Ballot Access News -- November 16, 2000

Volume 16, Number 8

This issue was originally printed on light blue paper.

Table of Contents
  1. NEW YORK PETITIONING VICTORY
  2. HIGH COURT MAY MANDATE FAIR BALLOTS
  3. MINOR PARTY VICTORIES
  4. WEST VIRGINIA VICTORY
  5. OHIO LABELS VICTORY
  6. NO PUERTO RICO VOTE
  7. DEBATES LAWSUITS
  8. BALLOT ACCESS CASES
  9. MINOR PARTY PRESIDENTIAL VOTE (table)
  10. MINOR PRESIDENTIAL VOTE PERCENTAGES (table)
  11. QUALIFIED STATUS OF POLITICAL PARTIES FOR 2002 (table)
  12. TWO INDEPENDENTS IN CONGRESS
  13. BUSH CARRIES GUAM
  14. FINAL MATCHING FUNDS TOTALS
  15. GREEN PARTY SHOWINGS
  16. LIBERTARIAN PARTY SHOWINGS
  17. Subscription Information

NEW YORK PETITIONING VICTORY

PETITIONERS FOR DISTRICT CANDIDATES NEED NOT LIVE IN DISTRICT

On November 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd circuit, ruled 3-0 that a candidate for district or county office may use petitioners who don't live in that candidate's district or county. Lerman v Board of Elections, 99-9015. The decision is by Judge Chester Straub, a Clinton appointee, and is co-signed by Judge Wilfred Feinberg, a Johnson appointee, and Dennis Jacobs, a Bush appointee.

The case has been brought in 1999 by an Independence Party member, Anita Lerman, who desired to circulate a petition for a fellow party member, John Sollazo. Sollazo was running for New York city council. The signatures collected by Lerman were disqualified since she didn't live in Sollazo's district, and as a result, Sollazo failed to appear on the party's primary ballot.

The decision will make it easier for minor parties to place candidates on the ballot. New York state requires 3,500 signatures for an unqualified party to place a candidate on the ballot for U.S. House, a heavy burden which prevents most of the unqualified parties from ever running more than one or two U.S. House candidates in any given year.

The decision rebutted the state's argument that Buckley v American Constitutional Law Foundation (the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision which said that initiative circulators don't need to be registered voters) doesn't apply to candidate petitions. The 2nd circuit said, "There is no basis to conclude that petition circulation on behalf of a candidate involves any less interactive political speech than petition circulation on behalf of a proposed ballot initiative -- the nature of the regulated activity is identical in each instance."

The New York state Board of Elections has not yet announced whether it will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The lower court had upheld the law back in 1999.

The decision did not reach these questions: (1) whether circulators for a primary petition must be members of the same party as the candidate; (2) whether out-of-state residents may circulate in New York state; (3) whether petitioners must be registered voters. These issues did not arise because the plaintiff was a registered member of the Independence Party.


HIGH COURT MAY MANDATE FAIR BALLOTS

On November 6, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Cook v Gralike, 99-929. The issue is a Missouri law which says that congresional and legislative candidates who fail to work for a constitutional amendment for congressional term limits, have the words "Disregarded voters' instructions on Term Limits" printed next to their names on ballots.

From the justices' comments, it appears that 5 or 6 of them are likely to declare the law unconstitutional, on the grounds that the Constitution requires that ballots be "neutral" for all candidates. The only justices who seemed to defend the law were Antonin Scalia and William Rehnquist. Justice Sandra O'Connor shuddered at the thought that if Missouri's law is upheld, soon we will have ballots indicating the position of candidates on prayer and abortion. Justice David Souter wanted to know if certain candidates could receive ballot labels such as "Dirty Democrat" or "traitor". Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy both remarked that the law is not even-handed to all candidates.

However, a majority of justices also seemed to express an opinion that there is nothing unconstitutional about that part of the law which "instructs" members of congress to act for term limits, since the law will only have moral force (if the labels part of the law is struck down).

Although it may seem a truism that ballots should not give any candidates an advantage over any other candidates, the U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on that issue. Cook v Gralike is only the second case ever heard in that court, over what information should or should not be printed on ballots (the first was a 1964 case from Louisiana which said that states cannot print the race of candidates on the ballot).

Many ballots are unfair to some candidates who are listed. This year, some New Jersey, New York and Louisiana ballots put some minor party presidential candidates in a secondary row or column, separate from the main row or column. Some voters who supported candidates in the secondary rows were unable to locate the names of the candidates they wished to support.

Also, Louisiana refuses any partisan label, even the word "independent", to candidates who are not members of qualified parties (a challenge to this law is pending in federal court). Rhode Island prints a "logo" and a straight-ticket device only for the qualified parties, not for the unqualified parties. If the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Cook v Gralike says the Constitution requires that ballots be neutral toward all candidates whose names are printed on them, that language will make it easier to win lawsuits against discriminatory ballot formats.


MINOR PARTY VICTORIES

Four Progressives were elected to the Vermont state House on November 7. In New Hampshire, Steve Vaillancourt, who had the ballot label "Libertarian" was elected to the state House (however, he is not a dues-paying member of the Libertarian Party, just a sympathizer; the party nominated him as a courtesy). See the charts below for more information about how the minor parties did.


WEST VIRGINIA VICTORY

On November 3, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Goodwin, a Clinton appointee, ruled that West Virginia may not charge a filing fee for declared write-in candidates. Phillips v Hechler, civ 6:00-894. The ruling upset a law that had been passed in 1993. The basis for the ruling is that the purpose of a filing fee is to keep a ballot from being crowded with too many names. That rationale has no application for write-in candidates.

The case was filed by Howard Phillips (Constitution Party presidential candidate), who was unable to qualify for the ballot, and who therefore depended on write-in votes in West Virginia. If the law had not been overturned, he would have had to pay $4,000 just to have his write-ins tallied (the fee is 1% of the annual salary of the office). The state has not yet said if it will appeal.


OHIO LABELS VICTORY

On October 13, 2000, U.S. District Court Judge John Holschuh, a Carter appointee, ruled that Ohio must print the label "Green" next to Ralph Nader's name on November ballots, and found the law unconstitutional. Nader v Blackwell, cv 2-00-1129, so. dist. The state argued that Nader is not a member of the Green Party, but the judge said that is irrelevant.

On October 19, the 6th circuit said that, since many ballots had already been printed, and since Nader has had so much publicity anyway (so that the public knows he is the Green Party nominee), the state need not comply with Holschuh's order. However, the 6th circuit said nothing to contradict Holschuh's analysis, so it appears likely that when the issue reaches the 6th circuit for declaratory judgment, the decision will stand.

Ohio says that candidates who use the independent petition procedure, may not have any label whatsoever. In 1998 another judge in the same district ruled that Ohio must print "Libertarian" for a candidate who was, in fact, the nominee of the Libertarian Party (the party was not a qualified party in Ohio in 1998). That case is now also pending in the 6th circuit.


NO PUERTO RICO VOTE

On October 13, the First Circuit reversed a lower U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico, and ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment does not require that Puerto Rico be granted electoral votes. Igartua v USA, 00-2083. Although the vote was 3-0, Judge Juan Torruella wrote separately to point out that Puerto Ricans were allowed to vote for members of the Spanish Parliament between 1878 and 1898.

At that point, under a law passed by the legislature this year, the Commonwealth still planned to hold a popular vote for president. Only Gore and Bush were on the ballot (which had already been printed), because no other parties had submitted 4,000 signatures.

But then, the Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico filed a lawsuit in Puerto Rico Supreme Court to cancel the vote. On November 2 the Puerto Rico Supreme Court cancelled the vote on the grounds that it was a waste of taxpayer dollars. The vote was 6-1. Galib v Comision Estatal de Elecciones, 2000-161.


DEBATES LAWSUITS

1. On November 1, the 1st circuit affirmed the U. S. District Court decision in Becker v Federal Election Commission, 00-2124. The Court said Ralph Nader does have standing to sue the FEC over its failure to act against the Commission on Presidential Debates, but that the FEC had acted within the law.

2. On October 2, some Massachusetts Libertarians filed a lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court, alleging that it violates the state constitution for the state to have spent $900,000 to help host the first debate between Gore and Bush. Eichner v Celuzzi, cv 00-413B. Since the lawsuit had been filed so late, an injunction was denied.

3. On October 17, Ralph Nader sued the Commission on Presidential Debates in federal court because it had refused to seat him in the audience (even though he had a ticket) for the Boston debate. Nader v Commission on Presidential Debates, 00-12145.


BALLOT ACCESS CASES

1. Florida: On October 2, a state judge put Pat Buchanan on the ballot. Buchanan v Harris, 00-2203, Leon County. The Secretary of State had kept him off because she said she didn't know who the state party officers were, but the party settled its internal differences in time for the court hearing.

2. Idaho: on September 28, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to put Ralph Nader on the ballot. The issue had been whether it was valid for the state to require 4,918 signatures for presidential independents, when only 1,000 are needed for other statewide independents.

3. Massachusetts: On October 6, a U.S. District Court refused to put Howard Phillips on the ballot, on the grounds that his lawsuit had been filed too late. Two of his candidates for presidential elector had not been registered "independent" for the prior three months. Precedents suggest he should have been allowed to substitute new elector candidates; other precedents suggest that a candidate need not submit a complete slate of electors; but the court never reached those issues. Phillips v Galvan, 00-cv-12067. On October 24 the First Circuit also denied relief, 00-2237.

4. Michigan: on October 9, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to put Buchanan on the ballot. The lower courts had denied relief on the ground that they couldn't determine who the true Reform Party nominee was, an odd conclusion since state elections officials and courts in all the other states agreed unanimously that Buchanan was the nominee.

5. South Dakota: on October 2, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to put Nader on the ballot. The lower court had held the independent petition deadline unconstitutional, but still had refused to put Nader on the ballot since he didn't complete the petition.

6. Texas: on September 28, U.S. District Court Judge James Nowlin refused to put the Natural Law Party on the ballot, despite the party's evidence that the state's random sample method is flawed. Natural Law Party v Bomer, A-00-ca-592.


MINOR PARTY PRESIDENTIAL VOTE (table)

STATE GREEN REFORM LIBT. CONST. NAT LAW SWP WKR WLD SOC other
Alabama 17,983 6,303 6,233 802 465 ? ? ? ?
Alaska 22,601 4,194 2,099 444 721 ? ? ? ?
Arizona 40,070 10,901 0 ? 1,421 ? ? ? 5,195
Arkansas 13,344 7,332 2,797 1,412 1,049 ? ? ? ?
California 400,733 43,286 43,736 16,273 10,418 ? ? ? ?
Colorado 91,504 10,477 12,834 1,318 2,951 220 ? 712 207
Connecticut 62,195 4,667 3,324 10,128 ? ? ? ? ?
Delaware 8,288 775 774 207 107 ? ? ? ?
D.C. 9,925 ? 641 ? ? 108 ? ? ?
Florida 96,915 17,358 15,658 1,355 2,275 589 1,778 621 ?
Georgia 105* 10,868 36,222 ? ? ? ? ? ?
Hawaii 21,609 1,071 1,476 343 306 0 0 0 0
Idaho 12,200* 7,668 3,533 1,486 1,153 ? ? ? ?
Illinois 103,028 16,060 11,552 ? 2,121 ? ? ? ?
Indiana 8,890* 17,790 15,454 ? ? ? ? ? ?
Iowa 27,741 6,836 3,169 592 2,247 245 ? 146 ?
Kansas 35,583 7,239 4,423 1,238 1,338 ? ? ? ?
Kentucky 23,035 4,163 2,936 1,416 1,535 ? ? ? ?
Louisiana 20,417 14,485 3,018 6,737 1,090 1,226 0 0 0
Maine 37,757 4,315 2,957 822 ? ? ? ? ?
Maryland 51,078 4,067 4,992 864 ? ? ? ? ?
Massachusetts 173,758 11,086 16,353 ? 2,829 ? ? ? ?
Michigan 84,007 ? 17,396 3,794 2,468 ? ? ? ?
Minnesota 126,579 22,256 5,397 3,271 2,294 1,021 ? ? ?
Mississippi 7,779 2,161 1,812 3,017 409 567 ? ? ?
Missouri 38,488 9,806 7,432 1,959 1,110 ? ? ? ?
Montana 24,561 5,740 1,723 1,152 675 ? ? ? ?
Nebraska 22,918 3,408 2,137 533 448 0 0 0 0
Nevada 15,004 4,747 3,309 621 415 0 0 0 0
New Hampshire 22,156 2,603 2,703 326 ? ? ? ? ?
New Jersey 92,452 6,865 7,138 1,212 2,263 870 ? 1,914 ?
New Mexico 21,219 1,422 2,168 343 361 ? ? ? ?
New York 222,155 33,224 7,453 2,675 30,478 4,411 ? ? ?
North Carolina ? 8,582 12,118 ? ? ? ? ? ?
North Dakota 9,528 7,316 671 372 298 ? ? ? ?
Ohio 114,078 25,935 13,639 5,159 6,444 ? ? ? ?
Oklahoma 0 9,014 6,602 0 0 0 0 0 0
Oregon 74,655 6,949 7,266 2,119 2,540 ? ? ? ?
Pennsylvania 102,384 15,927 11,593 15,457 ? ? ? ? ?
Rhode Island 24,115 2,250 704 88 278 36 206 171 ?
South Carolina 21,023 3,549 5,132 1,698 955 0 0 0 0
South Dakota 0 3,314 1,664 1,780 0 0 0 0 0
Tennessee 19,558 4,150 4,222 993 899 ? ? ? 2,183
Texas 137,691 12,363 23,159 242* ? ? ? 13* ?
Utah 36,245 9,280 3,603 2,672 759 766 ? ? 739
Vermont 19,810 2,182 728 190 210 76 ? 161 1,052
Virginia 57,549 5,507 15,039 1,870 ? ? ? ? ?
Washington 80,918 5,781 10,485 1,537 2,258 252 1,303 504 ?
West Virginia 10,455 3,116 1,866 ? 366 ? ? ? ?
Wisconsin 93,167 11,256 6,584 2,037 855 304 1,060 ? ?
Wyoming ? 2,724 1,456 724 427 ? ? ? ?
TOTAL 2,765,990 442,368 379,380 101,278 89,236 10,691 4,347 4,242 9,376

CONST. = Constitution. SWP = Socialist Workers. Wkr Wld = Workers World. * means write-in votes, many of which aren't known yet. ALL FIGURES ARE UNOFFICIAL AND INCOMPLETE. Al Gore received 49,261,654; George Bush received 49,044,716. Total 102,113,278. Other vote: Prohibition in Colorado, Ariz. Libt in Arizona, Grassroots in Vermont, independents in Tennessee and Utah. "?" means an unknown number of write-in votes.


MINOR PRESIDENTIAL VOTE PERCENTAGES (table)

STATE GREEN REFORM LIBT. CONST NAT LAW SWP WKR WD SOC other
Alabama 1.07 .38 .37 .05 .03 -- -- -- --
Alaska 9.90 1.84 .92 .19 .32 -- -- -- --
Arizona 2.56 .70 -- -- .09 -- -- -- .33
Arkansas 1.45 .80 .30 .15 .11 -- -- -- --
California 3.80 .41 .41 .15 .10 -- -- -- --
Colorado 5.25 .60 .74 .08 .17 .01 -- .04 .01
Connecticut 4.24 .32 .23 .69 -- -- -- -- --
Delaware 2.53 .24 .24 .06 .03 -- -- -- --
D.C. 5.23 -- .34 -- -- .06 -- -- --
Florida 1.63 .29 .26 .02 .04 .01 .03 .01 --
Georgia -- .43 1.42 -- -- -- -- -- --
Hawaii 5.88 .29 .40 .09 .08 -- -- -- --
Idaho 2.44 1.54 .70 .30 .23 -- -- -- --
Illinois 2.19 .34 .25 -- .05 -- -- -- --
Indiana .41 .82 .71 -- -- -- -- -- --
Iowa 2.12 .52 .24 .05 .17 .02 -- .01 --
Kansas 3.37 .69 .42 .11 .13 -- -- -- --
Kentucky 1.50 .27 .19 .09 .10 -- -- -- --
Louisiana 1.16 .82 .17 .38 .06 .07 -- -- --
Maine 5.85 .67 .46 .13 -- -- -- -- --
Maryland 2.65 .21 .26 .04 -- -- -- -- --
Massachusetts 6.46 .41 .61 -- .11 -- -- -- --
Michigan 1.99 -- .41 .09 .06 -- -- -- --
Minnesota 5.19 .91 .22 .13 .09 .04 -- -- --
Mississippi .82 .23 .19 .32 .04 .06 -- -- --
Missouri 1.63 .42 .32 .08 .05 -- -- -- --
Montana 6.01 1.41 .42 .28 .17 -- -- -- --
Nebraska 3.51 .52 .33 .08 .07 -- -- -- --
Nevada 2.46 .78 .54 .10 .07 -- -- -- --
New Hampshire 3.91 .46 .48 .06 -- -- -- -- --
New Jersey 2.99 .22 .23 .04 .07 .03 -- .06 --
New Mexico 3.55 .24 .36 .06 .06 -- -- -- --
New York 3.54 .53 .12 .04 .49 .07 -- -- --
North Carolina -- .30 .43 -- -- -- -- -- --
North Dakota 3.29 2.53 .23 .13 .10 -- -- -- --
Ohio 2.50 .57 .30 .11 .14 -- -- -- --
Oklahoma -- .73 .53 -- -- -- -- -- --
Oregon 5.00 .47 .48 .14 .17 -- -- -- --
Pennsylvania 2.10 .33 .24 .32 -- -- -- -- --
Rhode Island 5.84 .54 .17 .02 .07 .01 .05 .04 --
South Carolina 1.49 .25 .36 .12 .07 -- -- -- --
South Dakota -- 1.05 .53 .56 -- -- -- -- --
Tennessee .94 .20 .20 .05 .04 -- -- -- .11
Texas 2.15 .19 .36 -- -- -- -- -- --
Utah 4.72 1.21 .47 .35 .10 .10 -- -- .10
Vermont 6.79 .75 .25 .07 .07 .03 -- .06 .36
Virginia 2.14 .20 .56 .07 -- -- -- -- --
Washington 3.97 .28 .51 .08 .11 .01 .06 .03 --
West Virginia 1.64 .49 .29 -- .06 -- -- -- --
Wisconsin 3.60 .43 .25 .08 .03 .01 .04 -- --
Wyoming -- 1.28 ..68 .34 .20 -- -- -- --
NATIONAL % 2.71 .43 .37 .10 .09 .01 .00+ .00+ .01

Al Gore polled 48.24%; George Bush polled 48.03%. -- means that the candidate wasn't on the ballot, except the write-in votes in Idaho and Indiana for Nader were significant enough to be converted into percentages. Nader's write-in vote in Wyoming probably will be as well, but it isn't known yet.


QUALIFIED STATUS OF POLITICAL PARTIES FOR 2002 (table)

See this errata.

Libt. Green Reform Nat. Law Consti. Others If none, when was last one?
Alabama P
Alaska P P Alaskan Independence (P), Republican Moderate (P)
Arizona P
Arkansas 1998
California P P P P P
Colorado C C C C C
Connecticut (C) C (C)
Delaware C C C C C Independence
D.Columbia P Umoja (P)
Florida C C C C C Socialist, Workers World, Soc. Workers
Georgia (C)
Hawaii P P
Idaho P P P P
Illinois 1998
Indiana C
Iowa P
Kansas C C C
Kentucky 2000
Louisiana 2000
Maine P
Maryland 1970
Massachusetts P P
Michigan C C
Minnesota P Independence (P)
Mississippi P P P P
Missouri P
Montana P P P P
Nebraska 2000
Nevada C C C
New Hampshire 1996
New Jersey 1913
New Mexico P
New York P Conservative(P), Liberal(P), Working Families(P), Right To Life(P), Independence(P)
North Carolina 1970
North Dakota 2000
Ohio 1998
Oklahoma 1998
Oregon C C C C
Pennsylvania 1986
Rhode Island P Cool Moose (P)
South Carolina P P P P United Citizens (P)
South Dakota P P
Tennessee 1972
Texas C C
Utah P P P
Vermont C C C Progressive(P), Grassroots(C), Liberty Union (C)
Virginia 1997
Washington P
West Virginia Mountain (P)
Wisconsin P P P
Wyoming C
TOTAL 25 22 12 12 13

P = party may nominate by primary; C = must nominate by convention.

The chart above shows which parties are qualified for the 2002 ballot. C means that a party is qualified for president in 2004, but for no offices in 2002. C means that a party is qualified for all office in 2002, but must nominate by convention. P means that it is qualified for all office in 2002 and may nominate by primary at state expense. Parantheses around a P or a C mean that the party is only qualified for statewide office (or just certain statewide offices) in 2002, not district office.

Although the New Mexico Secretary of State says the Green Party is not entitled to a primary in 2002, the plain language of the law says that it is. A court will resolve the issue.

In Pennsylvania and Maryland, no party is entitled to appear on the ballot in 2002, although certain minor parties are "qualified" to appear on the voter registration form.

The right-hand column, "If none, when was last one?" only applies to the 15 states which currently have no ballot-qualified minor parties. This column tells the last election year any party enjoyed such status without having had to petition, or qualify in some other way.


TWO INDEPENDENTS IN CONGRESS

Two independents were elected this month to the U.S. House: Bernie Sanders of Vermont won his sixth term, and Virgil Good of Virginia, formerly a Democrat, was elected this year as an independent.


BUSH CARRIES GUAM

As usual for the past twenty years, Guam voters voted for president, even though Guam has no electoral votes and the vote is purely advisory. The results: Bush 18,075 (51.6%); Gore 16,549 (47.2%); Browne 420 (1.2%).


FINAL MATCHING FUNDS TOTALS

The final totals for primary season matching funds this year for the three minor party candidates who qualified for (and accepted) them were: Patrick Buchanan $4,326,522; Ralph Nader $723,308; John Hagelin $650,347.


GREEN PARTY SHOWINGS

Ralph Nader's 2.7% is the third best showing for a minor party presidential candidate in the last 75 years. The only minor parties which had a better showing for president since 1924 have been the American Independent Party in 1968, and the Reform Party in 1996. Nader's showing topped the best that Norman Thomas ever did (2.2% in 1932), and also tops former vice-president Henry Wallace's 2.1% in 1948 (however, independent presidential candidates John Anderson in 1980, and Ross Perot in 1992, did better than Nader).

The Green Party won two partisan races this month: Art Goodtimes was elected County Commissioner in San Miguel County, Colorado; and Julie Jacobson was elected to the Hawaii County Council (although the voters of Hawaii County this year voted to make that office non-partisan in the future). Greens also won at least 14 non-partisan elections, and now have a 3-2 majority on the city council in Sebastopol, California.

Green candidates for US House polled almost 300,000 votes, and for the US Senate, approximately 650,000. Details will be in the next Ballot Access News.


LIBERTARIAN PARTY SHOWINGS

The Libertarian Party polled 1,660,000 votes for its U.S. House candidates this year. This is the first time in U.S. history that a party, other than the Democratic or Republican Parties, has ever polled as much as 1,000,000 votes for U.S. House. By percentage, 1.84% of the voters who voted for U.S. House, voted for a Libertarian, the best such percentage since 1948, when 1.89% of the voters supported Progressive Party candidates for the U.S. House.

For U.S. Senate, Libertarian nominees polled at least 1,050,000 votes, 1.7% of the total cast for all candidates for U.S. Senate (only two-thirds of the states had U.S. Senate elections this year, as is normal). The party still isn't sure how many local elections it won this month {web note: as of today 11/16, their web site lists 27 wins}, but in California it elected six members to non-partisan office in contested elections; it had earlier this year elected seven others in the state.


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