to vote “Conservative”, did so. For State Senate, 9.43% of the voters who were able to vote for the party did so. For Assembly, the percentage was 10.05%.

For all three categories of office, these were the highest percentages for the Conservative Party since 1990. The Conservatives did very well in 1990 for all levels of office, because the party had its own nominee (who was not the Republican nominee) for Governor, Herb London, who ran a strong campaign and almost outpolled the Republican nominee. London received 20.40% of the vote.

For Governor in 2014, the Conservative Party polled 6.57%, its best showing for Governor since 1998, when it polled 7.36%. By contrast, in 2010 the Conservative Party had polled 4.99% for Governor, and in 2006 only 3.80%.

In 2014, the party’s best showing for state legislature was in the Assembly race in the 115th district. The Conservative nominee, Karen M. Bisso, was the only opponent of the Republican nominee, and Bisso polled 34.65%. The 115th district includes Clinton and Franklin Counties, in the northeast corner of the state. Here is a news story about the race, from before the election.

Also in 2014, in the 143rd Assembly district in Erie County, the joint Republican-Conservative nominee, Angela Wozniak, is an enrolled Conservative Party member, and she won the election, although only 12.29% of the vote cast in that race was on the Conservative line. Wozniak lives in Cheektowaga and is 27 years old. In 2012, the 143rd Assembly district had elected a Democrat, but he didn’t run for re-election.

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New York State Senate Race Won by Democrat Who Only Polled 32.65% of Vote Cast

Published on December 21, 2014,

The State Senate race in New York’s 60th district in Buffalo featured a four-candidate race, in which the winning Democrat, Marc Panepinto, won with only 32.65% of the vote.

The incumbent State Senator, Republican Mark G. Grisanti, lost the Republican primary to Kevin T. Stocker. Grisanti had voted for a gun control measure and Stocker based his campaign on opposition to the measure, although it had already been passed and signed into law. But Grisanti was still in the general election because the Independence Party nominated him. The Conservative Party ran its own nominee, Timothy D. Gallagher, because both Grisanti and Stocker support same-sex marriage. Thus, there were four candidates in the race.

The results were: Panepinto received 27.71% on the Democratic line and another 4.94% on the Working Families line, for a total of 32.65%.

Stocker received 30.86% on the Republican line.

Grisanti received 28.10% on the Independence line.

Gallagher received 8.40% on the Conservative line.

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Challenges Three-Fourths of Willie Wilson’s Signatures, Including Wilson’s Own Signature

Published on December 21, 2014,

Here is an article about the challenge to Willie Wilson’s petitions to be on the ballot for Mayor of Chicago. Incumbent Rahm Emanuel has challenged approximately three-fourths of Wilson’s petitions. According to this story, Emanuel even challenged Wilson’s own signature on his own petition.

Everyone needs at least 12,500 signatures to be on a Chicago ballot for citywide office.

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Arizona Bill to Protect Political Signs During Election Season

Published on December 20, 2014,

Arizona Representative John Allen (R-Scottsdale) has introduced HB 2002, to make it a misdemeanor for anyone to remove or deface a campaign sign between the period 45 days before a primary, and ending a week after the general election. The bill, of course, permits a candidate or his or her representative to remove his or her own sign. Here is a link to the text of the bill. This seems to be the only election law bill introduced so far in the Arizona legislature.

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North Carolina Supreme Court Upholds 2011 Congressional and Legislative Redistricting

Published on December 20, 2014,

On December 19, the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the 2011 redistricting plan for both U.S. House and state legislature. See this story. The voting rights advocates who brought the case say they will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the State Supreme Court. A similar case is before the U.S. Supreme Court now, concerning Alabama legislative districts. Both sets of plaintiffs argue that the districts pack too many African-American voters into certain districts, which prevents them from having an impact on most other districts. There were other issues in the North Carolina case as well, concerning splitting precincts.

The North Carolina case is Dickson v Rucho, 201PA12. Here is a link to the 51-page decision. The vote was 4-2, with one justice not voting.

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North Carolina Representative Jason R. Saine Expected to Introduce Bill to Ease Number of Signatures for Ballot Access

Published on December 19, 2014,

North Carolina Representative Jason R. Saine (R-Lincolnton) is expected to introduce a bill in 2015, lowering the number of signatures for newly-qualifying parties and independent candidates to get on the ballot. Currently, North Carolina requires more signatures to get a party, or a statewide independent candidate, on the ballot than any other state. The 2016 petition requirement for both is 89,366 signatures. The petition for a party is due in May, and for an independent candidate, in June.

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