September 1, 2003 Ė Volume 19, Number 5

This issue was originally printed on white paper.

Table of Contents

  1. IMPORTANT BALLOT ACCESS VICTORY IN MARYLAND
  2. MASSIVE DEFEAT FOR POLITICAL PARTIES
  3. CAL. RECALL LAWSUITS
  4. NEW BALLOT ACCESS LAWSUITS FILED
  5. PRIVACY VICTORY
  6. OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS
  7. MASS. INITIATIVE DRIVE TO LEGALIZE FUSION
  8. MAINE GREEN PARTY
  9. SAN FRANCISCO VOTERS CANíT USE IRV
  10. NEW YORK CONSIDERS NON-PARTISAN VOTE
  11. NATIONAL RIGHT TO VOTE CONFERENCE
  12. TOUCHSCREEN VOTING
  13. PARTY REVENUE FROM STATE INCOME TAX "CHECK-OFF"
  14. 2004 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT
  15. CAL. GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION
  16. NATIONAL CONVENTIONS
  17. SOCIALIST LABOR PARTY
  18. KENTUCKY, LOUISIANA ELECTIONS
  19. ERRATA

IMPORTANT BALLOT ACCESS VICTORY IN MARYLAND

On July 29, Marylandís highest state court ruled that the state Constitution provides more ballot access protection for minor parties, than the U.S. Constitution does. The Court then ruled that the state Constitution forbids the state from requiring two separate petitions to place minor party nominees on the ballot. Maryland Green Party v Maryland Board of Elections, no. 78, Sep. 2001 term.

In addition, the Court ruled that voters on the inactive list of registered voters must be permitted to sign ballot access petitions.

Ever since 1971, Maryland has imposed a suffocating restriction on minor parties. They had to complete one petition to qualify the party. That petition has been 10,000 signatures ever since 1971. But, then they had to submit more petitions for each of their nominees (except presidential nominees were exempt). These nominee petitions were 3% of the number of registered voters, in the candidateís district. 3% statewide amounted to 70,000 signatures. In 1998 these 3% petition were lowered to 1% of the registered voters, after a lobbying campaign in the legislature. But even 23,000 signatures was a large hurdle.

Because of the court decision, a party that submits 10,000 valid signatures is free to nominate candidates, by convention, with no additional petitioning. Furthermore, as a result of the 1998 lobbying campaign, the effect of submitting the 10,000 signatures is that the party is entitled to qualified status for two elections, not just one. Also, if a party polls 1% for president or governor, its status is extended an additional two years.

Minor parties had struggled for years to get rid of the dual petitioning requirement. The Libertarian Party had sued in 1981, and again in 1988, both times in federal court. Mathers v Morris and Ahmad v State Board.

Both cases lost both in U.S. District Court and in the 4th circuit. Often, it seems that the judges in these cases didnít even understand the issue.

The argument against the dual petitioning requirement always seemed simpleÖif the state felt that a party could prove it had a "modicum of support" by submitting 10,000 valid signatures, what was the purpose of the additional nominee petitions?

In its defense, the state had argued that just because the party enjoyed a modicum of support, it didnít follow that any of its nominees enjoyed a modicum of support.

But the same argument could have been made to impose petitioning on the major parties also, something the state didnít do. In Maryland, parties with registration of 10% are provided with a primary. Over half of all Maryland state legislative races usually have only one candidate running in the general election, because no one at all runs in the weaker major partyís primary.

Obviously, in conditions like that, any person who manages to get himself or herself on the primary ballot of the weaker major party, could have got that partyís nomination, since he or she would have been unopposed. But it doesnít follow that such a person had a "modicum of support." In Maryland, members of major parties have always been able to get on a primary ballot by paying a modest fee, with no petition.

The only other state that requires dual petitioning is New Mexico, which has required two petitions since 1979. The party petition is one-half of 1% of the last vote cast, and nominee petitions are 1% of the same base.

The other half of the court decision struck down laws that prevented an inactive voter from signing a petition. Most states have "active voters" and "inactive voters."

Inactive voters are those who have not voted in some time, and for whom there is a suggestion that they have moved, and yet havenít re-registered.

Other states that wonít allow inactive voters to sign petitions are Alaska, Louisiana, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and South Dakota. The issue is unresolved in Delaware and Illinois.

The portion of the decision on inactive voters was unanimous. However, the portion of the decision eliminating the dual petitioning requirement was 4-3. The minority fretted about the fear of ballot crowding. However, since 1971, Maryland has never had an election with more than 4 minor parties on the ballot (and they were on only for president). Since 1971, only two minor party candidates for U.S. House had appeared on the ballot; only one had appeared for Governor; and none had ever appeared for U.S. Senator.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit cited that Copenhagen Document, an international treaty signed by the U.S. in 1990, in which the U.S. promised not to discriminate against any political parties. The majority decision said, "The Party also argued that such requirements violate international law and treaties of the United States," but did not otherwise discuss the Copenhagen Document.

Minor parties will probably file new constitutional lawsuits in other states, arguing that State Constitutions provide greater protection for ballot access than the U.S. Constitution does. Most state Constitutions say "Elections shall be free and equal," or something similar. Other states in which State courts have struck down onerous ballot access laws that had been upheld in federal court are Alaska and Michigan. The idea has never been tried in most states.


MASSIVE DEFEAT FOR POLITICAL PARTIES

On August 12, the 9th circuit upheld an Alaska law making it a crime for anyone to give more than $5,000 to a party. Jacobus v State, 01-35666.

Never before had any U.S. court upheld a law, criminalizing the act of giving a large amount of money to a party for a purpose other than supporting the campaign of a particular candidate. As a result, several plaintiffs now face possible prosecution because of their past contributions to the Republican Party or the Libertarian Party. None of the plaintiffs are wealthy, but all of them are very dedicated supporters of their own political party. Supporters or restrictive campaign finance laws often assume that only wealthy people give big contributions, but this assumption is not the whole truth.

The decision was written by Judge Richard Paez, a Clinton appointee. It was also signed by Judge Dorothy Nelson, a Carter appointee; and Harlington Wood, a Ford appointee. The plaintiffs have asked for a rehearing.

The decision says, "The danger of corruption is always implicated by contributions to political parties because of the possibility that political parties and candidates will be coopted by special interests that are unrepresentative of their constituents." The panel also upheld a law making it illegal for any union or any corporation to give any money whatsoever to a political party.

The decision does not refer to any evidence that allowing large contributions to political parties leads to corruption. The decision is entirely based on the panelís logic. In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld limits on contributions to candidates. And in 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld limits on how much money a political party can contribute to its own nominees. The 9th circuit reasoned that since donations to candidates can be limited, and since donations from political parties to their nominees can be limited, therefore it must be constitutional to ban contributions to political parties.

If the U.S. Supreme Court agrees with this logic, it seems virtually impossible that any new political party can ever seriously challenge the dominance of the two old major parties. In the past, large contributions to new political parties have always been necessary, if those new parties were to compete on an equal basis with the older parties. Either these contributions came from wealthy individuals, or from labor unions.

In 1912, when Theodore Roosevelt formed the Progressive Party, a majority of the new partyís initial funding came from only seven wealthy individuals, who jointly contributed $450,000 to the party. These included publisher Frank Munsey, who gave $135,000; financier George W. Perkins, who gave $130,000; and Len Roosevelt, a cousin of Theodore, who gave $50,000.

The Socialist Party, created in 1901, received substantial funding from a few national labor unions. It also received large contributions from H. Gaylord Wilshire, an advertising magnate.

The British Labor Party was founded and supported by trade unions.

Henry Wallaceís 1948 Progressive Party received $100,000 from Anita McCormack Blaine, an heir to the International Harvester fortune.

George Wallaceís 1968 American Party received substantial contributions from Bunker Hunt, son of H. L. Hunt.

Some decades ago, a wealthy American left a bequest of $2,000,000 to the U.S. Communist Party, which has enabled that party to continue publishing a weekly newspaper.

In 1995, when Ross Perot founded the Reform Party, he donated millions of dollars to his creation. The Reform Party because the first party in history to qualify by petition in Maine, and the first party in history to qualify by petition in Arkansas. Both accomplishments required huge expenditures of money, not only for paid petitioners, but for lawsuits. These results could not have been achieved without Perotís money.

No new party has been able to qualify in California for at least 30 years, unless that party had the support of individuals who were willing to donate sums as great as $10,000.

No one would dream of making it a crime for anyone to contribute a large amount of money to a church, or a pressure group, or a newspaper, or a celebrity, or a charity. Yet all of those have the ability to exert influence on elected officials. It is unjust and irrational to pass laws criminalizing large donations to political parties.

Unfortunately, no organization to defend the role of political parties exists in the United States. A group of political scientists founded the Committee for Party Renewal in the early 1980ís, but it no longer exists. The ACLU defends political parties, but this is not its primary focus. The vast majority of organizations that work on campaign finance reform are hostile to political parties.

The 9th circuit did strike down an Alaska law making it a crime for anyone to donate labor that has a market value greater than $5,000. The Court said, "An individualís investment of his or her time, energy, creativity, and passion to support a political campaign is at the heart of the association protected by the First Amendment."

While this portion of the decision is praiseworthy, it could result in this anomaly: someone who is very skilled at circulating petitions is now free to donate his or her labor to get a new party on the ballot. But suppose that person becomes permanently disabled as a result of an accident caused by someone else. Our circulator, now permanently bed-ridden, wins a large sum of money, to compensate for the injury. The law forbids our disabled ex-circulator from donating more than $5,000 to the party to hire someone else to do, what our circulator formerly did.

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide the validity of the McCain-Feingold Campaign law, which also criminalizes large contributions to political parties (the lower court had invalidated such limits).


CAL. RECALL LAWSUITS

The gubernatorial recall in California has resulted in many lawsuits, but only one of them resulted in invalidating any election law.

On July 29, a federal court in San Diego blocked a law that said, if a voter fails to vote "yes" or "no" on the question of recall, then that voter cannot vote on the second part of the California ballot, to choose a new governor (in case the recall wins). Partnoy v Shelley, 03-cv-1460 BTM.

As a result, voters are now free to abstain from voting "yes" or "no" on Governor Gray Davis; and yet those same voters can vote for a replacement. The ruling said the right to vote includes "the right not to vote." California will appeal, after the election is over. Assuming the 9th circuit agrees, the precedent may be useful against an Illinois law, which mandates that new political parties must run a full slate of nominees.

On August 7, the California Supreme Court refused to hear Burton v Shelley, S117834. In the case, an individual named Mark Burton had sued the Secretary of State, to force him to require all candidates running for Governor to submit a petition signed by 1% of the last vote cast.

California law actually doesnít say how many signatures should be required for candidates seeking to replace a recalled official. The Secretary of State had ruled that only 65 signatures are needed, plus the fee. The basis for Burtonís contention that all candidates need 74,767 signatures, is that before 1974, the law had required such a petition. However, that law was repealed. Two of the seven justices agreed with Burton, saying "chaos, confusion and circus-like atmosphere" will result from having 135 candidates on the ballot.

On August 11, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge refused to enjoin the recall, just because allegations were made that a few circulators arenít registered voters. Robins v Shelley, BC299066. The State Supreme Court had refused to hear this case on August 7.

On August 20, a U.S. District Judge in Los Angeles refused to enjoin the recall on the basis that some counties will still be using punch-card ballots. S.W. Voter Registration Education Project v Shelley, 03-cv-5715 SVW. On August 27 the ACLU filed an appeal in the 9th circuit.


NEW BALLOT ACCESS LAWSUITS FILED

Alaska: on July 29, the Green Party filed a lawsuit in state court against the definition of "party." The law says a party is qualified if it polled 3% for Governor, or if its registration equals 3% of the last gubernatorial vote. The party argues that the vote test should extend to any statewide office, not just Governor. In 2002 it polled 7.2% for U.S. Senate, and 6.3% for U.S. House, but only 1.3% for Governor. Since its registration is lower than 3% of the last vote for Governor, it was removed from the ballot last year.

Puerto Rico: on August 18, several members of the Civil Action Party filed a federal lawsuit against the September 15, 2003 deadline for independent candidate petitions for the November 2004 election. Puerto Rico laws do not specify a petition deadline for independent candidates. Instead, they say the Electoral Commission should set the deadline. The Electoral Commission is composed of one representative of each of Puerto Ricoís three qualified parties. The Civil Action Party charges that the commissioners acted with partisan bias, by setting the independent petition deadline so early before the election. Lopez Royol v Gracia, 03-1880.

West Virginia: on August 29, the Libertarian Party filed a federal lawsuit against two laws. One requires circulators to get "credentials" before they can work. The other law requires them to tell everyone they approach, "If you sign my petition, you canít vote in the primary." This is a ludicrous requirement, since there is no longer any law that says people canít both sign and vote in the primary. McClure v Manchin.


PRIVACY VICTORY

On August 11, the 11th circuit ruled that Georgia must obey the federal Privacy Act, in relation to whether voters must provide their Social Security numbers when they register to vote. Schwier v Cox, 02-13214.

The Privacy Act forbids the states to require Social Security numbers, unless they were already doing it for that same purpose before 1975. The 11th circuit asked the lower court whether Georgia might possibly qualify for the "grandfather clause" exemption. But it isnít likely that Georgia will be able to do so. Back in 1975 the voter registration form asked for the Social Security number "if known at the time of application." That phrase was not deleted until 1995. The phrase implies that the Social Security number was not mandatory, back in 1975. Logically, one assumes it could be left blank, and the old form would still be processed. But Georgia will be given a chance to argue the contrary.

The 11th circuit also ruled that the Voting Rights Act might provide additional grounds to block the mandatory disclosure of the S.S. number, and asked the lower court to settle that as well.


OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS

Georgia: on August 1, a federal court dismissed a lawsuit that had been filed by supporters of former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. The lawsuit had complained that, since Georgia doesnít have partisan registration, McKinney supportersí votes in the 2002 Democratic primary were diluted by the votes of non-Democrats who voted in that primary. The judge ruled that only the Democratic Party has standing to complain. Osburn v Cox, 1:02-cv-2721.

Louisiana: a federal lawsuit filed in 2000, against a law that doesnít let independent candidates (for office other than president) have any label whatsoever on the ballot, is finally proceeding. A status conference was held on August 22 and the state promised to respond. Rosenthal v McKeithen, 00-612-C.


MASS. INITIATIVE DRIVE TO LEGALIZE FUSION

On September 17, supporters of "fusion" will begin circulating an initiative. It would make it possible for two parties to jointly nominate the same nominee. It will also make it easier for parties to remain on the ballot. Contact Rand Wilson at rwilson@seiu285.org for details.

Currently, a party in Massachusetts that has registration under 1% cannot remain on the ballot, unless it polls 3% for a statewide office every two years. In 2004, the only statewide office on the ballot will be president, and it is fairly likely that both qualified minor parties, Green and Libertarian, will fail this test. However, if the initiative gets on the ballot in 2004 and passes, it will take effect immediately, and provide that a party remains qualified if it met the vote test at either of the two preceding elections. Since both parties easily met the vote test in 2002, they would remain ballot-qualified through 2006.

Notwithstanding the benefits of this change, many leaders of the qualified minor parties oppose the initiative. Libertarian opposition is especially puzzling. Libertarian member-nominees have been elected to state legislatures twelve times. Of those twelve, in seven cases the victory occurred because that member-nominee had also captured a major party nomination.

By contrast, Green member-nominees have been elected to state legislatures on two occasions, but each time, "fusion" was not involved.


MAINE GREEN PARTY

The August 1 B.A.N. said that the Maine Green Party had lost a lawsuit in the State Supreme Court against the newly-gerrymandered state house districts. The new plan eliminates the district now represented by the partyís only Maine legislator. B.A.N. said the party might appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the party will not appeal. It believes that its legislator, John Eder, has a chance to be re-elected in an adjoining district in 2004.


SAN FRANCISCO VOTERS CANíT USE IRV

On August 20, San Francisco Superior Court Judge James Warren ruled from the bench (after hearing 90 minutes of oral argument) that San Francisco elections officials need not use Instant-Runoff Voting for the November 2003 Mayoral election. Center for Voting & Democracy v Arntz, CPF-03-503431. The Center hasnít decided whether to appeal, but any appeal will be too late for this yearís election anyway.

The voters of San Francisco voted in March 2002 to use IRV, starting in 2003. However, the cityís voting equipment isnít ready to tally such votes, which permit the voter to indicate a first choice, second choice, and third choice.

Supporters of IRV argued that the city is free to count the votes in this yearís election by hand. Ireland and Australia count such votes by hand. The Center for Voting and Democracy submitted an affidavit by Simon Hearn, of Electoral Reform Services, a British company. ERS routinely conducts hand counts of ranked-choice voting. ERS asserted that it could run the San Francisco hand count for $250,000. By contrast, the city plans to hold a December run-off (assuming no one gets 50% for either Mayor or District Attorney in November) which will cost approximately $2,000,000.

Judge Warren seemed unmoved by the ERS offer. He said that faced between a choice of upholding the law, versus conducting an election with integrity, conducting an election with integrity is more important.

San Francisco elections officials had defended themselves by saying that a state law requires the state to approve new "voting systems," and that a hand count is a "voting system." However, it is plain from the history of this state law (which was passed in the 1920ís) that a hand count was never intended to be included in the definition of "voting system." The law was passed when San Francisco became the first county in the state to use mechanical voting machines.


NEW YORK CONSIDERS NON-PARTISAN VOTE

On August 25, the New York city Charter Revision Commission voted 8-2 to recommend that New York city elections become non-partisan (although descriptive party labels would still be on the ballot, showing how each candidate is registered). Voters will vote on the idea in November.

New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and Indianapolis are the only cities in the U.S. with a population of over 500,000 that use partisan elections to elect city officials.

The Commission also voted to recommend that permanent resident aliens be permitted to vote in city elections. However, this change needs approval by the state.


NATIONAL RIGHT TO VOTE CONFERENCE

The Center for Voting and Democracy will hold a national conference at the Washington, D.C. convention center, Nov. 21-23. All voting rights problems will be covered, with special attention to whether or not a drive should be launched to add a "right to vote" amendment. See www.fairvote.org/democracyusa.


TOUCHSCREEN VOTING

On July 25, the New York Times ran a story about Professor Avi Rubin, technical director of the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute. Rubin had analyzed a portion of the programming of Diebold Companyís touchscreen machines and declared it faulty. For more information, here are some sites: www.diebold.com; www.sequoiavote.com; www.VoteHere.net.


PARTY REVENUE FROM STATE INCOME TAX "CHECK-OFF"

--

Democratic

Republican

Green

Libertarian

Constitutn.

Nat. Law

Reform

other

Alabama

4,422

6,364

--

1,122

--
--
--
--

Arizona

15,480

13,398

--

1,957

--
--
--
--

Idaho

1,689

1,706

--

143

51

25

46

--

Iowa

67,140

70,321

3,210

--
--
--
--
--

Kentucky

107,752

103,992

--
--
--
--
--
--

Maine

10,167

5,889

7,655

--
--
--
--
--

Minnesota

42,700

43,300

9,800

--
--
--
--

8,500

No. Caro.

510,529

444,436

--

701

--
--
--
--

Ohio

255,979

255,979

--
--
--
--
--
--

Rhode Is.

91,311

77,315

--
--
--
--
--

306

Utah

52,257

87,646

--

3,936

--

1,144

--
--

Virginia

21,886

16,239

--
--
--
--
--
--

TOTAL

1,181,312

1,126,585

20,665

7,859

51

1,169

46

8,806

Every year, the twelve states mentioned above let taxpayers send a contribution to the political party of the taxpayerís choice. The chart above shows the amounts donated to each political party named on tax forms. The Ohio form only lets a taxpayer decide whether to contribute, but doesnít let him or her choose a party; the money is divided equally among parties that polled 20% for Governor or president at the last election. All the other states mentioned above allow a free choice of party (if the party is listed).

This is the third time in a row that the Maine Green Party has received more donations than the Maine Republican Party.

Many of the laws relating to political party "check-off" provisions seem to violate Equal Protection. The Rhode Island law omits some parties from the tax form that have been legally qualified for several years. The Green Party has been a qualified party since November 2000, but it has never been listed on the state income tax forms. However, the Green Party of Rhode Island seems never to have complained. The problem is caused by the fact that the law governing state income tax forms still uses a definition of "political party" that was liberalized in the election code during the 1990ís, but not liberalized in the tax code.

The North Carolina law only lists qualified parties on the income tax form that have registration of 1%. The Libertarian Party has been continuously qualified (except for a few short gaps) since 1996, but it has never been listed on most tax forms, since its registration has never been as high as 1%. The reason it receives a small amount of money is because the state erroneously includes the party on a small share of income tax forms. For some reason, this mistake has been made for two years in a row.

The Green Party has been qualified in Utah since 2002, but it hasnít been mentioned on tax forms yet. However, state officials say it will be listed on the tax forms submitted by taxpayers next year.

Parties in the "other" column are: Minnesota Independence Party; and in Rhode Island, $280 for the Cool Moose Party and $26 for the Reform Party.

National totals a year ago were: Democratic $981,064; Republican $941,112; Green $88,539; Libertarian $7,289; Constitution $2,886; Natural Law $1,133; Reform $749; other $96,426.

National totals two years ago were: Democratic $680,608; Republican $611,065; Green $12,184; Libertarian $8,173; Constitution $2,295; Reform $755; Natural Law $398; other $45,834.

States that formerly permitted state income tax-payers to choose a party for a donation, but which no longer do so, are California and Oregon.


2004 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT

STATE
REQUIREMENTS
SIGNATURES COLLECTED
DEADLINE
later method
--
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

*finished

*reg 4,800

0

0

0

Aug 4

Arizona

16,348

est #10,000

already on

*2,400

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

est 49,000

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

*236

*233

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

*1,400

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

*50

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

3,700

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

*8,200

already on

0

*8,800

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

*500

already on

July 28

Nebraska

4,810

2,500

already on

*4,250

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

*9,500

0

100

0

Jun 25

North Dakota

7,000

#4,000

0

0

0

0

0

Sep 3

Ohio

32,290

5,000

*44,000

5,000

0

0

0

Aug 19

Oklahoma

51,781

37,027

*3,000

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

*1,100

already on

already on

already on

Jul 15

South Dakota

8,364

#3,346

*3,000

0

0

*4,800

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

*1,110

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

*500

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
26
20
12
10
7
--

# allows partisan label.
* means entry changed since the last issue of B.A.N.
"(reg.)" means a party must have a certain number of registered voters.
All dates in "deadline" column are 2004.


CAL. GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION

135 candidates qualified for the October 7 special election for Governor. The election will be moot unless the voters also vote to recall incumbent Gray Davis. 135 candidates on the ballot, for a single office, comprise the most crowded ballot ever in a statewide election in the U.S. The previous record was 71 candidates on the ballot in a special U.S. Senate election in Texas in April, 1961.

The candidates include these minor parties members: 4 Greens, Peter Camejo, Ivan Hall, Maurice Walker, Daniel Watts; 3 Libertarians, Ned Roscoe, Ken Hamidi, John Hickey; one Constitution Party, Diane Templin; two Natural Law, Iris Adam and Darin Price; one Peace & Freedom, C.T. Weber; one Reformer, Jeff Rainforth; and a Socialist Worker, Joel Britton. Also 50 Democrats, 42 Republicans, and 30 true independents.

This is the first time that either the Reform Party, or the Socialist Workers Party, has had a gubernatorial nominee on in California. Both candidates are labeled "independent," since those two parties arenít qualified in California.

See one countyís version of the ballot on page 6. The ballot will look different in other counties. Will California voters be able to vote without too much difficulty, even though the ballot requires them to find their favored candidate from a list of 135? Making the task more difficult is the fact that the candidates are not listed in alphabetical order. They are in random order, and that order is different in every legislative district.

On the other hand, at least one popular commentator noted that a typical Asian restaurant frequently has as many as 135 entries listed on the dinner menu. We shall all learn a great deal from the October 7 election, assuming it goes forward (a few court challenges are still pending).

Talk radio station KFI-AM (640) in southern California promised to let everyone who is on the ballot have one free minute of uninterrupted time on Bill Handelís show, which runs from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.

L. Stuart Vance of Sonora, California, set up a website on July 31 to help people qualify for the California ballot. Vance, who is wealthy, also promised to help pay the filing fee for candidates who could not otherwise pay it. Vanceí motivation was to sabotage the recall, since he is opposed to it. His goal was to qualify 1,000 candidates, so that the ballot would be truly unworkable. However, he guesses that he is responsible for recruiting only a handful of candidates who actually qualified. The site is still up.

Here is a copy of a sample ballot from California's gubernatorial recall election. This particular ballot happens to be from Alameda County. It sets a record for the number of candidates printed on an American ballot for a single office. It has 135 candidates. The original size is 8.5 x 11 inches, the same size as this newsletter. Copy is available as a .pdf or as a .gif.


NATIONAL CONVENTIONS

America First: October 25, 2003, in or near Chicago. The convention wonít choose a presidential candidate.

Natural Law: November 1, 2003, Columbus, Ohio. The convention is expected to endorse one of the Democrats for president.


SOCIALIST LABOR PARTY

The Socialist Labor Party, the nationís 4th oldest political party (after the Democrats, Republicans and Prohibitionists) has not run any candidates for public office since 1985. However, this year it has a candidate for Houston, Texas city-council at large, Thomas Elliott.


KENTUCKY, LOUISIANA ELECTIONS

Kentucky: elects all its statewide state officials in the odd years before presidential elections. However, state legislators are elected in even-numbered years. This year there are no independent or minor party candidates on the ballot, except for independent Gatewood Galbraith for Attorney General. Galbraith was formerly a Reform Party activist.

Louisiana: elects all its state officers in the odd years before presidential years. The only minor party candidates are two Libertarians running for the State House in districts 38 and 76, and two Greens running for State Senate in district 3 and State House in district 105. One Green, Jason Neville, is a grandson of former Governor David Treen.


ERRATA

The August 1 B.A.N. said that Alaska and Kansas permit recall elections with a petition signed by 10% of the last vote cast. Actually, in those two states, the requirement is 40% of the last vote cast. Rhode Island also has the recall, but it was omitted. Also, the Socialist Workers Partyís 2004 presidential candidate is Martin Koppel, not Martin Coppel. These corrections have been made to the online version.


Ballot Access News. is published by and copyright by Richard Winger. Note: subscriptions are available!
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