|This issue was originally printed on blue paper.|
On February 21, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Korman ruled that New York ballot access procedures for district office are so difficult as to be unconstitutional. Rockefeller v Powers, 95-cv-4478. The decision was welcome, but no surprise, because last November, Judge Korman had also ruled them unconstitutional, on equal protection grounds.
Korman's equal protection ruling had been overturned last December by the U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd circuit.
But on February 28, a different panel of the 2nd circuit affirmed the Korman ruling of February 21. On February 29, the 2nd circuit released its own opinion (no. 96-7173), agreeing with Korman that petition requirements of 1,250 signatures or 5% of the number of eligible signers (whichever is less) are so difficult that they are unconstitutional, given the short 37-day time frame in which to collect them, and the hypertechnical procedures required for all New York petitions.
The recent 2nd circuit panel was composed of Judges Ellsworth Van Graafeiland and Thomas Meskill, Ford appointees, and Ralph Winter, a Reagan appointee.
It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of the ruling. Although the plaintiffs were suing over the procedures for Republican presidential primary ballot access, those procedures are not fundamentally different from New York procedures for unqualified party and independent candidates (for district office), and the New York legislature is now likely to improve all ballot access procedures, not just procedures for the Republican presidential primary.
The concrete effect of the decision is that Steve Forbes will be on the primary ballot throughout the state, and Pat Buchanan will be on in most of the state.
Bob Dole had already qualified; no other Republicans had even attempted to qualify, and it is too late for any others to take advantage of the ruling. The New York primary is March 7.
In the aftermath of the ruling, Governor George Pataki and U.S. Senator Alfonso D'Amato, who had previously defended the state's difficult procedures, now say they have no disagreement with the idea of easing ballot access.
(See also this update.)
On February 7, federal judge Charles Kocoras, a Carter appointee, upheld Illinois petition procedures for new party candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives. Libertarian Party of Illinois v Rednour, 95 C 6456.
Illinois requires a petition signed by 5% of the last vote cast, to be completed in 90 days. Ironically, the number of signatures needed for a new party to qualify a candidate for the U.S. House in all Illinois districts in 1996 is approximately 155,000 signatures, far more onerous than the 36,000 signatures needed to qualify a Republican presidential candidate for the New York state presidential primary (see preceding story), yet the Illinois requirements were upheld, while the New York ones were invalidated.
The Libertarian Party plans to appeal to the 7th circuit. The party had argued that the 5% standard is unconstitutional, under the U.S. Supreme Court 1995 decision U.S. Term Limits v Thornton, which said that states may have "procedures" to regulate ballot access for the purpose of orderly elections, but that if these procedures discriminate against a class of candidates (for Congress), then they are "qualifications" and are forbidden.
Judge Kocoras appeared not to have read any of the plaintiff's arguments or evidence.
He simply asserted that the 5% petition is needed to insure that the election administration process is orderly, without acknowledging any of the evidence rebutting this. His decision is only 10 pages long.
Korcoras failed to even acknowledge another argument, which was that since Illinois doesn't require 5% petitions for Congress in years after reapportionment, therefore the state doesn't need 5% petitions in other election years either.
The Libertarian Party had also argued that, since the state already recognizes that it is a qualified party for statewide office, it is absurd that the state shouldn't recognize it for all partisan office within the state. Korcoras responded "If the Libertarians were established across the board for all races, there would be many empty slots and voter confusion would be increased. Illinois has an interest in keeping the ballot uncluttered and easy to understand". He ignored evidence which showed that the number of candidates on the November ballot for legislature is typically 1.7 candidates per seat. He failed to acknowledge any state interest in giving the voters a choice among candidates.
On February 20, the Committee for Party Renewal filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, supporting the Libertarian Party's appeal in its North Carolina lawsuit. This is the first time the Committee, or any group of political scientists, have asked the Supreme Court to hear a ballot case brought by a third party.
The Court will probably announce in April whether it will hear the case, which challenges the 10% vote requirement for a party to remain qualified, as well as a law which forbids voters from registering as members of unqualified parties.
On February 20, Arkansas rejected the Reform Party petition. If it had succeeded, the Reform Party would have been the first political party that ever qualified for the ballot by petition, in Arkansas history.
Arkansas requires 21,506 signatures, due in January. The party turned in 31,000 signatures, but Arkansas says it only turned in 28,000 and that only 17,000 are valid. The party says the state lost 64 petition sheets. The party also says that it would have qualified, if the state had kept its promise to let the party have an additional thirty days to supplement its petition, if needed. Finally, the party points out that it probably would have qualified except that Arkansas purged its voter registration list in January, just before checking the petitions.
The Reform Party has the option of suing Arkansas over its early petition deadline, if it is willing to submit another 4,000 valid signatures. The old party petition deadline of April was declared unconstitutionally early in 1977 in American Party of Arkansas v Jernigan. The state then changed the deadline to May, but in 1987 it changed it back to January, in complete defiance of the court ruling.
1. Maine: the party's lawsuit to get on the ballot seems likely to succeed. Some of the town clerks who were sued, are already offering to validate additional signatures.
2. Ohio: the party says it has found enough signatures which were improperly invalidated, to be on the ballot. However, some ex-members of United We Stand America, who oppose the party, have charged that some of the signatures which the state originally validated, are invalid, because (according to the allegations) some of the petitioners were not bona fide Ohio residents. The matter will probably end up in court.
3. According to the Wall Street Journal, Ross Perot is willing to be the party's stand-in presidential candidate, in those states in which a candidate must be listed on petitions.
1. Florida: on February 7, the State Supreme Court announced that it will not hear the lawsuit Libertarian Party of Florida v Smith, 95-547, over whether the 3% petition requirement violates the state Constitution.
2. Georgia: on February 13, a request for a rehearing was filed in the 11th circuit in Chandler v Miller, 95-8230, over whether the state may require all candidates for state office to pass a test for illegal drug use.
3. Oklahoma: the U.S. Taxpayers Party is about to file a lawsuit, charging that Oklahoma's strict ballot access laws for federal office, violate Article I of the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit, to be filed in federal court, will depend on last year's U.S. Supreme Court decision U.S. Term Limits v Thornton.
4. Texas: on Nov. 27, 1995, a federal judge struck down Texas law which makes it illegal for a voter to possess any written communication (other than something which the voter himself or herself prepared) while in the voting booth. Cotham v Garza, 905 F. Supp. 389 (Sou. Dist.)
5. Virginia: on Oct. 30, 1995, a federal judge struck down Virginia law which makes it illegal for anyone to produce anonymous writings expressing an opinion about any candidate or any referendum. Virginia Society for Human Life v Caldwell, 906 F. Supp. 1071 (Western Dist.)
On January 11, the Federal Election Commission ruled that if someone seeking the presidential nomination of a minor party qualifies for matching funds, the candidate can use the money to help qualify his or her party for the general election ballot, in states in which it is not already qualified. Advisory Op. 1995-45. The ruling had been requested by John Hagelin, who is seeking the Natural Law Party presidential nomination. Hagelin will probably be the only third party candidate this year to actually receive primary season matching funds.
Harry Browne, who is seeking the Libertarian nomination, recently requested an advisory opinion from the FEC as to how he can submit proof that he has qualified for primary season matching funds, and yet not actually receive the money. He is conscientiously opposed to taking tax money for his campaign. The FEC has not yet answered the question.
The Texas Secretary of State has revised the petition form for new parties, so that it now reads, in large type: "This Statement MUST be read to each person before signing the petition. 'I know that the purpose of this petition is to entitle the (blank) party to have its nominees placed on the ballot in the general election for state and county officers. I have not voted in a primary election or participated in a convention of another party during this voting year, and I understand that I become ineligible to do so by signing this petition. I understand that signing more than one petition to entitle a party to have its nominees placed on the general election ballot in the same election is prohibited.'" (capital letters in original).
Anyone who has ever petitioned, knows that speed is essential. It takes approximately 25 seconds to read this statement, and will probably become a substantial impediment to successful petitioning. The Texas Secretary of State has not added the same language to the independent presidential candidate petition, but says that if any independent candidate attempts to petition in Texas, that the language will be added.
Herb Titus, general counsel to the U.S. Taxpayers Party, believes that there is no authority in Texas law to require that each petitioner read this lengthy statement, and hopes to persuade Texas to delete or shrink the instruction.
The new FEC rule, requiring debate sponsors (for federal elections) to use objective criteria, is expected to be made permanent on March 7.
See this note about tables.
|Willie F. Carter||85||.10|
Arizona and South Dakota did not hold Democratic presidential primaries.
President Clinton refused to file in the North Dakota Democratic primary because the primary violates national party rules: it is too early, and it permits non-Democrats to vote in the Democratic primary.
See this note about tables.
The Reform Party does not want any state to hold a presidential primary for it. However, North Dakota held one for the party anyway, although no candidates' names appeared in it.
See this note about tables.
Figures are complete, but unofficial.
|Billy Joe Clegg||118||.06|
|Hubert D. Patty||17||.01|
|C. A. Aldrich||19||.01|
See this note about tables.
See this note about tables.
The Libertarian Party is entitled to a presidential primary in Delaware, but no Libertarian was able to get on that ballot. Delaware required that candidates either be qualified for matching funds, or submit 500 signatures of party members. Later, after it was too late to submit petitions, the state lowered the requirement to 300, to accommodate Alan Keyes, who had submitted approximately 400 signatures to be on the Republican primary ballot.
1. Alabama: on February 9, Alabama attempted to answer the U.S. Justice Department's questions, concerning why it tripled the number of signatures needed for new parties and non-presidential independent candidates, last year. If the U.S. Justice Department is not satisfied with the answers, it may veto the 1995 signature increase.
Alabama refused to answer some of the questions, saying it was too difficult to do the research. For example, the state made no attempt to learn how many third party and independent candidates on the ballot in the last decade were black.
2. California: AB 2098, by Assemblyman Dominic Cortese, would set forth Reform Party rules in the election code. The bill is surprising, since in 1989 the U.S. Supreme Court said that states have no authority to write party rules into law. Cortese is a Reform Party member.
3. Florida: HB 845, a massive bill amending hundreds of election laws, would permit an unqualified party to circulate its presidential petition, before it knows who its presidential candidate will be. Unfortunately, it also raises the fee for checking a signature on a third party petition from 10 cents, to one dollar, even though in 1992 the 11th circuit ruled that it is unconstitutional for the state to charge for this at all.
4. Iowa: Two good bills are pending. HF 2387 would let unqualified parties use stand-in candidates on their petitions. SF 2047 would let voters register into any party, whether it is qualified or not. There has been no qualified third party in Iowa since 1970, so for the last quarter century, Iowans have not been permitted to register into any party but the Democratic and Republican Parties.
5. Maine: LD 1461, signed into law on July 3, 1995, and not noted previously by B.A.N., moves the Maine independent candidate deadline from early June, to late May. Maine already had the second earliest independent presidential petition deadline in the nation, and now it is even more restrictive.
6. Kansas: SB 543, signed into law on February 12, abolished the presidential primary for this year.
7. Maryland: SB 330, which vastly liberalizes Maryland ballot access laws for third parties and independent candidates, had a hearing on Feb. 29 in the Senate Elections Committee. The Committee will vote any day now, and is expected to pass the bill overwhelmingly.
8. Michigan: HB 4242, which was signed into law Jan. 4, makes it illegal for any local governmental body to appoint anyone to the position of election inspector (polling place official), unless the appointee is a member of one of the two parties which polled the largest number of votes for Secretary of State at the last election.
Michigan does not provide for voters to indicate party membership, on voter registration forms. How, then, can this law be enforced? The law says that local officials should monitor whether the appointee has made "documented public statements specifically supporting by name another political party or its candidates"!
Michigan (2): HB 4794 passed the House Elections Committee on Feb. 20. It authorizes a very limited experiment, for putting "None of the above" on primary ballots. Specifically, it authorizes "NOTA" to be placed on the 1996 primary ballot in just one particular legislative district, the district represented by the bill's author.
9. Missouri: HB 845 would make it illegal for anyone to pay someone else to circulate an initiative petition, if the payment was on a per signature basis. It has not advanced.
10. New Hampshire: HB 1161 passed the House on February 21. It would create, for the first time in this state, a petition procedure by which a new party could qualify itself as a political party. The petition would not name any candidates. The petition would need signatures equal to 3% of the last vote for Governor, and be due in July. If the bill passes, the Reform Party is likely to make use of the new procedure.
11. North Carolina: members of the Election Committees of both houses heard testimony on March 5, on why ballot access should be eased.
12. South Dakota: SB 106, which would move the presidential primary from February, back to June, has passed both houses, and is in a conference committee.
1. Nebraska: the only entry in the Libertarian primary in May will be Harry Browne. Nebraska law automatically puts candidates on presidential primary ballots if they are discussed in the media. The Secretary of State used a LEXIS search to determine which names to list, and Browne was the only Libertarian whose name appeared in newspapers often enough to satisfy the state.
2. New Mexico: the Green Party will have a contest in its presidential primary between Ralph Nader and Mary Cal Hollis. Hollis is also the Socialist Party nominee.
Republican presidential hopeful Lamar Alexander failed to submit 2,000 signatures to appear on the Pennsylvania Republican primary. He turned in only 1,500, and thus will not appear in Pennsylvania's primary.
Two new parties that are only organized in a single state have qualified for the ballot: the Independent American Party in Utah; and the Independence Party in Mississippi.
See this note about tables.
|FULL PARTY||CAND.||LIBT||REFORM||NATL LAW||TAXPAYR||PARTY||CAND.|
|Alabama||11,991||5,000||already on||*1,000||*finished||0||Sep 2||Sep 2|
|Alaska||2,586||2,586||already on||maybe on||*2,500||finished||in doubt||in doubt|
|Arizona||15,062||(es) 8,000||already on||0||*1,500||*1,600||May 21||Jun 30|
|Arkansas||21,506||0||0||*in dispute||0||0||Jan 2||Sep 15|
|California||(reg) 89,007||147,238||already on||already on||already on||already on||Oct 24 95||Aug 9|
|Colorado||no procedure||0||0||0||0||0||--||Jul 16|
|Connecticut||no procedure||7,500||*250||maybe on||0||*400||--||Aug 7|
|Delaware||(reg.) 191||3,828||already on||maybe on||(reg) *110||(reg) *170||Aug 17||Jul 15|
|D.C.||no procedure||(es) 3,500||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||--||Aug 20|
|Florida||196,788||65,596||*13,000||*10,000||*750||0||Jul 16||Jul 15|
|Georgia||30,036||30,036||already on||0||0||0||Jul 9||Jul 9|
|Hawaii||4,889||3,829||already on||maybe on||*3,800||0||Apr 24||Sep 6|
|Idaho||9,644||4,822||already on||0||0||*600||Aug 31||Aug 26|
|Illinois||no procedure||25,000||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||--||Aug 5|
|Indiana||no procedure||29,822||already on||0||0||0||--||Jul 15|
|Iowa||no procedure||1,500||0||0||*1,000||*400||--||Aug 16|
|Kansas||16,418||5,000||already on||*5,000||0||*2,800||Jun 1||Aug 6|
|Kentucky||no procedure||5,000||*1,500||0||100||*1,100||--||Aug 29|
|Louisiana||0||0||0||maybe on||0||0||Jun 30||Aug 29|
|Maine||(reg) 25,565||4,000||*2,400||in court||0||*1,700||De 14 95||May 24|
|Maryland||10,000||*72,785||already on||0||*4,500||*15,000||Aug 5||Aug 5|
|Massachsts.||(reg) 34,000||10,000||already on||0||0||*1,000||*Feb 14||Jul 30|
|Michigan||30,891||30,891||already on||*10,000||0||0||Jul 18||Jul 18|
|Minnesota||89,731||2,000||can't start||maybe on||can't start||can't start||May 1||Sep 10|
|Mississippi||just be org.||1,000||already on||*maybe on||*already on||already on||Apr 1||Sep 6|
|Missouri||10,000||10,000||already on||0||*500||0||Aug 5||Aug 5|
|Montana||10,471||10,471||already on||*11,000||*finished||0||Mar 14||Jul 31|
|Nebraska||5,773||2,500||*already on||*2,500||*4,100||0||Aug 1||Aug 27|
|Nevada||3,761||3,761||already on||*1,000||already on||already on||Jul 11||Jul 11|
|New Hampshire||no procedure||3,000||already on||0||0||0||--||Aug 7|
|New Jersey||no procedure||800||0||0||*450||*1,200||--||Jul 29|
|New Mexico||2,339||14,029||already on||*1,500||*400||0||Apr 2||Sep 10|
|New York||no procedure||15,000||can't start||maybe on||can't start||can't start||--||Aug 20|
|North Carolina||51,904||(es) 80,000||*35,000||*9,000||*50,000||1,700||May 15||Jun 28|
|North Dakota||7,000||4,000||already on||already on||already on||0||De 29 95||Sep 6|
|Ohio||33,463||5,000||*300||needs 2,438||already on||*3,300||Aug 22||Aug 22|
|Oklahoma||49,751||41,711||*41,000||*15,000||*0||7,600||May 31||Jul 15|
|Oregon||18,316||14,601||already on||maybe on||50||0||Aug 27||Aug 27|
|Pennsylvania||no procedure||24,425||*500||0||0||0||--||Aug 1|
|Rhode Island||18,069||1,000||can't start||maybe on||can't start||can't start||Aug 1||Sep 6|
|South Carolina||10,000||10,000||already on||*already on||finished||already on||May 5||Aug 1|
|South Dakota||7,792||3,117||already on||*1,500||*50||0||Apr 2||Aug 6|
|Tennessee||37,179||25||0||*10,000||0||0||Apr 3||Aug 20|
|Texas||43,963||61,541||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||May 27||May 13|
|Utah||500||300||already on||already on||finished||already on||Mar 1||Sep 1|
|Vermont||just be org.||1,000||already on||0||already on||0||Sep 19||Sep 19|
|Virginia||no procedure||15,168||*300||already on||*100||0||--||Aug 23|
|Washington||no procedure||200||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||--||Jul 6|
|West Virginia||no procedure||6,837||*5,500||0||0||0||--||Aug 1|
|Wisconsin||10,000||2,000||already on||0||0||already on||Jun 1||Sep 3|
|Wyoming||8,000||9,810||already on||*2,000||*1,200||0||May 1||Aug 25|
Green is on in Ak, Ca, Me, NM, Or, and has 4,500 in Hi. Socialist Equality has *4,000 in Mich. Other nationally-organized parties on: Grassrts in Vt.; New Pty in Wis.; Socialist in Ore & Vt; Wrkrs Wrld in Mich; Prohi. in Tn. "FULL PARTY REQ." is a procedure by which a new party can qualify before it chooses candidates; not every state has such a procedure. "Maybe On" in Reform Party column means there is a qualified party which may join. * -- entry changed since last issue.
On February 12, the Workers League, through its newspaper, The International Workers Bulletin, announced its presidential ticket for 1996, and further announced that it will campaign under a new party name: Socialist Equality Party. The Workers League was formed in 1966 and has been running candidates for public office since 1974. It can be reached at PO Bx 48377, Oak Park MI 48237, (810)-967-2924.
The Socialist Equality candidate for president is Jerry White, 36, of Detroit, Michigan. He has been a teamster and political organizer. The vice-presidential candidate is Fred Mazelis, 54, of New York city; he also ran for vice-president for the Workers League in 1992.
On February 22-23, the American Party held its national convention in Wichita, Kansas, and nominated Diane Beall Templin for president and Gary Van Horn for vice-president. Delegates from ten states attended.
Templin, 44, is a lawyer and water aerobics instructor, and has helped rear 67 foster children as well as her own children. Her campaign can be reached at 1016 Circle Dr., Escondido Ca 92025, (619) 480-0428. She is also seeking the presidential nomination of the Reform Party and the U.S. Taxpayers Party. Last December she was the only person who attempted to petition her way onto the presidential primary ballot of the Reform Party in California, but she only obtained 1,100 of the needed 1,250 signatures of Reform Party registrants. No one actually qualified to run in the Reform Party's presidential primary in California and no such primary will be held.
Van Horn, 60, is an engineer in Utah, and was the American Party's candidate for U.S. Senate in 1994.
Charles E. Collins, of Forsyth, Georgia, has been seeking the Republican presidential nomination, and had already qualified for Republican presidential primary ballots in California, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Texas. However, the Republican National Committee refused to acknowledge him as a "legitimate" candidate, and he had been barred from all Republican debates.
Last month, he announced that he is abandoning the Republican Party, and will try to qualify as an independent candidate. He can be reached at Bx 27, Forsyth GA 31029, 1-800-994-8322. He has not yet chosen a running mate.
Collins' independent bid was endorsed by the national C.U.R.E. meeting held in Wichita, Kansas, on February 20. C.U.R.E. is an ad hoc group headed by former Arizona Republican Governor Evan Mechem, formed to nominate an independent candidate for president who would do away with the War Powers Act, withdraw from the U.N., NAFTA and GATT, and abolish the federal reserve.
The C.U.R.E. endorsement vote was: Collins 136, State Senator Don Rogers of California 68, John Yiamouyiannas 25, others or abstain 17. Since C.U.R.E. is not a political party and not an actual organization, it is not clear that C.U.R.E.'s endorsement is of any practical use to getting Collins on November ballots.
The Feb. 7 B.A.N. carried recent registration data for states which have released it. Since then, two more states have released new data: New Hampshire reports 285,042 Republicans, 209,188 Democrats, 3,478 Libertarians, and 190,657 independent and miscellaneous. South Dakota reports 211,896 Republicans, 173,348 Democrats, 553 Libertarians, 123 miscellaneous, and 43,508 independents.