|This issue was originally printed on white paper.|
On February 4, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Korman invalidated two New York ballot access laws: (1) that signers in unincorporated areas must list their town instead of their village; (2) that if a petitioner is circulating a petition for a candidate for district office, the petitioner must live in that district. Molinari v Powers, 99-cv-8447, e.d. This is the famous case which put John McCain, Alan Keyes, and Steve Forbes on the Republican presidential primary ballot in all New York districts.
Judge Korman is a Reagan appointee with a good record on ballot access. The state is not appealing his decision.
Town versus Village
Korman said the law mandating that petition signers list their town instead of their village isn't even rational (what is called a "town" in New York is generally called a "township" in other states; it is a large area that typically contains several settlements). Generally, for New Yorkers who live outside the city limits of a city, the voter's village is part of the voter's mailing address, whereas the name of the town is not. So, most voters naturally show their village instead of their town. But if they take this common-sense action, their signature is invalid, under the law which has now been held unconstitutional.
The "town" versus "village" error was responsible for the Term Limits Party being removed from the New York ballot in 1998. The party sued in state court to overturn the requirement, but lost (Zobel v N.Y. State Bd. of Elections). The state court in 1998 said, "Notwithstanding that the Board now has a computer database which can search by name of signer to assist it, the database is not available to individual objectors who must still do their check through the individual county boards of election. In the absence of a correct town listing, such checks would be difficult."
By contrast, Judge Korman, in the new decision, said, "Where the name of the village has been filled in, rather than the town, anyone with familiarity with a particular county can readily determine the town in which the village is located... The disqualification is akin to disqualifying a petition in New York city because the witness listed Brooklyn instead of New York city. Since everyone knows that Brooklyn is in New York city, it would be absurd to invalidate a petition for that reason."
Circulating Anywhere in the State
Korman also declared that it is unconstitutional for the state to prevent a petitioner from circulating anywhere in the state. Senator McCain had complained in his lawsuit that if his volunteers had been free to circulate in any congressional district, he could have qualified (he hadn't complained about the law requiring his petitioners to be registered Republicans, so that issue wasn't reached). Korman said, "The usual justification for a residence requirement is that a petitioner be answerable to a subpoena. This concern is satisfied, however, if the petitioner resides anywhere within New York and provides an affidavit listing a residence address." Korman cited the U.S. Supreme Court decision Buckley v American Constitutional Law, which struck down a law that initiative petitioners had to be registered voters.
Korman also discussed the motivation of the legislature in restricting petitioners from collecting signatures outside their home districts. He said the only purpose was to disadvantage candidates who do not enjoy the support of the party organization.
He quoted Anderson v Celebrezze: "The drafting of election laws is largely the handiwork of the major parties that are typically dominant in state legislatures... the particular interests of the major parties cannot automatically be characterized as legitimate state interests."
He also quoted Laurence Tribe's American Constitutional Law: "Where an illicit reason has played a substantial role in the legislature's deliberations, it may reasonably be said that the decisional calculus has been impermissibly skewed."
The precedent will be helpful, not only in New York state, but against the laws of certain other states. For instance, the 7th circuit is hearing a case from Illinois over whether circulators must be registered voters. Illinois claims that the 1999 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, Buckley v American Constitutional Law Foundation, doesn't apply to candidate petitions. However, the New York ruling directly contradicts that assertion. The New York precedent also will be useful if anyone ever sues Virginia for requiring that statewide petitions cannot be circulated outside the circulator's home congressional district or the next-door district.
It seems very likely that the decision will apply to all types of petitions in New York, not just petitions to place candidates on a primary. The logic applies equally to all types of petitions. Technically, however, the decision only struck down the portion of the election law concerning primary petitions.
On February 15, Montana state representative Rick Jore announced he has left the Republican Party and joined the Constitution Party. He will run for re-election this year as a Constitution Party candidate.
Jore attended the Constitution Party's national convention last year. He represents part of Lake County, in northwestern Montana.
The only other (currently seated) minor party state legislators in the United States are one Libertarian in Vermont, and three Progressives in Vermont.
1. Alabama: Representative Bob McKee has again introduced a bill, HB 120, to change the definition of "party", from a group which polled 20%, to 10%. Last year an identical bill passed the House but ran out of time before it could get past the Senate. The Secretary of State supports the bill, and urges activists to contact Rep. McKee at (334)-242-7707 and encourage him to push his bill.
2. Arizona: SB 1372 passed the Senate on February 23. It lets any registered voter sign any candidate petition (whether the candidate is an independent, or seeking primary ballot access).
3. Georgia: HB 672, the ballot access improvement bill, was tabled by the House on February 1, 85-74. However, it may be revived, since it is being amended to increase the statewide petition from 7,500 to 15,000, which may cause it to be successful. SB 358 is the Senate version of the bill.
4. Illinois: HB 4126 has been introduced by Rep. Douglas Scott, to lower petition requirements for minor party and independent candidates.
5. South Carolina: S1086 and H4669 would legalize write-in voting for president at the general election. Current law permits write-ins for all office except president. If you support these bills, please write or call Rep. James Harrison, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, State Capitol, Columbia SC 29211, (803)-734-3120, because currently he refuses to hold a hearing on the House Bill. Similar bills in the recent past have passed the Senate.
6. South Dakota: HB 1231, which would have moved the independent presidential petition deadline from June to August, lost in the House State Affairs Committee by a vote of 4-9.
7. Tennessee: SB 2149 and HB 2594 would let candidates who use the independent petition procedure choose a partisan label, which would be printed on the November ballot. A committee hearing was held February 29, but no vote has been taken yet.
8. Virginia: HB 4 and SB 140, identical bills which each provide for party labels to be printed on general election ballots (but only for the candidates of qualified parties) have each passed their house of origin by narrow margins. Virginia has been the only state in which no party labels appear on the ballot (except that they appear for president). HB 807, a similar bill to let candidates of non-qualified parties also have party labels on the ballot, failed in the House on February 15 by 27-67.
9. Washington: HB 2777 and SB 6598, would have moved the deadline for minor party and independent presidential candidates from July to September, failed to move before the deadline. They were sponsored by the Secretary of State. Since the bills failed, the Secretary of State will continue to allow stand-ins for president and vice-president.
10. West Virginia: SB 478 and HB 4448 would let primary voters sign a petition for minor party and independent candidates. These bills would drastically ease ballot access, and are co-sponsored by 6 Senators and 7 House members.
1. Alaska: HB 141 would authorize the voters to decide in 2002 whether they wish to amend the state constitution to permit instant-runoff voting. Meanwhile, an initiative petition to do the same is two-thirds of the way toward completion.
2. Illinois: HCA 13 would restore cumulative voting for the lower house of the legislature, a system which existed from 1870 thru 1980.
3. Maryland: HJ 9 would authorize a state committee to study proportional representation and instant-runoff.
4. New Mexico: HJR 4 would have authorized instant-runoff, but it failed to advance.
5. Utah: HB 384 would authorize instant-runoff voting.
6. Vermont: H 199, providing for instant-runoff, is expected to pass the House Government Operations committee any day now.
1. Alabama: SB 332 would move the presidential primary from June to March, starting in 2004.
2. Delaware: SB 256 would provide that if either major party decides not to have a primary, none would be held for any party. SB 255 moves the primary from 4 days after the New Hampshire primary, to 7 days after.
3. Idaho: H 476, introduced at the request of the Reform Party, lets a party tell the state that it doesn't wish to have a presidential primary. It passed the House on February 22.
4. Kansas: S244 abolishes the presidential primary for 2000 only. It was signed into law on February 17. For 2004, it gives the Secretary of State authority to choose any date for the primary as long as it is earlier than April (the old primary was in April).
5. Kentucky: HB 350 moves the presidential primary (and the primary for all other office) one week earlier within May. It passed the House unanimously on January 21.
6. Nebraska: LB 695 would abolish the May presidential primary.
7. New Jersey: A1296 moves the primary from June to March. It passed the Assembly Committee on State Government on January 24.
It is obvious that the states will never reverse the trend to earlier and earlier presidential primaries. Only Congress can act effectively.
1. Florida: S364 would provide for a blanket primary in elections in which only one party had any candidates.
2. Hawaii: HB 2864, SB 472, and SB 2592 would all provide for a unicameral (one-house) legislature.
3. Idaho:now has legislative term limits, except that a long-time legislator can still run for re-election as a write-in candidate; but he or she must be a write-in in both the primary and general. H633 would let such a candidate who wins the primary as a write-in, be printed on the November ballot.
4. Maryland: HB 1059 would require major parties to let independents vote in their primaries.
5. Mississippi: if no one gets a majority for Governor, the State House picks the Governor. That procedure had to be used in January 2000, since no one got a majority in November 1999. HC 5 would eliminate legislative involvement in choosing the Governor, and provide for a run-off.
6. Nebraska: LB 1196 would eliminate the law forcing initiative petitioners to publicly reveal how much they were paid. LB 1308 would repeal the law that initiative circulators must be registered. LB 1106 would have forced parties to let independents vote in their primaries, but it was tabled on February 1.
7. South Dakota: HJR 5, which would have doubled the number of signatures needed for an initiative, was tabled January 20.
8. Utah: HB 8 would let any adult circulate an initiative petition.
9. Wisconsin: AB 598 would eliminate straight-ticket voting devices.
1. Alabama: on January 7, the Attorney General ruled that elections officials must tally all write-ins, except those for fictitious persons.
2. California: on December 22, 1999, the Attorney General ruled that any adult may circulate a city initiative petition, even if he or she doesn't live in the city.
3. Kentucky: on January 11, the Attorney General ruled that the Reform Party isn't entitled to its own presidential primary.
4. Ohio: Ron Williams has been permitted to file as a write-in candidate in both the Republican and Libertarian primaries for US House, 3rd district. No one is on either primary ballot for that office. State law bars anyone from filing in any primary (even as a write-in) if he voted in the primary of another party in the last two years, but since Williams didn't vote in any party's primary, no law seems to bar this attempt at "fusion".
On January 27, Superior Court Judge Robert Myers (Maricopa County) ruled that the true officers of the Libertarian Party are those from the "Phoenix faction". He also ruled that state laws mandating that party officers be elected in the primary are valid. Purcell v Hancock, 99-3904.
At the party's state convention last year, a motion to merge the two factions passed by a vote of 65-23, which seemed to mean that the "Tucson faction" officers were the valid officers. However, the Judge, relying on Robert's Rules of Order as well as party bylaws, ruled that the motion merging the two factions had failed, since it didn't receive 70 votes (the number of registered delegates at the beginning of the convention was 138, but many of them had left before the merger vote).
The Judge said, "If the phrase 'a majority vote of the registered delegates' means 'a majority vote of registered delegates present and voting' as Defendants urge, then the convention chair would be required to count those present immediately after any vote, because under Robert's Rules, an abstention has the same effect as a "no" vote. The chair did not take a count of the delegates present at the vote."
The judge also upheld state laws requiring qualified parties to elect their officers in the primary. He said a state has a compelling reason to require such an intrusion into the affairs of a political party, because election administrators need to know who the legal party officers are. State law requires elections officials to give a free copy of the entire list of registered voters to party officials.
The irony is that the "Phoenix faction" of the party doesn't believe in electing party officers at a government-sponsored primary, whereas the "Tucson faction" does. The next primary for choosing party officers is in September 2000.
It's not clear if anyone will appeal the decision. The major parties had intervened in the lawsuit, arguing that the state may not force parties to elect their officers at the primary.
The Libertarian lawsuit to force New Mexico to recognize it as a major party is moving slowly. Although the counties reported 3,786 registered Libertarians (greater than the requirement of 2,981), Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron says the party only has 2,100 members. She disallowed all new registrants from counties in which even a single voter reported that he had been tricked into registering with the party.
On February 16, the State Supreme Court ordered the District Court in Santa Fe to hear the case, but on February 18 the District Court ruled that the case can't proceed until the Governor is added as a Defendant. Libertarian Party of New Mexico v Vigil-Giron, D-0101-cv-2000-19. On February 25 the party amended its pleadings to comply. The primary election will be in June 2000.
State law requires a party to both poll 5%, and hold registration of one-third of 1%. The Libertarian Party met the vote test in November 1998 and needs to show that it met the registration test as of January 31, 2000.
Congressional Quarterly has just published Race for the Presidency, Winning the 2000 Convention. It is 157 pages (8.5" x 11"), and for each state has several pages of information on how the major parties choose national convention delegates. It also has historical data about past presidential primaries, and a page on the dates and locations of 2000 minor party presidential conventions. It sells for $29.95. To order, call (800)-432-2250.
On February 17, the FEC voted 4-1 to wait until 2001 to decide whether to write its own criteria on who must be invited into general election presidential debates. On February 10, President Clinton finally nominated law professor Brad Smith to the FEC. The Senate will now hold hearings on Smith. Smith has written articles and briefs advocating fairer treatment for minor parties.
On February 11, Reform Party treasurer Ronn Young of Virginia, an ally of then-national chairman Jack Gargan, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Harrisonburg, Virginia against the party's 1999 national officers, complaining that the 1999 officers still had not supplied him with the party's records and books. Reform Party of the US v Verney, 5:00-cv-12, western district. The case was assigned to Judge James Turk, a Nixon appointee.
On February 12, the Reform Party national committee (composed of 3 members from each state, 3 members from the District of Columbia, and the eleven members of the executive committee) met in Nashville, Tennessee, and voted to recall Chairman Gargan and Treasurer Young. The action was taken under authority of the party's national constitution, which states, "A National Officer may be removed by a two-thirds roll call vote of the registered Members of the National Committee." The vote to recall Gargan was 109-31, with one abstention.
Before taking that vote, however, the body voted on credentials disputes on who should be seated on the National Committee from Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Virginia and West Virginia. All of the 18 disputed members who were seated (no one was seated from Virginia) voted to remove Gargan, except for one member from New York, who abstained.
Also before taking the vote to remove Gargan, the body voted that the proper interpretation of the party constitution is that two-thirds of those present and voting, as opposed to two-thirds of the full membership of the Committee, are needed to remove a national officer. After Gargan was removed, the Committee also removed Treasurer Young. It then elected Pat Choate (the party's vice-presidential candidate in 1996, who had been serving as Co-Chair of the Buchanan campaign) as the new national chair; and voted that the party's presidential nominating convention will be in Long Beach, California, not St. Paul, Minnesota.
On February 16, the party's new chair filed a lawsuit in federal court in Lynchburg, Virginia, Reform Party of America, a Texas Ass'n v Gargan and Young, 6:00-cv-14. It was assigned to Judge Norman Moon, a Clinton appointee. It complains that the removed officers have custody of the $2,468,921 received from the FEC to pay the costs of the party's national convention, and asks them to turn it over to the new treasurer.
On February 18, Judge Moon held a hearing and issued an order that Young deposit the funds with the court by February 28 (in the meantime, Young had tried to return most of the money to the FEC, but the FEC refused to accept it).
It is likely that the two lawsuits will be consolidated before Judge Moon, who set a hearing March 22-24. The Choate faction will be on the offensive on the issue of what any spent money was spent on.
The Gargan faction will argue that the Nashville removal of Gargan and Young was invalid. Gargan and Young may argue (if the judge feels it is germane) that an addendum to the Constitution, approved at the 1999 convention, mandates that National Committee meetings may not be called on less than 30 days notice (the Nashville meeting was called January 18, for February 12).
Gargan and Young may also cite Sections 7 and 9 of the constitution, which say that Delegates to a national convention, once seated, continue to hold the post of "Delegate" for a year until the following convention, and cannot be unseated by a lesser national body. Since the three delegates-at-large are automatically members of the national committee, if this interpretation of the constitution is upheld, some of the Nashville credentials decisions were invalid (since they removed delegates who had been seated at the party's national convention in 1999 in Dearborn).
Finally, Gargan and Young may argue that a two-thirds vote of the entire body is needed to remove them, not just two-thirds of those present and voting.
When the committee is at full strength, it has 164 members, and 2/3rds of 164 is 109.33, more than the 109 votes cast to remove Gargan. The committee lacked three members because the majority voted that there is no Reform Party in Virginia, but even that decision is controversial. The Virginia Reform Party ran candidates in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
The Choate faction will probably argue that the 30-day limit is directory, not mandatory; that only two-thirds of those present and voting are needed to remove an officer; and that the credentials decisions were valid.
1. Connecticut: on February 16, a U.S. District Court Judge upheld a law that petitions for a primary ballot can only be circulated by members of that same party. LaRouche v Bysiewicz, 3:00-cv-254.
2. Guam: on January 19, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a candidate for Governor only needs a majority of votes cast for Governor, not a majority of all those who went to the polls. Gutierrez v Ada, 99-51.
3. Hawaii: on February 23, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Rice v Cayetano, 98-818, that the 15th amendment does not permit Hawaii to hold elections for Office of Hawaiian Affairs and let only native Hawaiians vote for that office.
4. New York: on January 31, a state court removed the Trump candidates for delegate to the Reform Party national convention from the primary ballot, because Trump didn't file his own petition. Conroy v Trump, Albany Co. Supreme Court, 310-00.
5. Pennsylvania: on February 17, the commonwealth court ruled that if a petition sheet contains ten signatures from one county and two signatures from another county, the ten signatures are not necessarily invalid (although the other two would be). Pessolano v Stolfo, 78md-2000.
6. Texas: on January 17, the 5th circuit upheld "early voting" in federal elections. Voting Integrity Project v Bomer, 99-20757.
|FULL PARTY||CAND.||LIB'T||REFORM||NAT LAW||CONSTIT'N||GREEN|
|Alaska||(reg) 6,606||#2,410||already on||already on||already on||*2,000||already on||Aug 8|
|Arizona||13,565||*#8,815||already on||*3,000||already on||*1,500||*500||*June 14|
|Arkansas||*21,181||#1,000||*finished||*finished||already on||*already on||0||Aug 1|
|California||(reg) 86,212||149,692||already on||already on||already on||already on||already on||Aug 10|
|Colorado||(reg) 1,000||#pay fee||already on||already on||already on||already on||already on||July 10|
|Connecticut||no procedure||#7,500||*100||already on||0||*300||already on||Aug 11|
|Delaware||241||4,819||already on||already on||already on||already on||*finished||Aug 19|
|D.C.||no procedure||es. #3,500||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||already on||Aug 15|
|Florida||be organized||82,203||already on||already on||already on||already on||already on||Sep 1|
|Georgia||39,094||#39,094||already on||*5,000||*500||0||*1,200||Jul 11|
|Hawaii||602||#3,703||already on||*150||*finished||already on||already on||Sep 7|
|Idaho||9,835||4,918||already on||already on||already on||already on||0||Aug 31|
|Illinois||no procedure||#25,000||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||June 26|
|Indiana||no procedure||#30,717||already on||0||0||100||0||Jul 17|
|Iowa||no procedure||#1,500||0||*finished||*800||*finished||0||Aug 17|
|Kansas||14,854||5,000||already on||already on||*17,500||already on||0||July 31|
|Kentucky||no procedure||#5,000||already on||already on||0||*400||0||Aug 30|
|Louisiana||est. (reg) 135,000||#pay fee||691||already on||14||40||89||Sep 5|
|Maine||21,051||#4,000||0||already on||0||50||already on||Aug 8|
|Maryland||10,000||es. 26,000||already on||*6,000||*need 2,000||*7,000||*2,400||Aug 7|
|Massachusetts||est. (reg) 37,500||#10,000||already on||2,289||59||0||311||July 31|
|Michigan||30,272||30,272||already on||already on||already on||already on||*700||July 19|
|Minnesota||104,550||#2,000||0||already on||0||already on||0||Sep 12|
|Mississippi||be organized||#1,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||0||Sep 7|
|Missouri||10,000||10,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||0||July 31|
|Montana||5,000||#5,000||already on||already on||already on||*6,600||0||Aug 1|
|Nebraska||5,453||2,500||already on||200||already on||0||0||Aug 28|
|Nevada||4,099||4,099||already on||0||already on||already on||0||July 7|
|New Hampshire||9,827||#3,000||*11,000||*5,000||0||finished||0||Aug 9|
|New Jersey||no procedure||#800||0||*finished||0||*800||*finished||July 31|
|New Mexico||2,494||14,964||already on||already on||*finished||*finished||already on||Sep 11|
|New York||no procedure||#15,000||can't start||already on||can't start||can't start||already on||Aug 21|
|North Carolina||51,324||es. 95,000||already on||*20,000||200||0||0||June 30|
|North Dakota||7,000||4,000||0||already on||0||0||0||Sep 7|
|Ohio||33,543||#5,000||already on||7,500||already on||*7,500||*500||Aug 23|
|Oregon||16,663||13,755||already on||*2,000||*24,000||*5,500||already on||Aug 28|
|Pennsylvania||no procedure||*21,739||*600||*500||*0||*0||*400||Aug 1|
|Rhode Island||15,323||#1,000||0||already on||0||0||0||Sep 7|
|South Carolina||10,000||10,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||0||Aug 1|
|South Dakota||6,505||#2,602||2,600||*1,200||0||*100||0||June 20|
|Texas||37,381||56,117||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||May 28|
|Utah||2,000||#1,000||already on||*already on||already on||*already on||*finished||Aug 31|
|Vermont||be organized||#1,000||already on||*200||already on||already on||0||Sep 20|
|Virginia||no procedure||#10,000||*2,000||0||0||0||*1,500||Aug 24|
|Washington||no procedure||#200||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Jul 1|
|West Virginia||no procedure||#12,730||already on||*2,000||already on||*250||0||Aug 1|
|Wisconsin||10,000||#2,000||already on||0||0||already on||already on||Sep 5|
|Wyoming||3,485||3,485||already on||*400||*500||50||0||Aug 28|
|TOTAL STATES ON||31||*22||19||*17||12|
"Deadline" refers to procedure with the LATEST deadline. * means entry changed since last issue. # means that candidate procedure allows partisan label. Other multi-state parties on the ballot: in Florida, the American Reform, Southern, Socialist Workers and Socialist Parties. The Socialist Party has *100 signatures in New Jersey, *250 in Ohio, and *300 in Iowa.
New Hampshire: Gore 76,897; Bradley 70,502; Buckley 322; Harder 192; Peters 156; Eaton 134; LaRouche 124; Taylor 87; Greenstein 75; O'Donnell 35; Mullins 35; Carter 30; Crow 29; Hamm 22; Koos 19; Stok 18.
Delaware: Gore 6,377; Bradley 4,476; LaRouche 288.
Michigan: LaRouche 12, 731; uncommitted 30,967.
New Hampshire: McCain 115,606; Bush 72,330; Forbes 30,166; Keyes 15,179; Bauer 1,640; Hatch 163; Yeager 98; Martin 81; Berry 61; Capalbo 51; Mosby 41; Harnes 34; Peet 23; Oyler 14.
Delaware: Bush 15,250; McCain 7,638; Forbes 5,883; Keyes 1,148; Bauer 21; Hatch 21.
South Carolina: Bush 304,512; McCain 238,929; Keyes 25,847; Bauer 637; Forbes 511; Hatch 77.
Michigan: McCain 646,846; Bush 547,945; Keyes 58,800; uncommitted 8,679; Bauer 6,033; Forbes 4,875; Hatch 971.
Arizona: McCain 181,123; Bush 107,545; Keyes 10,707; Forbes 1,160; Hatch 598; McGrath 230; Bauer 171; Zanon 57; See 29.
Arizona Libertarian: Browne 482; Hines 85; Hollist 57.
Michigan Reform: Trump 2,120; uncommitted 630.
Pat Buchanan has become the first candidate for the Reform Party nomination to collect enough ballot access signatures to qualify for the party's private mail-in ballot. Party rules require potential nominees to sponsor petitions to help get the party, or themselves, on state ballots. Robert Bowman and John Hagelin are actively petitioning for the Reform Party as well, and may qualify also. Hagelin won a straw poll at the Illinois Reform Party convention on February 12.
Two leading Libertarians, Harry Browne (the 1996 nominee) and former New Hampshire legislator Don Gorman, kicked off their campaigns for the party's presidential nomination at the California state party convention, February 19-21. They debated each other. Two other contenders, Barry Hess and Dave Hollist, were included in the debate, which was broadcast on C-SPAN. A straw poll held at the convention was overwhelmingly won by Browne.
Ralph Nader, Green presidential candidate in 1996, announced on February 21 that he will again seek the party's nomination. He said he will try to be on the ballot in 45 states.
The Socialist Party was a qualified party in Oregon from 1996 until 1998. In 1998 it ceased to be a qualified party statewide because it didn't poll 1% for any statewide race. However, it continued to be qualified in three of the state's five congressional districts.
In the meantime, though, the officers of the state party disaffiliated from the national party, over a dispute about the role of dues-paying members versus registered members. Last month, the faction loyal to the national party noticed that the other faction had failed to follow party bylaws (by failing to hold a convention during 1999). The faction loyal to the national party then held a state convention and was recognized by the Secretary of State. The new state officers plan to petition in the remaining two districts, which will put the party back on the statewide ballot.
On February 11, Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura said he is leaving the Reform Party, and that he would try to persuade the Minnesota unit of the party to disaffiliate from the national party. On February 14, Donald Trump said he will not run for president.