Ballot Access News -- June 1, 1999

Volume 15, Number 3

This issue was originally printed on tan paper.

Table of Contents
  1. CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE NEED NOT BE REGISTERED
  2. HAWAII BILL PASSES
  3. PAUL BILLS TO BE INTRODUCED JUNE 7
  4. MAINE DATE BILL SIGNED
  5. OTHER ACCESS BILLS
  6. ENDLESS LITIGATION
  7. PARTY FACTION FIGHTS CREATE NEW LAW
  8. HIGH COURT PROTECTS NEW STATE RESIDENTS
  9. NEW YORK LOSS
  10. ILLINOIS RULING SOON
  11. OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS
  12. PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES
  13. WEST VIRGINIA: WHAT WENT WRONG?
  14. ILLINOIS CAMPAIGN
  15. SENATOR SMITH MAY JUMP PARTIES
  16. NEW YORK LEGISLATIVE ELECTION
  17. PHILADELPHIA ELECTION
  18. COMMUNIST PARTY CONVENTION
  19. NATURAL LAW CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED
  20. OREGON SOCIALISTS JOIN GREEN PARTY
  21. Subscription Information

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE NEED NOT BE REGISTERED

U.S. DISTRICT COURT STRIKES DOWN COLORADO LAW

On May 3, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch, a Nixon appointee, struck down Colorado's law requiring candidates for Congress to be registered voters. Campbell v Buckley, 98-M-1929. This is the first time that a ballot access restriction (other than a congressional term limits law) has been struck down based on the 1995 U.S. Supreme Court decision U.S. Term Limits v Thornton. That decision, and the new Colorado decision, depend on Article I of the U.S. Constitution, not the Bill of Rights. Article I sets forth the qualifications for anyone to be elected to Congress, and implies that the states cannot add to the constitutional requirements.

Judge Matsch pointed out that Colorado's law, requiring candidates for Congress to be registered voters in the district which they desire to represent, prevents three types of people from becoming candidates for Congress: (1) people who haven't lived in the state as long as 30 days before an election (since that is the deadline for registering); (2) felons and ex-felons on parole; (3) people who live in the state but not in the district. The Constitution does not bar any of those people from being elected to Congress, so the state may not bar them from running.

The state is appealing. The case had been filed by a U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate, Douglas Campbell, who has conscientious objections to registering to vote. He didn't appear on the 1998 ballot since Judge Matsch had refused injunctive relief.

Why is this Case Important?

This decision is important because it puts a spotlight on the contradiction between two U.S. Supreme Court decisions. In 1974 that Court upheld a California law which made it literally impossible for anyone who had changed registration within a year of an election, from getting on any type of ballot as a candidate for Congress.

Yet in 1995 the same Court ruled that a state cannot enforce a law which prevents anyone from getting on the ballot for Congress, unless that law is needed to carry out the functions of basic election administration. The 1974 case is Storer v Brown; the 1995 case, of course, is US Term Limits v Thornton.

Until the recent Colorado decision, Campbell v Buckley, it was impossible to persuade any Judge to take the logic of the US Term Limits decision seriously, for a case involving other ballot access hurdles. The U.S. Taxpayers Party had filed several ballot access cases in 1996, using the Term Limits decision, but they all lost.

The Term Limits decision invalidated congressional term limits. The Supreme Court, in that case, didn't discuss the social desirability of term limits. The merits or demerits of term limits were irrelevant. The Court said Article I prohibits a state from erecting barriers to ballot access for congressional candidates (except that a state can pass laws to enable the election to be carried out, such as a requirement that candidates file a declaration of candidacy in time for ballots to be printed).

By that logic, then, a law which requires a candidate for Congress to submit 25,000 signatures of registered voters, five months before an election, in order to be placed on the ballot, cannot stand, since such a law isn't needed for the administration of the election. Yet this is what is currently required in Georgia's 6th district. It may be possible for a defender of the Georgia law to argue that such a barrier is socially desirable. But under the logic of the term limits decision, it doesn't matter whether the restriction is socially desirable or not, just as it was irrelevant whether congressional term limits are socially desirable or not.

The states simply lack authority to erect such laws, and the social desirability of such laws is irrelevant.

With the Campbell decision in existence, the contradictions between unfavorable ballot access court decisions, and the term limits decision, will be re-examined. Law journals will publish articles on the subject. Similar lawsuits will be filed in other states (in fact, one similar case from California is pending in the 9th circuit). It is possible that the Campbell case itself will reach the U.S. Supreme Court.


HAWAII BILL PASSES

On May 5, the Hawaii legislature passed SB 631, which lowers the petition to get a new party on the ballot from 1% of the registered voters, to .1% of the registered voters (from 6,000 signatures to 600). It also lowers the vote test for a party to remain on the ballot from 10%, to 4%, of the vote for the all the legislative races of either House; or to 2% of all the legislative races in both houses (unchanged are alternative means for a party to remain on the ballot... that it poll 10% in a statewide race, or that it may remain on for ten years if it qualified in the last three elections).

The immediate effect of the bill is to restore the Libertarian Party to the ballot, since it polled over 4% for the State Senate last year. The Governor has until July 7 to sign the bill.


PAUL BILLS TO BE INTRODUCED JUNE 7

On June 7, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) will re-introduce the bills to outlaw restrictive ballot access laws in federal elections, and to require that major party presidential candidates who receive general election funding debate significant minor party and independent presidential candidates.


MAINE DATE BILL SIGNED

On May 20, Maine Governor Angus King signed LD 1492. It moves the deadline for independent presidential petitions from mid-May to August 8. The Libertarian Party initiated this bill. Maine doesn't permit stand-ins on presidential independent petitions. The Libertarian Party isn't a qualified party in Maine, and doesn't expect to become a qualified party in 2000. Therefore, the party uses the Maine independent procedure to place its presidential candidate on the ballot.

But the Libertarian Party won't know who its presidential candidate will be, until July 5, so under the old law, it would have been impossible for the party to qualify its presidential candidate. The new law will help all parties which are not qualified in Maine, and which don't choose their presidential candidate until the summer of a presidential election year.

Texas is now the only state in which the deadline for an independent presidential candidate petition is earlier than June.


OTHER ACCESS BILLS

1. Alabama: HB 269, by Rep. Bob McKee, which lowers the vote test for a party to remain on the ballot from 20%, to 10%, passed the House last month and will receive a vote in the Senate next week. The bill also makes it impossible for minor parties to nominate individuals who lost a major party primary earlier that year.

2. Arizona: HB 2656, which repeals the requirement that initiative petition circulators be registered voters, was signed into law on May 19.

3. California: SB 365 passed the Senate on May 25, 39-0. It makes it more difficult for candidates to obtain a place on a primary ballot. It requires two separate petitions, one signed by 40 voters, and another one in lieu of the filing fee, signed by 150 voters. In the past, a single petition has served both purposes.

California (2): SB 1220, which deletes the requirement that petition circulators be registered voters, passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 17.

California (3): AB 547, which deletes the requirement that candidates must file a form naming their petition circulators, passed the Assembly on May 25.

4. Colorado: SB 25, which moves the deadline for independent candidate petitions from mid-July to early July, was signed into law on May 20.

5. Dist of Columbia: Bill 13-142, which would let qualified minor parties appear on the ballot for president without petitioning, will probably have a hearing in June.

6. Florida: SB 754, which vastly eases ballot access requirements, was sent to the Governor on May 27, so he must sign it or veto it by June 11. The May 3 issue of B.A.N., which describes the bill, contains an error. Candidates who choose not to pay the filing fee must submit a petition signed by 1% of the number of registered voters, not 1% of the number of people registered in the largest party. A candidate for U.S. Senate in 2000 who chooses not to pay the $10,000 fee will need approximately 85,000 signatures.

7. Maine: LD 639, by Sen. Beverly Daggett, which lets a party which polls 5% for either President or Governor retain its status for 4 years, instead of just 2 years, will probably receive a vote on the floor of both houses of the legislature next week.

Maine (2): LD 314, which would have banned petitioning within 250 feet of the polls, has been tabled. Current law bans petitioning within 100 feet of the polls. Petitioning at the polls on primary day is an excellent technique, since everyone who signs is invariably a registered voter, so the signatures are all valid.

8. Missouri: SB 346, which repeals the requirement that petitioners must be registered voters, failed to pass before the legislature adjourned.

9. Nebraska: LB 728, which repeals the requirement that petitioners be registered voters, failed to make any headway, but could pass next year.

10. Nevada: AB 520, which moves the deadline for qualified minor parties to nominate candidates, passed the legislature on May 24.

11. New York: S 2033, by Senator Joseph Holland, would increase the vote test for a party from 50,000 votes for Governor, to 250,000. This would potentially eliminate the Right to Life, Green, Working Families, and Liberal Parties from the ballot, although the bill would not take effect until 2003. However, Senator Holland resigned from the legislature after he introduced the bill, and his successor, Senator Thomas Morahan, probably won't pursue it.

12. North Carolina: HB 1072 passed the House on April 22 and isi in the Senate Judiciary Committee. It moves the new party petition deadline from May to mid-July; permits members of parties which have lost qualified status, to remain members; and repeals the 5 fee for checking each signature on a petition.

13. Oregon: SB 806 passed the legislature on May 20. It repeals the requirement that initiative petition circulators be registered voters.

14. Pennsylvania: Rep. Todd Platts will re-introduce his ballot access improvement bill (formerly HB 1918) in early June.

15. Tennessee: On May 19, HB 993 was signed into law. It moves the independent candidate petition deadline (for office other than president) from late May to early April.

16. Texas: HB 386, which would have expanded the period for petitioning for minor parties from 75 days to 180 days, didn't progress beyond committee, and the legislature has adjourned.

17. Vermont: H 230, which provides that only parties which polled 10% for Governor should nominate by primary, failed to pass.


ENDLESS LITIGATION

On May 17, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Hunt v Cromartie, 98-85, that there must be a trial to determine if North Carolina's latest congressional redistricting is invalid for being a "racial gerrymander". The state has had 3 different reapportionments during the 1990's, and the 2000 census will have been held before the 1990 reapportionment is settled.


PARTY FACTION FIGHTS CREATE NEW LAW

In two states, different factions of the same party are fighting each other in court. In both cases, new constitutional law is likely to be made:

Arizona Libertarians

On May 26, a hearing was held in Purcell v Hancock, cv99-3904, Superior Court. This case was filed by the Registrar of Voters of Maricopa County to settle the issue of the identity of the true state officers of the Libertarian Party. The county is required to give a free list of registered voters to party officers, and therefore needs to know who the officers are. However, the case has now become a constitutional case on whether a state can tell a party how its officers should be chosen, an issue so compelling that the Democratic Party has joined the lawsuit.

The Arizona Libertarian Party had held a state convention on April 24. Both factions of the party attended. The Phoenix faction elects party officers at conventions, but the Tucson faction elects party officers at the primary, in accordance with state law. Although the Tucson faction had more members in attendance, its motion to merge the two factions only received 65 votes. Party Bylaws require such motions to receive support from a majority of registered delegates, and since there were 138 registered delegates, the motion failed.

At the hearing on May 26, the judge ordered both sides to prepare for trial. The Phoenix faction argues that it violates the U.S. Constitution for a state to tell any party that all of its officers (even the state chair) must be chosen from the ranks of party precinct committeemen, who are chosen at partisan primaries. The Democratic Party has joined the lawsuit, because Democrats would also like more freedom to structure the party.

The judge ordered the parties to restructure the case, so that the Phoenix faction of the Libertarian Party, and the Democratic Party, will be the plaintiffs; the defendants will be the Tucson faction of the Libertarian Party and the Maricopa County Registrar.

The case will probably be re-named Arizona Libertarian Party v Arizona Libertarian Party, Inc. (the Tucson faction incorporated itself a few months ago).

New Jersey Reformers

On May 21, the faction of the Reform Party which is allied with the party's national officers filed a lawsuit against the other faction of the party, and also against the state. Reform Party of the U.S. v State of New Jersey, C-000042-99, Superior Court, Mercer County.

New Jersey defines a party to be a group which polled 10% of all the votes cast for Assembly (lower house of the legislature). There is no procedure for a group to become a "party" until after it has met this strict vote test. The law has existed since 1920 and no party other than the Democrats or Republicans has been able to qualify as a "party".

Groups which are not parties have no legal means to protect their party name. Any individual may submit an independent candidate petition, with a party label of his or her own choosing (except that the label must be fairly short and it can't mimic the name of a qualified party). This is true, even if the candidate has no relationship whatsoever to the group whose name he has chosen.

In 1996, the faction of the Reform Party which supports the national leadership incorporated itself as the "Reform Party", thinking that this would protect its name. However, in 1998 the other faction of the party also incorporated itself, under the name "Reform Party of New Jersey".

The lawsuit argues that the state should not have accepted the second incorporation, since the names are so similar. The lawsuit also argues that the U.S. Constitution require states to provide a way for unqualified parties to protect their names against candidates who have no connection with the party. There will be a hearing on June 15.

This case should not be confused with another case in the same court, against state law which makes it impossible for voters to register as members of unqualified parties.


HIGH COURT PROTECTS NEW STATE RESIDENTS

On May 17, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Saenz v Roe, 98-97, that states may not discriminate against new residents. The case dealt with welfare benefits, not election law.

However, the decision may be somewhat helpful, by preventing states from requiring petitioners to be long-term residents. In the aftermath of the January 1999 Buckley v ACLF decision by the Supreme Court (that states cannot force petitioners to be registered voters), many states have been revising their laws to instead require that they be residents. At least one state, Arizona, has even been threatening to require that they be long-term residents. However, that will not be possible, thanks to the Saenz decision.

The decision may also be helpful, should any candidate attack a state's duration of residency requirement to run for state office. Back in the period 1970-1975, many federal courts invalidated laws which required candidates for state office to have lived in the state for a number of years, before running. But in 1975, the U.S. Supreme Court summarily affirmed a decision upholding New Hampshire's 7-year residency requirement for candidates for State Senate (Sununu v Stark), and ever since, such challenges have lost.

In the past, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld duration of residency requirements in a state for people to get married or divorced, or to obtain free tuition in state universities. The recent Saenz decision differentiated those laws, by saying they dealt with "portable" benefits. In other words, someone who travels to a new state to get a faster marriage or divorce, or to get free tuition, is likely to reap the benefit and then return to the original state of residence. The Saenz decision says duration of residency laws are still constitutional if they involve "portable" benefits.

However, the exception for "portable" benefits would not derail a challenge to duration of residency requirements for state office, since the right to run for state office is not "portable".


NEW YORK LOSS

On May 14, the 2nd circuit upheld New York law which requires a candidate for the U.S. House to submit 1,250 signatures (or 5% of the number of registered voters in the party, if that is a smaller number) to obtain a place on a primary ballot. Prestia v O'Connor, 98-9336. The decision was by Judges Jose Cabranes and Robert Sack (Clinton appointees) and Milton Shadur (a Carter appointee).

The decision is illogical, since the same petition requirements were declared unconstitutional in 1996, on behalf of several Republican presidential primary candidates (Republicans running in a New York presidential primary had to qualify delegates on a congressional-district basis, rather than with a single statewide petition).

To get around this difficulty, the decision says the 1996 case (Rockefeller v Powers) was different, since "practical considerations required candidates to confront and therefore allocate their resources among all 31 New York districts, not to mention the other states. Historically, even the most viable and well-financed candidates, unless supported by the Republican State Committee, did not have the resources to mount a successful petition drive". This is beside the point. If there is no state interest in requiring 1,250 signatures (or 5% of the total party registration) for president, there is no state interest in requiring it for U.S. House.

The Prestia case was brought by members of the Conservative Party, who wished to run for congress last year in that party's primary. They are requesting a rehearing.


ILLINOIS RULING SOON

On June 4, U.S. District Court Judge Elaine Bucklo is expected to reveal whether she has reversed herself, on the issue of whether petitioners for candidates must be registered voters. Krislov v Rednour, 96-C-674, n.d. She had upheld the Illinois law back in 1997, but in January 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that petitioners for initiatives need not be registered voters.


OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS

1. Arizona: the state did not appeal the U.S. District Court judgment in Campbell v Hull (see BAN of May 3, 1999), which struck down the law which said only registered independents could sign petitions for independent candidates. However, the Secretary of State will probably ask the legislature next year to provide that only voters who didn't vote in the primary may sign.

2. California: on May 12, the State Supreme Court announced that it will hear the state's appeal in Griset v FPPC. The lower court had ruled that the state cannot ban anonymous campaign literature.

3. Georgia: on May 24, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Brooks v Barnes, 98-1521. The issue was the legality of a state law, mandating a run-off primary for legislative, judicial and local office, if no candidate received 50% in the first primary. The lower court had upheld the law.

4. Hawaii: on May 14, the 9th circuit refused to issue an injunction against a law which requires disclosure of campaign contributions for or against a ballot question. Christian Coalition v Black, 98-17255. The issue arose around the state's vote on a proposal to ban same-sex marriage. Some individuals who contributed to the campaign for the measure, hoped to keep their identity private.

5. Michigan: The Green Party has dismissed its state court lawsuit, Green Party of Michigan v City of Ann Arbor. It plans to refile the case in federal court next month, because it believes the federal courts are more receptive. The issue is whether a state must provide a means for a party to qualify for the ballot in just part of the state.

6. New York: on Feb. 19, a U.S. District Court ruled that although major parties have the right to suggest who should be an election commissioner, the county is not obliged to accept the nominee. Eisberg v Dutchess County Legislature, 37 F.Supp.2d 283. The case had been brought by the Democratic Party.

7. North Carolina: on Feb. 17, the 4th circuit upheld a law making it illegal for anyone employing a lobbyist to contribute to a candidate for the legislature, while the legislature is in session. N.C. Right to Life v Bartlett, 168 F 3d 705.

8. North Dakota: on May 3, a U.S. District Court ruled that the Initiative & Referendum Institute has standing to attack a state law that petitioners must be state residents. The merits of the case can now be reached. Initiative & Referendum Institute v Jaeger, A1-98-070.

9. Pennsylvania: on March 12, a state court upheld state law which makes it illegal for an independent voter to vote in a partisan primary. In re Barkman, 726 A 2d 440.

10. Washington: on April 26, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Brower v Washington, 98-1510. The issue was whether it is legal for a local government to agree to hold a referendum on whether to use tax money for a football stadium, but only if the owner of the football team pays all the election administration expenses. The State Supreme Court had upheld the idea.


PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES

Bills affecting presidential primaries which either advanced, or were defeated during May, are:

1. Alabama: SB 397, which moves the primary from June to March 7, has passed the Senate.

2. Colorado: SB 1 passed the legislature last month. It moves the primary from March 2 to March 10.

3. Florida: HB 819, which would have moved the presidential primary from March 14 to March 7, failed.

4. Kansas: HB 2366, which cancels the April presidential primary, failed.

5. Minnesota: HF 878, which cancels the primary, was signed May 25.

6. Nebraska: LB 695, which would have canceled the presidential primary, failed to pass.

7. Ohio: HB 157, which moves the primary to March 7, passed the legislature on May 25.


WEST VIRGINIA: WHAT WENT WRONG?

The April 3 and May 3 issues of B.A.N. reported that West Virginia had doubled the number of signatures needed for minor party and independent candidates. Since then, new information has been obtained about how and why the change was made.

In 1986 the legislature made it a crime for any petitioner to fail to say to everyone approached, "If you sign my petition, you can't vote in the primary" (for presidential petitions circulated after the primary, the wording is somewhat different). Ever since then, petitioners report that only one of out every ten people approached, is willing to sign. Since 1986, the only third party or independent presidential candidates who have been able to get on the ballot, have been those who are so strong, they have been able to get on the ballot in every state. Also, since 1986, only one non-presidential statewide candidate has successfully petitioned.

In 1997, a legislative hearing was held on a bill to eliminate the law which requires petitioners to tell people that if they sign the petition, they can't vote in the primary (the bill made it legal for voters to sign a petition and also vote in the primary). The Chief of Staff for the Secretary of State testified in favor of this bill. However, it didn't pass.

In 1999, attempts were again made in the Senate to repeal the prohibition on both signing a petition, and voting in the primary. Staff to the committee suggested putting the repeal into an omnibus election law reform bill, SB 591. However, Senator Jeffrey Kessler persuaded the Committee not to repeal the restriction, but simply to add a sentence saying that any voter who both signs a petition and votes in the primary, may not be punished. The action would still be illegal, and petitioners would still need to tell voters that they may not do both, but there would be no consequences for a voter who did indeed do both.

At this point, SB 591 did not raise the number of signatures. It passed the Senate on February 25 and went to the House Judiciary Committee.

The Committee chairman, Rep. Rick Staton, prepared an amendment to the bill, doubling the number of signatures from 1% of the last vote cast, to 2% (for statewide office and U.S. House) and 5% for all other office. A transcript of the hearing, containing all the discussion on the issue, follows:

Legislator: "I have a few questions. Is this amendment (raising the number of signatures) for third party candidates?"

Female Staffer: "Present law is a petition of 1%. We're changing it to 5%".

Legislator: "Is that to discourage third party candidates?"

Chairman Staton: "The provisions in this amendment would have been suggested by the committee chair. Your question really is a policy matter, so she can't answer that. At the appropriate time we can ask a representative of the Secretary of State's Office."

(time elapses. The Chief of Staff for the Secretary of State is then introduced and receives unanimous consent to address the Committee):

Legislator: "We haven't had that many third party candidates put on the ballot, have we?"

Chief of Staff: "It's very rare that we have a third party candidate who gains ballot access."

Legislator: "Is it difficult now? I was wondering why we're trying to make it more stringent."

Chief of Staff: "What this bill does is remove the prosecution of voting and signing a petition. And so, in our judgment, from the Secretary of State Office's perspective, it's reasonable to add a little bit of an impediment. Because you folks went through a primary election to gain general election ballot access and so we think it's reasonable to show a degree of support in order to attain general election ballot access. 5% is probably too much, in our judgment. Somewhere between 1% and 5% sounds very reasonable."

Nothing further was said. The Committee approved the amended bill and the House passed it on March 13.

The Senate amended the amendment later that day, to 2% for all office; the House accepted that amendment, and the bill was signed by the Governor.

Later e-mail with Rep. Rick Staton, chair of House Judiciary, revealed that he thought the justification for raising the number of signatures, was that the law prohibiting voters from both signing a petition and voting in the primary, was being repealed.

The two daily newspapers in the state capitol never reported that SB 591 had been amended to double the number of signatures, even though there were numerous articles about the bill, even including a detailed, lengthy list of other law changes made by the bill. Thus minor party activists were not aware of the proposed change.

However, activists will try very hard to pass ameliorating legislation next year. In the meantime, the Natural Law Party has completed its petition for 2000. Since the new law doesn't take effect until June 11, the Natural Law Party, by acting early, only needs 6,365 valid signatures, whereas groups which petition for 2000 later, will need 12,730.

The Mountain Party, West Virginia's version of the Green Party, is currently circulating a petition for Governor, and hopes to have 10,000 signatures by the end of 1999.

B.A.N. thanks Bernie Baltic for his generous contribution, which made it possible to obtain the information contained in this article.


ILLINOIS CAMPAIGN

Illinois used cumulative voting for its State House elections between 1870 and 1980. Each district elected 3 members, but parties were free to run one, two or three nominees; voters could cast three votes for just one candidate, which made it easier for minority parties to win seats.

The Illinois Citizens for Proportional Representation desire to restore cumulative voting. HCA 13 was introduced in this year's legislature to do that, but it has not advanced; therefore an initiative to restore it is being planned. Contact ICPR at (773)-508-4890, or see its website at www.prairienet.org/icpr


SENATOR SMITH MAY JUMP PARTIES

U.S. Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) has been seeking the Republican presidential nomination. However, he is seriously thinking of dropping out of that race, and instead accepting the U.S. Taxpayers Party presidential nomination. That party will choose a presidential candidate on September 6, 1999. It seems very likely that the party will give its nomination to Smith, if Smith wants it.

If Smith does drop out of the Republican race, he may also seek the nomination of the Reform and Libertarian Parties. The Reform Party hasn't set a date yet for its national nominating convention, but it will do so next month. The Libertarian convention will be in July 2000.

The last time a minor party presidential candidate accepted the nomination of more than one nationally-organized minor party was 1924, when U.S. Senator Robert La Follette accepted the nomination of the Socialist Party, and the Farmer-Labor Party, and also qualified himself for the ballot in most states as the Progressive nominee. La Follette was on the ballot as the nominee of two or three parties in Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Missouri, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and West Virginia. Separate tallies for each party were recorded in these states.

Although "fusion" (the practice of two parties jointly nominating a single candidate) is illegal in most states for office other than president, it is legal in most states for president. This is because the anti-fusion laws are generally written in terms of candidates qualifying for the primary. Presidential electors, who are the true candidates in presidential elections, are never chosen in primary elections; they are always chosen by conventions of state political parties. State parties can jointly nominate a presidential candidate with another party in that same state, by the device of having the two parties each nominate the same individuals as candidates for presidential elector.

Smith, interviewed on the Cable News Network on May 23, was asked if he would run as a "third party candidate" if he failed to win the Republican nomination. He replied, "No, I would run as a third party candidate in lieu of seeking the Republican nomination". Smith's web site is http://www.senate.gov/~smith/Issues.html


NEW YORK LEGISLATIVE ELECTION

On May 25, New York held a special election in the 38th Senate district. The results: Republican 16,293 (40.52%); Democratic 16,273 (40.47%); Conservative 3,335 (8.29%); Working Families 1,933 (4.81%); Independence 1,119 (2.78%); Liberal 696 (1.73%); Green 562 (1.40%). Thomas Morahan, candidate of the Republican, Conservative and Independence Parties, won the election.


PHILADELPHIA ELECTION

On May 18, Philadelphia held a special election in the 5th City Council district. The results: Clarke, Democrat, 7,425 (86.25%); Selles, Libertarian, 599 (6.96%); Bello, Republican, 585 (6.80%).


COMMUNIST PARTY CONVENTION

The Communist Party USA has announced an Ideological Conference for October 9-11 in New York city. The announcement says, "The 2000 elections are upon us. We will run Communist candidates. How do we build broader election coalitions? What should be our overall electoral strategy for 2000?". The party has not had any candidates for public office since November 1996, when it ran a candidate for the New York state legislature.


NATURAL LAW CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED

On May 12, John Hagelin, the Natural Law Party presidential candidate in 1996, announced that he is running in 2000. Although the party will hold a presidential convention next year, it has already informally nominated Hagelin. He expects to get on the ballot in all 50 states. In 1996 he was on in 43 states, and polled 113,668 votes.
Web edition correction: 43 state ballots and D.C.; total votes of 113,671 including all write-ins.


OREGON SOCIALISTS JOIN GREEN PARTY

On May 15, the Oregon Socialist Party merged with the Green Party (in Oregon, the Green Party is called the Pacific Green Party). Last November, the Socialist Party lost its qualified status in Oregon, but the Greens still have qualified status. The revised platform includes: (1) Protect and restore the environment; (2) Provide for every citizen's basic human needs such as food, shelter, and health care.


Ballot Access News. is published by and copyright by Richard Winger ban@igc.apc.org. Note: subscriptions are available!
Go back to the index.
Compilation copyright (c) 1999 Bob Bickford