February 1, 2004 Ė Volume 19, Number 10

This issue was originally printed on yellow paper.

Table of Contents

  1. OVER 25% OF VOTERS ARE NOT REGISTERED DEMS OR REPS
  2. PROCEDURAL VICTORY IN NORTH CAROLINA
  3. RHODE IS. VICTORY
  4. ONE WIN, ONE LOSS, ON WHERE PETITIONING CAN BE CARRIED OUT
  5. JUSTICE SCALIA MENTIONS THIRD PARTIES
  6. ALABAMA LIKELY TO OK PRES. STAND-INS
  7. MONTANA RULING
  8. LAWSUIT NEWS
  9. GOOD BILLS COMING
  10. BALLOT ACCESS WOES FOR DEMOCRATS
  11. CAL. DEMS. LIKE IRV
  12. PRES. DEBATES
  13. JANUARY 2004 REGISTRATION TOTALS
  14. 2004 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT
  15. "AMERICAN CANDIDATE" TV SHOW
  16. LIBERTARIANS MAKE USE OF AMAZON
  17. CONSTITUTION PARTY
  18. GREEN PARTY
  19. AMERICAN PARTY
  20. REFORM PARTY

OVER 25% OF VOTERS ARE NOT REGISTERED DEMS OR REPS

For the first time in at least 75 years, less than three-fourths of the nationís registered voters are registered "Democratic" or "Republican."

New registration data, shown on the chart on page four, shows that the percentage of voters registered "independent" or as members of minor parties now exceeds 25%. Of course, this data is solely from the 30 jurisdictions in which people register into parties on registration forms. The other 21 states are excluded because they donít have partisan registration.

Declining major party membership is surprising, since the race for the Democratic presidential nomination has motivated some voters to switch to the Democratic party, so as to be able to vote in Democratic primaries.

Ballot Access News has been printing registration statistics by party in all even-numbered years, starting in 1992. In addition, the editor has registration data for most states that is much older (in some cases, 90 years old). For years now, the percentage of people registered in the major parties has been slowly declining. In 1992, 48% of voters in the "registration states" were Democrats, and 34% were Republicans, leaving only 18% of the voters in other categories. Currently, Democrats are 42%, Republicans are 33%, and 25%+ are "other."

The vast majority of the "other" voters are independents. Although Green and Libertarian registration is at an all-time high (whether looking at raw numbers or percentages) that registration is still low. Members of all minor parties still comprise fewer than 2% of the voters.

Democrats have 42.19%, Republicans 32.78%, Constitution .36%; Green .34%, Libertarian .27%, Reform .07%, Natural Law .04%, American .01%. The various one-state parties, together, are .78%. See page four for a state-by-state list.

The Constitution Party still has more voters than any other minor party. However, that partyís affiliates in California and Nevada have names that include the word "Independent" (the California party is the American Independent Party, and the Nevada one is the Independent American Party). Virtually all neutral observers believe that many voters who intend to register "independent" wind up in those parties by accident. Neither stateís voter registration form offers an "independent" box to choose. People who donít wish to be members of any party are supposed to check "declines to state" on the California form, and "no party affiliation" on the Nevada form. If those two states had an "independent" check-box, probably the proportion of voters registering in the Constitution Party would be smaller.

New Yorkís Independence Party, with 2.48% of its stateís registration, probably gains from the same confusion. No other minor party has such a high share of any stateís voters.


PROCEDURAL VICTORY IN NORTH CAROLINA

On December 24, U.S. District Court Judge Frank Bullock, a Reagan appointee, dismissed all of North Carolinaís procedural objections to the lawsuit DeLaney v Bartlett, 1:02cv-741, m.d. The issue is whether North Carolina may require statewide independent candidates to submit approximately 100,000 valid signatures, when new parties "only" need 58,842.

A secondary issue is whether the independent candidate requirement is too vague. The law says statewide independents need signatures equal to 2% of the registered voters, but the law doesnít say the date of the appropriate registration tally. Obviously, the number of registered voters changes constantly.

The state has not yet expressed any reasons why so many more signatures are required for statewide independents. If the purpose of ballot access laws is to keep ballots uncluttered, North Carolinaís scheme is irrational. A new party may nominate someone for every partisan office in the state, and thus one new party can add many names to the November ballot. But a single statewide independent petition only adds one name to the ballot.

Now that the stateís procedural objections have lost, the state must submit a brief to try to justify its law.


RHODE IS. VICTORY

On January 26, the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled that when election officials invalidate signatures on a petition, circulators then may submit affidavits from people whose signatures were invalidated. If these affidavits show that the signatures really are valid, those signatures must be counted. Edwards v Rhode Island Board of Elections, 2004-7.

U.S. Senator John Edwards filed the case. He had submitted 1,245 signatures to be in the Democratic presidential primary. 1,000 are needed. The Secretary of State had said Edwards only had 918 valid signatures. Edwards appealed to the State Election Board, which ruled that 976 signatures were valid.

Edwards then sued, alleging that the Board should count the signatures of people who had signed with their new address, even though they are still registered at their old address, but in the same town. He collected affidavits from such signers. Edwards also collected affidavits from some signers whose names had been invalidated because their signatures were illegible.

The Court told the Board to analyze the affidavits. On January 28, the Board ruled that Edwards now has 1,000 valid signatures.


ONE WIN, ONE LOSS, ON WHERE PETITIONING CAN BE CARRIED OUT

Nation-wide: on December 31, 2003, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Roberts upheld regulations that ban petitioning on post office sidewalks and parking lots. Initiative & Referendum Institute, 00-1246.

The decision is very disappointing. This case had been filed in 2000, and proponents had been waiting for a decision ever since early 2002, when evidence-gathering had closed. The decision is shallow. It assumes that post office sidewalks and parking lots are "public fora," but still upholds the ban. The judge used anecdotal evidence that some circulators have been rude and aggressive. However, the post office permits leafletting on its sidewalks and parking lots, and some leafletters are also rude and aggressive. Plaintiffs will appeal.

Kentucky: on January 16, the 6th circuit struck down a Kentucky law that prohibits petitioning within 500 feet of the polls. Anderson v Spear, 02-5529. The decision was by Judge Alice Batchelder, a Bush Sr. appointee. It was co-signed by Judge Eugene Siler (Bush Sr.), and Judge Deborah Cook ( Bush Jr.).

Kentucky has already indicated that it will not appeal. On January 27, the House passed HB 344, to change the 500 foot barrier to 250 feet. The case had not been brought by someone who was petitioning at the polls. Instead, the plaintiff was a write-in candidate for Governor of Kentucky in the 1999 election. His campaign volunteers wanted to pass out instructions on how to cast a write-in vote (some states post such instructions at the polls, but Kentucky doesnít). The write-in candidate, Hobart Anderson, only polled 3,323 write-ins in the state.

The decision also struck down certain campaign finance laws, such as one banning campaign contributions during the last four weeks of a campaign. However, that part of the ruling only relates to write-in candidates, since they are never eligible for public campaign funding.


JUSTICE SCALIA MENTIONS THIRD PARTIES

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has been unsympathetic to minor parties. In 1992, when the Court majority ruled in favor of the Harold Washington Party (a party organized only in Cook County, Illinois) in a ballot access case called Norman v Reed, Scalia was the only justice to dissent. In 1992 he also voted that states may ban write-in space on ballots. In 1998 he voted that Public TV can sponsor a debate and invite only the major party nominees. In 1997 he voted that states may make it illegal for two political parties to jointly nominate the same candidate.

On December 10, 2003, oral argument was held in the U.S. Supreme Court in Vieth v Jubelirer, 02-1580, the case over whether extreme partisan gerrymandering violates the 14th amendment. At the hearing, Scalia asked the attorney for the plaintiffs this question, "What if you have more than two parties? I mean, like Minnesota, where you have besides the Republicans and Democrats a very strong Farmer-Labor Party?"

It is true that Minnesota had a 3-party system between 1918 and 1942. The Farmer-Labor Party, the Republican Party, and the Democratic Party, all elected members of Congress during most elections in those years. And itís also true that when there are three strong parties, it is very difficult for partisan gerrymanders to succeed. Thus, Scalia asked a very good question, if we can assume that he was aware that the Farmer-Labor Party existed in the past, not the present (the party merged with the Democratic Party in 1944).

On the other hand, if Scalia thinks the Farmer-Labor Party exists today as a third party, he is uninformed. And he may well be misinformed. In 1996, he stated during oral argument that New York state has a 3-party system, a statement that no political scientist would agree with. A "two-party system" is one in which two parties win virtually all the elections, and that definition fits New York, as it fits all states in the U.S. currently.


ALABAMA LIKELY TO OK PRES. STAND-INS

The Alabama Secretary of Stateís office is about to approve an independent candidate petition form that will allow the form to be circulated before the presidential candidate is identified.

Alabama requires so many signatures for a new party (41,012) that no minor party will even attempt to qualify this year as a "party." Instead, all the minor parties will use the independent presidential petition, which only needs 5,000 signatures.

The problem with the old independent petition form is that it traditionally requires the presidential candidate to be named on that petition. Yet the various minor parties, for the most part, wonít choose their presidential candidates until May, June or July. The new form will allow these parties to start collecting signatures now. The new form will probably list the candidates for presidential elector and explain that they are pledged to whoever is nominated at that groupís presidential convention.


MONTANA RULING

On January 28, Montanaís Secretary of State ruled that he will conduct a primary for any qualified party which has a contested nomination.

Last year, the legislature passed a bill depriving qualified parties of a primary, unless they have at least one contested primary, and unless they have candidates for most of the statewide offices. In 2004, there are 7 statewide offices up for election.

Two individuals will seek the Green Party gubernatorial nomination, but the Green Party will not have nominees for as many as four of the eight posts. Therefore, under the 2003 law, the Green Party couldnít have a primary, which left it no legal option to choose a gubernatorial nominee. The Secretary of State ruled that the intent of the law was not to deprive any party of a primary. His implication was that it was a drafting error, which will be fixed next time the legislature meets, in 2005.


LAWSUIT NEWS

California: on January 15, a State Court of Appeals ruled that voters listed as "inactive" donít count, when a group is trying to qualify as a political party based on its registration tally. The Peace & Freedom Party, which lost this case, really isnít injured as a result, since the party had already qualified on the basis of active voters last year anyway. Peace & Freedom Party v Shelley, C040466.

California (2): on January 12, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Van Susteren v Shelley, 03-601. The issue was a law barring candidates from a primary ballot if they switched parties during the 23 months before a general election. The plaintiff-candidate had tried to run for Congress as a Libertarian in 2002.

Florida: on January 16, Congressman Robert Wexler filed a state court lawsuit against voting machines that do not leave an audit trail. Wexler v Hood, 50-2004-ca-491, 15th jud. Ct.

Florida (2): on January 15, a U.S. District Court ruled that blind voters must be furnished with voting machines that have audio systems, so that they can cast secret ballots. American Assn of People with Disabilities v Hood, 3:01-cv-1275.

Illinois: on January 26, the Green Party lost a ballot access lawsuit. Weiss v Shelden, 2003-MR-756. The party had polled over 5% of the vote for Congress in Champaign County in 2002, and argued that therefore it is now a qualified party in that county. However, the court said polling 5% for congress doesnít get a party any advantage, unless it polls 5% in the entire district. Only six states permit a party to become fully-qualified in just a single congressional district if it isnít qualified statewide.

Maine: on January 23, a state court declared that write-in candidate Jeffrey Robinson won the Saco School Board election last November. The issue was whether write-in votes for him should count, if the voter failed to write in Robinsonís middle initial. The judge said voter intent should control.

Ohio: on January 6, the Libertarian Party filed a lawsuit to gain a place on the ballot. The Secretary of State had rejected its petition because the form was slightly different than the approved form. The party charges that the difference in the forms is so slight, it should be overlooked. In addition, the party argues that the November (of the year before the election) deadline is unconstitutionally early. Libertarian Party of Ohio v Blackwell, c2:04-08, U.S. District Court, southern district. This case is on an expedited schedule.

Pennsylvania: on January 28, the Reform Party asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its ballot access appeal. In re Zulick, number not assigned yet. The issue is whether the state can allow fusion only for parties that nominate by primary, and deny fusion to qualified parties that nominate by convention.

West Virginia: on January 27, the federal court that had issued a temporary injunction in the Libertarian Partyís ballot access case, made the injunction permanent. Minor parties and independent candidates no longer need to tell potential signers that if they sign the petition, then that signer canít vote in the primary. McClure v Manchin, 1:3cv205.


GOOD BILLS COMING

State legislators in several states have agreed to introduce bills this year that will improve ballot access laws:

Illinois: Representative Mike Boland will introduce a bill giving minor party circulators a later petition deadline. The bill may include other improvements as well.

Kentucky: the Secretary of State will ask the legislature to exempt presidential candidates from a law passed last year. That law requires all minor party candidates to submit a declaration of candidacy on April 1.

Tennessee: Representative Donna Rowland will introduce a bill letting candidates who use the independent procedure choose a partisan label. All minor parties in Tennessee always use the independent method, since the party petition is so hard.


BALLOT ACCESS WOES FOR DEMOCRATS

New York eased ballot access rules for the Republican presidential primary last year, but left tough rules in place for the Democratic presidential primary. In order to place slates of delegates to the national convention on the ballot, Democratic contenders needed 1,250 signatures of registered Democrats in each congressional district. Only Howard Dean and John Edwards were able to qualify in all districts. John Kerry was unable to qualify delegates in the 2nd, 4th, 11th, 12th, 16th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd, and 29th districts. Therefore, the voters of those districts cannot elect Kerry delegates.


CAL. DEMS. LIKE IRV

On January 18, the California Democratic state convention passed an addition to its Political Reform plank. It advocates that the party "explore alternative voting systems, including the use of Instant Runoff Voting in special elections to fill vacancies to reduce both campaign and election expenses, and in general elections to prevent well-meaning but misguided third-party voters from spoiling the election of Democrats."

Similar resolutions had been defeated in previous years.


PRES. DEBATES

On January 12, the Citizensí Debate Commission was launched. Its goal is to wrest control of the general election presidential debates from the Commission on Presidential Debates. The Citizens Debate Commission is endorsed by many prominent groups. See www.opendebates.org.

The old Commission on Presidential Debates is unduly biased against minor party and independent candidates. Also, the old Commission invariably structures its debates so that no true debate actually occurs. The old Commissionís debates are so uninteresting, the audience for them has been declining each presidential election year, and hit a record low in 2000.


JANUARY 2004 REGISTRATION TOTALS

Dem.

Rep.

Indp, misc

Constitut.

Green

Libít.

Reform

Nat Law

other

Alaska

71,784

118,928

243,799

?

4,779

7,331

?

?

21,408

Ariz.

787,978

922,011

513,970

?

1,737

15,628

?

?

0

Calif.

6,735,349

5,448,469

2,484,284

298,963

166,740

89,760

51,807

37,278

77,734

Colorado

852,910

1,042,296

907,637

142

5,602

5,769

382

634

0

Conn.

623,453

422,027

774,609

250

1,964

643

73

?

431

Delaware

214,456

171,446

117,775

279

615

754

227

289

0

Dt. Col.

257,330

25,707

51,398

?

4,672

?

?

?

0

Florida

3,921,434

3,604,205

1,798,805

336

6,231

12,303

4,630

310

0

Iowa

531,658

583,889

698,900

0

116

0

0

0

0

Kansas

421,876

715,724

398,778

0

0

8,792

1,703

0

0

Kentucky

1,589,658

954,294

176,973

?

?

?

?

?

0

Louisiana

1,462,799

597,794

474,820

39

855

1,369

2,900

23

178

Maine

298,447

277,059

358,384

?

16,169

?

?

?

0

Maryland

1,550,263

834,419

385,294

?

6,017

?

?

?

0

Mass.

1,399,255

513,889

1,936,231

33

8,987

21,170

1,469

56

0

Nebraska

374,952

540,707

151,264

?

137

4,375

1

?

2,053

Nevada

367,943

376,386

141,224

17,707

2,710

5,204

196

976

0

N.Hamp.

176,634

253,504

260,021

?

?

?

?

?

0

N.Jersey

1,140,970

879,304

2,520,936

37

422

294

78

25

?

N. Mex.

483,197

302,671

130,505

?

10,423

3,051

?

?

?

N.York

5,125,534

3,069,153

2,200,030

?

36,282

5

?

?

577,074

No. Car.

2,392,369

1,733,894

893,017

?

?

10,122

?

?

0

Okla.

1,022,442

720,121

195,334

?

?

455

25

?

0

Oregon

720,946

677,977

427,847

2,111

14,387

15,020

?

?

375

Pennsy.

3,607,414

3,162,367

790,812

?

8,597

28,591

?

?

0

Rhode I.

242,008

64,279

333,986

?

348

?

?

?

0

So. Dak.

175,426

218,903

59,816

?

?

1,294

73

?

0

Utah

81,312

317,186

909,986

122

883

2,273

163

79

16,238

W.Va.

614,597

309,396

114,915

?

28

1,094

1

?

147

Wyo.

57,557

130,588

19,900

?

?

224

1

?

0

TOTAL

27,301,951

28,988,593

20,471,250

320,019

298,701

235,521

63,729

39,670

695,639

The parties in the "Other" column are: in Alas., 17,309 Alaskan Independence and 4,099 Republican Moderate; Peace & Freedom in Cal.; in Ct., 415 Indp. Party and 16 Working Families; in La., American 125 and Socialist 53; Nebraska Party in Neb.; Indp. Coalition Party in N.M.; in N.Y., Independence 273,056, Conservative 157,437, Liberal 80,540, Right to Life 46,827, Working Families 19,214; Socialist in Ore.; in Utah, American 11,053, Indp. American 5,024, Socialist Workers 161; Mountain in W.V. All data is late 2003 or early 2004, except that Pennsylvania data is from May 2003, and Maine is June 2002.

A "zero" means that voters are not permitted to register into a particular party. A question mark means that the state has not tabulated the number of registrants in a particular party. See the page one story for the percentages for each party.

Totals October 2002 were: Dem. 38,197,142 (42.68%), Rep. 29,131,899 (32.55%), Indp. & misc. 20,580,731 (22.99%), Constitution 317,926 (.36%), Green 274,740 (.31%), Libertarian 208,456 (.23%), Reform 72,556 (.08%), Natural Law 47,346 (.05%), other 674,153 (.75%).

Totals October 1998 were: Dem. 37,425,660 (44.94%), Rep. 27,695,767 (33.26%), Indp. & misc. 16,804,922 (20.18%), Constitution (then called U.S. Taxpayers) 317,510 (.38%), Reform 245,831 (.30%), Libertarian 179,255 (.22%), Green 118,537 (.14%), Natural Law 70,032 (.08%), other parties 424,101 (.51%).

Totals October 1994 were: Dem. 34,586,676 (47.13%), Rep. 24,618,092 (33.55%), Indp. & misc. 13,363,803 (18.21%), Libertarian 112,001 (.15%), Green 89,566 (.12%), Patriot 41,187 (.06%), other parties 575,784 (.78%).


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

*700

0

Aug 31

Alaska

(reg) 6,937

#2,845

already on

already on

0

0

0

Aug 4

Arizona

16,348

est #10,000

already on

*4,000

0

0

0

Jun 9

Arkansas

10,000

1,000

*525

0

0

*20

0

Aug 2

California

(reg) 77,389

153,035

already on

already on

already on

already on

*canít start

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

*30

*0

Aug 7

Delaware

(reg) *259

5,184

already on

already on

already on

*already on

*227

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

*2,700

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

*2,500

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

*425

0

0

0

0

Aug 13

Kansas

16,714

5,000

already on

*400

0

0

already on

Aug 2

Kentucky

no procedure

#5,000

*0

*0

*0

*100

can't start

Aug 26

Louisiana

est. (reg) 140,000

pay fee

*1,369

*855

*23

*39

*2,900

Sep 7

Maine

25,260

#4,000

0

already on

0

0

0

Aug 9

Maryland

10,000

est. 28,000

*in court

already on

0

*finished

0

Aug 2

Mass.

est. (reg) 38,000

#10,000

already on

already on

0

*33

*1,469

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

*1,000

already on

July 28

Nebraska

4,810

2,500

already on

*4,350

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

*4,500

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

*9,000

0

100

0

Jun 25

North Dakota

7,000

#4,000

0

0

0

0

0

Sep 3

Ohio

32,290

5,000

*in court

0

0

*1,500

0

Aug 19

Oklahoma

51,781

37,027

*3,750

0

0

0

0

Jul 15

Oregon

18,864

15,306

already on

already on

0

already on

0

Aug 24

Penn.

no procedure

*25,697

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug 2

Rhode Island

16,592

#1,000

*0

already on

*0

*0

*0

Sep 3

So. Carolina

10,000

10,000

already on

*2,800

already on

already on

already on

Jul 15

South Dakota

8,364

#3,346

1,400

0

0

*7,700

0

Aug 3

Tennessee

41,322

25

0

0

0

*0

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

*2,050

0

Sep 3

Vermont

be organized

#1,000

already on

*already on

0

*already on

0

Sep 16

Virginia

no procedure

#10,000

*0

*0

*0

*0

*0

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

*2,000

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
*22
12
*12
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.
The Independent American Party has 500 in Utah.


"AMERICAN CANDIDATE" TV SHOW

"The American Candidate" TV show will air on Showtime later this year. It is a "reality" show, in which 12 real people will compete for "votes" for president. Each week, one of the presidential candidates will be voted off the show. Viewers will be able to "vote" by internet or telephone. The showís climax will come when the two finalists face off on the last episode. Contestants will be paid a stipend and will be expected to travel.

Unfortunately, due to the federal campaign laws, the show is not permitted to feature contestants who really are running for president. Therefore, those who wish to compete must be legally eligible to be president, but they cannot actually be running for president. Also, individuals who hold elective office, or who are running for any elective office this year, are ineligible. When this show was originally proposed in 2002, the producer hoped that actual candidates (especially lesser-known candidates) would be on his show.

Those who wish to apply must fill out a 26 page application and submit videotape of themselves. See the website.


LIBERTARIANS MAKE USE OF AMAZON

Amazon.com has, at the very top of its website, a list of presidential candidates who have raised at least $5,000 (according to FEC records as of November 2003). Anyone may easily donate between $5 and $200 to any of the listed candidates. Amazon is keeping a running tally of the number of contributors to each, and the total amount raised.

President Bush declined to be listed, so the only entries currently are most of the Democratic contenders, and two Libertarian contenders, Gary Nolan and Michael Badnarik. When new quarterly FEC reports are received this month, Amazon will add any newly-qualifying candidates as well. During the latter part of January, Nolan was briefly listed first, and he is running second now.


CONSTITUTION PARTY

Petitions to place the Constitution Party on the ballot in some states must carry the names of the partyís candidates, although most of those states permit stand-ins. The party wonít actually choose its nominees until June 22-27. The partyís stand-ins are Michael Peroutka for president, and James Clymer for vice-president. Peroutka really does hope to be the partyís presidential candidate, but Clymer is only a stand-in and does not actually desire to run.

Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore spoke to a Constitution Party meeting in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on January 24, and the audience pressed Moore to declare his candidacy. However, he declined.


GREEN PARTY

The only minor party that has held a presidential primary so far this year is the Green Party. In the District of Columbia on January 13, David Cobb received 140 votes and Sheila Bilyeu received 69. The option "no candidate" received 49 votes. There were 116 write-ins, but unfortunately the District hasnít tallied them. The District of Columbia lets each party decide for itself whether to show write-in space on its presidential primary ballots. The only other party that held a presidential primary, the Democratic Party, opted for no write-in space. Howard Dean won the Democratic primary in D.C. with 17,736 votes.


AMERICAN PARTY

The American Party national committee chose Dianne Templin of California for president, and Al Moore of Virginia for vice-president, last month. Templin is also running for Congress on the Constitution Party ticket.


REFORM PARTY

The Reform Party national convention will be July 30-August 1, in Columbus, Ohio.


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