March 1, 2003 Volume 18, Number 11

This issue was originally printed on white paper.

Table of Contents

  1. BALLOT ACCESS BILLS ADVANCE IN 5 STATES
  2. CONGRESS FUNDS NEW VOTING DEVICES
  3. CONNECTICUT PRIMARY LAW
  4. NEW BILLS THAT EASE BALLOT ACCESS
  5. PARTY RIGHTS BILL
  6. INSTANT-RUNOFF
  7. RESTRICTIVE BILLS
  8. PRIMARY LEAP-FROG
  9. FUSION WARS
  10. BOOK REVIEWS
  11. 2002 ELECTION BROKE SOME RECORDS
  12. APPROVAL VOTING
  13. 2002 MAPS AVAILABLE
  14. N.Y. PARTY WILL ALTER PRIMARY
  15. VOTE-SWAPPING
  16. 2004 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT
  17. PARTIAL BALLOT STATUS
  18. ONE-STATE PARTIES ON THE BALLOT
  19. PEDRO ESPADA ELECTED
  20. NATURAL LAW CONSIDERS KUCINICH
  21. LIBERAL PARTY
  22. ERRATA

BALLOT ACCESS BILLS ADVANCE IN 5 STATES

Bills that ease ballot access have made progress in 5 states so far this year:

1. Indiana: SB 136 eases the deadline for parties to choose their presidential and vice-presidential candidates, from September 1, to the second Tuesday in September. It passed the Senate on February 4. The Republican Party sought this bill because it won't choose its nominees until September 2, 2004.

2. Kansas: SB 95 passed the Senate on February 19. It deletes a 102-year old law requiring parties to have only one word in their names. Parties that were harmed by this law in the past were the Farmer-Labor Party, the Single Tax Party, the Socialist Labor Party, and the Natural Law Party.

The bill also deletes a law that bars the Communist Party from the ballot. These laws were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1974, but they still remain on the books in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Ohio. California even has such a provision in its Constitution.

3. North Dakota: SB 2288 passed the Senate on February 13. The bill lets presidential candidates who petition their way onto the general election ballot choose a partisan label. This label will appear on the petition and on the November ballot. Under existing law, such candidates may only have "independent" next to their names. Most minor party presidential candidates use the independent petition (since it is easier than the petition to create a new party), so if the bill passes, these candidates will be properly labeled.

In addition, the bill makes it easier to qualify a full-fledged political party. Current law requires 7,000 signatures, which can only be collected between January and April of an election year, when the state's weather is severe. The bill provides that a petition to create a new party can be circulated at any time.

4. Utah: HB 61 passed the legislature on February 10. It lowers the number of signatures for independent candidates in small counties. The old law required 300 signatures, regardless of the size of the county. The new law requires the easier of 300 signatures, or 5% of the number of registered voters. The new law will help independent candidates in the nine counties that have fewer than 6,000 registered voters.

5. Virginia: on February 14, the legislature passed HB 1508. It deletes the requirement that petition circulators cannot work outside of their home congressional district or the adjoining congressional district. The old law was passed in 1982 and has been a major impediment to minor parties, independent candidates, and even to members of major parties seeking to qualify for the primary ballot.

The Virginia legislature also passed HB 2835 on February 14. It eases the deadline for a qualified party to notify the state of its presidential and vice-presidential nominees, from August 20, to 60 days before the general election (early September). This bill, like the Indiana bill above, was passed to help the Republican Party.


CONGRESS FUNDS NEW VOTING DEVICES

On February 13, Congress passed an appropriations bill to send money to the states, to buy new vote-recording devices. President Bush signed the bill on February 20.

States with old-fashioned lever voting machines must now replace them with more modern equipment. Minor parties in New York and certain counties in New Jersey will be far better off with this change. The design of the existing ballots in those states has injured minor parties for many years. Both states have sometimes crammed two different minor party slates into the same column or row, so that only the most dedicated voters can even find their candidates.


CONN. PRIMARY LAW

On January 29, U.S. District Court Judge Peter Dorsey, a Reagan appointee, ruled that Connecticut primary ballot access laws are unconstitutional. He also invalidated a law requiring petition circulators to be registered voters. Neither decision was a surprise, since Judge Dorsey had granted an injunction against both laws on July 23, 2002. Campbell v Bysiewicz, 3:02-488.

Connecticut's Secretary of State, and the Republican and Democratic Parties of Connecticut, immediately announced that they will not appeal.

The old law did not permit anyone to get on a primary ballot, except for certain legislative races, unless at least 15% of the relevant party committee endorsed the candidate. Evidence showed that when an incumbent is running for re-election, it is virtually impossible for anyone else to get on a primary ballot to challenge that incumbent.

Since Connecticut provides a primary only to parties that polled 20% of the vote for Governor, or which have registration of 20% of the partisan registration, only the Democratic and Republican Parties usually have primaries, and the decision has no effect on minor parties.

Technically, this decision is a defeat for the rights of political parties to nominate candidates according to their own wishes. The decision says that when the government provides a primary for a political party, "The State may not stand by, nor openly endorse or foster, a process which freezes out the right of party members to participate in the process...The party's right to association may not unduly burden its members' rights to association...The process now in place unduly burdens the rights of the members of Parties and cannot stand...Where parties are deemed state actors they are not permitted to adopt rules found to be unconstitutional when adopted by the state."


NEW BILLS THAT EASE BALLOT ACCESS

These bills are in addition to those listed in the February 1 B.A.N:

1. Connecticut: HB 5828 lowers the number of signatures needed by minor party and independent candidates for district and town office, from 1% of the last vote cast, to .5%.

HB 6372 makes it possible for candidates seeking the nomination of a major party (at a primary) to petition themselves onto the primary ballot. The bill's petition requirement for district office is 5% of the party membership. Activists are trying to get the bill amended so that the petition isn't so difficult.

HB 6099 says that if a party has qualified status in a single district, and that district's boundaries change, the party status is retained (currently, after redistricting, all minor parties lose their district qualification if the boundaries change).

2. Georgia: HB 355 lowers the number of signatures for statewide office to 15,000 (current law requires almost 40,000); provides that a party that has statewide qualified status will also have it for U.S. House; and lowers the number of signatures for legislative and county candidates. The bill has both Republican and Democratic co-sponsors. Governor Perdue, on the radio on February 19, said that he supports easing ballot access.

3. Hawaii: HB 1521 removes the requirement that petition signers must list their Social Security numbers on the petition. No other state requires Social Security numbers to be entered on petitions. There are three bills to establish write-in space on ballots, HB 370, HB 1519, and SB 1607.

4. Idaho: existing law requires parties to certify their presidential candidates by September 1. HB 268 would let the Secretary of State accept the names as late as September 6. This is another bill to help the Republican Party.

5. Iowa: Currently, there is only one category of qualified party, a group that polled 2% for President or Governor. Only the Democrats and Republicans meet this test.

SF 210 sets up two tiers of qualified party: major parties would continue to nominate by primary; qualified minor parties would nominate by convention and would not need to petition. A major party would be one that polled 5% for Governor. A minor party would be a group that had polled at least one-half of 1% of the vote (in the entire state) for State House of Representatives (in 2002, this would have been about 5,000 votes). There are 100 State House seats in Iowa.

This is an unusual bill, because if it passes, it will cause minor parties to run more candidates for State House. In 2002 no minor party ran more than a single candidate for that office, except the Libertarian Party, which ran 4. Together, the Libertarian nominees polled 2,647 votes. Obviously, if the bill passes, minor parties will increase the number of candidates for State House, because the more candidates they run, the higher the chances they will poll the needed 5,000 or so votes.

6. Maine: LD 899 would let candidates for the legislature qualify for the primary ballot by paying a $250 fee. Currently, they have no choice except to collect 100 signatures of party members (if running for the State Senate) or 25 (House).

7. New York: A2155 lowers the number of signatures for minor party and independent candidates for U.S. House from 3,500 signatures to 1,200. A1020 requires instructions for casting a write-in vote to be posted in each precinct. A2968 lets candidates gain a spot on the primary ballot by paying a fee instead of submitting a petition (the fee would be refunded if the candidate won the primary).

8. West Virginia: SB 495 changes the definition of "party", from one that polled 1% for Governor, to 1% for any statewide race.


PARTY RIGHTS BILL

Arizona: SB 1350 would provide that political parties no longer need to elect precinct committeemen, if they don't wish to. Existing law requires party organization to be based on these committeemen.


INSTANT-RUNOFF

At least eleven states have bills that would authorize alternative voting systems, such as Instant-Runoff Voting, Cumulative Voting, or Choice Voting:

1. California: AB 1039 would let cities use alternative systems.

2. Hawaii: SB 1230 and HB 676 would let counties use alternative systems. HB 143, HB 677, and SB 1045 use IRV in state elections.

3. Illinois: HB 138 would let counties use cumulative voting, and this bill passed the House on February 20 by 73-40.

4. Maine: LD 212 would authorize IRV for state and federal elections.

5. Minnesota: HF 66 and SF 158 would authorize IRV in state and federal elections.

6. New Mexico: HJR 1 would let cities use IRV, and it passed the House on February 24.

7. New York: A4481 would use IRV in some primary elections, and A4482 would let cities and towns use it.

8. Texas: SB 135 would let local governments use IRV.

9. Vermont: SB 22 and H82 would authorize IRV for state and federal elections. On February 26, the bills suffered a setback when the Attorney General ruled that IRV cannot be implemented without a constitutional amendment. However, the opinion is regarded as unconvincing by some neutral observers.

10. Virginia: HB 2739 would have authorized IRV, but the sponsor has withdrawn his own bill.

11. Washington: SB 5556 and HB 1390 would let local governments use alternative voting systems, and these bills have a great deal of support. SB 5444 and HB 1925 would implement IRV for state and federal elections.

Last month, the students at the University of California at Davis, and the students at Duke University voted to use alternative voting systems in student body elections.


RESTRICTIVE BILLS

1. Arizona: SB 1046 makes it illegal to pay people to register voters, if the payment is per voter. Parties remain on the ballot if they have registration of two-thirds of 1%.

This bill, if passed, will make it more difficult for parties to increase their registration, and therefore more difficult to remain qualified. The bill has already passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.

2. California: SB 152 makes it illegal for someone who loses a primary to be a write-in candidate at the general election.

3. Colorado: HB 1142, as originally introduced, would have eliminated the distinction between qualified major parties and qualified minor parties, and forced qualified minor parties to nominate in the same manner that Republicans and Democrats do. They have a cumbersome process requiring precinct meetings which elect delegates to a district or county meeting, which endorses candidates. Those candidates get on the primary ballot automatically; others have a tough petition requirement.

Minor parties protested, so the bill was improved. Now it requires minor parties to nominate by convention (as under existing law) but if two candidates each poll 30% of the vote at a convention, there is a primary. In that form, the bill passed the House on February 21. The bill also moves the petition deadline for new parties from May to March.

4. Kentucky: HB 136 moves the deadline for non-presidential minor party and independent candidate petitions from August to May (effective in 2004; it would not affect this year's election). It passed the House on February 25. Efforts are being made to amend the bill so that it leaves the petition deadline in August and merely requires a declaration of candidacy at some earlier time.

5. Montana: SB 296 would have raised filing fees from 1% of the annual salary, to 1.5%, but it appears unlikely to pass. HB 190 would require write-in candidates to pay a filing fee, and it is likely to pass, since the Secretary of State supports it.

6. New Mexico: under current law, parties enjoy freedom from petitioning for their nominees only if they are "major parties". HB 628 would change the definition of "major party" from one that polled 5% for President or Governor and that has registration of three-tenths of 1% of the state total, to one that has registration of 10%. Since the Green Party polled over 5% for Governor last year, this bill is aimed at them.

The bill has already been criticized by an editorial in one daily newspaper. The Green Party, assisted by the Libertarian Party, is fighting with all its strength to stop the bill. If this bill were the law in Utah, even the Democratic Party would need to petition for each of its nominees, since the Utah Democratic Party registration is less than 10%.

7. North Carolina: under current law, parties get on the ballot with a petition of almost 60,000 signatures. Assuming they get on the ballot, they nominate by convention, so their nominees need not pay a filing fee. Currently, only candidates who run in a primary must pay fees. HB 43 would impose filing fees on the nominees of convention parties. The Libertarian Party estimates this bill could cost Libertarians another $50,000 per election year, and is fighting the bill.

8. Tennessee: existing law says that independent candidates for all office only need 25 signatures. SB 62 would raise this to 500. While this is a reasonable change for statewide office, the bill doesn't differentiate between statewide office and other office. Two Tennessee counties have fewer than 2,000 voters, so requiring an independent candidate for county office in such a county to collect 500 signatures is indeed thoughtless. The bill hasn't moved yet.

9. Washington: SB 5220 and HB 1431 would move the primary from September to June. This would automatically move the filing deadline for non-presidential minor party and independent candidates from July to April. However, after Green and Libertarian witnesses at a hearing criticized the bills for this reason, these bills seemed to lose support.


PRIMARY LEAP-FROG

As is usual, many states are trying to move their presidential primaries to earlier dates, since the early states seem to have more influence on who wins the nomination.

1. Arizona: the Secretary of State has the authority to move the presidential primary on her own, and on February 10 she moved it from February 24, 2004 to February 3.

2. D.C.: bill 15-81 moves the presidential primary from May, to the 2nd Tuesday in January. The city council will probably pass it on March 4. This will be earlier than New Hampshire's primary. New Hampshire has a law saying that its primary must be at least a week before any other state's primary, but D.C. is not a state. New Hampshire says it will not try to move its primary to a date earlier than the new D.C. primary.

3. Oklahoma: SB 3 moves the primary from the 2nd Tuesday in March, to a week after New Hampshire's primary. Since New Hampshire is set for January 27, this would give Oklahoma a primary on February 3, the same day as Arizona and South Carolina. The bill passed the Senate on February 27.

4. Virginia: HB 2568 passed on February 18. It moves the primary from the last Tuesday in February to the 2nd Tuesday in February.

5. West Virginia: HB 2009 would move the primary from May to the date used by New Hampshire.


FUSION WARS

"Fusion" refers to two parties jointly nominating the same candidate.

1. Montana: HB 503, which would have legalized fusion, lost on the House floor on February 21, 61-38.

2. New Mexico: HB 135 would legalize fusion.

3. South Carolina: this state already permits fusion, but H 3037 would ban it, and the bill passed the House Judiciary Committee on February 26. Pro-fusion forces have some hope that if the bill passes, the Governor will veto it.


BOOK REVIEWS

The Limits of Agrarian Radicalism, by Peter H. Argersinger. Hardcover, 302 pages. Published 1995 by the University Press, Lawrence, Ks.

The Know-Nothing Party in Massachusetts, the Rise and Fall of a People's Movement, by John R. Mulkern. Hardcover, 236 pages. Publish 1990 by Northeastern Univ., Press, Boston, Ma.

Both of these books tell the story of a new political party that arose with lightning speed and took control of at least one branch of one state's government. Both stories are from the 19th century.

The Know-Nothing Party in Massachusetts tells the fascinating account of how a party, the American Party, not even in existence at the beginning of 1854, took charge of Massachusetts state government in that year's election. The party won all 40 State Senate seats, over 85% of the House seats, the Governorship and all the other elected executive posts, and all the state's delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives. The party's nickname was the "Know-Nothing" Party. Mulkern explains that the older parties had all been unresponsive to the problems of factory workers. The Democratic Party only cared about the concerns of farmers; the Whig Party only cared about businessmen. The new American Party-dominated legislature consisted of 25% factory workers, whereas the previous legislative session had not had any.

The Limits of Agrarian Radicalism tells a similar story, about the 1890 election in Kansas. The Peoples ("Populist") Party, which wasn't even formed in Kansas until June, won three-fourths of the seats in the State House of Representatives at the November 1890 election.

Unluckily for the party, only one State Senate seat was up for election in 1890, so the party only elected one State Senator. With no majority in the State Senate, the party was unable to pass its program. However, it was able to elect a U.S. Senator (legislatures, sitting in joint session, chose U.S. Senators back then).

Although these two books are both out of print, they are in some libraries, and may be available from stores and internet services that sell used books.


2002 ELECTION BROKE SOME RECORDS

26 minor party candidates in the November 2002 election set some new records for support, in their own state, for the period 1948 to the present. In each of the categories below, a 2002 showing in a particular state was the best percentage that any minor party candidate in that state has had since 1948, for that type of office:

1. Best minor party gubernatorial showings since 1948: Green candidates in Colorado, Maine and Massachusetts; Libertarian candidate in Wisconsin; Nebraska Party candidate in Nebraska; Natural Law Party candidate in Ohio.

2. Best minor party U.S. Senate showings since 1948: Libertarian candidates in Idaho, Kansas, and Massachusetts; a Reform Party candidate in Mississippi.

3. Best minor party U.S. House showings since 1948: Libertarian candidates in New Hampshire and Oklahoma; Green candidates in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin; a Natural Law candidate in Tennessee.

4. Best minor party showing in a state legislative election since 1948: Greens in Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin; Libertarians in Indiana and North Carolina; an Independence Party candidate in Minnesota; a Mountain Party candidate in West Virginia; a Constitution Party candidate in North Dakota; an Honesty & Integrity Party candidate in Illinois.


APPROVAL VOTING

Citizens for Approval Voting has just been organized. It will work to promote Approval Voting, a system in which a voter is free to vote for as many candidates for a particular office as he or she wishes, even though only one is to be elected. All votes are counted and each vote counts equally. www.ApprovalVoting.com.


2002 MAPS AVAILABLE

Ballot Access News is selling two maps of the United States. One shows the 2002 voting strength of the Green Party; the other shows the Libertarian Party. Each of the two maps shows all counties of the U.S., and uses 4 colors to illustrate which counties cast over 4% of the vote for that party; which counties cast between 2% and 4% for that party; which counties cast between 1% and 2%; and which counties cast under 1%. The office is the top-most office on the ballot that the party contested. Each map is $3; or both are available for $5.

In 2002, Libertarian candidates were on the ballot in areas containing 85.1% of the voters who voted in 2002; Greens were on in areas containing 52.4% of the 2002 voters.


N.Y. PARTY WILL ALTER PRIMARY

The New York Independence Party decided on February 1 to invite all registered independent voters to vote in its primary, but only for statewide office. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1986 that states cannot prevent parties from choosing to let independents vote in its primary. The New York Independence Party has notified the state of its decision. The state hasn't responded yet.


VOTE-SWAPPING

On February 6, the 9th circuit reinstated a lawsuit designed to protect the right of some students to set up a "vote-swapping" website at the November 2000 presidential election. The website was to use the honor system to match up voters who were torn between Gore and Nader. A voter in a state that was expected to be close would promise to vote for Gore, if his "match" in a state that was known not to be close would promise to vote for Nader.

The former Secretary of State of California threatened to criminally prosecute the operators of the website, but the 9th circuit seemed to feel the activity is protected under the First Amendment, and told the U.S. District Court to hear the case. The new Secretary of State will probably drop the proposed prosecution.


2004 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT

STATE
REQUIREMENTS
SIGNATURES COLLECTED
DEADLINE
FULL PARTY
CAND.
LIB'T
GREEN
NAT LAW
CONSTI.
REFORM

Alabama

41,012

5,000

*600

0

0

0

0

Aug 31

Alaska

(reg) 6,937

#2,845

already on

*reg 4,768

0

0

0

Aug 4

Arizona

16,348

est #10,000

already on

*500

0

0

0

Jun 9

Arkansas

10,000

1,000

0

0

0

0

0

Aug 2

California

(reg) 77,389

157,073

already on

already on

already on

already on

58,731

Aug 6

Colorado

(reg) 1,000

pay fee

already on

already on

already on

already on

already on

July 5

Connecticut

no procedure

#7,500

0

already on

0

0

0

Aug 7

Delaware

est. (reg) 270

est. 5,400

already on

already on

already on

*240

*253

Aug 21

D.C.

no procedure

est. #3,600

can't start

already on

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug 17

Florida

be organized

93,024

already on

already on

already on

already on

already on

Sep 1

Georgia

37,153

#37,153

already on

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

July 13

Hawaii

677

3,711

already on

already on

already on

0

0

Sep 3

Idaho

10,033

5,017

already on

0

already on

already on

0

Aug 31

Illinois

no procedure

#25,000

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

Jun 21

Indiana

no procedure

#29,553

already on

0

0

0

0

Jul 1

Iowa

no procedure

#1,500

0

0

0

0

0

Aug 13

Kansas

16,714

5,000

already on

0

0

0

already on

Aug 2

Kentucky

no procedure

#5,000

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug 26

Louisiana

est. (reg) 140,000

pay fee

1,170

667

22

37

2,806

Sep 7

Maine

25,260

#4,000

0

already on

0

0

0

Aug 9

Maryland

10,000

est. 28,000

*5,000

*already on

0

0

0

Aug 2

Mass.

est. (reg) 38,000

#10,000

already on

already on

0

0

0

July 27

Michigan

31,776

31,776

already on

already on

already on

already on

already on

July 15

Minnesota

112,557

#2,000

0

already on

0

0

0

Sep 14

Mississippi

be organized

#1,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

already on

Sep 3

Missouri

10,000

10,000

already on

0

0

0

0

July 26

Montana

5,000

#5,000

already on

already on

already on

0

already on

July 28

Nebraska

4,810

2,500

*finished

0

0

0

0

Aug 24

Nevada

5,000

5,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

0

July 9

New Hamp.

13,260

#3,000

0

0

0

0

0

Aug 11

New Jersey

no procedure

#800

0

0

0

0

0

July 26

New Mexico

2,422

14,527

already on

already on

0

0

0

Sep 7

New York

no procedure

#15,000

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug 17

No. Carolina

58,842

est 100,000

already on

*6,000

0

0

0

Jun 25

North Dakota

7,000

4,000

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

Sep 3

Ohio

32,290

5,000

*12,500

0

0

0

0

Aug 19

Oklahoma

51,781

37,027

0

0

0

0

0

Jul 15

Oregon

18,864

15,306

already on

already on

0

already on

0

Aug 24

Penn.

no procedure

est. 23,000

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug 2

Rhode Island

16,592

#1,000

can't start

already on

can't start

can't start

can't start

Sep 3

So. Carolina

10,000

10,000

already on

0

already on

already on

already on

Jul 15

South Dakota

8,364

#3,346

*1,000

0

0

0

0

Aug 3

Tennessee

41,322

25

0

0

0

2,200

0

Aug 19

Texas

45,540

64,077

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

May 24

Utah

2,000

#1,000

already on

already on

already on

0

0

Aug 31

Vermont

be organized

#1,000

already on

0

0

0

0

Sep 16

Virginia

no procedure

#10,000

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug 20

Washington

no procedure

#200

already on

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug 25

West Va.

no procedure

#12,963

0

0

0

0

0

Aug 2

Wisconsin

10,000

#2,000

already on

already on

0

already on

can't start

Sep 14

Wyoming

3,644

3,644

already on

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug 17

TOTAL STATES ON
26
*20
12
10
*7

#Candidate procedure allows partisan label.
Other nationally-organized parties on statewide are Socialist, Soc. Workers, Southern, & Workers World, in Fla.
"Est." means "estimated."
"(reg.)" means the state requires a party to have a certain number of registered voters, as opposed to a petition.
* means entry changed since the December 1, 2002 petitioning chart.


PARTIAL BALLOT STATUS

Six states provide that a party that is not ballot-qualified statewide may nevertheless be ballot-qualified in some congressional or legislative districts. The six states, and the vote threshholds needed in a district for this purpose, are listed below. Also included is a list of the parties that enjoy status in some districts for 2004, even though they don't have statewide status:

1. Alabama, 20% vote: Libertarian in one State Senate district.

2. Connecticut, 1% vote: Working Families in 7 Senate districts and 18 House districts; Reform in one State House district; Independent Party in 3 State House districts.

3. Illinois, 5% vote: Libertarian in one Congressional district and 6 State House districts; Green in 3 State House districts; Honesty & Integrity in 1 State Senate district.

4. Missouri, 2% vote: Progressive in 2 State House districts (Greens missed qualifying in one Congressional district by only 21 votes).

5. Nebraska, 5% vote: Libertarian in two Congressional districts.

6. Oregon, 1% vote: Socialist in one Congressional district and 3 State House districts.


ONE-STATE PARTIES ON THE BALLOT

The chart on page five shows which nationally-organized parties are ballot-qualified statewide. However, that chart doesn't have room to show parties that don't have national organization but which are on in one state. They are: Alaskan Independence Party in Alaska; perhaps the Peace & Freedom Party in California (we will know by March 6, 2003); the Independent Party in Delaware; many parties in Florida; the Independence Party in Minnesota; the Nebraska Party in Nebraska; Independence, Conservative and Working Families in New York; United Citizens in South Carolina; Progressive, Grassroots and Liberty Union in Vermont; Mountain in West Virginia.


PEDRO ESPADA ELECTED

On February 25, New York city held a special election to fill a vacancy in the City Council from Bronx Borough. Pedro Espada, long associated with the New Alliance Party, won the election over his lone opponent by 63%-37%. Since it was a special election, the election was non-partisan. Both Espada and his opponent are registered Democrats. The New Alliance Party no longer exists, but its activists now participate in the Independence Party.


NATURAL LAW CONSIDERS KUCINICH

Many leaders of the Natural Law Party feel that the party should nominate Dennis Kucinich for president. Kucinich is an Ohio congressman who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination. On February 19 he spoke at a meeting in Iowa that was jointly sponsored by the Jefferson County Democratic Party and the Natural Law Party.


LIBERAL PARTY

Last month, the Liberal Party of New York issued a press release, saying it will not continue to be organized as a political party. It had not polled enough votes in November 2002 to remain ballot-qualified. It will continue to operate its website, www.liberalparty.org, but it will not petition for candidates in future elections.

The press release stated that the party had been the oldest minor party in existence. It is true that the Liberal Party, which had been ballot-qualified since 1946, had had that status longer than any other ballot-qualified party now on the ballot in any state. However, many minor parties are older. The record for the most years that any minor party ever enjoyed continuously qualified status in any state belongs to the Socialist Labor Party, which had that status in Massachusetts from 1895 to 1972.


ERRATA

The Feb. 1 B.A.N. had the 2002 vote for state legislature. The correct West Virginia figures are 1,173 Mountain Party votes for Senate; 3,541 Mountain votes for House; 39 Constitution votes for Senate; 433 Constitution votes for House; and 1,506 Reform votes for House. The Ohio Natural Law House vote should be 4,550. These corrections have been made in the online version.


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