May 1, 2003 Volume 19, Number 1

This issue was originally printed on white paper.

Table of Contents

  1. WILL NORTH CAROLINA PASS BALLOT ACCESS REFORM?
  2. WISCONSIN VICTORY
  3. RON PAUL BALLOT ACCESS BILL
  4. GOOD BILLS SIGNED
  5. GOOD BILLS GET FAVORABLE HEARINGS
  6. CONGRESS BILLS
  7. CALIFORNIA SENATOR WILL PUSH REFORMS
  8. PECULIAR COLORADO BILL SIGNED
  9. D.C. WILL VOTE FIRST
  10. MORE PRIMARY NEWS
  11. INITIATIVE SETBACK
  12. MAINE ELIMINATES GREEN DISTRICT
  13. LOUISIANA THREAT
  14. UTAH TERM LIMITS
  15. BOOK REVIEW
  16. ALABAMA THREATENS REPUBLICAN PARTY
  17. MARYLAND
  18. KENTUCKY VICTORY
  19. COFOE MEETING
  20. 2004 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT
  21. SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY KEEPS ITS DISCLOSURE EXEMPTION
  22. SENATOR JEFFORDS LIKELY TO RUN FOR RE-ELECTION AS AN INDEPENDENT
  23. SOCIALIST PARTY PRESIDENTIAL MEET
  24. AMERICA FIRST PARTY CONVENTION
  25. AMERICAN PARTY
  26. MINOR PARTY APRIL VICTORIES
  27. QUEBEC ELECTION MAY BOOST P.R.

WILL NORTH CAROLINA PASS BALLOT ACCESS REFORM?

On April 17, the North Carolina House Election Law Committee passed H867 unanimously. The bill will receive a vote on the House floor any day now. The bill lowers the number of signatures for a party, or a statewide independent candidate, to one-half of 1% of the last gubernatorial vote. For 2004, that would be 14,711 signatures. Current law requires 58,842 for new parties, and approximately 100,000 for statewide independents (the exact independent requirement, 2% of the current number of registered voters, can't be known until 2004).

Since 1998 (when Florida eased ballot access), North Carolina has required more signatures for minor party and independent presidential candidates than any state except California. In 2000, the only presidential candidates on the North Carolina ballot were George Bush, Al Gore, Harry Browne and Pat Buchanan. The Libertarian Party spent $100,000 to qualify, and Buchanan and the Reform Party spent $250,000. If the bill passes, minor party and independent presidential candidates will be greatly helped.

The bill also lowers the vote test for a party to remain on the ballot, from 10% of the last vote for president or Governor, to 2%. If that part of the bill had been in existence during the last 50 years, the only groups that would have remained on the ballot (but which did not actually remain on the ballot under the 10% standard) would have been Libertarians in 1992 (4.05% for Governor), the Reform Party in 1996 (6.68% for president), and John Anderson's Independent Party in 1980 (2.85%). In 2000, no minor party polled 2% for President or Governor. Libertarians came closest, with 1.45% for Governor.

Unfortunately, the bill moves the petition deadline for a new party to get on the ballot from May to March. That part of the bill is probably unconstitutional, but no one is complaining at this point.

The bill also deletes a law that was declared unconstitutional in 1988. That law, no longer enforced, prohibits a new party from having any candidates for county office.

If the bill passes, the lawsuit DeLaney v N.C. Bd. of Elections, now pending in federal court, will be moot. That lawsuit attacks the number of signatures needed for a statewide independent candidate, and was paid for by COFOE (Coalition for Free & Open Elections).

If the bill passes, independent candidates for statewide office will only need signatures of one-half of 1% of the last vote cast for Governor (a reduction to only one-seventh of the current requirement), yet independent candidates for district office will get no relief. They will still need petitions signed by 4% of the number of registered voters in their district. Since the average North Carolina congressional district has 387,605 registered voters, an independent candidate for that office will need approximately 15,500 signatures in 2004. Therefore, if the bill passes, independent candidates for U.S. House will need more signatures than statewide independents. Under a 1979 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, that would be unconstitutional.


WISCONSIN VICTORY

On April 9, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb, a Carter appointee, ruled that states must permit out-of-state residents to circulate petitions. Frami v Ponto, 02-C-515-C. The state doesn't expect to appeal.

The case was filed by the Constitution Party's candidates for Congress and county office. Although the Constitution Party is qualified, the candidates still needed to petition, to get themselves on their own party's primary ballot. One needed 1,000 signatures; another needed 200. An employee of the party who lives in Michigan helped, but all the signatures he collected were invalid, since he wasn't a Wisconsin resident.

This decision is the first one to rule that out-of-staters may petition. The decision is based on two U.S. Supreme Court decisions that hold that petitioning is protected by the First Amendment.

The state had argued that out-of-staters should not be permitted to petition, because in case petition fraud is suspected, and the circulator has left the state, the state cannot subpoena the circulator. But the judge concluded that the state is free to require circulators to agree in advance to submit to its jurisdiction.

Abolishing restrictions on out-of-state petitioners will actually reduce fraud. If any adult can circulate a petition, there will be little incentive for the circulators to lie. But when states restrict the ability of some adults to circulate, that restriction creates a motive for an in-state resident to falsely claim to have circulated a petition that was actually circulated by an out-of-state circulator.

States that require circulators to be state residents are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.


RON PAUL BALLOT ACCESS BILL

In a few days, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) will re-introduce his bill to outlaw restrictive ballot access laws for candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives. The same bill was introduced in the last congress as HR 2268.

Georgia's legislature this year again refused to reform ballot access for U.S. House. A Republican-Democratic monopoly for that office has existed for 60 years. Georgia is the showcase example of why the Voter Freedom Act is needed. Check the B.A.N. website (www.ballot-access.org) for the bill number.


GOOD BILLS SIGNED

1. Kansas: SB 102, which repeals the law saying a party can have only one word in its name, was signed into law on April 21.

2. North Dakota: SB 2288, which lets a new party circulate a petition for ballot access anytime, instead of just in the 3 months of winter, was signed April 4. It also lets a presidential candidate who uses the independent petition choose a partisan label that is printed on the November ballot next to his or her name.

3. Utah: SB 193, which moves the deadline for qualified parties to choose their presidential candidate from September 1 to September 3, was signed March 15. It also moves the independent presidential petition deadline to September 3. The Utah election code is flawed and doesn't mention the deadline for this type of petition. Therefore, state officials use the party deadline to decide when independent presidential petitions are due, as well.


GOOD BILLS GET FAVORABLE HEARINGS

1. Connecticut: H6087 received a unanimous "favorable" committee recommendation on April 4. It provides that if a party receives 2% of the vote for Governor, or if it has 1% of the voter registration, it is a qualified minor party for all office. Current law says a party is qualified for only those offices for which it polled 1% at the last election (unless it polls 20% for Governor, or has registration of 20% of the partisan registration total). The existing 1% provision would remain in the law if the bill passes.

2. Maine: the Legal & Veterans Affairs held a hearing on April 17, and the members seemed to like the bill, although it hasn't been sent to the floors yet. Current law requires a party to poll 5% of the vote for Governor or President at either of the last two elections, to remain on the ballot. The bill would add an alternative: registration of .5%. New parties could also come into existence by meeting this goal. The bill is by the Green Party's legislator, Rep. John Eder.


CONGRESS BILLS

1. Ex-felons: HR 259, to let ex-felons vote in all federal elections, now has 35 co-sponsors.

2. D.C. representation in Congress: S617, which would give the District of Columbia voting representatives in both houses of Congress, was introduced on March 13 and has 9 co-sponsors. The lead sponsor is Senator Joseph Lieberman.

3. Tax credits for campaign contributions: S804, introduced on April 7 by Senators Byron Dorgan and John Warner, would give income taxpayers with under $60,000 income ($120,000 for married couples) a tax credit for all contributions made to federal candidates, up to $200.

4. Alternative voting systems: HR415 was introduced January 28 by Congressman Alcee Hastings of Florida. It would establish a Commission to study alternate voting systems, including proportional representation, and also study whether the size of the U.S. House should be increased. However, it has no co-sponsors.

5. Election-day registration: HR1510, also by Alcee Hastings, would mandate election-day registration in federal elections, and also permit absentee voting for any registered voter. It has 19 co-sponsors.


CALIFORNIA SENATOR WILL PUSH REFORMS

California State Senator John Vasconcellos, an influential Democrat from San Jose, will soon introduce a proposed amendment to the California Constitution. It will authorize Instant-Runoff Voting in all state and federal elections; a nonpartisan commission to draw legislative and congressional district boundaries; modification of legislative term limits; a September primary for office other than president; and public financing for state candidates tied to debate appearance.

If the legislature approves the package, the voters would then vote on it. Legislators desire relief from term limits so badly, they may pass the package. Republican legislators will also like the redistricting proposal.


PECULIAR COLORADO BILL SIGNED

Colorado HB 1142 was signed into law on April 22. It requires qualified minor parties to nominate by primary in some circumstances. Under the old law, qualified minor parties always nominated by convention.

Colorado has not provided primaries to any party, other than the Democratic and Republican Parties, since 1914. HB 1142 will make election administration more expensive and complicated. The state is so short of funds this year, it canceled its presidential primary to save money; yet now the state may be spending tax dollars to provide primaries to parties that don't want a primary.

Democratic and Republican legislators have been dissatisfied with the procedures they must use. Colorado law requires major party members to either be endorsed at party caucuses, or to submit a difficult petition, in order to get on their own party's primary ballot. An initiative to change this system failed last year. HB 1142 seems to be motivated by emotion..."if we can't make things for ourselves any better, we'll make them more complicated for minor parties!"

The bill also may have been motivated by Republican irritation that the Libertarian Party ran so many candidates for the legislature in both 2000 and 2002. Most Democrats voted "no".

As originally introduced, procedures for minor parties would have been just as complicated as for major parties. However, the bill was softened by amendments. As passed, it only requires a primary if two or more candidates for the same office each poll at least 30% of the vote in the party's nominating convention, or if a candidate who didn't get 30% of the convention vote submits a petition. Chances are that such circumstances will be rare. Minor party nominating conventions (except for president) usually don't see any contests for nomination.

But because the law must make allowances for a potential minor party primary, the deadline for a petition to create a new qualified minor party was moved from May 1 to March 1.


D.C. WILL VOTE FIRST

On April 15, Washington, D.C.'s Mayor signed bill 15-81. It moves the presidential primary from May, to January 13, 2004. This will be the earliest primary in the nation. New Hampshire votes on January 27; and the Iowa caucuses will be January 19.

2004 will be the first year since 1916 that New Hampshire has not held the nation's earliest presidential primary. In 1916 Indiana held its primary on March 7, whereas New Hampshire didn't vote until March 14.

The mainstream U.S. media has hardly mentioned the D.C. date change. The Democratic and Republican Parties say they won't recognize the legitimacy of the D.C. primary, and the D.C. units of these parties will choose delegates at a later caucus. The Green Party is the only other party entitled to a presidential primary in D.C.


MORE PRIMARY NEWS

1. Arizona: on April 18, Governor Janet Napolitano vetoed SB 1012, which would have eliminated the presidential primary. As a result, Arizona will hold a presidential primary on February 3, the earliest in the state's history.

2. Delaware: on April 4, the Senate passed SB 54, moving the primary to the first Tuesday in February.

3. Kansas: SB 102 was signed on April 21. It cancels the 2004 presidential primary, although the law still provides for one in 2008. Kansas had also canceled its 2000 presidential primary.

4. Louisiana: HB 1620 moves the presidential primary from the second Tuesday in March to the first Saturday in February (Feb. 7, 2004).

5. Maine: LD 100, which cancels the primary, passed the Legal and Veterans Committee on April 10.

6. Maryland: SB 747, which would have moved the primary from March to February, was defeated in Committee on March 18.

7. Missouri: the budget bill would cancel the primary, but that provision will probably be deleted before the bill is enacted.

8. Montana: HB 651, which would have let the Secretary of State set the date of the primary anytime in February or March, was defeated March 26. Montana now has a June primary.

9. New Jersey: also has a June presidential primary. A2019 would move it to February, and S2132 would move it to March.

10. New Mexico: HB 1039 was signed on April 8. It makes the primary voluntary. The Democratic and Republican Parties may choose to use a caucus in 2004, so the Green Party would have the only primary.

11. North Dakota: SB 2288, which abolishes the primary, was signed on April 4.

12. Oklahoma: SB 3, which moves the primary from March to February 3, passed the legislature on April 28.

13. Texas: HB 2496, which moves the primary from the second Tuesday in March to the first Tuesday in March, passed the House Elections Committee on April 25.

14. Wisconsin: AB 112, which moves the primary from April to the third Tuesday in February, passed the Assembly on March 12 and is expected to pass the Senate.


INITIATIVE SETBACK

Utah's Governor signed SB 28 on March 17. It makes it more difficult for initiatives to get on the ballot. The old law required signatures from 20 of the state's 29 counties, but that was held unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court last year because it gave people in small counties more power than people in populous counties.

SB 28 requires that initiatives receive signatures from 26 of the state's 29 State Senate districts. The number of signatures in each of those districts must be 10% of the last gubernatorial vote.

Alaska is considering a similar bill. HJR 5 requires signatures from 29 of the state's 40 State House districts, and has already passed out of the House State Affairs Committee. However, even if the legislature passes it, it won't take effect unless the voters vote for it.


MAINE ELIMINATES GREEN DISTRICT

On April 14, the Maine House voted 127-7 to accept the Reapportionment Commission's plan for new districts for the State House. The plan eliminates the district that elected a Green last November, the west end neighborhood of Portland. The plan is now in effect for the 2004 election. However, the Green Party has obtained the services of an experienced attorney, who will sue to overturn the plan.


LOUISIANA THREAT

Louisiana's legislature didn't convene until April, yet already there are six bills to revamp that state's primary. Currently, every candidate runs in the same primary. If anyone gets 50%, there is no further election. Otherwise, the top two candidates face a run-off, even if they are both members of the same party.

Three of the bills would change to a standard closed primary, for Congressional races only. But they would also impose severe ballot access hurdles on all candidates who are not members of the Republican and Democratic Parties. SB 539, SB 501, and HB 1069, would all require non-major party candidates for the U.S. Senate to collect 10,000 signatures from the ranks of people who are not registered Republicans and Democrats. Furthermore, 1,000 signatures would be needed from each congressional district. U.S. House candidates would need 2,000 signatures, again only from registered voters who are not registered Republicans or Democrats.

These bills would let Democrats and Republicans continue to qualify just by paying a filing fee. Currently, all candidates qualify by filing fee.


UTAH TERM LIMITS

On March 17, SB 240 was signed. It repeals legislative term limits that the legislature itself passed in 1994. They were due to become effective in 2006. The vote in the House was 44-34; in the Senate, 17-12. Louisiana is the only other state with legislative term limits created by the legislature itself.


BOOK REVIEW

Law, Pragmatism, and Democracy, by Judge Richard A. Posner. Hardcover, 398 pages. Harvard U. Press, Cambridge. $24.50 on Amazon.com.

Richard Posner may not be a household name, he is the best-known U.S. Court of Appeals Judge in the nation. He has sat on the 7th circuit since 1981. He is also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, and he was written 31 books. He may be the only U.S. Court of Appeals Judge who has ever had a lengthy article about himself published in a popular magazine (see The New Yorker, Dec. 10, 2001 issue).

Law, Pragmatism and Democracy is good reading for anyone who is interested in the philosophical puzzles of: (1) what does "democracy" really mean?; (2) what is the nature of U.S. democracy? (3) by what theory should judges interpret the U.S. Constitution?

Although the book is fundamentally about philosophy (and a reader is well-advised to have a dictionary handy), and although it requires the reader to think, it is also witty, engaging, and full of the author's lively personality. It's an enjoyable read.

Furthermore, Posner hones in on some very interesting legal disputes, so one need not fear that the book is completely abstract. Examples are Clinton v Jones (the U.S. Supreme Court decision on whether sitting presidents must defend themselves from civil lawsuits while they are in office) and Bush v Gore.

Posner also reveals himself to be an ally of minor party and independent candidates, on the issue of ballot access. Much of chapter six ("The Concepts Applied") is devoted to a condemnation of exclusionary ballot access laws, and a criticism of the U.S. Supreme Court's failure to invalidate them. He also refers to ballot access in chapters five and nine.

Law, Pragmatism, and Democracy is the second recent book to criticize the Supreme Court's ballot access record. See the April 1 B.A.N. for a review of Overruling Democracy, which has appeared on best-seller lists.


ALABAMA THREATENS REPUBLICAN PARTY

The Republican Party won't choose its national ticket until September 2, 2004. Six states required parties to certify their nominees earlier than that, and the Republican Party has been working to liberalize those deadlines. Bills have already been signed into law in Idaho, Utah, and Virginia. The Indiana bill, SB 136, passed on April 21.

The Alabama bill, HB 127, passed the House Elections Committee on April 17, but it still hasn't passed the House. Republicans have been filibustering against a bill to let ex-felons vote, so Democrats (who are in the majority) have been disinclined to bring HB 127 up for a vote.

The Washington Post said on April 27 that California and West Virginia laws also have deadlines earlier than September 2, but the Post is wrong.


MARYLAND

On April 24, a state Circuit Court ruled unconstitutional a state law that makes it illegal to pay anyone to distribute campaign literature on election day. Brookins v State, 02-1722, Prince Georges County.


KENTUCKY VICTORY

In Kentucky, candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor run as a team, in primaries as well as at the general election. On April 18, a Kentucky Circuit Court ruled that if a Lieutenant Governor candidate is disqualified, the gubernatorial candidate teamed with that disqualified running mate may choose a replacement. Helsinger v Brown, 03-ci-00-370, Franklin Co. The decision saved the gubernatorial candidacy of Republican Congressman Ernie Fletcher. Kentucky elects its governor this year. One of Fletcher's Republican opponents had brought this lawsuit to keep Fletcher off the ballot. The opponent is appealing.

When the identical situation occurred to Libertarians in Hawaii in 1994, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that the gubernatorial candidate could not replace his running mate, the opposite of this Kentucky outcome.


COFOE MEETING

The Coalition for Free & Open Elections (COFOE) held a board meeting on March 29 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. New officers are: chair, Dan Kinney, Green Party; vice-chair, Ron Crickenberger, Libertarian Party; secretary, Patrick Davenport, Natural Law Party; treasurer, Alice Kelsey, Socialist Party. Also attending were representatives from the Constitution and Reform Parties, and the Committee for a United Independence Party.

Most of the business meeting dealt with Oklahoma, a state that has long been a graveyard for voting rights. Oklahoma has kept more "important" minor party presidential candidates off the ballot than any other state, when "important" is defined as a candidate who polled 2% or more of the nation's presidential vote. Examples are Theodore Roosevelt in 1912, Norman Thomas in 1932, Congressman William Lemke in 1936, Henry Wallace in 1948, Strom Thurmond in 1948, and Ralph Nader in 2000.

Furthermore, Oklahoma is one of only five states that bans write-in voting for all office, so voters who wish to vote for these excluded candidates have not even been able to cast a write-in vote for them.

At the March 2002 COFOE Board meeting, funding was approved for a lawsuit against Oklahoma, to be filed in state court, using the State Constitution. Unfortunately, no candidate-plaintiffs could be found for the 2002 election, so that potential lawsuit never came to pass.

At the more recent meeting, COFOE tentatively decided to raise money to fund an initiative on the subject of the ballot access laws. Oklahoma is the only state that has ultra-hostile ballot access laws, yet which also has the initiative process. To place an initiative on the 2004 ballot, 82,850 valid signatures must be obtained in a three-month window (the initiative proponents choose their own three-month window). To start, the proponents must take a copy of the initiative petition to the Secretary of State. The initiative title is written by the Secretary of State after the signatures have been turned in.


2004 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT

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

Alabama

41,012

5,000

300

0

0

0

0

Aug 31

Alaska

(reg) 6,937

#2,845

already on

*reg 4,694

0

0

0

Aug 4

Arizona

16,348

est #10,000

already on

*2,000

0

0

0

Jun 9

Arkansas

10,000

1,000

0

0

0

0

0

Aug 2

California

(reg) 77,389

153,035

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

can't start

already on

can't start

can't start

can't start

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

*400

*0

*0

*0

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

*2,000

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

*5,200

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

already on

*3,600

0

0

0

Aug 24

Nevada

4,805

4,805

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

*0

*0

*0

*0

*0

Sep 3

Ohio

32,290

5,000

*22,600

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

*2,800

0

0

*3,000

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

*Sep 3

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

*0

*0

*0

*0

Aug 17

TOTAL STATES ON
27
20
12
10
7

#Candidate procedure allows partisan label. Other nationally-organized parties on statewide are Socialist, Soc. Workers, America First, & Workers World, in Fla. "(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 last chart. The Deadline shown is for the latest procedure.


SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY KEEPS ITS DISCLOSURE EXEMPTION

On April 3, the Federal Election Commission voted 4-2 to exempt the Socialist Workers Party from having to disclose its campaign contributors and expenditures. The party has held this exemption since 1982, when it won a case in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court said that when a party's members are subject to severe harassment, it need not disclose the names of people who contribute to its candidates. Also, it need not disclose the names of its employees.

The FEC staff had recommended that the SWP keep its exemption at least through 2008, on the grounds that its members are still subject to harassment. FEC Commissioners Ellen Weintraub, Bradley Smith, Scott Thomas, and Michael Toner agreed. Republican Commissioner David Mason and Democratic Commissioner Danny McDonald voted "no."


SENATOR JEFFORDS LIKELY TO RUN FOR RE-ELECTION AS AN INDEPENDENT

U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont was re-elected as a Republican in 2000, but in 2001 he became an independent. He has been sending out fund-raising letters that say, "I am confident that with your help, I can continue to serve the people of Vermont and all Americans as an Independent voice in the U.S. Senate". Also, "The divide between my core beliefs and that of Republicans in Washington a divide that ultimately grew too wide for me to bridge has only grown larger since I left the GOP". Jeffords will have no trouble getting on the ballot in 2006 as an independent; only 1,000 signatures are needed.


SOCIALIST PARTY PRESIDENTIAL MEET

The Socialist Party will hold its presidential nominating convention in Chicago October 11-13. It is always possible that the party will vote not to run a presidential candidate. Eric Chester of Massachusetts and Mary Cal Hollis of Colorado are seeking the nomination. The party's 2000 presidential candidate was on the ballot in seven states.


AMERICA FIRST PARTY CONVENTION

The America First Party holds a national convention July 25-26 in Nashville. However, no presidential candidate will be chosen. The Wisconsin unit of the party recently said that it will not try to qualify for the ballot, and that its members will run in major party primaries.


AMERICAN PARTY

The American Party will holds its presidential nominating convention on July 11-12, 2003, in Newark, Delaware. The party has run a presidential candidate in all elections starting in 1968. However, in 2000, it suffered the embarrassment that its presidential candidate received zero valid votes. The party did not obtain a place on the ballot for its candidate, and he didn't file as a declared write-in candidate in any state.


MINOR PARTY APRIL VICTORIES

Green Party: elected four of its members to non-partisan office in Wisconsin on April 1. Three were to the Madison city council; one was to the Racine common council.

Libertarian Party: elected seven of its members to non-partisan office in Wisconsin on April 1, and also re-elected a city councilman in Troy, Michigan on April 7. The Wisconsin offices were Cornell City Municipal Judge, Cornell City Council, Town of Burns Chairman, Neenah City Council, Cross Plains Town Board Supervisor, Dexter Town Board, and Kewaskum Village Board.


QUEBEC ELECTION MAY BOOST P.R.

On April 14, Quebec voters chose a new Provincial Parliament. The ruling Parti Quebecois polled only 33.2% of the popular vote and lost its majority. The Liberal Party won a majority of the seats, with 45.9% of the popular vote. The Action Democratique Parti won 18.3%, and others polled 2.6%.

The Quebec Liberal Party voted in September 2002 to implement Proportional Representation, should it win control of the Province.


Ballot Access News. is published by and copyright by Richard Winger. Note: subscriptions are available!
Go back to the index.
Copyright © 2003 Ballot Access News