|This issue was originally printed on pink paper.|
Revision Eleven in Florida, which will be on the November 3 ballot, has been gaining significant support recently. Revision Eleven would eliminate mandatory petitions for minor party and independent candidates. Since Florida easily has the most restrictive ballot access laws for minor parties and independent candidates of any state, if it passes, the results will be very helpful, not only in Florida, but across the nation.
The State League of Women Voters endorsed Revision Eleven in its summer 1998 statewide publication. Endorsements from the League are very difficult to obtain, since the League never takes a position unless it has first formally studied the issue. The League endorsement will make it much easier to get endorsements from other "mainstream" forces, such as newspaper and civic organizations.
In addition, Common Cause has endorsed Revision Eleven, as have at least three major newspapers, the Tallahassee Democrat, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, and the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Efforts are underway to get an endorsement from the state NAACP, and from the Rainbow Coalition.
On August 21, the South Carolina Election Commission recognized the right of the Reform Party to cross-endorse major party nominees. "Fusion" (the practice of two parties running the same candidate) has always been legal in the state, but, except for president, it has never been used for statewide office in the history of government-printed ballots. U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings is the most prominent major party nominee to be cross-endorsed by the Reform Party. The Commission ruled that the law does not require such candidates to have filed a declaration of candidacy with both parties.
On July 22, Congressman James A. Traficant (D-Ohio) introduced a new bill to help minor party and independent presidential candidates appear in general election debates. It is HR 4310, and it would ban corporate and labor union tax-exempt deductions to the Commission on Presidential Debates, unless the Commission agrees to invite all candidates who are on the ballot in states containing a majority of electoral votes, and who qualified for primary matching funds.
Paul Marcone, the staffer for Congressman Traficant who is handling the bill, acknowledges that the details of the bill are imperfect. For example, the provision requiring invitees to be eligible for primary season matching funds would exclude all independent presidential candidates. Primary season matching funds are only available to candidates seeking the nomination of a party, not to independent presidential candidates.
Nevertheless, it's a good sign that there are now two bills on the subject of expanding the presidential debates, this one and Congressman Ron Paul's HR 2478. There isn't enough time left in the current session of Congress to expect additional action, but both Paul and Traficant can introduce bills next year if they are reelected.
The Commission on Presidential Debates depends on large contributions from corporations, in order to pay for the staging of the general election presidential debates. The corporations then deduct these expenses from their income taxes. Traficant believes his bill would have the same effect as Ron Paul's HR 2478, even though the approach is different. HR 2478 requires the major party candidates to agree to debate certain other presidential candidates, or they lose their general election campaign funding.
On August 4, U.S. District Court Magistrate Raymond Terlizzi upheld Arizona's independent candidate procedures. Campbell v Hull, 96cv-444. Since 1993, no one may sign an independent candidate's petition in Arizona, unless the signer is registered "independent", or as a member of an unqualified party. Only 12% of the voters are able to sign for an independent. When Ralph Nader supporters tried to qualify him as an independent, they learned that it is impossible to find 7,000 voters who qualify. Ever since the law was passed, no independent candidate for any statewide office has been able to qualify. The magistrate also upheld the June petition deadline.
Plaintiffs have now asked U.S. District Court Judge William D. Browning, a Reagan appointee, not to approve the Magistrate's decision. The judge makes the final decision.
On October 14, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Buckley v American Constitutional Law Foundation, no. 97-930, over whether the First Amendment protects the right of a petitioner to circulate a petition, whether he or she is registered to vote or not. The specific case involves petitioning for initiatives, but there is no logical or legal distinction between initiative petitions, versus petitions for new parties or for candidates. Therefore, if the Court upholds the 10th circuit ruling (striking down a Colorado requirement that petitioners be registered), it will be a significant victory for minor parties.
The First Amendment explicitly protects the right to petition the government. It is obvious that the Constitution protects all citizens, not just citizens who are registered to vote.
On August 21, U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Preska, a Bush appointee, refused to issue an injunction against a New York law which requires a candidate seeking a place on a primary ballot for statewide office to submit either 15,000 signatures, or 5% of the party's registrants. Fulani v Berman, 98-cv-5340. Fulani is a candidate for Lieutenant Governor in the Independence (Reform) Party primary, to be held on September 15. She is appealing. Fulani had argued that it is virtually impossible to complete a petition signed by 5% of a party's registrants, since one can't simply go out on the streets and ask passers-by to sign; only about 1% of all of the voters in the state are registered in the party; the problem is finding them. She needed 5,800 such signatures.
If petitioners could ask people to join the Independence Party on the spot, and then obtain their signatures, the task might have been achieved. However, New York law doesn't permit voters to switch parties during the six week petitioning period.
As far as is known, no candidate in New York state history has ever succeeded in completing the 5% statewide primary petition in a small qualified party.
Candidates for statewide office in New York do not need to petition to get themselves on the primary ballot, if they get at least 25% support at the party's state endorsing convention, but Fulani only got 23%.
1. Alabama: on August 13, the Reform Party filed a lawsuit to qualify its nominees for legislative and county office. They were nominated in early August, on reliance on a letter from the Secretary of State saying that was the deadline. Afterwards, he disavowed the letter. The party charges that even if he were wrong, he must keep his word. Reform Party v Bennett, cv 98-A895-A.
2. California: the 9th circuit will hear Democratic Party v Jones, 97-17440, on October 7. This is the blanket primary lawsuit.
3. Florida: on July 24, Reform Party congressional candidate May Chote filed a lawsuit in federal court against the 3% petition requirement. Chote v Mortham, 98-10059, Miami. Although the 3% petition has been upheld many times, this case is the first one in federal court in Florida filed by a candidate who made a serious attempt to comply. Past lawsuits were filed by groups or individuals who didn't attempt to comply.
4. Hawaii: on August 24 a State Court removed Bu La'ia from the ballot. He was seeking the gubernatorial nomination of the Green Party, but the party asked that he be removed, since they said he wasn't a bona fide member of the party (and no one else was seeking the party's nomination). The court order came to late to remove him from the primary ballot, but his name won't be on the general election ballot.
5. Illinois: on July 20, the State Appellate Court voted 2-1 to uphold a 1997 law, which eliminated the party lever ("straight-ticket device") from general election ballots. Orr v Edgar, 1-98-1485. The party lever is a button on voting machines which allows a voter to vote for an entire slate of one party's nominees. Only about one-fourth of the states still have such devices.
6. Louisiana: the state has conceded that its law, telling the Republican Party that the state's Republican congressman must be on the party's state executive committee, is unconstitutional. Therefore, the party's lawsuit against the law, which had been pending in the State Supreme Court, has been dismissed.
7. Maine: the 1st Circuit will hear the Green Party case on September 9. The issue is whether a state can require a party to poll 5% of the presidential vote, to remain on the ballot. Maine Green Party v Secretary of State, 98-1309.
8. Michigan: on August 21, a state court refused to issue an injunction, putting the Green Party on the ballot in Washtenaw County for county office, and for partisan city office in Ann Arbor. Green Party of Michigan v City of Ann Arbor, 98-9893.
The party argued that states are obliged to permit parties qualify in just a single county or city, if they are unable to get on the statewide ballot. Most states do permit a party to qualify itself in just part of the state, if they are unable to qualify statewide, but there have been few precedents on the issue.
9. New Jersey: on August 21, a state court rejected the Democratic Party's attempt to remove Carl Mayer from the ballot for Congress in the 12th district. Mayer is the Green Party candidate. He had run for the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 6th district and lost, and the Democratic Party had charged that he was a "sore loser", but the court rejected that theory, since the office he lost isn't the same office that he is running for in the general election.
10. New York: on August 12, a state court kept Congresswoman Sue W. Kelly, a Republican, on the primary ballot. She had been threatened with removal, since her petition didn't include page numbers. However, the judge ruled that Dick Kelly, her Democratic opponent, didn't have standing to bring a challenge, since he is a party official. The law says candidates have standing to challenge, but party officials don't, and in this case the challenger suffered from having two identities. Collins v Kelly, Supreme Court, Albany Co., 0198 054764.
New York (2): on August 13, the New York City Board of Elections conceded that it has been violating the law, and promised in the future to post directions in the polling place, for general elections, on how to cast a write-in vote. This was in response to the lawsuit Gelb v Board of Elections. Still to be settled is whether they will post such instructions for primary elections.
11. Ohio: on August 21, the Libertarian Party filed a lawsuit in federal court, to get "Libertarian" on the general election ballot next to the name of its candidate for U.S. House. Schrader v Taft, C3-98-357. The candidate, James Schrader, circulated independent candidate petitions with the notation that he was the Libertarian Party candidate.
Ohio (2): on July 30, the 6th circuit struck down state law which limits how much money candidates for the State Supreme Court may spend. Suster v Marshall, no. 97-3174.
12. Oregon: on August 11, the 9th circuit ruled 2-1 that a state may not require a candidate for district office to raise most campaign funds from residents of the candidate's own district. Vannatta v Keisling, 95-35998. The decision was by Warren Ferguson (Carter), and signed by Samuel King (Nixon); the dissent was by Melvin Brunetti (Reagan).
Oregon (2): on August 5, the State Court of Appeals upheld state law, requiring petitioners to be registered voters, but also ruling that the signatures collected by a non-registered circulator are valid. Nelson v Keisling, caa 94305.
13. Pennsylvania: on August 12, Phil Berg, who attempted to be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor this year, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case against state law which requires a candidate to obtain 100 signatures from each of ten counties (also, 2,000 signatures are required, but that part of the law wasn't challenged). Berg v Kozloff, no. 98-273.
On June 25, the U.S. Postal Service issued a new, more restrictive regulation about petitioning on post office sidewalks. No petitioning of any kind is now permitted. Formerly, only petitioning for specified candidates was forbidden; petitions to qualify a party (which didn't mention any particular candidates) and initiative petitions, were permitted.
The Initiative and Referendum Institute will probably file a lawsuit against the new regulation. The new regulation is not content-neutral, since it permits voter registration activity on sidewalks.
The map (not yet present in Web edition) shows each congressional district in which the incumbent voted in favor of the ballot access amendment, in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 30. The amendment had been sponsored by Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, and it would have outlawed restrictive ballot access laws. It received 62 votes. The dark areas represent the approximate boundaries of the districts in which the member voted "Yes". Also, all members from Alaska and Hawaii voted "Yes".
|STATE||SEATS||REP.||DEM.||LIBT.||NAT LAW||REFORM||GREEN||USTAX||Other Party|
"undet." = "undetermined". "OTHER PARTY" refers to Peace & Freedom in California, Conservative in New Jersey, Patriot in South Carolina, Independent American Party and Independent Party in Utah. Also included in that column are these Socialist Workers Party candidates: 2 in Minnesota, 3 in New Jersey, 2 in Pennsylvania, and 1 in Washington. Not included above are these New York candidates: 10 Conservative, 3 Liberal, 9 Right to Life. In cases of fusion, a candidate is only counted for the party that the candidate belongs to, not for both parties which nominated the candidate. NOTE THAT THERE ARE 93 RACES WITH A MISSING MAJOR PARTY CANDIDATE (38 districts with no Republican, 55 with no Democrat).
|FULL PARTY||CAND.||REFORM||LIB'T||NAT LAW||TAXPAYR||GREEN|
|Alabama||35,973||35,973||*too late||*too late||*too late||*too late||*too late||Jun 29|
|Alaska||(reg.) 6,403||#2,453||*too late||already on||*too late||*too late||already on||June 1|
|Arizona||18,726||#9,260||already on||already on||*too late||*too late||*too late||June 25|
|Arkansas||21,506||10,000||already on||*too late||*too late||*too late||*too late||May 5|
|California||(reg) 89,007||156,621||already on||already on||already on||already on||already on||Aug 7|
|Colorado||*10,000||#1,000||*already on||already on||already on||*already on||already on||Jul 14|
|Connecticut||no procedure||#7,500||*too late||*already on||*too late||already on||*too late||Aug 7|
|Delaware||(reg.) 224||*4,478||already on||already on||already on||already on||*too late||Aug 22|
|D.C.||no procedure||#3,000||*too late||*too late||*too late||*too late||*already on||Aug 26|
|Florida||242,337||242,337||*too late||*too late||*too late||*too late||*too late||Jul 14|
|Georgia||38,113||#38,113||already on||already on||*too late||*too late||*too late||Jul 14|
|Hawaii||5,450||25||*too late||already on||already on||*too late||already on||Jul 21|
|Idaho||9,835||1,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||*too late||Aug 31|
|Illinois||no procedure||#25,000||already on||*finished||*too late||*finished||*too late||Aug 3|
|Indiana||no procedure||#29,822||*too late||already on||*too late||*too late||*too late||Jul 15|
|Iowa||no procedure||#1,500||already on||*too late||*already on||*too late||*too late||Aug 14|
|Kansas||16,418||5,000||already on||already on||*too late||already on||*too late||Aug 4|
|Kentucky||no procedure||#5,000||already on||*too late||*too late||*too late||*too late||Aug 4|
|Louisiana||est. (reg) 128,000||0||already on||*too late||*too late||*too late||*too late||July 31|
|Maine||30,288||#4,000||already on||*too late||*too late||already on||already on||May 25|
|Maryland||(10,000)||75,752||*too late||*too late||*too late||*too late||*too late||Aug 3|
|Massachusetts||est. (reg) 32,000||#10,000||already on||*already on||*too late||*too late||*too late||July 28|
|Michigan||30,891||30,891||already on||already on||*already on||*too late||*too late||July 16|
|Minnesota||109,487||#2,000||already on||*already on||*too late||*already on||*already on||July 21|
|Mississippi||just be org.||#1,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||*too late||Apr 3|
|Missouri||10,000||10,000||already on||already on||*too late||already on||*too late||July 27|
|Montana||16,039||#10,097||already on||already on||already on||*too late||*too late||Jun 1|
|Nebraska||5,741||2,000||already on||*already on||*too late||*too late||*too late||Aug 25|
|Nevada||4,498||4,498||already on||already on||already on||already on||already on||July 9|
|New Hampshire||14,901||#3,000||*too late||*already on||*too late||*too late||*too late||Aug 5|
|New Jersey||no procedure||#1,300||*on in part||*on in part||*on in part||*on in part||*on in part||July 27|
|New Mexico||(2,781)||14,029||already on||already on||*too late||*too late||already on||July 14|
|New York||no procedure||#15,000||already on||*already on||*too late||*too late||*already on||Aug 18|
|North Carolina||51,324||87,979||*too late||already on||*too late||*too late||*too late||June 26|
|North Dakota||7,000||1,000||already on||*too late||*too late||*too late||*too late||Sep 4|
|Ohio||45,345||5,000||already on||*too late||already on||*too late||*too late||May 5|
|Oklahoma||60,336||0||already on||too late||too late||too late||too late||July 8|
|Oregon||18,282||13,292||already on||already on||already on||*too late||already on||Aug 25|
|Pennsylvania||no procedure||#24,390||*too late||*already on||*too late||*already on||*too late||Aug 3|
|Rhode Island||18,069||#1,000||already on||*too late||*too late||*too late||*already on||Aug 1|
|South Carolina||10,000||10,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||*too late||Aug 1|
|South Dakota||7,792||#3,117||*too late||already on||*too late||*too late||*too late||Aug 4|
|Tennessee||37,179||25||too late||too late||too late||too late||too late||May 21|
|Texas||43,963||43,963||too late||already on||too late||too late||too late||May 24|
|Utah||2,000||#300||already on||already on||already on||already on||too late||Mar 15|
|Vermont||just be org.||#1,000||already on||already on||*organizing||0||already on||Sep 17|
|Virginia||no procedure||17,983||*on in part||*on in part||too late||*on in part||too late||Jun 9|
|Washington||no procedure||#200||already on||*too late||*too late||*too late||*too late||Jul 3|
|West Virginia||no procedure||#5,957||too late||already on||too late||too late||too late||May 11|
|Wisconsin||10,000||#2,000||already on||already on||*too late||already on||already on||July 14|
|Wyoming||8,000||10,500||*too late||already on||*too late||*too late||*too late||Aug 24|
|TOTAL STATES ON||*33+||*33+||*14||*15||*14|
"FULL PARTY" means a new party can qualify before it names candidates; () means party must also do candidate petitions. # Candidate procedure lets candidate use party label. "Deadline" refers to the procedure with the latest deadline. * -- Entry Changed since last issue. Mississippi, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia have no statewide offices up in 1998, so for them, chart is for US House.
The preceding chart shows where the nationally-organized minor parties are on the ballot statewide. However, there isn't enough room on the chart to show all such parties. The New Party is on the statewide ballot this year in Minnesota, New York and Wisconsin (in New York it is called "Working Families"; in Minnesota it is "Progressive Minnesota"; in Wisconsin it is "New Progressive"). The Socialist Workers Party is on the statewide ballot in Iowa, Minnesota, New York and D.C., and is attempting it in Washington state. The Workers World Party is on statewide in California, because its gubernatorial candidate won the nomination of the Peace & Freedom Party. Marijuana law reform parties are on the ballot statewide in Minnesota, New York and Vermont. Term Limits parties are on in Connecticut and probably in New York.
On August 25, Alaska held a "blanket" primary. Every voter could vote for any candidate, for any office.
U.S. Senate: Jeffrey Gottlieb, Green, 4.40%; Scott Kohlhaas, Libertarian, 1.84%.
Governor: Jim Sykes, Green, 1.99%; Ray Metcalfe, Moderate Republican, 1.05%; Sylvia Sullivan, Alaska Independence, .87%; Harold Haldane, Alaska Independence, .42%; Robert Gigler, Alaska Independence, .29%.
Lieutenant Governor: David Harrison, Alaska Independence, 2.65%; Dann Winn, Green, 1.83%.
U.S. House: John Grames, Green, 2.36%.
A party must poll at least 3% for Governor in November, to remain on the ballot; or, it must have registration of 3% of the gubernatorial vote (the Alaska Independence Party has so many registrations, it need not worry about its vote).
Missouri conducted a primary on August 4. Unofficial reports from the U.S. Senate race (the most important office on the ballot) show that 1,598 votes were cast in the Libertarian primary, 827 in the U.S. Taxpayers primary, and 240 in the Reform primary.
In Illinois and in New York, elections officials do not check petitions for validity. Instead, all petitions are assumed to be valid, unless a private individual "challenges" a petition. This year, two statewide minor party petitions were challenged in each state.
Illinois: Republicans challenged the Libertarian and U.S. Taxpayers Party statewide petitions. 25,000 signatures are required. The Libertarian petition contains 60,000 signatures; the U.S. Taxpayers petition has 41,000. Results of the challenges won't be known until mid-September.
New York: the Marijuana Reform and Term Limits petitions were challenged. 15,000 signatures are required. Marijuana Reform turned in 27,000; Term Limits turned in 32,000. Results of the challenges won't be known until mid-September, and if the losing side appeals, final results may not even be known until October.
In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Socialist Workers Party need not disclose the names of people who contribute to its candidates, since the record showed that persons publicly identified as supporters of the party are likely to suffer harassment. However, in 1997, the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission nevertheless fined the Socialist Workers campaign for failing to disclose the names. The Commission felt that conditions have changed, and that, at least in Seattle, people associated with the party no longer suffer harassment.
On July 15, however, the Commission agreed not to make any efforts to collect the fine (the campaign had refused to pay it). In exchange, the party agreed not to sue. This leaves the issue unresolved for future elections.
On November 3, the voters of Santa Clara County, California, will vote on whether to authorize the County Board of Supervisors to experiment with preference voting ("instant run-off", or "one-two-three voting") in future elections for Board of Supervisors.