Ballot Access News -- September 1, 2001

Volume 17, Number 6

This issue was originally printed on pink paper.

Table of Contents
  13. CAMPAIGN FOR HR 2268
  23. Subscription Information


On August 15, Virginia acknowledged that it could not defend its discriminatory policy on party labels on general election ballots. That policy has been to print party labels for the nominees of parties which polled 10% of the vote in either of the last two elections; but to print "independent" for the nominees of all other parties. Therefore, state officials filed a stipulation with a federal court, agreeing to print party labels for the nominees of all parties.

The case had been filed by the ACLU for the Libertarian Party, which has candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and legislature, for this November's state elections. Libertarian Party of Virginia v Quinn, no. 3:01-cv-468. Any other minor party could have taken advantage of the stipulation as well, but the only other party to have any candidates this year is the Green Party. One Green candidate for the legislature will receive a party label.

This was only the fifth time in history that any state's discriminatory policy on partisan labels has been overcome in court. A similar case had been won in Wyoming by the Libertarian Party in 1984. Wyoming, like Virginia, had had a policy that only parties that had polled 10% of the vote in the previous election could have their party labels on the ballot; all others had to use "independent".

Also, there had been three previous victories by independent candidates, to force states to print "independent" next to their names. One was won against Maine in 1986; one was won against Ohio in 1992; and one was won against Massachusetts in 1981. There is currently a similar case pending against Louisiana.

There is also a case pending against Ohio over minor party labels for candidates who use the independent petition procedure. In October the U.S. Supreme Court will probably say whether it will hear that case.


On August 20, U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo, a Clinton appointee, struck down Pennsylvania's mandatory filing fee for candidates. Belitskus v Pizzingrilli, 3:cv00-1300, m.d. The plaintiff-candidates were Green Party nominees last year.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued two opinions striking down mandatory filing fees, in 1972 and 1974. The fees in the 1974 case were between $500 and $1,000.

In this case, the fee was $100. The state argued that the old U.S. Supreme Court precedents should not apply, since the Pennsylvania fee is smaller than the fees in those cases. But the plaintiff-candidate showed that his living expenses in July 2000 (the month he was required to pay the fee) were greater than his income, and that he had no savings.

Assuming the ruling is not overturned on appeal, Pennsylvania will be required to permit indigent candidates to avoid the fee, in future elections. Although states are free to require petitions in lieu of filing fee, that solution would make no sense in Pennsylvania, since all candidates (whether seeking access to a primary ballot or a general election ballot) are already required to submit a petition.


On July 24, U.S. District Court Judge Franklin Burgess, a Clinton appointee, ruled that there isn't enough evidence yet, in the case on whether Washington state's blanket primary is unconstitutional. Therefore, he will conduct a trial, on March 11, 2002. The three parties now required by state law to nominate their candidates in the blanket primary (Democratic, Republican and Libertarian) will attempt to show the harm done to them by the primary. Washington State Democratic Party v Reed, C00-5419-FDB.


On August 7, the Alabama Attorney General ruled that a party is a group which gets 20% of the vote cast for any particular statewide race, not 20% of the number of people who deposit a ballot in the ballot box. As a result, the Libertarian Party is now a qualified party in the state. The party had polled 20.16% for a statewide partisan race in November 2000, but the number of votes the party polled was only 13.6% of the number of voters who participated in the election.

The race was Justice of the Supreme Court, which is a partisan office in Alabama. There had been only two candidates, a Republican and a Libertarian.

This was only the second time that a minor party candidate had polled 20% in a statewide race in Alabama, during the last 100 years. The other instance was in 1970, when the state's incumbent Attorney General, MacDonald Gallion, had lost the Democratic primary for re-election. He had then formed a new party, the Alabama Independent Party, and run as its Attorney General candidate (the party had no other candidates). He polled 22% against his only opponent, the Democratic who had defeated him earlier in that year's primary.

Governor George Wallace carried the state for president in November 1968 with 65.9%, but he was listed as the Democratic nominee (only within Alabama). Vice-president Hubert Humphrey, the national Democratic Party nominee for president in 1968, as been a minor party nominee within Alabama in 1968, and had polled only 18.7% of the vote.

Qualified status lets a party nominate by primary or by convention. No petitioning is needed. Such parties are listed on state income tax forms, and taxpayers may donate $1 of their own money to such a party.


On July 26, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling which will help win the right for out-of-state residents to petition in that state, and, to a lesser extent, in all states. Leydon v Town of Greenwich, sc 16356.

The Court ruled that towns cannot bar non-residents from public parks. Greenwich, Connecticut, had established a beach park in 1942, and had always barred anyone from using the park, except for residents of the town and their guests. The Court ruled that this policy violates the First Amendment.

The Court quoted from a 1939 U.S. Supreme Court case, Hague v CIO, "In places which by long tradition or by government fiat have been devoted to assembly and debate, the rights of the State to limit expressive activity are sharply circumscribed... such locations include streets and parks which have immemorially been held in trust for the use of the public and, time out of mind, have been used for purposes of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens, and discussing public questions."

The Connecticut Supreme Court noted that candidates do sometimes campaign at the park, and imagined a hypothetical example in which one candidate lived in Greenwich, and thus was able to enter the park; but his or her opponent did not live there and couldn't enter the park. Countering the possible objection to this argument, that surely a resident of Greenwich could invite the other candidate into the park as a guest, the Court said that was not assured, especially if the non-resident candidate was "a splinter candidate or someone who espouses unpopular or controversial views."

The Connecticut Supreme Court even cited two recent U.S. Court of Appeals decisions which struck down restrictions on petitioning by non-residents. In particular, it quoted with approval the Illinois decision, Krislov v Rednour, which said that out-of-staters must be allowed to petition in Illinois.

The Connecticut Supreme Court also quoted with approval from a 4th circuit opinion, Warren v Fairfax County, which said, "To limit a forum such as a park to those who live within the jurisdiction is to balkanize our civic dialogue. Were the Freedom Riders to be denied access to public fora in the South because they came from out of state? Is a Vermonter to be denied access to an Ohio public forum if he wishes to bring attention to the problem of acid rain? Is a pro-life Ohioan to be disallowed from protesting pro-choice developments in Virginia? And are Virginians, who are concerned about garbage trucked into their state from New York, to be prohibited from protesting such actions in a New York public forum? Speech in America cannot be that parochial."

The irony of this decision is that Connecticut is one of the states which bars out-of-state petitioners. It seems clear that the Connecticut prohibition will be overturned, should anyone sue.

Buchanan's Connecticut Woes

A further irony is that Pat Buchanan used out-of-state petitioners to petition in Connecticut last year. To conceal this, Buchanan supporters living in Connecticut falsely claimed to have circulated all the petitions which were actually circulated by out-of-staters. They were caught, and fined. If the campaign had openly acknowledged using out-of-state petitioners, and challenged the restriction, that lawsuit would probably have won.

The final irony for Buchanan was that, on September 22, 2000, the Connecticut Supreme Court had ruled that the ballot-qualified Reform Party's presidential candidate was indeed Pat Buchanan, not John Hagelin. Therefore, Buchanan's petition wasn't even needed.


In March 2002, the voters of San Francisco will decide whether to use Instant-Runoff voting in all city elections. San Francisco voters defeated preference voting in 1996, by 56% to 44%.


The Ohio Libertarian Party has asked for a ruling that it is still a qualified party. 3501.01(F)(3) says that a party retains its status for at least a full year after it submits its petition for party status, and thereafter until it fails to poll 5% for president or governor, whichever election comes next. The party submitted a petition on November 8, 1999. The presidential election was on November 7, 2000, which was less than one year after the petition was submitted, so the party argues that it is still qualified, until the election of November 5, 2002. There is an administrative hearing on Sept. 5.


The Green Party will bring two new ballot access lawsuits during the first week of September. It will sue Arkansas to gain a place on the ballot in a special congressional election scheduled for November 20. The basis for the lawsuit is that Arkansas has no procedures for a new party to participate in a special election in an odd year.

Also, the party will sue New Mexico, to keep its major party status. The issue is whether it needed 5% for any statewide race, or 5% for president, last year.


On August 9, U.S. District Court Judge George Singal, a Clinton appointee, struck down Maine law which prohibits persons who are "under guardianship for mental illness" from registering to vote, unless a probate judge rules that they may register. Jane Doe v Rowe, 00-cv-206B. The law, as applied since 1980, only pertains to psychiatric diagnoses, not mental retardation. The judge wrote, "A person placed under a guardianship for an eating disorder could be disenfranchised". He said the law violates the 14th amendment, and two federal laws.

Forty-three other states have laws disenfranchising persons with mental impairments. Considerable litigation is likely soon, on this issue.


On August 16, the Arizona State Court of Appeals upheld state laws that: (1) tell political parties when and where their state committee shall meet; (2) when their county committees must meet; (3) how vacancies in the state committee shall be filled. The laws had been challenged by the Democratic and Republican Parties, and by one faction of the Libertarian Party. Arizona Libertarian Party v Schmerl, 1ca-cv 00-335.

The decision contradicts a 1989 unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Eu v San Francisco Co. Democratic Central Committee, that had struck down very similar laws in California. The Arizona court justified its holding, by noting that plaintiffs in the Arizona case had not challenged a separate law that requires parties to elect precinct committeemen at the primary election. The Arizona court mentioned this point three times in its decision. The court hinted that the result might have been different, if the parties had challenged the entire scheme regulating parties, instead of just parts of it. The legislature may ease the regulations next year, but no one plans to appeal the decision.


In a separate ruling also issued on August 16, the same Arizona State Court of Appeals (see above story) also reversed a lower court, and ruled that Peter Schmerl, not Elizabeth Brandenburg-Andreassen, is state chair of the Libertarian Party.

Schmerl heads a faction of the Arizona Libertarian Party recognized by the national Libertarian Party; Brandenburg-Andreassen heads the faction which was not so recognized. A lower court had ruled on January 27, 2000, that Brandenburg-Andreassen is the legal state chair. The Brandenburg-Andreassen faction thus had the power to choose the party's presidential electors last year. It chose electors pledged to science fiction writer L. Neil Smith, instead of to Harry Browne. Thus Smith, instead of Browne, had appeared as the Libertarian presidential nominee in Arizona in 2000.

The legal identity of party officers in Arizona is not generally very important. Arizona requires parties to choose nominees for public office at a primary. Party officers have little or no control over whom the party nominates. The one great exception, of course, is president.

The basis for the decision was that no one had challenged the ruling of the chair, at the party's 1999 state convention, on whether the vote to merge the two factions had passed. The lower court had ruled that the motion had not passed. The appeals court said that since the convention had adjourned with everyone thinking the motion had passed, a court cannot later upset the outcome. Anyone who wishes to obtain a copy of the decision may obtain one from B.A.N. for $2 (send it to the same postal address as for subscriptions). The decision is not on the website of the Arizona court system.


The table below is a list of the most crowded statewide partisan general election race, ever held in each state, since the introduction of government-printed ballots (the 1890's, for most states).

In case of a tie, the most recent election is shown. If a state had an 8-person race in 1936, and also an 8-person race in 1996, only the 1996 instance is listed.

Mike Clingman, new Secretary of the Oklahoma Election Board, wrote in an August letter that he will not support easing Oklahoma ballot access laws. His reason is that Oklahoma voting machines cannot handle more than 9 parties.

However, the list shows that no state which required more than 5,000 signatures, ever had as many as 9 candidates on the ballot for a statewide partisan general election (Oklahoma requires 61,712). The only exception is New York, but that is only because New York permits "fusion". For example, in 2000, Gore was listed three times, and Bush and Buchanan were each listed twice. Oklahoma does not permit "fusion". Obviously, Oklahoma could make a big reduction in its requirement, and still not suffer from a ballot with more than 9 candidates on the ballot.


The campaign to build support for the Congressional ballot access bill has begun. HR 2268, by Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas), would outlaw restrictive ballot access laws for the candidates of unqualified political parties, and for independent candidates, for Congress. The bill is called the "Voter Freedom Act". It sets a ceiling of 1,000 signatures for such candidates for the U.S. House.

The bill was endorsed by the Reform Party at its national convention in July, by the Green Party US at its national meeting in July, and by the Coalition for Free & Open Elections (COFOE) in August.

Anyone who sends B.A.N. a copy of a letter from any member of Congress, commenting on HR 2268, will win a free three-month extension of their subscription, or a new 3-month subscription (whichever applies). Please ask your member of Congress to co-sponsor the bill. So far, the bill has no co-sponsors. When a similar bill was introduced in the past between 1985 and 1995, it had as many as 40 co-sponsors. However, back then the bill had a full-time Rainbow Lobby lobbyist working for it. The bill received a vote on the House floor in 1998, and received 68 "aye" votes.

Perhaps the best example of why the bill is needed, is Georgia. Georgia requires 15,000 signatures. No candidate for U.S. House (in any state) has ever overcome a signature requirement greater than 12,920 signatures. That candidate was Frazier Reams in 1954, an incumbent independent congressman from Ohio.


On August 30, there was a hearing in U.S. District Court in Public Interest Party v Armstrong Co. Bd. of Elections, cv01-1616, w.d. The issue is whether non-qualified parties may nominate someone who (although now a member of that minor party) had been registered in another party during the previous three months. Pennsylvania law lets the qualified parties nominate such a person, but doesn't permit the unqualified parties to do so.


Year Number of candidates REQUIREMENT
Alabama 1980 10 for president hold a convention
Alaska 1992 9 for president 2,035 signatures
Arizona 1968 7 for president 358 signatures
Arkansas 1996 13 for president hold a convention
California 1996 8 for president 89,007 registrations
Colorado 1996 13 for president pay $500
Connecticut 1996 7 for president 7,500 signatures
Delaware 1996 7 for president 191 registrations
District of Columbia 1992 9 for president 3,072 signatures
Florida 2000 10 for president 25 members to be pres. electors
Georgia 1936 5 for president hold a convention
Hawaii 2000 7 for president 602 signatures
Idaho 2000 6 for president 4,918 signatures
Illinois 1976 8 for president 25,000 signatures
Indiana 1980 8 for president 6,982 signatures
Iowa 1992 14 for president 1,000 signatures
Kansas 1980 8 for president 2,500 signatures
Kentucky 1976 9 for president 1,000 signatures
Louisiana 1992 11 for president pay $500
Maine 1996 7 for president 4,000 signatures
Maryland 2000 6 for president 10,000 signatures
Massachusetts 1938 10 for Governor 1,000 signatures
Michigan 1984 10 for president file declaration of candidacy with court
Minnesota 1996 11 for president 2,000 signatures
Mississippi 1992 8 for president 1,000 signatures
Missouri 1952 8 for president hold a convention
Montana 2000 7 for president 5,000 signatures
Nebraska 2000 7 for president 2,500 signatures
Nevada 1992 8 for president 9,392 signatures
New Hampshire 1980 8 for president 1,000 signatures
New Jersey 1993 19 for Governor 800 signatures
New Mexico 1992 10 for president 2,069 signatures
New York 2000 12 lines for president 15,000 signatures
North Carolina 1980 6 for president 10,000 signatures
North Dakota 1976 11 for president 300 signatures
Ohio 1984 9 for president 5,000 signatures
Oklahoma 1934 8 for Governor pay a fee
Oregon 1996 8 for president 14,601 signatures
Pennsylvania 1914 10 lines for Governor 2,238 signatures
Rhode Island 2000 10 for president 1,000 signatures
South Carolina 2000 7 for president 10,000 signatures
South Dakota 1996 6 for president 3,117 signatures
Tennessee 1992 14 for president 25 signatures
Texas 1996 6 for president 43,963 signatures
Utah 1992 13 for president 300 signatures
Vermont 2000 10 for president 1,000 signatures
Virginia 1936 7 for president file declaration of candidacy
Washington 1976 12 for president 100 attendees at a meeting
West Virginia 2000 6 for president 6,365 signatures
Wisconsin 1976 11 for president 2,000 signatures
Wyoming 2000 6 for president 3,485 signatures

This chart identifies each state's most crowded statewide partisan general election race, ever. See the preceding story for more explanation.


Alabama 39,536 39,536 *already on 0 0 0 0 July 1
Alaska (reg) 6,606 #2,879 already on already on 5 58 7 June 1
Arizona (reg) 14,500 est. #9,800 *13,500 *5,000 0 *1,514 *104 Nov 1, 01
Arkansas 21,181 #10,000 *2,500 can't start can't start can't start can't start May 7
California (reg) 86,212 157,073 already on already on already on already on already on Oct 2, 01
Colorado (reg) 1,000 #1,000 already on already on already on already on already on May 1
Connecticut no procedure #7,500 already on can't start already on can't start can't start Aug 7
Delaware est. (reg) 250 est. 5,000 already on already on already on already on already on Aug 17
D.C. no procedure est. #3,500 can't start already on can't start can't start can't start Aug 28
Florida be organized pay fee already on already on already on already on already on Sep 1
Georgia 38,600 #38,600 already on 0 0 0 0 Jul 9
Hawaii 638 25 *500 already on 0 0 already on Apr 24
Idaho 10,033 5,017 already on 0 already on already on already on Aug 31
Illinois no procedure #25,000 can't start can't start can't start can't start can't start Jun 24
Indiana no procedure #30,717 already on 0 0 0 0 Jul 15
Iowa no procedure #1,500 0 already on 0 0 0 Aug 16
Kansas 14,854 5,000 already on *0 already on already on 0 June 1
Kentucky no procedure #5,000 can't start can't start can't start can't start can't start Aug 6
Louisiana est. (reg) 140,000 pay fee 1,016 393 17 2,408 23 July 1
Maine 21,051 #4,000 0 already on 0 0 0 Dec 13, 01
Maryland 10,000 est. 26,000 *1,000 0 0 0 0 Aug 5
Massachusetts est. (reg) 37,500 #10,000 already on already on 17 2,594 73 July 30
Michigan 30,272 30,272 *18,000 already on 0 already on 0 July 18
Minnesota 104,550 #2,000 0 already on 0 0 0 June 1
Mississippi be organized #1,000 already on 0 already on already on already on March 1
Missouri 10,000 10,000 already on 0 0 0 0 July 29
Montana 5,000 #5,000 already on already on *500 already on already on Mar 14
Nebraska 5,453 2,500 *already on 0 0 0 0 Aug 1
Nevada 4,099 4,099 0 already on already on already on already on July 7
New Hampshire 16,931 #3,000 0 0 0 0 0 Aug 6
New Jersey no procedure #800 0 0 0 0 0 July 31
New Mexico 2,494 14,964 *2,500 already on 0 0 0 Apr 2
New York no procedure #15,000 can't start already on can't start can't start can't start Aug 20
North Carolina 58,842 est. 99,000 *already on 0 0 0 0 May 17
North Dakota 7,000 4,000 can't start can't start can't start can't start can't start Apr 5
Ohio 45,753 5,000 *disputed *5,000 0 0 *6,000 Jan 7
Oklahoma 61,712 pay fee 0 0 0 0 0 May 31
Oregon 16,663 15,306 already on already on already on 0 already on Aug 27
Pennsylvania no procedure 21,739 can't start can't start can't start can't start can't start Aug 1
Rhode Island 15,323 #1,000 can't start already on can't start can't start can't start Jul 18
South Carolina 10,000 10,000 already on already on already on already on already on July 17
South Dakota 6,505 #2,602 already on 0 0 already on 0 April 2
Tennessee 24,406 25 0 0 0 0 0 Apr 1
Texas 37,381 37,381 already on already on can't start can't start can't start May 28
Utah 2,000 #1,000 already on already on 0 0 already on Mar 15
Vermont be organized #1,000 already on 0 already on 0 already on Jan 1
Virginia no procedure #10,000 can't start can't start can't start can't start can't start Jun 11
Washington no procedure #200 already on can't start can't start can't start can't start Jul 6
West Virginia no procedure #11,864 0 0 0 0 0 May 13
Wisconsin 10,000 #2,000 already on already on already on can't start can't start Jun 1
Wyoming 4,247 4,247 already on 0 0 0 0 Jun 1
TOTAL STATES ON *26 22 13 *12 *13

"Deadline" is procedure with earliest petition deadline. All dates are in 2002, unless they are labeled "01". #Candidate procedure allows partisan label. Other nationally-organized parties on a statewide ballot are Socialist, Socialist Workers, Southern, and Workers World, in Florida. The Socialist Party is petitioning in Oregon. * -- means a change, compared to the last chart (in the February 2001 B.A.N.).


At its national meeting on July 27-29 in Santa Barbara, California, the Association of State Green Parties renamed itself "Green Party of the U.S.". On August 10, it asked the Federal Election Commission for recognition as a "national committee". Such recognition confers the ability to receive higher donations than ordinary political committees may receive. The submission to the FEC is a 153-page veritable encyclopedia of information about the Green Party, including a list of all its candidates, for both partisan and non-partisan, going back to 1986.

The Green Party U.S. will open an office in Washington, D.C. Its national structure consists of 5 co-chairs, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. Four co-chairs hold office: Jo Chamberlain, California; Ben Manski, Wisconsin; Anita Rios, Ohio; Tom Sevigny, Connecticut. One spot is vacant. There is also a Coordinating committee, which now consists of two members from each state. Starting in January 2002, it will contain additional members from states, in proportion to the number of U.S. House seats from that state; but no state will have fewer than two members. See more information.


The Reform Party held a national convention on July 26-29 in Nashville, Tennessee. Patrick Buchanan spoke on U.S. sovereignty, but he didn't attend any other functions.

The vote for national chair was: Gerry Moan of Arizona 127; Dan Charles, Colorado 47; Ed Moses, Iowa 7. Both Moan and Charles have consistently supported Buchanan's leadership in the party. For vice-chair, the vote was: Tom McLaughlin of Pennsylvania 96, Dan Charles 85. Charles was elected Treasurer; John Hey of Mississippi was elected Secretary. On August 9, the party put out a press release, condemning President Bush for permitting government funding for some embryonic stem cell research.


The Southern Party holds a national convention Sep. 7-8 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The party has never appeared on the ballot of any state under its own name, although it is qualified in Florida.


Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura visited New Jersey on August 27, to campaign for State Senator Bill Schluter. Schluter is an independent candidate for Governor, even though he was elected as a Republican four years ago. He hopes to raise $260,000 before September 4, so that, under New Jersey's campaign finance laws, he will be invited into the October gubernatorial debates.


On May 10, then-FBI Director Louis Freeh addressed a U.S. Senate Committee, on "Terrorism". His written statement (see, says, "Anarchists and extremist socialist groups -- many of which, such as the Workers World Party, Reclaim the Streets, and Carnival Against Capitalism -- have an international presence and, at times, also represent a potential threat in the United States. For example, anarchists, operating individually and in groups, caused much of the damage during the 1999 Seattle World Trade meeting."


The six qualified parties of Alaska are deciding how they want their 2002 primaries run. A new law gives each party the right to decide who may vote in its primary.

The Democratic Party, the Alaskan Independence Party, and the Republican Moderate Party, will let all registered voters vote in their primaries. Also, the Republican Moderate Party and the Alaska Independence Party seek to enforce a party rule, that no candidate can get on their primary ballots unless that candidate pledges to support the party's principles.

The Libertarian and Green Parties want to nominate by convention. However, state law doesn't give any party this option. As a fallback position, the Libertarians will probably decide that only registered Libertarians may vote in that primary, and the Greens will let all registered voters vote in their primary.

A qualified party is a group which has registration equal to 3% of the last gubernatorial vote. A court case is pending over whether "Non-Partisan" is a qualified party.

Ballot Access News. is published by and copyright by Richard Winger Note: subscriptions are available!
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Compilation copyright (c) 2001 Bob Bickford