|This issue was originally printed on white paper.|
(See also this update.)
On March 17, the U.S. Supreme Court said it will hear Arkansas Educational TV v Forbes, no. 96-779, the case over whether government-owned media may sponsor candidate debates and invite only the Democratic and Republican nominees, even though other candidates are on the ballot. Arkansas Educational TV had filed its appeal back on November 19, 1996. Because the court took so long to decide whether it will hear this case, it is too late for it to be argued this term. The hearing will be in October or November 1997, and a decision isn't likely until early 1998.
This will be the first time the U.S. Supreme Court has ever heard a case over candidate debates. Many public figures in the last 25 years have tried to get the Court to hear a case involving who can be excluded from debates, with no success. These public figures include former U.S. Senator Eugene McCarthy, former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm (who ran for president in Democratic primaries in 1972), Peter Camejo (Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate in 1976), Lenora Fulani (New Alliance Party presidential candidate in 1988 and 1992), and Walker Chandler (Georgia Libertarian candidate for Lieutenant Governor).
Ralph Forbes was an independent candidate for Congress in Arkansas' 3rd district in 1992. He was one of only three candidates on the ballot, and polled 2.5%. During the campaign, Arkansas Educational TV, owned by the state, sponsored televised debates between Forbes' Democratic and Republican opponents, but excluded Forbes. Forbes sued, lost in the U.S. District Court, but won in the 8th circuit. The U.S. Supreme Court will now review the 8th circuit decision.
The Perot '96 Committee, and the Natural Law Party, may file amicus curiae briefs on Forbes' side.
Forbes, who is not an attorney, originally represented himself, but now the Rutherford Institute is providing his attorneys.
On November 7, 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court had turned down an earlier appeal by Arkansas Educational TV, in an earlier phase of this same case. It is surprising that the Court wasn't interested in this case in 1994, but is interested now. Perhaps the furor over the exclusion of Ross Perot from the 1996 debates persuaded the Court that the debate issue is an important one.
On March 31, HB 1168 passed the Senate State & Veterans Affairs Committee. It provides that a group with at least 1,000 registered members, or which submits 10,000 signatures, would be a qualified party, entitled to nominate by convention for all partisan office. A vote in the full Senate is likely this week.
On March 7, Virginia Governor George Allen signed SB 667, which legalizes write-ins for president.
Virginia had been one of three states which permits write-in votes generally, yet not for president (the others are Nebraska and South Carolina). This Virginia 1997 action is the first improvement in write-in law in any state, since the unfortunate 1992 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court Burdick v Takushi, which said that states may ban write-in votes.
On March 17, the Senate passed SB 293 by 38-8. The bill lowers the number of signatures needed for minor party candidates for statewide office from 3% of the registered voters (almost 80,000) to a flat 20,000, and for other office to 1% of the number of registered voters.
(See also this update.)
On March 12, the New Hampshire House passed HB 417, which changes the vote test for a party to remain qualified from 3% of the vote for its candidate for Governor, to 3% of the vote for any statewide office. The bill passed on a voice vote with no record made of the tally. The effect of the bill would be to restore the Libertarian Party as a qualified party, and also to make the Reform Party qualified for the first time.
The House amended the bill, to provide that small qualified parties nominate by convention, not by primary. Primaries would be restricted to parties which have registration membership of at least 3% of the state total.
When the bill is heard in the Senate Public Affairs Committee this week, the Libertarian Party may try to get the bill amended again, to provide that all qualified parties would continue to be provided with a presidential primary. New Hampshire holds its presidential primary in February and its primary for other office in September. The New Hampshire Reform Party has not taken an active role in shaping the bill.
On April 2, North Dakota Governor Edward Schafer signed SB 2368. It revises the vote test for a party to remain qualified, from one which polled 5% for Governor, to one which polled 5% for either Governor or President. One immediate effect of the bill is that the Reform Party is now a qualified party, since it polled 12% for president last year.
On March 14, Utah Governor Michael Leavitt signed SB 78, which raises the number of signatures for new parties from 500 to 2,000.
(See also this update.)
On March 7, the 7th circuit upheld Illinois election law which requires petitions signed by 5% of the last vote cast, for minor party candidates for district office. Libertarian Party of Illinois v Rednour, 96-1561.
The party had argued that since it is qualified for statewide office, it is irrational to require it to submit such onerous petitions for its candidates for district office. The court responded to this argument by belittling the party's electoral showing in the 1994 election. Must was made of the fact that the party had only polled 1.6% for Governor (if the party had polled 5% for Governor, it would have been considered qualified for all office, not just statewide office).
The party also argued that the 1995 U.S. Supreme Court decision U.S. Term Limits v Thornton meant that Illinois could not require 5% petitions for the party's candidates for the U.S. House. The 7th circuit refused to acknowledge that the Term Limits case changed the old understanding of whether states can add to the qualifications listed in the U.S. Constitution for Congress.
Prior to the 1995 decision, the common understanding (as expressed in numerous lower court opinions) was that the states could not prevent anyone from being elected to Congress, if he or she met the qualifications listed in the U.S. Constitution. However, states could make it difficult for certain classes of candidate to run for Congress, by keeping them off the ballot and forcing them to run as write-in candidates.
The U.S. Supreme Court went further; it said that states cannot even discriminate against any class of candidates for Congress. Consequently, it struck down the Arkansas term limits law, even though that law permitted anyone to be elected to Congress, via write-ins.
Illinois does discriminate against a class of candidates for Congress, namely, the class of candidates who are nominated by a qualified party which did not poll as much as 5% of the gubernatorial vote. The 7th circuit did not even discuss this point.
The 7th circuit also failed even to mention the party's third argument, which is that since Illinois only requires 5,000 signatures for minor party candidates for U.S. House in election years held after reapportionment, there can't be any valid state interest in requiring almost twice as many signatures in other election years. Since both the U.S. District Court and the 7th circuit failed even to mention this issue, any minor party is still free to file a new lawsuit strictly on this issue, since the issue has not been adjudicated. However, to have standing, the minor party would need to collect at least 5,000 valid signatures for one of its U.S. House candidates.
The opinion was written by Judge Michael Kanne, a Reagan appointee, and signed by Judge Kenneth Ripple, a Reagan appointee, and Walter Cummings, a Johnson appointee. No appeal is planned.
On March 17 the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Louisiana's appeal in Foster v Love, no. 96-670, over whether Louisiana is breaking federal law by holding its congressional elections in September instead of November. The lower court had ruled against the state.
1. Arizona: On March 28, U.S. District Court Judge William D. Browning, a Reagan appointee, ruled that the Green Party's challenge to Arizona independent candidate procedures has merit, and denied the state's motion to dismiss. Campbell v Hull, cv96-444. A trial will be held, unless the legislature amends the law. Arizona's independent candidate deadline is in June. For president, this is the third earliest deadline in the nation, after Texas and Maine.
2. Arkansas: On April 16, the 8th circuit will hear Arkansas' appeal in Citizens to Establish a Reform Party v Priest, no. 96-3238. The lower court had ruled that the January petition deadline for new parties is too early, and the 3% petition requirement is too difficult.
3. Florida: the Socialist Workers and Green Parties are appealing their loss in SWP v Leahy, the case over the law that unqualified parties must post a bond in order to register their party name. Florida says it won't enforce the law, so the lower court refused to declare it unconstitutional, but the parties want a judicial decision that the law is void.
4. Iowa: the 8th circuit had scheduled an April 15 hearing in Marcus v Iowa Public TV, over whether a TV station owned by the state could sponsor a congressional candidate debate and refuse to invite the Natural Law Party candidate to participate. However, the hearing was postponed indefinitely, since the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a somewhat similar case. The Natural Law Party has asked the 8th circuit to reconsider the postponement.
5. Virginia: (See also this update.) the 4th circuit will hold a hearing on May 8 in Wood v Brown [correct case name is Wood v Meadows], 96-1832, the case over Virginia's June petition deadline for non-presidential minor party and independent candidates. The lower court had struck down the deadline.
On March 26, the Alaska House passed HB 112, which makes it somewhat easier for a qualified party to remain on the ballot. The vote was 21-12, with Democrats opposed.
Current law defines "party" to be a group which polled at least 3% of the vote for Governor. The bill adds an alternative, that a party is also qualified if it has registration of at least 10,000 members.
The bill has partisan motivations. There are two qualified minor parties in Alaska: Alaska Independence, and Green. The Alaska 1994 gubernatorial vote was very close. The Republicans would like to entice the Alaska Independence Party to abstain from the 1998 gubernatorial race, since they believe that most voters who vote for that party, would vote Republican if the AIP had no candidate. Since the AIP has over 10,000 members, the bill provides a means to keep the AIP on the ballot after 1998, even if it skips the gubernatorial race (Greens only have 3,000).
HB 1771 was signed into law by Governor Mike Mike Huckabee on March 11. Unfortunately, it does not improve ballot access; it merely recodifies existing practice. The last issue of B.A.N. did not describe the bill accurately. The bill merely clarifies that the new party petition is due in January of an election year, not May (the old law contradicted itself).
The legislature ignored the fact that both the January deadline, and the number of signatures needed, were held unconstitutional last year. The state is hoping to overturn that decision on appeal.
1. Alabama: SB 479, by Senator Dwight Adams (R-Enterprise), would permit independent presidential candidates to qualify for the ballot by paying $500, instead of collecting 5,000 valid signatures.
2. Arizona: HB 2550, which would have eased independent candidate ballot access, failed to advance in time. SB 1238, which would let party committees recommend legislative candidates (so that they need not petition to get on the primary ballot) passed the Senate Gov't Operations Committee on March 31.
3. California: Assemblyman Tom Bordonaro (R-San Luis Obispo) has introduced AB 73, to license individuals who are paid to register voters. No hearing has been set yet.
4. Colorado: HB 1118, to put "none of the above" on ballots, lost on the House floor on a voice vote on February 17. SB 74, to move the primary from August to June, also lost.
5. Connecticut: HB 5037 and 5129, both of which would have outlawed First Amendment activity around polls (to varying distances), failed to move and are now dead (there is already a 75 foot barrier, but these bills would have expanded it).
6. Hawaii: (See also this update.) SB 1064, which would ease the requirements for a party to remain on somewhat (and restore the Green Party) is in conference committee.
7. Georgia: SB 149, which would lower the number of signatures for minor party and independent candidates for district and county office from 5% to 3% of the number of registered voters, failed to move in time to pass this year, but the bill could still advance in 1998. The same is true of HB 977, which would have authorized cumulative voting for U.S. House of Representatives.
8. Idaho: HB 167 was signed into law on March 24. It prohibits political activity within 100 feet of the polls on election day on private property, and 300 feet on public property.
9. Illinois: SB 173, which would have required petitions to be rejected if they don't have enough signatures (even if no one challenges them) failed to pass in time and is dead. SB 470, which would have restored the party lever device, also died.
10. Iowa: SF 422, which would have let voters register as members of unqualified parties, passed the Senate State Government Committee on March 12, but failed to advance further by the deadline, and is dead. A similar House bill, HF 156, did not advance at all.
11. Maine: The Senate Committee on Legal & Veterans Affairs took testimony on SP 428 (the bill to improve ballot access) on April 4, but the Committee hasn't voted yet. HP 64, which would have outlawed petitioning near the polls on election day, failed to pass.
12. Massachusetts: (See also this update.) H 1685, which lowers the number of registrants a new party needs (if it uses the registration alternative) to a flat 10,000 (current requirement is over 30,000), and which lets small qualified parties nominate by convention, has a hearing April 8. The Secretary of State has endorsed it.
13. Nebraska: LB 378, which would have legalized out-of-state petitioners, was defeated in the Government Committee on March 4. The issue is currently pending in the 8th circuit.
14. Nevada: On March 10, the Assembly passed AB 18, prohibiting First Amendment activity within 100 feet of the polls.
15. New Hampshire: (See also this update.) HB 446, which would outlaw "fusion", passed the House on March 18 and has a Senate hearing on April 16. Currently, two parties in New Hampshire may jointly nominate the same candidate, but only by the use of write-in voting at primaries.
16. North Carolina: (See also this update on HB 79.) HB 79, the bill which makes several improvements in ballot access for minor parties, is still being shaped. The bill may be amended to lower the number of signatures needed to get a party on the ballot. Also pending is SB 2, which would move the primary from May to September.
17. Oregon: (See also this update.) HB 2203 passed the House Rules & Elections Committee on April 2. As amended, it makes it slightly easier for a party to remain on the ballot. Existing law requires a vote of 1%, plus registration of .05% of the total number of registered voters. The bill changes the registration test to .05% of the last vote for governor. This will be easier to administer, since the existing number is constantly changing as voter registration itself constantly changes. The registration requirement in the bill works out to 605 registered members.
18. Texas: HB 2712 has been introduced by Jim Keffer (R-Eastland). It would lower the number of signatures for a new party to a flat 10,000; provide that any registered voter may sign (currently, primary voters can't sign), and move the deadline from May to August. Keffer is working very hard to build support for this bill. Also pending in Texas are HB 32 and HB 45, both of which would move the primary from March to May.
19. Washington: HB 1537, which would have banned out-of-state initiative petitioners, failed to move and is dead, even though it had 28 co-sponsors.
20. West Virginia: The bills to provide that any registered voter may sign a minor party or independent candidate petition are considered likely to pass, but some Senators wish to increase the number of signatures from 1% of the last vote cast, to 2%.
The Kentucky law on how a party retains its spot on the ballot has not been amended since the 1910's decade. It reads "Any political organization which cast 2% of the vote of the state at the last preceding election for presidential electors may nominate, by a convention or primary election held by the party in accordance with its constitution and bylaws, candidates for any offices to be voted for at any regular election." (§118.325).
For decades, this has always been interpreted to mean that if a group polled a vote of at least 2% for president, it was a qualified party, able to place its nominees on the general election ballot with no petitioning (another section of the law reserves primaries for parties which poll 20% of the vote, so parties which poll over 2%, but under 20%, nominate by convention).
Despite many precedents, including the recent precedent created by John Anderson's "Anderson Coalition Party" of 1980 (which was granted party status for 4 years, since Anderson polled over 2% of the vote), Kentucky's Secretary of State now interprets this venerable old law to mean that a party is not qualified, unless 2% of all the registered voters in the state are members of the party.
What makes this interpretation even more implausible, is that no one in Kentucky knows how many registered members there are in unqualified parties. Kentucky voter registration forms include a blank line in the "political party" area, and any voter is free to write any party name in that space. But elections officials do not keep track of how many voters register in any party, other than the Democratic and Republican Parties.
The Reform Party polled over 2% of the vote for president in 1996, but the Secretary of State won't recognize that it is qualified, since the Secretary of State believes that the law provides for a registration test, not a vote test. However, the Secretary of State has not taken any action to determine how many voters are registered members of the Reform Party. Nor has the Secretary of State asked for an Attorney General's Opinion.
The Secretary of State also says that he has no records from the 1980-1984 period, so he is unable to know that the "Anderson Coalition Party" enjoyed qualified status based on its vote. The Reform Party has obtained a statement from John Anderson, testifying that this was the case, but the Secretary of State disregards it.
Congressman Ron Paul of Texas will soon introduce a bill to outlaw restrictive ballot access laws for minor party and independent candidates for federal office. Constitutional authority for the bill is in Article I, which says that states may write election laws for federal office, but that Congress may alter them.
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of Georgia will soon introduce a bill to let states elect their members of the U.S. House by proportional representation.
Several U.S. Senators are about to introduce a new campaign finance bill, which would provide public funding for U.S. Senate candidates who obtain a certain number of $5 qualifying contributions from their own states. The details on the amount of public funding for minor party and independent candidates are still being worked out; the people working on the bill are trying to write a bill which is not discriminatory. It will be called the "Clean Money/Clean Elections" Bill.
The Indiana Election Division recently amended its official canvass to include write-ins from Lake County as well as Hamilton County. The new state write-in totals are: Ralph Nader 980 (up from 895); Howard Phillips 337 (up from 291); John Hagelin 121 (up from 118); Charles Collins 14 (up from 11). Contrary to what was reported in the last B.A.N., these votes will be included in the printed official returns.
The Alaska Libertarians recently submitted a petition to qualify for the presidential ballot in 2000 (such a petition need not name the candidate).
S.25, the "mainstream" campaign finance bill now pending in the Senate, authored by Senators John McCain and Russell Feingold, has some provisions which would have had odd consequences, had the bill been law during the 1990's.
The bill provides that only candidates who are the nominees of parties which polled at least 25% of the vote in the last U.S. Senate race in their state, would be entitled to substantial amounts of free TV time. The authors of the bill seem not to have noticed that even the Democratic and Republican nominees for U.S. Senate, sometimes fail to poll as much as 25% of the vote.
In 1996, the Alaska Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate polled under 25% of the vote; in 1994, the Hawaii Republican nominee didn't get 25%; in 1992, the Louisiana Republicans failed this test; and in 1990, the Virginia Democrats, the Mississippi Democrats, the Georgia Republicans, the Oklahoma Republicans, and the Arkansas Republicans, all failed.
The Independent Progressive Politics Network will hold a "National Independent Politics Summit" in Decatur, Illinois, May 2-4. For more information, call Ted Glick at (718)-624-7807.
On March 6, the Federal Election Commission voted to continue letting the Socialist Workers Party avoid identifying its campaign contributors, until after the election in 2002. The SWP has enjoyed this exemption since 1982, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its favor. The party has always been able to show that individuals identified publicly with the party, are subject to harassment.
The only other political party to enjoy a similar exemption has been the Communist Party. However, the Communist Party didn't have any candidates for federal office in 1996, so the issue for the Communist Party is less pressing.
See this note about tables.
|FULL PARTY||CAND.||REFORM||LIB'T||NAT LAW||TAXPAYR||GREEN|
|Alaska||no procedure||#2,453||0||0||0||0||already on||June 1|
|Arizona||est. (reg.) 15,000||est #8,000||already on||already on||0||0||3,000||May 16|
|Arkansas||in court||10,000||already on||0||0||0||0||in court|
|California||(reg) 89,007||156,621||already on||already on||already on||already on||already on||Dec 31, '97|
|Colorado||no procedure||#1,000||0||0||0||0||0||Jul 14|
|Connecticut||no procedure||#7,500||0||0||0||already on||0||Aug 7|
|Delaware||est. (reg.) 200||4,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||20||Aug 22|
|D.C.||no procedure||#3,000||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Aug 26|
|Florida||242,337||242,337||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Jul 14|
|Georgia||38,113||#38,113||already on||already on||in court||in court||0||Jul 14|
|Idaho||9,835||1,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||0||Aug 31|
|Illinois||no procedure||#25,000||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Aug 3|
|Indiana||no procedure||#29,822||0||already on||0||0||0||Jul 15|
|Iowa||no procedure||#1,500||already on||0||0||0||0||Aug 14|
|Kansas||16,418||5,000||already on||already on||0||0||0||Jun 1|
|Kentucky||no procedure||#5,000||disputed||0||0||0||0||Aug 27|
|Louisiana||est. (reg) 128,000||0||already on||400||10||10||50||Jul 1|
|Maine||(reg) 30,288||#4,000||already on||0||0||0||in court||Dec 12, '97|
|Maryland||est. 88,000||est. 78,000||0||0||0||0||0||Aug 3|
|Massachusetts||est. (reg) 32,000||#10,000||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Aug 18|
|Michigan||30,891||30,891||already on||already on||0||0||0||Jul 16|
|Minnesota||109,487||#2,000||already on||0||0||0||0||Jun 1|
|Mississippi||just be org.||#1,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||0||Apr 3|
|Missouri||10,000||10,000||already on||already on||0||already on||0||Jul 27|
|Montana||16,039||#10,097||already on||already on||already on||0||0||Mar 12|
|Nebraska||5,741||2,000||already on||0||0||0||0||Aug 1|
|Nevada||4,498||4,498||already on||already on||already on||already on||already on||Jul 9|
|New Hampshire||14,901||#3,000||0||0||0||0||0||Aug 5|
|New Jersey||no procedure||#800||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Apr 9|
|New Mexico||8,342||14,029||already on||already on||0||0||already on||Apr 7|
|New York||no procedure||#15,000||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Aug 18|
|North Carolina||51,324||est. 82,000||0||50,000||0||0||0||May 18|
|North Dakota||7,000||1,000||already on||0||0||0||0||Apr 3|
|Ohio||45,345||5,000||already on||0||0||0||0||Jan 5|
|Oklahoma||60,336||0||already on||0||0||0||0||Jun 1|
|Oregon||18,282||13,292||already on||already on||already on||0||already on||Aug 25|
|Penn.||no procedure||est. #25,000||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Aug 3|
|Rhode Island||18,069||#1,000||0||0||0||0||0||Aug 1|
|South Carolina||10,000||10,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||0||May 3|
|South Dakota||7,792||#3,117||0||already on||0||0||0||Apr 7|
|Texas||43,963||43,963||can't start||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||May 24|
|Utah||2,000||#300||already on||already on||0||finished||finished||Feb 15|
|Vermont||just be org.||#1,000||already on||already on||already on||0||already on||Sep 17|
|Virginia||no procedure||est. 15,500||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||in court|
|Washington||no procedure||#200||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Jul 3|
|West Virginia||no procedure||#5,957||0||already on||0||0||0||May 11|
|Wisconsin||10,000||#2,000||already on||already on||0||already on||already on||Jun 1|
|Wyoming||8,000||10,500||0||already on||0||0||0||Jun 1|
|TOTAL STATES ON||31||22||9||9||7|
"FULL PARTY REQ." is a procedure by which a new party can qualify before it chooses candidates; not every state has such a procedure. #candidate procedure in these states lets candidate choose a party label, which is printed on the ballot. "Deadline" refers to the "full party procedure"; if the state doesn't have one, then it refers to the candidate petition method.
U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES AND THE ELECTIONS: A BIOGRAPHICAL & HISTORICAL GUIDE, by James T. Havel. Two volume set, sold by Simon & Schuster, (800)-223-2336; $175 for both volumes, plus $6 shipping. Review by Tim Coughlin.
Vol. I: 866 pp., biographies of candidates for president and vice-president. Vol. II: 414 pp., election returns, votes cast at presidential conventions, party platforms.
Volume I is the finest alphabetical roster in print on over 3,500 candidates for the nation's top two offices between 1789 and 1992. Included are nearly everyone who entered any party's primary, filed a declaration with the FEC since 1976, or had recorded convention or write-in votes. Mercifully omitted are most fantasy candidates like Mickey Mouse or Archie Bunker. Minor party candidates and independents finally win serious consideration.
This volume is exceptional for its biographical entries in the style of Who's Who, often adding published works, name changes or aliases, and even assorted nuggets ranging from kinship with other candidates to criminal convictions.
Presidential campaign studies had so obvious a void in this field that Havel may have overreached. One-fourth of the candidates get less coverage than that 1968 Yippie satire, Pigasus J. Pig. Some ballot-qualified nominees of many minor parties receive only the briefest mention, with those of the Grassroots, Right to Life, American and Socialist Labor Parties among the scantiest. Two vice-presidential nominees of antebellum abolitionist conventions were missed entirely, but such omissions are rare. A pair of self-proclaimed candidates, both aged 14, get more ink than many stand-in running mates paired on state ballots with McCarthy, Anderson, Fulani, Commoner and more.
A few entries are suspect. That for Caleb Harrison is not the "right" Caleb Harrison, 1916 v-p candidate for the Socialist Labor Party. Havel researched his field for 30 years but neglects many deaths since 1970. Another man who "died in 1989" is actually still alive and celebrated his 95th birthday last month. A number of birth years seem to be guesses and Havel missed an occasional biography in standard references.
Havel would have had no trouble finding material about a 1920 contender for the Farmer-Labor presidential nomination if he hadn't mistaken the middle initial of Frank P. Walsh. William M. "Wild Bill" Weidman of Ft. Smith, on the 1992 Arkansas ballot for Apathy Party vice-president, confounded Havel to the point where he misspelled separate entries under "Weldon" and "Wiedman".
Havel too liberally confers "presidential candidate" status on those who were simply running for presidential elector (official election returns in the past were often confusing on this point), e.g., Arkansas Democrat A. C. Brewer, Kansas Liberal Republican William Palmer, Mississippi Socialist Z. A. Rogers, North Dakota Communist Alfred Knutson.
A companion book is needed to put these candidates into an election chronology, but Volume II is a relative disappointment. Chapter-like sections are assigned to each quadrennial contest, but those of this century grow by inclusion of primary returns, summaries of tediously long but trendy platforms, and the mention of every scattered vote in a convention roll call or write-in canvass. Yet Havel forgets to mention a number of nominations cited in his first volume. Henry Ford, as but one example, declined to lead a 1940 George Washington Party ticket, but any reference to this is ignored in that campaign's coverage.
The Electoral College and the evolving ways states have conducted our national experiment with team elections make reporting popular votes for President a challenge to all comers. Havel sometimes trips while explaining. The returns of 1940 and 1956 stand out for confused minor party totals when he failed to connect affiliated state parties called by different names but supporting a national ticket.
Volume II still serves as a vital, if only adequate, guide to the historical place of candidates. The best feature is an extensive, not exhaustive, bibliography. The last page, of 1,280, reveals how few minor parties have left the kind of primary sources like convention records which would have invited fair consideration for their candidates before now.
At $175 (plus $6 s&h) the price may keep even some major libraries from adding Havel to the reference section. If necessary, borrow these volumes through interlibrary loan!