Ballot Access News -- July 1, 2000

Volume 16, Number 4

This issue was originally printed on white paper.

Table of Contents
  1. CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE NEED NOT BE REGISTERED
  2. TENNESSEE BILL SIGNED
  3. LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS TO STUDY PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION
  4. BIG WIN FOR POLITICAL PARTY AUTONOMY
  5. WILL THE DECISION HELP BALLOT ACCESS?
  6. NO DEMOCRAT IN ARIZONA SENATE RACE
  7. POST OFFICE CASE FILED
  8. NEW JERSEY PETITIONING WIN
  9. NADER DEBATE LAWSUIT
  10. LaROUCHE LOSES ARKANSAS DELEGATES
  11. MORE LAWSUIT NEWS
  12. REGISTRATION UPDATE
  13. JUNE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES
  14. 2000 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY SUMMARY
  15. REFORM BALLOT
  16. 2000 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT (table)
  17. REFORM PARTY GAINS A LEGISLATOR
  18. SOCIALIST WORKERS NOMINATION
  19. NATURAL LAW ACTIVIST WINS REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL PRIMARY
  20. GREEN PARTY CONVENTION
  21. MINNESOTA INDEPENDENCE CONVENTION
  22. VERMONT PROGRESSIVE GETS $300,000
  23. INCLUSIVE POLLS
  24. Subscription Information

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE NEED NOT BE REGISTERED

9th CIRCUIT STRIKES DOWN CALIFORNIA LAW

On June 20, the U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th circuit, struck down California election code section 201, as applied to candidates for Congress. It says, "No person is eligible to be elected unless that person is a registered voter and otherwise qualified to vote for that office at the time that nomination papers are issued." Schaefer v Townsend, 98-55718.

The basis for the decision is the 1995 U.S. Supreme Court decision which invalidated congressional term limits laws passed in many states. In that decision, the Supreme Court said that neither states, nor Congress, can add to the qualifications listed in the U.S. Constitution for anyone to be a member of Congress.

The California decision was written by Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain, a Reagan appointee and co-signed by Judges Harry Pregerson (Carter) and John Noonan (Reagan). The case had been brought by Michael Schaefer, who wanted to run in a special congressional election in southern California in 1998, even though he was registered to vote in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was kept off the ballot because of section 201. He sued, but lost in U.S. District Court.

The 9th circuit decision points out that the U.S. Constitution, Article I, says that members of Congress must be inhabitants of the state they seek to represent "when elected", not before. Therefore, since California required him to be a registered voter 43 days in advance of the election, the law indirectly required him to be a resident of California 43 days in advance of the election, which the state may not do.

The decision contains extensive discussion of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, in which, after debate, the convention voted down all proposals for a duration of residency requirement (within a state) for members of Congress.

Members of that convention were concerned that such a restriction might unduly limit the pool of eligible members from the states that were farthest from Washington, D.C., since travel time back then was so slow. They knew that such members would need to live in or near Washington, D.C., while Congress was in session, so they made the residency requirement applicable only on election day.

California hasn't decided yet whether to seek a rehearing. Assuming the decision stands, similar laws in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon will need to be changed, for candidates for Congress. These states are all in the 9th circuit. In the entire USA, 23 states have laws similar to the voided California law.

A similar decision is likely from the 10th circuit soon. The plaintiff in that case, a resident of Colorado, refuses to register to vote, and the U.S. District Court in Colorado ruled that he could not be barred from the ballot for that reason. Colorado's appeal is pending; the hearing, held on May 8, went well for the candidate.

Eventually, assuming other courts agree with the 9th circuit in this case, and it becomes well-settled that the states cannot add "qualifications" for Congressional candidates, it should be possible to whittle away at ballot access requirements for Congress which are so strict that they have never been used, such as Georgia's law (in the 57 years since Georgia has required a petition signed by 5% of the number of registered voters, no minor party candidate for U.S. House has ever qualified).

The principle will also make it easier for parties to nominate non-members, should they wish to do so. If states cannot require congressional candidates to be registered voters, they may not be able to legislate duration of party membership requirements on congressional candidates.


TENNESSEE BILL SIGNED

HB 2594, the bill to let some candidates who use the independent procedure choose a partisan label which would be printed on the ballot next to their names, was signed into law on June 6. It is the first bill to become law in any state this year, which helps minor parties. It isn't perfect, however; it only applies to parties which polled at least 5,000 votes for president in Tennessee in 1996. For the future, it only applies to parties which poll 5% for president in the state.

Candidates with labels this year will be the presidential candidates of the Green, Libertarian and Reform Parties, the U.S. Senate candidates of the Green and Libertarian Parties, 5 Libertarians running for U.S. House, and 8 Libertarians running for the state legislature.

This will be the first year Tennessee has printed the name of a political party (other than Democratic and Republican) on the ballot since 1972.


LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS TO STUDY PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION

On June 20, the League of Women Voters national convention voted to study alternate voting systems, such as proportional representation and instant run-off voting. It is extremely difficult to get the League to do a national study of anything; this is the first national League study since 1993. The League has never before been willing to do a national study of ballot access, or of criteria on whom to invite into debates, or of any other topic relevant to minor parties.

The reason it's important to get the League to do studies, is that the League cannot take a position on any issue which it has never studied.


BIG WIN FOR POLITICAL PARTY AUTONOMY

On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that parties have the right to decide for themselves whether to let non-members help choose their nominees. Calif. Democratic Party v Jones, 99-401. The vote was 7-2. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the decision (the first one he has written on political parties). The dissenters are Justices John Stevens and Ruth Ginsburg. The winners are the California Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and Peace & Freedom Parties.

The power of the decision is best described by quoting footnote 8 of the dissent: "When coupled with our decision in Tashjian that a party may require a State to open up a closed primary, this intrusion has even broader implications. It is arguable that, under the Court's reasoning (in this case) combined with Tashjian, the only nominating options open for the States to choose without party consent are (1) not to have primary elections, or (2) to have what the Court calls a 'nonpartisan primary'. These two options are the same in practice because the latter is not actually a 'primary' in the common, partisan sense of that term at all."

In other words, Justice Stevens predicts that parties can tell the government what kind of primary to provide for them: closed, open or blanket (the reference to Tashjian is to a 1986 U.S. Supreme Court decision from Connecticut, which said that parties may choose to invite independents into their primaries, even if state law forbids it).

Some media reporting of the decision is misleading. The decision does not "strike down" blanket primaries. It is possible that a result of this decision will be to increase the number of states with blanket or open primaries. The Court said that the First Amendment protects the right of political parties to decide what kind of primary they want, not that blanket primaries are unconstitutional. There will be instances in which parties will desire to invite all registered voters into their primaries, such as the recent decision of the Oklahoma Libertarian Party (see story below).

The majority decision assumes that states may require parties to nominate by primary. As to whether parties now have the right to demand a closed primary instead of an open primary, the decision says that is a question for a future lawsuit.

The most confusing paragraph in the opinion says that states are free to use nonpartisan primaries. During oral argument, the parties conceded that the Constitution permits states to use nonpartisan elections. For example, Nebraska legislative elections are non-partisan, and Minnesota legislative elections were, before 1976.

However, Scalia writes that states are always free to use nonpartisan primaries, and then he proceeds to describe such a nonpartisan primary as one in which "the State determines what qualifications it requires for a candidate to have a place on the primary ballot -- which may include nomination by established parties and voter-petition requirements for independent candidates. Each voter, regardless of party affiliation, may then vote for any candidate, and the top vote-getters (or however many the State prescribes) then move on to the general election."

There is no state which has ever had such a system. Some readers will conclude that Scalia is describing Louisiana's system. However, the Louisiana system doesn't provide for any means for a qualified party to nominate a candidate and then have that candidate listed on the primary ballot as the party's nominee. Instead, in Louisiana, anyone may pay a filing fee to be listed on the primary ballot. If that candidate is a registered member of a qualified party, the candidate's party affiliation is printed next to his or her name. This is why David Duke ended up as the only candidate with the label "Republican" next to his name in the 1991 gubernatorial election run-off (even though the Republican Party had disavowed him). Those who read Scalia's opinion to find a clue as to whether the current Louisiana system, should it be challenged by the Republican Party (which dislikes the system), is unconstitutional, will find no clear answer.

Alaska holds its primary on August 22. The Republican Party has asked that the state hold a primary for it, in which only registered Republicans and independents may participate. Alaska law requires a blanket primary for all parties, but the state says it will comply with the party's request.

California's Democratic Party chairman, Art Torres, says he favors allowing independents to vote in the California Democratic primary, starting in 2002.

The Dissent

The dissent, written by Justice John Stevens, says that since the government pays for primary elections, the government should be able to choose what type of primary it provides. Stevens said he would be more sympathetic to an argument that political parties have a First Amendment right, not to participate in primaries at all, than their argument that they should decide the type of primary held for them.

However, he also wrote that since Article I of the U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures the power to write election laws for Congress (subject to an override by Congress), and since the California blanket primary law was created by the initiative process, not the state legislature, therefore the California blanket primary law is void for federal office. He said this is just a tentative opinion, since this point wasn't briefed in the lower courts. Justice Ruth Ginsburg didn't sign this part of Stevens' dissent.

Stevens and Scalia repeatedly quoted each other's prior dissents in past party rights' decisions, each trying to show that his opponent contradicted his own past statements.

Justice Anthony Kennedy agreed with the majority, but wrote separately to complain that some of the justices in the majority in this case are inconsistent, since they upheld First Amendment rights of political parties in this case, and yet are not supportive of freeing political parties from spending limitations.

The decision can be found at http://laws.findlaw.com/us/000/99-401.html


WILL THE DECISION HELP BALLOT ACCESS?

The California blanket primary decision says, "In no area is the political association's right to exclude more important than in the process of selecting its nominee... There is simply no substitute for a party's selecting its own candidates... California has forced political parties to associate with those who do not share their beliefs, and it has done this at the 'crucial juncture' at which party members traditionally find their collective voice and select their spokesman. The burden the law places on petitioners' rights of political association is both severe and unnecessary."

Eleven states and D.C. have no procedure by which a party itself can show enough voter support to be recognized, prior to any election. Instead, these twelve places require unqualified groups to nominate their candidates, place the names of these candidates on a petition, and then go out on the street and ask strangers and non-members of the party to "nominate" them. If the these petitions obtain enough signatures, the candidates are placed on the general election ballot, but at that point the party still isn't recognized. Only if one of the nominees polls enough votes, can the group become a "qualified" party.

It should be possible, by means of lawsuits, to force these twelve places to imitate the other 38 states which do have procedures by which groups may become "parties", without the intrusive act of requiring strangers to "nominate" the group's candidates.

An obvious target may be Georgia, a state which does provide for party petitions, but only for statewide office! For district and county office, qualified parties which polled less than 20% for Governor or President cannot nominate candidates; instead, they only suggest candidates, and then put the names of these candidates on petitions, and ask strangers in the street to "nominate" them, by signing petitions.

The decision will also be helpful against laws which make it tough for small qualified parties to put candidates on their own primary ballots.


NO DEMOCRAT IN ARIZONA SENATE RACE

This year, no one qualified to appear on the Arizona Democratic primary ballot for U.S. Senate. A petition signed by one-half of 1% of the number of registered Democrats is required. This was approximately 4,200 signatures this year. It is still possible for the Democratic voters to nominate someone for U.S. Senate, if a candidate receives that same number of write-ins in the Democratic primary to be held September 12.


POST OFFICE CASE FILED

On June 1, the Initiative & Referendum Institute filed its long-awaited lawsuit against the postal regulation which bans all petitioning on post office sidewalks. I & R Institute v US Postal Service, 00-cv-1246, federal court, D.C. It was assigned to Judge Richard Roberts (Clinton appointee).

On June 3, the Post Office agreed to permit initiative petitioners on post office sidewalks, while the case is pending. Unfortunately, there is no such temporary relief for petitioners for candidates and/or parties. However, if the case is won, it will be very difficult for the Post Office to then support its ban on those petitions either. The trial starts July 26.


NEW JERSEY PETITIONING WIN

Ever since 1994, it has been settled law in New Jersey that large shopping malls must permit petitioning and leafleting. On June 13, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that malls may not insist that petitioning groups must have as much as $1,000,000 worth of liability insurance, in order to carry out petitioning on mall property. Green Party of N.J. v Hartz Mountain Industries, A-59-99.

The Court said the mall can require some insurance, but that the amount the mall wanted was unreasonable. The primary need for insurance is due to "slip and fall" accidents, but it is extremely rare for such accidents to be caused by petitioning. The New Jersey ACLU represented the Green Party in this case.


NADER DEBATE LAWSUIT

On June 19, Ralph Nader filed his own lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission, to force it to enforce the law which makes it illegal for corporations to donate to the campaigns of presidential candidates. Nader charges that when Anheuser-Busch pays for the joint Bush-Gore general election debates, they are in effect donating to the campaigns of those two candidates. Becker v FEC, 00-cv-11192, MLF, U.S. District Court, Boston. The case was assigned to Judge Mark Wolf, a Reagan appointee. The lead plaintiff is a Massachusetts voter who says she is undecided, and desires to see an inclusive debate.

A similar lawsuit, filed in New York in May, suffered a setback when the Libertarian Party, the only political party plaintiff, dropped out.

On June 22, James P. Hoffa, president of the Teamsters Union, called on the Commission on Presidential Debates to invite Nader and Buchanan into the debates.


LaROUCHE LOSES ARKANSAS DELEGATES

On June 23, state Judge John Ward ruled that the Arkansas Democratic Party need not seat delegates to the state convention pledged to Lyndon LaRouche, even though state law says, "The Delegates to the national party convention shall be apportioned to the presidential candidates whose names were on the ballot at the primary, in the proportion that the votes cast for each candidate bear to the total votes cast." LaRouche polled 22% of the May presidential primary vote, so under state law, he should have been entitled to seven delegates to the national convention.

The Democratic Party has a national rule that candidates for president who aren't registered to vote may not receive delegates. LaRouche is not a registered voter because his state of residence, Virginia, does not permit ex-felons to register. The judge ruled that the national rule takes precedence over state law. LaRouche v Democratic Party of Arkansas, civ 00-5429, Pulaski County Circuit Court.


MORE LAWSUIT NEWS

1. Alaska: on June 16, the State Supreme Court ruled that when the validity of a law passed by initiative is attacked in court, the people who got the law on the ballot, have a right to intervene in court to defend their initiative. Alaskans for a Common Language v Kritz, S-9167.

2. Arizona: on June 16, the State Supreme Court upheld the state's public financing law. Clean Elections Commission v Myers, no. cv-00-54. The lower court had ruled that the initiative had a fatal flaw because of the way in which the body which is to administer the commission is appointed. The Supreme Court interpreted the law in a way which eliminates the problem.

3. Dist. of Columbia: on June 23, a group of voters asked the Supreme Court to hear Alexander v Daley, on whether the Constitution requires that citizens who live in the District have representation in Congress.

4. Florida: on May 4, U.S. District Court Judge K. Michael Moore said at a hearing that he intends to declare a particular state election law unconstitutional. The law requires unqualified parties to post a bond, before they can be recognized. However, he hasn't put it in writing yet. Socialist Workers Party v Leahy, 92-cv-1451.

5. New York: on May 31, the State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, reversed a lower court and ruled that the Independence Party did properly remove Jack Essenberg as state chair. Pecoraro v State Committee of Independence Party, no. 87123.

6. North Carolina: on June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court said it will again hear the state's "racial gerrymandering" case. Hunt v Cromartie, 99-1864. This will mark the 4th time the issue will have been before the Supreme Court.

7. Oklahoma: the Libertarian Party of this state desires that all voters should be permitted to vote in its primary, and filed a lawsuit in federal court on June 20 to force the state to comply with its request. Beaver v Ward, cv00-1071-L.

8. Oregon: on May 24, a state Court of Appeals ruled an initiative is void unless the court feels that the voters would have approved every single element of that initiative measure. Dale v Bradbury, A105873, and Sager v Bradbury, A105913. The proponents of both initiatives have appealed to the State Supreme Court, which is likely to hear the appeals.

9. Texas: on June 19, the Supreme Court refused to hear the Voting Integrity Project's case against the Texas early voting law. Voting Integrity Project v Bomer, 99-1685.

10. Virginia: the only minor party or independent candidate who even tried to get on the ballot for U.S. Senate this year, Tex Wood, filed enough signatures, but didn't comply with the distribution requirement in two districts (the law requires 400 signatures from each congressional district). He filed a lawsuit against the law, Wood v Quinn, 3:00-cv-335, in federal court in Richmond, but on June 22 Judge James Spencer refused to grant an injunction putting him on the ballot.


REGISTRATION UPDATE

The April 1 B.A.N. carried registration data by party for all states which collect that information, for spring 2000. However, the chart was incomplete, since Nebraska, South Dakota and West Virginia data for 2000 wasn't yet available (the chart used 1998 data for those 3 states).

Spring 2000 data for those states is:

Nebraska: Dem. 381,155; Rep. 517,347; indp. & misc. 144,493; Lib't. 1,268; Reform 55.

South Dakota: Dem. 174,758; Rep. 215,938; indp. & misc. 55,170; Lib't. 968; Reform 97.

West Virginia: Dem. 634,560; Rep. 291,151; indp. & misc. 84,924; Lib't. 645.

Spring 2000 national totals are: Democratic 36,891,053; Republican 27,420,866; indp. & misc. 17,367,544; Constitution 324,854; Reform 274,422; Libertarian 206,502; Green 136,285; Natural Law 64,819; other 420,613.


JUNE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES

Alabama Democratic: Gore 214,541; LaRouche 15,465; uncommitted 48,521.

Alabama Republican: Bush 171,077; Keyes 23,394; uncomm. 8,608.

Montana Democratic: Gore 67,899; no preference 18,443.

Montana Republican: Bush 88,046; Keyes 20,775; no preference 3,906.

New Jersey Democratic: Gore 358,951; LaRouche 19,321.

New Jersey Republican: Bush 201,209; Keyes 39,601.

New Mexico Democratic: Gore 101,165; Bradley 28,073; LaRouche 3,469; uncomm. 3,204.

New Mexico Republican: Bush 61,872; McCain 7,561; Keyes 4,848; uncomm. 624.

New Mexico Green: Nader 1,036; Boucher 88; Gaskin 43; uncom. 22.

South Dakota Republican: Bush 35,504; McCain 6,225; Keyes 3,482; Attia 175.

(there was no South Dakota Democratic primary).


2000 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY SUMMARY

Democratic: Gore won 41; LaRouche won one (Michigan).

Republican: Bush won 43; McCain won 5 (all in New England).

Libertarian: Browne won 6.

Reform: Trump won 2; Buchanan won one.

Green: Nader won 4.

Constitution: Phillips won 2. He also won the Independent American primary in Utah.

Natural Law: Hagelin won 2.


REFORM BALLOT

The Reform Party's private mail-in presidential primary ballot will almost surely include Pat Buchanan and John Hagelin, with a possibility that Ross Perot's name will also appear.


2000 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT (table)

STATE REQUIREMENTS SIGNATURES COLLECTED DEADLINE
FULL PARTY CAND. LIB'T REFORM NAT LAW CONSTIT'N GREEN
Alabama 39,536 5,000 already on *finished *finished already on *1,000 Aug 31
Alaska (reg) 6,606 #2,410 already on already on already on *3,500 already on Aug 8
Arizona 13,565 *#9,598 already on *already on already on *too late *disputed June 14
Arkansas 21,181 #1,000 already on finished already on already on *1,000 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 *7,000 already on *1,000 *4,500 already on Aug 11
Delaware 241 4,819 already on already on already on already on already on Aug 19
D.C. no procedure es. #3,500 *0 *0 *0 *0 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 *50,000 1,500 0 *12,000 Jul 11
Hawaii 602 #3,703 already on already on already on already on already on Sep 7
Idaho 9,835 4,918 already on already on already on already on *400 Aug 31
Illinois no procedure #25,000 *finished *finished *finished *too late *finished June 26
Indiana no procedure #30,717 already on *40,000 *16,000 400 *4,000 Jul 17
Iowa no procedure #1,500 *700 finished 900 finished *1,000 Aug 17
Kansas 14,854 5,000 already on already on disputed already on *600 July 31
Kentucky no procedure #5,000 already on already on *1,000 *6,000 *5,300 Aug 30
Louisiana est. (reg) 135,000 #pay fee 916 already on 20 53 114 Sep 5
Maine 21,051 #4,000 100 already on *1,000 *5,000 already on Aug 8
Maryland 10,000 25,607 already on *finished *need 500 *already on *11,000 Aug 7
Massachusetts est. (reg) 37,500 #10,000 already on *15,000 *2,000 0 *7,000 July 31
Michigan 30,272 30,272 already on already on already on already on *20,000 July 19
Minnesota 104,550 #2,000 0 0 0 already on 0 Sep 12
Mississippi be organized #1,000 already on already on already on already on *700 Sep 7
Missouri 10,000 10,000 already on already on already on already on *10,000 July 31
Montana 5,000 #5,000 already on already on already on already on *3,500 Aug 1
Nebraska 5,453 2,500 already on *1,000 already on *2,200 *500 Aug 28
Nevada 4,099 4,099 already on *finished already on already on *5,000 July 7
New Hampshire 9,827 #3,000 11,000 *5,500 *800 finished *2,000 Aug 9
New Jersey no procedure #800 0 finished *finished finished already on July 31
New Mexico 2,494 14,964 already on already on already on already on 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 98,062 already on *already on *10,000 0 *10,000 June 30
North Dakota 7,000 4,000 0 already on 0 already on *200 Sep 7
Ohio 33,543 #5,000 already on finished already on finished *4,000 Aug 23
Oklahoma 43,680 36,202 *already on *already on *disputed 0 *16,000 July 15
Oregon 16,663 13,755 already on *23,000 finished *17,000 already on Aug 28
Pennsylvania no procedure 21,739 *9,000 *15,000 *6,000 *5,000 *19,000 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 *probably on July 17
South Dakota 6,505 #2,602 already on already on *finished *already on *too late June 20
Tennessee 24,406 25 0 6,000 0 *50 *finished Aug 17
Texas 37,381 56,117 already on finished finished too late finished May 30
Utah 2,000 #1,000 already on already on already on already on *need 100 Aug 31
Vermont be organized #1,000 already on 250 already on already on *100 Sep 20
Virginia no procedure #10,000 *16,000 *2,000 *6,000 *8,000 *5,000 Aug 25
Washington no procedure #200 *finished *finished *finished *finished *finished Jul 1
West Virginia no procedure #12,730 already on 4,000 already on 300 *2,000 Aug 1
Wisconsin 10,000 #2,000 already on *300 0 already on already on Sep 5
Wyoming 3,485 3,485 already on finished *already on *disputed *500 Aug 28
TOTAL STATES ON *35 *26 *22 23 14

"Deadline" is procedure with the LATEST deadline. * -- entry changed since last issue. #candidate procedure allows partisan label. Socialist Party is on in Colorado, Florida, is finished in Washington, and has 500 signatures in New Jersey, 100 in Ohio, 600 in Iowa, and 500 in Oregon. Workers World is finished in Washington and has 1,500 in Ohio and 200 in New Jersey.


REFORM PARTY GAINS A LEGISLATOR

On June 17, North Carolina state representative Stephen W. Wood switched his registration from "Republican" to "Reform". He has represented the area around High Point for 14 years. He will run for re-election as a Reform Party candidate. His only opponent will be John Blust, who defeated Wood in the Republican primary on May 2.

Under North Carolina election laws, Wood, as a defeated candidate in a partisan primary, would be ineligible to run as an independent candidate. But there is no law preventing him from accepting the nomination of a new party. New parties nominate by convention, and must submit their nominees no later than July 1.

There are now three nationally-organized parties with a state legislator: Constitution, which has one in Montana; Libertarian, which has one in Vermont; and now Reform. There are also 4 state legislators in Vermont in the Progressive Party, a party organized in only that one state.

This is the first time since the 1910's decade that three nationally-organized minor parties have had state legislators in office. After the 1912, 1914 and 1916 elections, there were Socialist, Progressive, and Prohibition legislators.


SOCIALIST WORKERS NOMINATION

On June 25, the Socialist Workers Party, meeting in New York, nominated James Harris of Georgia for president, and Margaret Trowe of Minnesota for vice-president. Harris also ran in 1996.


NATURAL LAW ACTIVIST WINS REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL PRIMARY

On June 6, Jay Marcus won the Republican nominate for U.S. House, 3rd district. He defeated an orthodox Republican by 51%-49%. The district is currently represented by a Democrat who is running for re-election. Marcus had run as the Natural Law candidate in 1996, polling 1.4%. He had been excluded from all candidate debates in the 1996 election, even those sponsored by Public TV. He filed a lawsuit against that exclusion, but lost. This experience persuaded him to try running in a major party primary.


GREEN PARTY CONVENTION

On June 25, the Green Party nominated Ralph Nader for president and Winona LaDuke for vice-president. 317 delegates were at the Denver, Colorado meeting, with an audience of 1,200 for the final rally. The vote for president was: Nader 295, Stephen Gaskin 10, Jello Biafra 10.

Nader has informally received support from leaders of the South Carolina Patriot Party (a ballot-qualified party), although the party hasn't formally nominated yet.


MINNESOTA INDEPENDENCE CONVENTION

On June 24, the Minnesota Independence Party (Governor Jesse Ventura's party) voted on whether to nominate a presidential candidate. John Hagelin of the Natural Law Party was the only candidate placed in nomination. He received 86 votes; 63 voted to have no nominee. Hagelin was not nominated because the rules required 60% (90 votes).


VERMONT PROGRESSIVE GETS $300,000

Vermont's public financing law, in effect for the first time this year, allows anyone running for Governor who collects small private contributions of at least $35,000 (with a maximum of $50 per person), to receive almost $300,000 in public financing. Anthony Pollina, Progressive Party candidate for Governor this year, has already qualified for the money. He said he will spend most of it on canvassing and door-to-door work, as well as on staff and paid advertising.


INCLUSIVE POLLS

Zogby Poll results released June 23: Bush 41.7%; Gore 36.0%; Nader 4.3%; Buchanan 3.3%; Browne 1.3%; Hagelin .2%; undecided or other, 13.2%.

The Rasmussen Poll has also started asking about six presidential candidates. Results are posted weekly at http://www.portraitofamerica.com/. The June 26 poll shows: Bush 42.5%; Gore 34.8%; Nader 3.5%; Buchanan 1.7%; Browne .7%; Phillips .3%; some other 3.0%; not sure 13.4%.


Ballot Access News. is published by and copyright by Richard Winger ban.AT.igc.org. Note: subscriptions are available!
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Compilation copyright (c) 2000 Bob Bickford