Ballot Access News -- August 3, 1998

Volume 14, Number 5

This issue was originally printed on white paper.

Table of Contents
  1. BALLOT ACCESS, DEBATES LOSE ON HOUSE FLOOR
  2. WASHINGTON RELIEF?
  3. OKLAHOMA VICTORY
  4. PARTY RIGHTS LOSS
  5. DEMOCRATS ATTACK PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION
  6. NEW YORK WRITE-INS
  7. FLORIDA LAWSUIT REVIVED
  8. OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS
  9. LEGISLATIVE NEWS
  10. CLINTON ASKS VOTERS NOT TO VOTE GREEN
  11. SOUTHERN CONFUSION
  12. ASSOCIATED PRESS ON BLANKET PRIMARY
  13. PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION
  14. ROLL-CALL ON DEBATES
  15. COMMUNIST PARTY
  16. ROLL-CALL ON BALLOT ACCESS AMENDMENT
  17. KANSAS GOP CHAIR SIGNS FOR TAXPAYERS
  18. HR 3068 GAINS
  19. STATEWIDE PETITIONING
  20. FREEDOM SOCIALIST
  21. WHO VOTES FOR MINOR PARTIES?
  22. REFORM PARTY ON IN PART OF FLORIDA
  23. NATURAL LAW IN REPUBLICAN PRIMARY
  24. TERM LIMITS PARTY
  25. NEW YORK 1998 BALLOT
  26. Subscription Information

BALLOT ACCESS, DEBATES LOSE ON HOUSE FLOOR

DEBATES BILL GETS 88 VOTES; BALLOT ACCESS GETS 62

On the evening of July 30, the U.S. House of Representatives debated and defeated Congressman Ron Paul's ballot access and presidential debates amendments. They had been offered as amendments to the Shays-Meehan Campaign Finance bills. The debates bill was defeated by a vote of 88-337 and the ballot access bill was defeated by a vote of 62-363. The roll-call vote for each amendment is below (debates or ballots). A sad note is that Congressman John Conyers, who introduced the ballot access bill three times in the past, voted against it.

Ballot Access

The ballot access bill would have set a ceiling on the number of signatures that states can require, as a condition for minor party and independent candidate access to the general election ballot. The ceilings would be one-tenth of 1% of the last vote cast for statewide office, and one-half of 1% for district office. Only federal office would be affected.

Congressman Paul made four points in support of the amendment: (1) that the bill is Constitutional, under explicit language in Article I; (2) that ballot access in some states is too restrictive; (3) that the nation faces a problem of declining voter turnout, and that a broader range of choices would help alleviate the problem; and (4) that easier ballot access would reduce the need to spend so much money in federal campaigns.

To bolster point number (2), Paul cited the example of Georgia, where the existing law for minor party and independent candidate ballot access for U.S. House of Representatives is so strict, that ever since it was passed in 1943, no minor party candidate for that office has qualified. He also pointed out the discrepancy that minor party presidential candidates need 28 times as many signatures as major party presidential candidates (700,000 signatures versus 25,000).

To bolster point number (3), he referred to public opinion polls which show that 42% of U.S. voters self-identify as neither Democratic nor Republican. He also argued that voter apathy would be ameliorated if there were a greater range of choices for voters.

In rebuttal, Congressman Marty Meehan (D-Mass.) raised the old bugaboo of "states rights", arguing that the federal government should not dictate to the states what the ballot access laws should be. It was an odd comment in this context, since the federal government already preempts the entire field of campaign finance regulations for federal candidates. Under existing federal law, states cannot regulate campaign finance for federal candidates.

Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) also spoke in rebuttal to the ballot access bill, but only to make the point that chances for the original Shays-Meehan campaign finance bill are enhanced if it doesn't get amended to include other aspects of election law. Both Meehan and Boehlert acknowledged that ballot access is an important issue that Congress should examine in the future.

Debates Bill

Congressman Paul next asked for support of his amendment on presidential debates. It would mandate that presidential candidates who receive general election public financing must agree to debate any opponent who is on the ballot in at least 40 states. If the bill had been in effect in 1996, there would have been 5-person debates between President Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, Ross Perot, Harry Browne (all four were on all 50 state ballots and D.C. and were on more than 40 ballots prior to the debates) and John Hagelin (who was on 43 state ballots and D.C. and was on more than 40 ballots in time for at least one of the debates). Howard Phillips did not attain 40-state ballot status in 1996 (he was on 39 states only), and no other candidates were even close.
Additional information in this Web edition of B.A.N., in smaller type above, was added by Bob Bickford. More information about 1996 Presidential Ballot Access is available.

Paul pointed out that viewership for the actual 1996 presidential debates (which included only Clinton and Dole) was the lowest for any general election presidential debate in history.

Only 24% of the public watched. By contrast, in 1992, when Ross Perot was included, the debates were watched by 42%. Paul emphasized again that lower voter turnout is a concern, and argued that more inclusive debates would boost turnout.

In rebuttal, Congressman Meehan said that the Commission on Presidential Debates, an "independent" body, does a better job of deciding who should be in presidential debates. Of course, the Commission on Presidential Debates is in no sense "independent"; it is headed by past National Chairmen of the Republican and Democratic Parties. Meehan said Congress should not "dictate" who should be in the debates, but of course it would be activists and voters themselves who would determine who should be in the debates, if the amendment were to become law. Meehan did say "I agree the debates should be more open".

Congressman Michael Castle (R-Del) also spoke against the debates amendment. He said "I have a lot of sympathy for the amendment", but then said "I support the Commission on Presidential Debates".

Congressman Sam Farr (D-Cal.) also spoke against the debates amendment, but solely to say that the amendment didn't belong in a campaign finance bill. He pointed out that the main body of the campaign finance bill deals mainly with congressional elections, whereas the debates amendment deals with presidential elections.

More Republicans than Democrats voted for each of the amendments. The ballot access bill received "yes" votes from 45 Republicans, 16 Democrats, and from Bernie Sanders, the independent. The debates bill received "yes" votes from 67 Republicans, 20 Democrats, and Sanders. 9 members abstained on the ballot access bill; 9 abstained on the debates bill.


WASHINGTON RELIEF?

Rep. Velma Veloria (D-Seattle) has agreed to introduce a bill next year to ease the Washington state primary vote test for minor party and independent candidates for statewide office, from 1%, to one-half of 1%. The existing law requires minor party and independent candidates to poll 1% in the blanket primary, and has existed since 1977. No minor party candidate for Governor or U.S. Senator has ever been able to obtain 1% of the vote in the primary.


OKLAHOMA VICTORY

On July 17, U.S. District Court Judge Wayne Alley, a Reagan appointee, ruled that Oklahoma must let voters register as Libertarians, and that elections officials must keep track of such voters. Thus, the party will be able to learn who the registered Libertarians are, and what their address is, so as to be able to invite them to party meetings, and to ask them to become dues-paying members. Atherton v Ward, no. 96-1926a. The state has not said yet whether it will appeal.

The ruling is confined to any party which has ever petitioned for a place on the ballot, but which is not now qualified. The Libertarian Party is the only such party in that category. Oklahoma requires a vote of 10% for Governor or President for a party to remain on the ballot. Currently, the Reform, Democratic and Republican Parties are qualified. If the Reform Party fails to get 10% for Governor this November, it will also benefit from the ruling.

The Oklahoma petition requirement for new parties is 5% of the last vote cast. This is the most difficult petition requirement in the nation for new parties, with the exception of Florida, which requires 3% of the number of registered voters.

This is only the second time that a court has ruled that states must let voters register as member of unqualified parties. The first was in Colorado in 1984. Courts ruled against unqualified parties on this issue in Iowa in 1990 and in North Carolina in 1995.


PARTY RIGHTS LOSS

On July 28, Arizona Superior Court Judge Gilbert Veliz ruled that Arizona law regulating how parties choose officers is constitutional. Arizona Libertarian Party v Dugger, c-313839, Pima County.

Generally, when a political party files a lawsuit alleging that a state is over-regulating political parties, and that this over-regulation violates the First Amendment, the political party in question is unified. In such circumstances, the party has a good chance of winning the lawsuit, since U.S. Supreme Court precedents on political party rights are protective of political parties.

In this case, however, there are two factions of the Arizona Libertarian Party. One faction, generally based in Tucson, ran 75 candidates for Precinct Committeemen in the party's primary, all of whom were elected. Under state law, these committeemen are officers of the party. The other faction of the state party, which is recognized by the Libertarian national office and which is dominant in Phoenix, elects its officers in meetings, a method which the state does not recognize.

In this situation, since the party itself is not united, it is difficult for it to win a case against state regulation of the party. The next phase of the lawsuit will now require a trial to determine who the party's state officers are. The constitutional ruling may be appealed in the future, but not until the entire case has gone through Superior Court.


DEMOCRATS ATTACK PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION

Last month, the Democratic Party of the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the District's system of limited voting for city council-at-large. Every two years, the voters of D.C. elect two city councilors-at-large (plus district members). For the two at-large seats, no party is permitted to run more than one candidate. The Democratic Party argues that it has a First Amendment right to run for both seats. D.C. Democratic State Committee v Board of Elections, 98-cv-1779.


NEW YORK WRITE-INS

On July 9, U.S. District Court Judge Harold Baer, a Clinton appointee, ruled that a trial will be held in Gelb v Board of Elections, 97-cv-9404, s.d. This is the lawsuit over write-in space on primary ballots on New York city voting machines. Gelb lost on this issue in 1997, since in that earlier case, there was evidence that the city had failed to provide write-in space in just one election, the 1993 election, and the 2nd circuit felt that an inadvertent error did not rise to the level of a constitutional violation. In the new lawsuit, Gelb will show that the city followed the same policy in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997 as well.

In his order, Judge Baer wrote, "The right to vote and to vote for whom one pleases is a central tenant of a constitutional democracy." This is the most supportive language for write-in voting to be written by any judge since 1992, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Hawaii did not violate the Constitution by banning write-in votes.


FLORIDA LAWSUIT REVIVED

On July 7, the 11th circuit issued an opinion in Socialist Workers Party v Leahy, 97-4295, over whether Florida can require minor parties to submit a $10,000 bond as a condition of having party labels on the ballot next to the names of their candidates (the bond is in addition to severe petition requirements and candidate fees).

In 1996, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Moore, a Bush appointee, had refused to rule on the law's validity, since the state had said it wouldn't enforce the law (the case was filed in 1992, and it took 4 years just to get that ruling from Judge Moore).

But the 11th circuit ruled that Judge Moore must make a decision, since there is no guarantee that the state might not enforce the law in the future. Plaintiffs in the case are the Socialist Workers and Green Parties. The 11th circuit opinion was written by Judge Stanley Marcus, a Clinton appointee, and signed by Judges Lanier Anderson, a Carter appointee, and Edward Carnes, a Bush appointee.


OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS

1. California: The briefs have been filed in the 9th circuit in California Democratic Party v Jones, 97-17440, the case over the blanket primary. A hearing will be held early in 1999.

2. Colorado: On June 25, U.S. District Court Judge John Kane, a Carter appointee, upheld Colorado law, which reserves the top lines on the ballot for candidates of major political parties. Libertarian Party of Colorado v Buckley, 96-K-1983. The decision was no surprise, since the Judge had earlier refused to issue an injunction against the law.

Colorado (2): On July 3, a state court judge upheld the constitutionality of the state's petition procedures for major party candidates to qualify for the primary ballot. Johnson v Buckley, 98-cv-4992, Denver.

3. Florida: on July 13, the 11th circuit held a hearing in Green v Mortham, 98-2042, over Florida's very large candidate filing fees, 6% of the annual salary of the office being sought (this amounts to over $8,000 for Congress). Judges assigned to the case are Gerald Tjoflat (a Ford appointee who has upheld the filing fee law in the past), Emmett Cox (a Reagan appointee) and Frank Hull (a Clinton appointee). The judges are very aware that, in this year's election, there is only one candidate on the ballot for U.S. House in 17 of Florida's 23 districts. For this reason alone, the plaintiffs are cautiously optimistic, even though precedents are against them.

4. Indiana: the Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit to remove one of its own nominees for Congress from the general election ballot, and to replace him with the party leadership choice. Andrew v Kern, 49co 1-98-06mi-1372, Marion Co. Circuit Court.

5. Iowa: on July 30, the 8th circuit dismissed a pending lawsuit on debates with a single paragraph. Marcus v Iowa Public TV, 96-3645. The case had been filed in 1996, long before the U.S. Supreme recent decision on whether public TV can sponsor a candidate debate and exclude some ballot-qualified candidates.

The candidate plans to ask for U.S. Supreme Court review, since he argues that his campaign was more substantial than the campaign of the candidate involved in the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Ralph Forbes. The 8th circuit gave him no opportunity to make this argument.

6. Kentucky: on April 30, the 6th circuit struck down a campaign finance law which made it illegal for a candidate to contribute to his own campaign during the 28 days before a primary or general election. Gable v Patton, 142 F 3d 940.

7. Louisiana: on July 16, the 5th circuit ruled that the state should hold its initial congressional election this year on November 3, 1998. If no one gets a majority of the vote in any congressional race, there will be a run-off on December 5. Love v Foster, 98-30436. Proponents of closed primaries are disappointed, since they had argued that since the U.S. Supreme Court last year had held that the existing scheme violates federal law, and since the legislature hadn't fixed the problem, the state should revert to the old law in effect before 1976. That pre-1976 law provided for closed primaries.

8. New York: on July 27, Lenora Fulani filed a lawsuit against the 5% petition for a candidate to get on the primary ballot of a small, qualified party. Fulani v Berman, 98-cv-5340, U.S. District Court, Manhattan. She tried and failed to get on the Independence Party primary ballot for Lieutenant Governor. She needed over 6,000 signatures of registered members of the Independence Party, which had to be gathered in six weeks. A similar lawsuit, concerning access to the Republican Party presidential primary ballot, won in 1996 in the 2nd circuit.

9. Ohio: on July 1, independent candidate Mark Miller asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Miller v Lorain County Board of Elections, 98-5055, over Ohio's petition-checking procedures, and over the fact that Ohio requires approximately 40 times more signatures for independent candidates than for candidates seeking a spot on the primary ballot.

Ohio (2): the Libertarian Party is about to file a lawsuit in federal court over the state's refusal to let candidates who use the independent candidate petition procedure, choose a party label other than "independent".

10. Rhode Island: the state is appealing the decision in Cool Moose Party v Board of Elections, ca96-514, in which the U.S. District Court had ruled that a qualified party has the right to invite all registered voters to vote in its primary.


LEGISLATIVE NEWS

1. California (1): SB 1505, which restores a closed primary for presidential primaries, was signed into law on July 13. It won't go into effect unless the voters approve it on November 3, 1998.

California (2): SB 1999, which moves the primary in presidential years permanently from early June to early March, passed the Assembly Elections Committee on June 23 by a vote of 7-0 and is now in the Appropriations Committee.

2. New Hampshire: HB 1520 was signed into law on June 26. It eliminates fusion for State House of Representatives, but only in districts which elect more than one member.

3. Pennsylvania: HB 1918, which eases ballot access, had a legislative workshop on July 15. It seems likely that the bill will pass the House State Governmental Committee eventually, but it take some months, since the Committee still isn't satisfied with the current version of the bill.


CLINTON ASKS VOTERS NOT TO VOTE GREEN

On July 28, President Bill Clinton, appearing in New Mexico, said in a speech: "I would ask that people in New Mexico who have voted in the past, for whatever reason, for the Green Party, but who honestly care about the environment, to take another look at the consequences of their votes." The Green Party polled 15% in one special congressional election in New Mexico recently, and 17% in an earlier special congressional election in the state.


SOUTHERN CONFUSION

This year, there are several instances in the south at which official confusion about election laws has injured candidates:

1. Alabama: in 1991 the 11th circuit struck down the old deadline law for minor parties, which said that their petitions were due in April, on the same day that major party candidates file for the primary. Also struck down was the law which said that minor parties had to hold nominating conventions no later than that day.

The legislature in 1995 moved the petition deadline to early July, but didn't explicitly specify the deadline for minor party conventions. This year the Secretary of State issued a letter, saying the convention deadline is in early August. The Libertarian and Reform Parties relied on this letter. But on July 29 the Attorney General ruled that the Secretary of State was wrong; that the deadline for conventions was in early July; and that the Libertarian and Reform candidates may not appear on the ballot. The parties will probably sue. In 1976, a federal court in Louisiana ruled that when states supply misinformation about filing deadlines, the state must keep its word.

2. Florida: the Socialist Workers Party desired to run a write-in candidate for Governor. Write-in candidates for state office must file a declaration of write-in candidacy by July. Before the July deadline, the Secretary of State's office orally told the Socialist Workers campaign that no write-in candidate for Lieutenant Governor was required. Therefore, the party only filed papers for a gubernatorial candidate. After the deadline was passed, the Secretary of State said that the papers were invalid since they didn't include a Lieutenant Governor candidate.

3. South Carolina: the Reform Party tried to cross-endorse several Democratic and Republican nominees, including U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings, a Democrat running for reelection. The general rule in all states is that fusion is permitted, unless it is banned; and South Carolina has no ban on fusion.

However, the State Board of Elections refused to recognize the Reform Party's nominees who were also nominees of major parties, on the grounds that the nominees didn't file an early declaration of candidacy. This is odd, since generally the state only requires early declarations of candidacy for candidates running in primaries, and the Reform Party nominates by convention. The Attorney General may issue an opinion.


ASSOCIATED PRESS ON BLANKET PRIMARY

The Associated Press carried a story on June 4, explaining why the recent California blanket primary injures minor parties. The article, by Doug Willis, is reprinted here with permission: Please don't re-publish this article unless you also get permission from The Associated Press.

Sacramento, June 4. The worst fears of California's minor parties came true in this week's primary elections. They received more votes than they wanted.

The Libertarian and Peace & Freedom Parties joined the Democratic and Republican Parties in a lawsuit to block California's new open primary. All four parties contended that the open primary would allow voters of other parties to pick their nominees. The minor parties contended that was especially true in their case, since they are so small that outsiders could easily overrun their numbers.

Gail Lightfoot, former head of the California Libertarian Party, said the returns from the state's only contested Libertarian primary for Congress this week, in the 1st district on the North coast, clearly demonstrated that their fears were well founded.

That district had just 1,831 Libertarian Party voters. But Emil Rossi of Boonville defeated James Oglesby of Ukiah for the Libertarian nomination by 2,137 to 1,623 votes on still-incomplete returns.

Since the turnout was below 40% in the district, that means about 80% to 85% of their vote came from voters who were not Libertarians. "They're both good Libertarians, so we don't have any wolves in sheep's clothing using our party to get onto the November ballot," Lightfoot said in a telephone interview.

"But our people didn't get to choose our nominee. This illustrates how easy it would be for someone who is well-known locally, but is not a Libertarian, to win our nomination."

She said they want to win as many votes as possible in general elections, but not in primaries. "Primaries are different. Primaries should be for our party members, and they are not any more," said Lightfoot, who won the uncontested Libertarian nomination for Secretary of State with a vote total that was more than double the Libertarian registration statewide.

"If a known Republican or Democrat had run against me, they probably would have won easily," Lightfoot said. "To snag the Libertarian or Peace & Freedom or Green nomination, you don't need a lot of votes, and you continue to be a candidate from June through November."

"It all depends on what you want to do most -- win or stick to your principles. Sticking to principles has to come first, because if people who don't believe in Libertarian principles win our nomination, we lose no matter how the general election turns out," she said.

The other minor parties had similar results, mostly in uncontested local elections. A Natural Law candidate for Congress, for example, received 3,957 votes in a San Jose district where that party has only 495 registered voters. A Green Party candidate received 2,394 votes in a Riverside district where the Green Party only has 758 registered voters.

Copyright (c) 1998 The Associated Press


PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION

The Center for Voting and Democracy is sponsoring a national conference on proportional representation in San Francisco on September 12-13. Topics include "PR and Campaign Finance Reform", "Representation of Women", "PR Around the World", "How do you count Those Transferable Ballots, Anyway?", "Hitler, Coalitions and Complexity", "Foundations and Political Reform", and many others. For more information, contact Steve Hill, (415)-665-5044; e-mail address is voteaction@hotmail.com or see http://www.fairvote.org/.


ROLL-CALL ON DEBATES

Republicans voting "Yes": Bartlett (Md), Bilirakis (Fl), Camp (Mi), Campbell (Ca), Chambliss (Ga), Chenowith (Id), Coble (NC), Coburn (Ok), Collins (Ga), Cook (Ut), Cooksey (La), Crane (Il), Cubin (Wy), Cunningham (Ca), Deal (Ga), Doolittle (Ca), Duncan (Tn), Ensign (Nv), Foley (Fl), Gibbons (Nv), Hayworth (Az), Hill (Mt), Hilleary (Tn), Hobson (Oh), Hoekstra (Mi), Hulshof (Mo), Hunter (Ca), Kasich (Oh), LaTourette (Oh), Leach (Ia), McHugh (NY), McIntosh (In), Metcalf (Wa), Moran (Ks), Nethercutt (Wa), Neumann (Wi), Ney (Oh), Norwood (Ga), Pappas (NJ), Paul (Tx), Pease (In), Pombo (Ca), Pryce (Oh), Redmond (NM), Regula (Oh), Royce (Ca), Salmon (Az), Sanford (SC), Scarborough (Fl), Schaefer (Co), Sessions (Tx), Shadegg (Az), Shimkus (Il), Shuster (Pa), Smith (Wa), Snowbarger (Ks), Sununu (NH), Taylor (NC), Thune (SD), Tiahrt (Ks), Walsh (NY), Wamp (Tn), Watkins (Ok), Watts (Ok), Weller (Il), Whitfield (Ky), Young (Ak).

Democrats voting "Yes": Abercrombie (Hi), Barcia (Mi), Conyers (Mi), Davis (Il), DeFazio (Or), DeGette (Co), Filner (Ca) Hooley (Or), Jackson-Lee (Tx), Luther (Mn), Maloney (Ct), McCarthy (Mo), Mink (Hi), Pastor (Az), Rahall (WV), Rivers (Mi), Sherman (Ca), Torres (Ca), Traficant (Oh), Visclosky (In).

Independent Bernie Sanders (Vv) voted "Yes".

Not voting: Gonzalez (Tx), Istook (Ok), McDade (Pa), Moakley (Ma), Riggs (Ca), Towns (NY), Wexler (Fl), Yates (Il), Young (Fl).

All House members not mentioned, voted "No".


COMMUNIST PARTY

Although the Communist Party hasn't announced any candidates for 1998, it plans to petition to qualify itself for the city ballot in Tucson, Arizona in 1999 (Tucson has partisan city elections). In 1996 the party had only one candidate in the nation under its own name, in New York.


ROLL-CALL ON BALLOT ACCESS AMENDMENT

Republicans voting "Yes": Armey (Tx), Bartlett (Md), Bilirakis (Fl), Campbell (Ca), Chenowith (Id), Coble (NC), Cook (Ut), Cooksey (La), Crane (Il), Cunningham (Ca), Deal (Ga), Ehlers (Mi), Foley (Fl), Fox (Pa), Goodling (Pa), Hill (Mt), Hilleary (Tn), Hoekstra (Mi), Hostettler (In), Hulshof (Mo), Largent (Ok), LaTourette (Oh), Leach (Ia), McIntosh (In), Metcalf (Wa), Mica (Fl), Moran (Ks), Nethercutt (Wa), Norwood (Ga), Paul (Tx), Pombo (Ca), Redmond (NM), Rogan (Ca), Royce (Ca), Sanford (SC), Schaefer (Co), Sessions (Tx), Shimkus (Il), Smith (Wa), Sununu (NH), Taylor (NC), Tiahrt (Ks), Watts (Ok), Weller (Il), Young (Ak).

Democrats voting "Yes": Abercrombie (Hi), Boswell (Ia), Davis (Il), Doggett (Tx), Doyle (Pa), Filner (Ca), Mink (Hi), Moran (Va), Murtha (Pa), Nadler (NY), Pastor (Az), Rahall (WV), Roemer (In), Sherman (Ca), Torres (Ca), Traficant (Oh).

Independent Bernie Sanders (Vt) voted "Yes".

Not voting: Bateman (Va), Gonzales (Tx), Herger (Ca), Istook (Ok), McDade (Pa), Moakley (Ma), Riggs (Ca), Towns (NY), Young (Fl).

All House members not mentioned, voted "No".


KANSAS GOP CHAIR SIGNS FOR TAXPAYERS

Steve Abrams, chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, signed the petition to get the U.S. Taxpayers Party on the ballot in June. Abrams said he signed to encourage the democratic process, but he was attacked by a Republican legislative leader, Speaker Pro Tem Susan Wagle, for "betraying the Republican Party".


HR 3068 GAINS

HR 3068, the bill to let states choose members of the House using proportional representation, recently gained two more co-sponsors, both from California: Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters, both Democrats.


STATEWIDE PETITIONING

The 1998 statewide petitioning chart which sometimes appears here is omitted this month, for space reasons. Significant changes for nationally-organized parties since the July 3 B.A.N. are:

Reform: finished petitioning in Colorado, parts of New Jersey (there is no statewide race in New Jersey this year), and Pennsylvania, although the Pennsylvania petition may not have enough signatures.

Libertarian: is on in New Hampshire, and finished petitioning in Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, part of New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Connecticut is almost finished and New York is off to a slow start.

Natural Law: finished petitioning in part of New Jersey and Illinois.

US Taxpayers: finished in Colorado, Illinois, part of New Jersey.

Green: finished in part of New Jersey and Rhode Island. The New York faction called "Green" has 20,000 signatures and the one called "Green Choice" has 5,000.

Socialist Workers: has 15,000 in New York and is finished in Iowa, Minnesota, and the District of Columbia.

It appears that there will be statewide independent or minor party ballots on the ballot this year in all states except Alabama, Maryland and Florida, and perhaps Washington (also, there are four states which have no statewide offices up). The exact Maryland signatures requirement is now known: 75,752 (the reform bill doesn't take effect until next year).


FREEDOM SOCIALIST

The Freedom Socialist Party, which last ran candidates for public office in 1991, this year has candidates for state legislature in Washington (under its own name), Oregon ("independent"), and California (via nomination by the Peace & Freedom Party). The Freedom Socialist Party was formed in 1970 from a split within the Socialist Workers Party.


WHO VOTES FOR MINOR PARTIES?

The California blanket primary on June 2 provided a rare opportunity to know who votes for minor party candidates, since two counties programmed their vote-counting computers to make separate tabulations for registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents.

San Bernardino County has released its tally; Santa Clara County is still working on one. Results from San Bernardino County show that registered Democrats are more likely than registered Republicans to vote for Green, Reform, Natural Law, and Peace & Freedom candidates. On the other hand, registered Republicans are more likely than registered Democrats to vote for Libertarian and U.S. Taxpayers Party candidates (in California, the U.S. Taxpayers Party is called "American Independent").

Specific numbers from San Bernardino County for the statewide minor party candidates are:

1. Greens received, on the average, votes from 1.15% of the registered Democrats, .86% of the registered Republicans, and 2.72% of the registered independents.

2. Libertarians received votes, on the average, from 1.40% of the registered Republicans, 1.22% of the registered Democrats, and 3.47% of the registered independents.

3. Reform candidates received votes, on the average, from 1.07% of the Democrats, .77% of the Republicans, and 2.36% of the independents.

4. Peace & Freedom candidates received votes, on the average, from 1.96% of the Democrats, .96% of the Republicans, and 3.55% of the independents.

5. U.S. Taxpayers candidates received votes, on the average, from 1.17% of the Republicans, 1.04% of the Democrats, and 2.74% of the independents.

6. Natural Law candidates received votes, on the average, from 1.46% of the Democrats, .80% of the Republicans, and 2.51% of the independents.

Unfortunately, San Bernardino County did not make a tabulation of whom the members of minor parties vote for.


REFORM PARTY ON IN PART OF FLORIDA

Although the Reform Party did not get on the Florida statewide ballot this year, it did get enough valid signatures to qualify in the 5th congressional district. The candidate, Jack Gargan, will be the only opponent for Karen Thurman, the incumbent Democrat. Gargan is the first minor party candidate for U.S. House to qualify in Florida under the state's 3% petition requirement, since the law was changed in 1991 to permit parties to qualify in just a single district (there was a Green Party candidate for the U.S. House in 1992 in Florida, but in 1992 the 3% petition law for that office was temporarily suspended).


NATURAL LAW IN REPUBLICAN PRIMARY

Three Natural Law Party activists ran in the Iowa Republican primary of June 2. Jay Marcus, for Congress in the 3rd district, polled second in a three-person race, with 18.32%. John Revolinski, for State Senate, 47th district, polled second in a three-person race with 29.32%. Clyde Cleveland, in a two-person race for Representative, 94th district, polled 34.69%.


TERM LIMITS PARTY

U.S. Term Limits activists are petitioning to get the "Term Limits Party" on the ballot in New York and Connecticut. If the party polls approximately 1% of the vote in each state, it will become qualified. Both states permit fusion. Thus, in the future, if the Term Limits Party becomes fully qualified in either state, it will be able to nominate major party candidates on its line as well, if such major party candidates agree with term limits.


NEW YORK 1998 BALLOT

This year, if all the minor parties currently petitioning in New York succeed in getting on the ballot, that state will have a crowded ballot. There are already seven fully-qualified parties. In addition, eight statewide petitions are circulating: Green, Green Choice, Libertarian, Marijuana Reform, Socialist Workers, Term Limits, Unity, and Working Families Parties. All passionately desire to poll 50,000 votes for Governor so as to attain "party" status.


Ballot Access News. is published by and copyright by Richard Winger ban@igc.apc.org. Note: subscriptions are available!
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Compilation copyright (c) 1998 Bob Bickford