Ballot Access News -- January 1, 2002

Volume 17, Number 10

This issue was originally printed on white paper.

Table of Contents
  18. ERRATA
  19. Subscription Information



The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled on November 13 that signtures on initiative petitions can't be invalidated just because the signers aren't on the list of registered voters. And a federal court ruled on November 30 that Idaho cannot require a certain number of signatures (for initiative petitions) from each of 22 counties. Both decisions, if they are not overturned, will make much easier to qualify initiatives in those two states. Furthermore, the decisions may eventually apply to petitions concerning candidates and new political parties.

Idaho: the decision, called Idaho Coalition United for Bears v Cenarrusa, 00-0668, is by U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill, a Clinton appointee. Idaho hasn't decided whether to appeal. This was the first time any court had ever invalidated a county distribution requirement for initiatives. Arkansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio and Utah have similar requirements for initiatives.

County distribution requirements for statewide minor party and independent candidate petitions were invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1969 in an Illinois case, Moore v Ogilvie. The county distribution requirement for statewide minor party and independent candidates in Illinois had been 200 signatures from each of 50 counties. In practice, statewide petitions which were challenged in Illinois were always invalidated. Even former U.S. vice-president Henry Wallace was kept off the Illinois ballot in 1948 because of the distribution requirement. Thus it was a great victory when the Supreme Court invalidated the Illinois requirement in 1969.

Unfortunately, some courts have tended to doubt that Moore v Ogilvie is still good law. No county-based distribution requirement had been declared unconstitutional since 1984.

Pennsylvania still has a county distribution requirement for candidates for statewide state office seeking a place on a primary ballot, and Pennsylvania state courts have upheld it.

At oral argument in the Idaho case, Judge Winmill noted that the U.S. Supreme Court had spoken approvingly of Moore v Ogilvie in its Bush v Gore decision of December 12, 2000. However, the Judge did not mention Bush v Gore in his opinion. He did, of course, base his opinion on Moore v Ogilvie.

The basis for striking down any county distribution requirement is "one man, one vote". Counties are vastly dissimilar in population. County distribution requirements tend to give small-population counties a veto power over petitions. For example, if a state requires a statewide petition to contain a substantial number of signatures from half the counties in the state, and if the subject of the petition is something that is very popular in urban areas but is unpopular in rural areas, a county distribution requirement can block the success of the petition.

Assuming that the Idaho decision is not overturned on appeal, it is likely that similar challenges will be mounted to county distribution requirements for candidates in Pennsylvania, and for initiatives in the other six states which have such requirements.

Oklahoma: the State Supreme Court unanimously ruled that signatures on an initiative petition can't be invalidated just because the signer's name isn't on the state's computerized list of registered voters. A request for rehearing is pending. If the request for rehearing is denied, in the future, any petition submitted in Oklahoma which has on its face enough signatures to meet the signature requirement will be valid.

The case is In re Initiative Petition No. 365, no. 94155. Other methods to disqualify initiative petitions will still exist, of course. The circulators must be Oklahoma residents and the circulator's statement at the bottom of a petition must continue to be notarized. However, these are trivial requirements, in comparison with the validity check that can no longer be carried out.

The Court noted, "We take note that petitioners produced voter registration cards for individuals whom opponents alleged were 'not found' in their database." Oklahoma elections officials pride themselves on their state's centralized computer database of voters. No database is perfect, and it is not surprising that mistakes were made. Nevertheless, it is dramatic that the Court ruled that a signature is presumed valid unless "clear and convincing evidence" is presented that a particular signature is not valid. In practice, it now seems virtually impossible to invalidate a signature on a petition in Oklahoma.

In Oklahoma, the Secretary of State checks initiative petitions, whereas the State Election Board checks new party petitions. The State Board of Elections has not yet said whether the ruling will be applied to petitions for new parties.


On December 3, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Republican Party of Minnesota v Kelly, 01-521. The Court is only interested in one of the two issues: may a candidate for judge mention his or her attitudes on political issues? The Court doesn't want to hear the other issue in the case: may a candidate for judge mention that he or she is endorsed by a political party? However, it is likely the decision on the first issue will indirectly answer the second question.


The Alabama legislature passed SB 36 on December 21. It changes the deadline for petitions (except independent presidential candidate petitions) from July to June. It also tells qualified parties that nominate by convention that they must nominate no later than the date of the first primary, in early June (before the Democrats and Republicans have held their run-off primaries). Activists will try to persuade the Governor to veto the bill.

The bill also makes it illegal for convention parties to nominate anyone who lost a major party primary, but since the minor party deadlines are now before the final primary, that point is moot.

SB 36 originally also increased the number of signatures needed for new parties and for non-presidential independents from 3%, to 5%, of the last gubernatorial vote. However, that was amended out of the bill before it passed the Senate.

This bill was introduced in the 4th special session, which had been called to deal with education funding. That session didn't take any action on education, but did take the time to pass this election law bill.


On December 12, the U.S. House passed HR 3295, which would give money to states for buying new vote-counting equipment. The vote was 362-63. Twenty Republicans voted "No": Barr, Barton, Bonilla, Coble, Culberson, Flake, Hefley, Jones (NC), Kingston, Paul, Petri, Pombo, Putnam, Rohrabacher, Schaffer, Sensenbrenner, Sessions, Shadegg, Smith (Mi) and Toomey.

42 Democrats voted "No": Baldwin, Becerra, Blagojevich, Bonior, Brown (Oh), Capuano, Clayton, Conyers, Davis (Il.), Doggett, Frank, Gutierrez, Hilliard, Hinchey, Jackson (Il.), Jackson-Lee, Jones (Oh), Kilpatrick, Kleczka, Kucinich, McDermott, McGovern, McKinney, Meehan, Mollohan, Murtha, Napolitano, Olver, Pastor, Payne, Pelosi, Rahall, Reyes, Rodriguez, Roybal-Allard, Rush, Sanchez, Scott, Shows, Solis, Waters, and Watt (NC). Virgil Goode, independent, also voted "no".


1. Iowa: Senator Mary Lundby will soon introduce a bill making it possible for voters to register as members of unqualified parties.

2. Michigan: on December 11, SB 173 passed the legislature. It abolishes the straight-ticket device on ballots (also known as a "party lever" or "party circle"). Pennsylvania is now the only populous state which still uses such a device.

3. Oklahoma: Representative Sue Tibbs will probably introduce a bill to ease ballot access. If she does so, and if it passes the House, Senator Mark Snyder will carry it in the Senate.

4. Tennessee: Senator Tim Burchett will probably introduce a bill, letting candidates who use the independent petition method choose a partisan label, to be printed on the general election ballot. Somewhat similar legislation passed in 2000, but it basically was for the 2000 election only.


On December 6, federal Judge Barry Moskowitz upheld California law that bars candidates from a partisan primary, if they have been a member of another qualified party during the year before filing. Van Susteren v Jones, 01-1777-BTM, San Diego.

The judge did not mention a quotation from a 1986 U.S. Supreme Court case, Tashjian v Republican Party of Connecticut, which says that a state cannot tell a political party that it cannot nominate a non-member. It is likely that the judge didn't even read the Tashjian case. Even if he felt that he wasn't bound by it, his decision is incomplete without discussing Tashjian.

A similar Libertarian case is pending in federal court in Los Angeles, Olivier v Jones, 01-cv-9902. That case has a hearing on January 14. The object of that case is to get Art Olivier on the Libertarian primary ballot for Governor. However, since the ballots are printed January 10, even if Olivier wins the case, he won't get any practical relief, unless the judge orders the ballots re-printed.


On December 5, a State Superior Court refused to order the Peace & Freedom Party placed back on the ballot. Peace & Freedom Party v Jones, 01-cs-01629, Superior Court, Sacramento. The issue is whether the party had the needed 86,212 registered members. The party does have this number if inactive voters are counted. The state argued that inactive voters shouldn't count for this purpose. The judge agreed, although he didn't explain why. The party is appealing.


1. California: on December 20, the 9th circuit ruled that a trial must be held to settle the constitutionality of Irvine's campaign finance law. Lincoln Club of Orange County v City of Irvine, 00-56444. The preamble to the city's limit on campaign contributions says the purpose of the restriction is to ensure that all candidates are placed on an equal plane relative to the amount of campaign contributions received by them. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has said this is not sufficient to justify restrictions on contributions; contribution limits can only be justified to stop bribry or the appearnce of bribery.

2. Florida: a trial will begin on March 18 in Johnson v Bush, 00-3542 (federal court in Miami). This is over the state's ban on ex-felons voting.

Florida (2): on November 28, the 11th circuit struck down a state law making it illegal for a candidate to make a contribution to any religious, charitable, civic or other cause, from either personal or campaign funds (except that three exceptions are allowed: (1) memorial contributions when someone dies; (2) when the candidate had previously been making gifts to the charity for more than 6 months; (3) to buy tickets). Florida Right to Life v Lamar, 00-14140.

3. Idaho: on December 13, the State Supreme Court upheld term limits for state and local offices. Rudeen v Cenarrusa, 2001-99. The lower court ruling of 2000 was reversed.

4. Maryland: the state's highest court, which is called the Court of Appeals, heard oral arguments on November 29 in Green Party of Maryland v Board of Elections, 27158. The hearing went well. The state couldn't seem to explain why qualified parties (who need their own petition) must submit separate petitions for each of their nominees.

5. Massachusetts: on October 4, the National Voting Rights Institute filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court, to force the legislature to fund the public financing law passed by the voters in 1998. Bates v Sullivan, 08677. The Court accepted the case and briefs have been filed.

6. New Mexico: on December 28, the Green Party filed a new lawsuit to restore its primary election. Green Party v Vigil-Giron, Santa Fe District Court.

7. Ohio: on October 4, the State Supreme Court ruled that initiative petitioners need not be registered voters. State ex rel Oster v Lorain Co. Bd. of Elections, 01-1639.

8. Oklahoma: the last B.A.N. said that there would be a hearing in Beaver v Ward this month. This is over whether a party may invite all registered voters to vote in its primary. The hearing has been postponed until April.


1. Alaska: it is already set that, on August 27, Alaskans will vote on whether to use Instant Runoff in state elections. The Anchorage city government may authorize a similar referendum for city elections; that city referendum would be in April.

2. California: on March 5, San Franciscans will vote on Instant Runoff for city elections. The Democratic Party endorsed the proposal on December 19.

3. Texas: IRV supporters will file a lawsuit to overturn a ruling by the Secretary of State that no city may use IRV. The Texas Constitution says city elections must be based on majority vote. The Secretary thinks this provision bars IRV.

4. Vermont: the League of Women Voters is helping in an effort to get endorsements for IRV from as many town meetings as possible. The endorsements will be used to persuade the legislature to authorize IRV.


Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., has introduced HJR 72, a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote to citizens (age 18 and above). It would enfranchise ex-felons and felons, and give the voters a right to choose presidential electors. It would also give congress control over election procedures.


Year Party Candidate & District Vote Percentage
Alabama 1970 National Democratic James Paulk, rep 31(1) 8,624 47.75%
Alaska 1980 Libertarian Dick Randolph, rep 20 11,163 55.01%
Arizona 1980 Libertarian Robert A. Stirn, rep 10 3,113 32.92%
Arkansas 1970 American Mr. Serio, rep 40(1) 2,180 22.02%
California 1999 Green Audie Bock, asm 16 14,674 50.55%
Colorado 2000 Libertarian Russ Haddad, rep 50 3,208 25.11%
Connecticut 1994 A Connecticut Andrea Stillman, rep 38 2,997 48.42%
Delaware 1994 Libertarian John M. Reda, rep 13 784 18.30%
Florida 1992 Libertarian Janet Hawkins, rep 35 10,073 28.13%
Georgia 1994 Libertarian Larry Bolin, rep 86 2,503 31.91%
Hawaii 1994 Green Toni Worst, rep 23 3,571 40.73%
Idaho 1972 American Werner Brammer, rep 7 1,988 38.31%
Illinois 1992 Harold Washington Cynthia Taylor, sen 12 18,312 28.54%
Indiana 1978 American June Osterman, rep 38 1,681 19.56%
Iowa 1964 Conservative Reuben Rustad, rep Worth 1,992 25.38%
Kansas 1948 Prohibition J. W. Bathurst, rep 84 1,309 35.97%
Kentucky 1973 American E. M. McElroy, rep 59 729 16.90%
Louisiana 1995 Prudence Verna Bradley-Jackson, rep 61 1,592 17.20%
Maine 1998 U S Taxpayers Jesse Crandall, rep 76 1,322 44.77%
Maryland 1982 Libertarian Gerald Schneider, del 19 5,262 22.28%
Massachusetts 1992 Independent Voters Wayne Campos, rep Bristol 6 4,218 34.40%
Michigan 1996 Libertarian Jon Coon, rep 24 5,042 15.74%
Minnesota 2000 Independence Cy Thao, rep 65A 2,517 23.13%
Mississippi 1975 American Bob Norman, rep 31G 763 11.37%
Missouri 1996 U S Taxpayers Ray Rowland, sen 25 18,582 36.91%
Montana 2000 Constitution Rick Jore, rep 73 1,818 49.27%
Nebraska 1988 New Alliance Ernie Chambers, sen 11 2,084 66.79%
Nevada 2000 Libertarian James Dan, asm 28 990 45.27%
New Hampshire 1994 Libertarian Don Gorman, rep Rocking 8 2,563 99.50%
New Jersey 1991 Populist John L. Kucek, sen 22 9,153 21.78%
New Mexico 1992 Green Abraham Gutmann, rep 42 3,703 39.20%
New York 1986 Liberal Albert Vann, asm 56 8,511 63.59%
North Carolina 2000 Libertarian John Evans, sen 18 10,147 20.48%
North Dakota 1996 Libertarian Roland Reimers, rep 33 232 4.52%
Ohio 1996 Natural Law Karen Schultz, rep 29 11,178 23.50%
Oklahoma 1976 Libertarian Porter Davis, rep 85 2,867 36.35%
Oregon 2000 Constitution Bob Ekstrom, rep 1 7,368 31.16%
Pennsylvania 1994 Libertarian Joseph Lisowski, rep 155 4,749 27.12%
Rhode Island 2000 Green Paul DeGaitas, rep 19 515 34.68%
South Carolina 2000 United Citizens James E. Dunn, rep 106 6,365 34.97%
South Dakota 1982 Libertarian Emmett Elrod, rep 26 2,228 37.23%
Tennessee 1970 American William J. Davis, sen 27 12,659 58.27%
Texas 1992 La Raza Unida Albert Pena, rep 57J 4,205 34.35%
Utah 1992 Independent Party Bart Grant, rep 26 2,083 34.62%
Vermont 2000 Progressive David Zuckerman, rep Chit 7-3 2,090 100.00%
Virginia 1999 Reform Bradley Evans, del 27 2,466 30.45%
Washington 1998 Reform Gregory Lemke, rep 38(2) 9,527 29.08%
West Virginia 1998 Libertarian Wallace Johnson, del 27 3,149 31.85%
Wisconsin 1974 American Cyril Rada, asm 67 1,827 18.05%
Wyoming 1986 American Howard O'Connor, sen Fremt 2,534 24.27%

This chart shows the most successful minor party candidates for state legislature, for each state, for 1948 through 2000. "Minor party" means any party other than the Democrats and Republicans. "Most successful" means the candidate who got the highest percentage.

The decade with the most "best" entries is the 1990's, with 23 of the 50 data points. Tied for second is the 1970's (with 9) and the year 2000 alone (also with 9). The 20 years before 1970 only had two "bests".

Ten states have had at least one minor party member of the legislature during this period, but some of them were never elected under a minor party label; they switched while in office. The ten are Alaska, California, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont.

In states which permit fusion, but which don't let the voter choose which label to vote for, the candidate's party membership determines which party gets "credit" for that candidate's vote.

A similar chart in the last B.A.N. for U.S. House has two errors: (1) the entry for West Virginia is Richard Kerr, not Richard Carr; (2) the Oklahoma entry should have been the Southern Party candidate in 2000, Argus Yandell, in the 3rd district. He polled 14,660 votes, 9.21%.


Green Libertarian Conservative Natural Law
New Jersey Assembly 1,543 1.60% 2,166 1.33% 1,716 1.88% 865 1.49%
New Jersey Senate 6,053 7.09% 563 1.20% 616 .91%
Virginia House 539 1.69% 4,932 4.05%
TOTAL 8,135 7,661 2,332 865

This chart shows election returns for minor parties in the November 6, 2001 elections. New Jersey and Virginia are the only states which hold regularly-scheduled legislative elections in the odd years that follow a presidential election year.


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 20,427 est. #9,800 *already on *2,500 *0 *0 *0 *May 18
Arkansas 10,000 #10,000 2,500 *0 *0 *0 *0 May 7
California (reg) 86,212 157,073 already on already on already on already on already on *Aug 9
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 *0 already on *0 *0 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 *4,000 0 0 0 *Aug 5
Hawaii 638 25 *550 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 *200 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 *0 *0 *0 *0 *0 Aug 6
La. 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 *May 25
Maryland 10,000 est. 26,000 *12,000 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 *already on 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 *1,100 already on already on Mar 14
Nebraska 5,453 2,500 already on 0 0 0 0 Aug 1
Nevada 5,867 5,867 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 2,994 17,958 *3,500 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. 102,000 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 in court 5,200 0 0 4,500 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 *20,900 can't start can't start can't start can't start can't start Aug 1
Rhode Island 15,323 #1,000 *0 already on *0 *0 *0 Jul 18
South Carolina 10,000 10,000 already on 0 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 *11,000 0 0 *Feb 4
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 *1,100 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 *0 *0 *0 *0 *0 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 *28 *20 13 12 13

"Deadline" is procedure with earliest petition deadline, except in the states where the earliest deadline has already passed. #Candidate procedure allows partisan label. Other nationally-organized parties on a statewide ballot are Socialist, Socialist Workers, Southern, and Workers World, in Florida. * -- means a change, compared to the Oct. 2001 BAN.


Michael Bloomberg, Republican 685,666 46.31%
Mark Green, Democratic 676,717 45.71%
Michael Bloomberg, Independence 59,091 3.99%
Mark Green, Working Families 32,551 2.20%
Alan Hevesi, Liberal 8,027 .54%
Julia Willebrand, Green 7,155 .48%
Terrence Gray, Conservative 3,577 .24%
Tom Leighton, Marijuana Reform 2,563 .17%
Alan Hevesi, Better Schools 2,304 .16%
Kenny Kramer, Libertarian 1,408 .10%
Bernard Goetz, Fusion 1,049 .07%
Ken Golding, American Dream 474 .03%

The November 6, 2001 New York city Mayoral election saw historic low levels of support for both the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. The Liberal Party had never before polled less than 2.6% of the vote for Mayor of New York city in its 57-year history. Its high point had been in 1969, when its nominee, John Lindsay, had won the election on Liberal Party votes alone.

The Conservative Party had never before polled less than .51% of the vote for Mayor in its 36-year history. Its high point had been its first Mayoral campaign, in 1965, when its nominee William F. Buckley, Jr., had polled 13.35%.

The candidate who placed last, who used the ballot label "American Dream", made legal history by becoming the first candidate on the ballot anywhere in New York state to use the word "American", since 1954. In 1955, New York outlawed the use of "American" and "U.S." in party names. No one has ever challenged this ban, although it is probably unconstitutional. Neither the Board of Elections, nor any private individual, challenged Golding's label, so Golding has set a useful precedent. In the past, the ban has harmed the American Party (the party formed by George Wallace's supporters in 1968), and the U.S. Labor Party of the 1970's. The American Party used the label "Courage" in New York, and the U.S. Labor Party simply called itself the Labor Party, in New York state only.

The 2001 election boosted the Independence Party, since it supplied Bloomberg's margin of victory.


On December 1, newly-elected Green Party city councilwoman Elizabeth Sheff played a decisive role in reorganizing the City Council of Hartford, Connecticut.

The city council is elected on a partisan basis and has 9 members. The November 2001 elections were won by 6 Democrats, two Republicans (one of them elected as an independent), and one Green. The 6-member Democratic caucus consists of 4 members who are not loyal to the city's newly-elected Democratic Mayor, and two members who are. The 4 Democrats who are not loyal to the Mayor expected to control the City Council. However, in a surprise, the two Republicans, the Green, and the two Democrats who support the Mayor, formed a coalition. As a result, a Republican is the new Deputy Mayor, and the Green is the new Council Majority leader.


On October 6, the national committee of the Constitution Party voted to sue the FEC, to overturn the federal campaign act of 1974. Proponents of the lawsuit believe that the donation limit of $1,000, the campaign reporting laws, the partisan make-up of the FEC, and the presidential public funding, are all subject to challenge. Although all these provisions have been upheld before, proponents of the new lawsuit say that previous lawsuits did not have the benefit of a trial on how these laws all actually work; and that if evidence can be presented showing how the laws work in practice, there is hope that they can be overturned.


Recently, Michael Harrington, a city councilman in Davis, California, changed his registration from "Democrat" to "Green". Davis has a population of 50,000 and is a few miles west of Sacramento.


The last B.A.N. said that no independents had been elected to the Virginia legislature in 1999. Actually, one independent had been elected. Also, the printed version of the last B.A.N. said 40 Libertarians had won elections on Nov. 6, 2001; actually there were 72 who won elections that day.

Ballot Access News. is published by and copyright by Richard Winger Note: subscriptions are available!
Go back to the index.
Compilation copyright (c) 2002 Bob Bickford