May 1, 2006 Ė Volume 22, Number 1

This issue was originally printed on white paper.

Table of Contents

  1. PENNSYLVANIA BALLOT ACCESS CASE LOSES; APPEAL FILED
  2. FOREIGN LANGUAGE FOR PETITIONS CASE TO BE REHEARD
  3. GREENS WILL CHALLENGE ARKANSAS
  4. OHIO FINALLY LOSES AN ELECTION LAW CASE
  5. MISSOURI BILL GAINS
  6. MORE LAWSUIT NEWS
  7. ANTI-ELECTORAL COLLEGE BILLS
  8. IRV NEWS
  9. EARLIER PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES, CAUCUSES
  10. POLL
  11. LEGISLATIVE NEWS
  12. MORE INDEPENDENTS RUN FOR GOVERNOR
  13. LATE 2008 CONVENTION
  14. BALLOT ACCESS IN ELECTION LAW JOURNAL
  15. 2006 PETITIONING FOR STATEWIDE OFFICE
  16. SPECIAL US HOUSE ELECTION
  17. VERMONT PROGRESSIVE PARTY GETS NEW LEGISLATOR
  18. CLIFTON DeBERRY, FIRST BLACK PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, DIES
  19. LIBERTARIAN EXPECTED TO BE ON BALLOT FOR FLORIDA GOVERNOR
  20. GREENS GET ELECTED
  21. SOUTH CAROLINA
  22. SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL


PENNSYLVANIA BALLOT ACCESS CASE LOSES; APPEAL FILED

On April 5, U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones, a Bush, Jr., appointee, upheld Pennsylvania ballot access laws relating to qualified minor parties. Rogers v Cortes, 06-0066, c.d., Harrisburg. The Green and Constitution Parties have already filed an appeal with the 3rd circuit, no. 06-2241.

Pennsylvaniaís definition of qualified party has not changed since 1893. It is a group that polled a certain share of the vote in the previous statewide election (2% of the highest vote-getting winnerís vote). Currently, Pennsylvania has 5 qualified parties: Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green, and Constitution. During the last 80 years, there has never been a time when Pennsylvania had more than 6 qualified parties.

Before 1986, all the qualified parties nominated by primary, and their nominees were automatically put on the general election ballot. In 1986, the legislature passed a new law, saying that qualified parties with registration membership less than 15% (about 1,000,000 members) should nominate by convention, not primary; and then their convention nominees must collect signatures equal to 2% of the statewide winnerís vote in the last election. This year, that works out to 66,827 signatures.

The Calif. Dem. v Jones Argument

The Pennsylvania petition form for the nominees of qualified minor parties is SBE form 210A. It is headed "Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Nomination Paper" and says, "We, the undersigned, all of whom are qualified electors, hereby nominate the persons designed belowÖ" (emphasis added).

In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in California Democratic Party v Jones that it is unconstitutional for states to force political parties to let non-members help choose their nominees. The vote was 7-2.

Since Pennsylvaniaís qualified minor parties are being forced to obtain signatures from non-members, on forms that say the signers are "nominating" such candidates, the Green and Constitution Parties argued that the Pennsylvania law is unconstitutional under Cal. Democratic Party.

The decision says, in response to this argument, "Minor political parties conduct closed conventions at which the partyís candidate for each office is selected, and as a result individuals outside the party have no bearing on the candidate-selection process. Minor party candidates must rely on individuals outside their party only to sign nomination papers, to show that these candidates have sufficient support in the general electorate to be viable candidates."

One wonders, then, why the petition says that the signers are "nominating" the listed candidates. If Pennsylvania intended the petition to perform the function that the judge described, the petition should say, "We, the undersigned, ask that the candidates listed below be placed on the general election ballot." Judge Jones only wrote one paragraph on this point, and did not mention the petitionís wording.

The Redundancy Argument

Plaintiffs also argued that since they meet the definition of "party" (because of their high vote totals in 2004), it is redundant for them to be required to submit petitions for their nominees. They have already shown a modicum of voter support.

Judge Jones acknowledged that the plaintiff-parties meet the definition of "party," but he never commented on that showing of support. He belittled them for having a relatively small number of registered voters, but Pennsylvania doesnít define a "party" by how many registered voters it has. Jones did not mention that the Constitution Party polled 220,056 votes for U.S. Senate in 2004.

State Interests: Keeping Non-Viable Candidates Off the Ballot

Jones says the state has an interest in keeping candidates off the ballot if they are not "viable," but he cited no authority. The Supreme Courtís standard of whether someone belongs on the ballot is whether the candidate has a "modicum of support." "Modicum" means "a small amount."

The Supreme Court has said, "It is to be expected that a voter hopes to find on the ballot a candidate who comes near to reflecting his policy preferences on contemporary issues" (Lubin v Panish, 415 US 709, 716). The U.S. Supreme Court does believe that unpopular viewpoints should be represented on ballots.

Minor parties that have won ballot access cases in the U.S. Supreme Court include the Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Labor Party, the U.S. Labor Party, the Lowndes County (Alabama) Freedom Organization, the Communist Party, the American Independent Party, and the Peace & Freedom Party. Independent candidates who have won ballot access cases in the Supreme Court include a slate of unpledged presidential elector candidates in Illinois, Eugene McCarthy in his 1976 independent run for the presidency, and little-known (at the time) independent legislative candidate Jim Lendall of Arkansas. It is erroneous for Judge Jones to have stated that only "viable" candidates should be on the ballot.

Cluttered Ballots

Judge Jones also wrote that the state has an interest in keeping ballots uncluttered. This is true. However, the evidence in front of him was that Pennsylvania has not had more than six qualified parties in the last twenty years (actually, Pennsylvania hasnít had more than six qualified parties during the last 80 years, but unfortunately that didnít get into the record).

A U.S. Supreme Court concurrence in 1968 said that eight candidates is not so many as to confuse the voters, and a U.S. Supreme Court opinion in 1974 defined "cluttered ballot" to be one with a dozen or more candidates for the same office. Judge Jones did not mention that Pennsylvania has not had more than six qualified parties in the recent past.

Favorable Precedents Ignored

Judge Jones did not even mention the 2003 decision of Marylandís highest state court, which accepted the redundancy argument, and struck down a law requiring petitions for the nominees of qualified minor parties.

Judge Jones said that states have a "safe harbor," if their petition requirements are no higher than 5% of the number of registered voters. He cited Jenness v Fortson for this idea. Jenness v Fortson is the 1971 U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld Georgiaís 5% petition for the nominees of unqualified parties.

States do not have an automatic "safe harbor" if they require 5% petitions. In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court remanded a California back to the lower court for more fact-finding, concerning a 5% (of the last vote cast) petition. And in 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Illinoisí law requiring petitions signed by 5% of the last vote, in instances at which that formula means that a petition requirement for an office in just part of the state results in exceeding the number of signatures needed for statewide office. The Supreme Court has said that there is "no litmus test" to decide if a ballot access law is constitutional or not, and that courts must be analytical when they hear these cases. It is erroneous for Judge Jones to say that all 5% petitions are automatically constitutional.


FOREIGN LANGUAGE FOR PETITIONS CASE TO BE REHEARD

On April 20, the 9th circuit agreed to rehear Padilla v Lever. The original panel had ruled 2-1 that petitions must be multi-lingual. Eleven judges will now rehear the case.


GREENS WILL CHALLENGE ARKANSAS

The Arkansas Green Party has collected 12,000 signatures on its party petition. As soon as it feels that it has 10,000 valid signatures (which probably requires collecting 17,000 raw signatures) it will submit them.

Arkansas law says a non-presidential statewide independent candidate needs 10,000 signatures, and that a new party needs signatures of 3% of the last gubernatorial vote (24,171). In 1996, a U.S. District Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for Arkansas to require more signatures for a new party than for a statewide candidate. Citizens to Establish a Reform Party v Priest, 970 F.Supp 690. The same decision also struck down the January petition deadline for new parties. The Reform Party had specifically challenged both the deadline and the number of signatures.

In 1997, the state legislature eased the deadline, but the legislature has never amended the number of signatures. The Attorney General ruled in 2005 that, because the state altered the deadline, it need not alter the number of signatures.

The Attorney Generalís ruling is not persuasive. The 1996 court decision set forth separate findings of law. One is that the deadline is too early; another is that too many signatures are required. The state appealed the decision to the 8th circuit, and submitted a brief. But, then the state dropped its appeal, so the lower court decision stands.

The Attorney General has little credibility. In 2003, the legislature repealed the law that set the deadline for a new party to submit its petition, leaving a void in the law. The Attorney General ruled in 2005 that the deadline is still May, but the Secretary of State then said the Attorney General is wrong, and that petitions are due in July. The Secretary of State might also ignore the Attorney Generalís ruling on the number of signatures. The Green Party will make its best attempt to persuade the Secretary of State, and if he says "no," the party will sue.


OHIO FINALLY LOSES AN ELECTION LAW CASE

On April 21, the 6th circuit ruled that Ohio violates the Equal Protection Clause when it uses punchcard ballots in some counties and not others. Stewart v Blackwell, 05-3044.

Although this is not a ballot access case, it has favorable implications for ballot access. The 6th circuit based its decision on Bush v Gore, the famous decision released on the evening of December 12, 2000, that settled the presidential election. Bush v Gore has excellent language in it, and if it were followed as a precedent, many ballot access constitutional cases would be more likely to succeed. The problem with using Bush v Gore as a precedent has been one sentence, "Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances, for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities."

The 6th circuit decided to use Bush v Gore as a precedent anyway, not withstanding that sentence. Bush v Gore has been cited in more than 50 published court decisions, but never before had it been the sole authority for the outcome of any decision.

It is true that Congress passed HAVA (Help America Vote Act) in 2002, so one might wonder why Stewart v Blackwell is not moot. However, the 6th circuit noted that Congress did not outlaw punchcards; it just passed a subsidy for states that give them up.

This is the first time Ohio has lost an election law case in the 6th circuit in 14 years. However, the 6th circuit still hasnít ruled in the Ohio Libertarian Party case, which challenges the petition deadline for new parties.


MISSOURI BILL GAINS

SB 726, which gives a new party more flexibility on whether to run a presidential candidate, passed the Senate on March 28, and has passed all House committees. It removes the requirement that new party petitions list presidential elector candidates, and lets the party choose them after it has finished petitioning.


MORE LAWSUIT NEWS

Alabama: on April 7, a state circuit court ruled that if the Democratic Party disqualifies a candidate from running in its primary for a "disloyal" act four years ago, that decision is not subject to court review. Small v Turnham, cv2006-1453. The candidate asked for a rehearing, but it was denied on April 17. The candidateís "disloyal" act in 2002 was to run as a write-in candidate in the general election, in opposition to the major party nominees for County Commission in Birmingham.

Arizona: all the briefs have now been submitted to the U.S. District Court, in Ralph Naderís challenge to the early June petition deadline for independent presidential candidates. The case also challenges state law that doesnít let out-of-staters circulate such petitions. Nader v Brewer, 04-1699. The state argues that Nader lacks standing and that the case is moot.

Arkansas: on April 14, the 8th circuit ruled that most of the walkways on public universities are unlimited public fora. Bowman v White, 04-2299. This should make it easier for petition circulators to gain access to publicly-owned college campuses, at least in the 7 states in the 8th circuit (Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, the Dakotas). The case was won against the University of Arkansas.

California: on March 28, a Superior Court in Sacramento ruled that the law setting a limit on the number of signatures that can be submitted for a candidate (seeking a place on a primary ballot) is unenforceable. The law requires 40 signatures, and says no more than 60 may be submitted. But another law says that candidates may turn in as many primary nomination signatures as they wish, and they will be count as signatures in lieu of a filing fee (the code has two types of petitions for primary ballot access, 40 for ballot access and up to 10,000 if the candidate doesnít wish to pay a filing fee). Since the code is internally contradictory, the 60-signature limit is, practically speaking, void. Umberg v McPherson, 06-cs-406.

Illinois: the 7th circuit will hear Lee v Keith, 04-3042, on June 9 in Chicago. This case challenges the requirements for independent candidates for the legislature (a petition signed by 10% of the last vote cast, due in December of the year before the election).

Michigan: on April 11, the 6th circuit refused to rehear Nader v Land, the case over whether the Secretary of State should have decided in 2004 which faction of the state Reform Party was the legitimate faction.

New Hampshire: briefs have been filed in the State Supreme Court, in the Libertarian and Constitution Partiesí ballot access lawsuit. Libít. Party v State, 2005-0606.

New Jersey: on April 12, a Superior Court put a candidate on the ballot for city council in Paterson, even though there is doubt that he had the needed 609 valid signatures. The city claimed he only had 607 valid signatures. The confusion arose because bad record-keeping made it difficult to know if certain signers had registered before signing, or immediately afterwards. The judge gave the candidate the benefit of the doubt. Silva v Williams-Warren, Passaic Co.

New York: the 2nd circuit will hear Lopez Torres v New York Bd. of Elections, 06-635, on June 7. This is the case in which the lower court had enjoined the stateís ballot access procedures for candidates seeking a place on a primary ballot, for the office of Delegate to Judicial nominating conventions.

New York (2): on April 21, a State Supreme Court ruled that if the state officers of the Independence Party wish to dissolve some of their county organizations, they may do so. Fulani v MacKay, Kings Co., 8822/06. State leaders of the party had dissolved three county organizations because of the political views of leaders in those three counties.

North Carolina: on April 27, a Superior Court heard Libít Party v Bd. of Elections, 05-13073. The one-hour hearing went well. The issue is the stateís ballot access law for parties.

Oregon: on April 18, the 9th circuit refused to rule on whether it is unconstitutional for an election official to have "secret" rules on whether petition signatures are invalid or not. Gest v Bradbury, 04-36034. Proponents of an initiative had sued, after learning that the Secretary of State uses unpublicized rules about the validity of signatures on petitions. One rule says that if a date on a petition has been overwritten with a different date, the entire sheet is invalid. The other rule says that signature sheets are invalid if the circulator prints his or her name. The 9th circuit said that since these rules are now included in regulations, the case is moot.

Texas: U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel will hear Strayhorn v Williams, A06-ca205, on May 1. This is the case challenging the Secretary of Stateís insistence that independent candidates may only turn in signatures in one enormous batch, rather than turning them in piece-meal. Also it challenges the Secretary of Stateís refusal to use the statutory random sampling method for this yearís independent gubernatorial candidates.

Virginia: on May 23, the 4th circuit will hear Miller v Brown, 05-2254, the case over whether the Republican Party may exclude non-members from its primaries.

Washington: on March 27, a Superior Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for the state to prevent someone from registering to vote, because she still is repaying a fine imposed due to a criminal conviction. Madison v State, 04-2-33414-4, King Co. The state is appealing.

National: on March 3, the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, upheld a Federal Election Commission determination that Lyndon LaRouche must repay the FEC $67,988. The FEC had determined that LaRouche (who received $1,448,389 in primary season matching funds in 2004) had overpaid some contractors for services related to his campaign for the Democratic nomination, and that these contractors have a close association with LaRouche.


ANTI-ELECTORAL COLLEGE BILLS

Bills to ultimately end the Electoral College have been introduced in five states, and two have made headway. These bills propose a compact between the states in which these bills pass. The bills would not take effect until states containing a majority of Electoral College had joined the compact. Once in effect, each state would appoint presidential electors who would vote for whichever presidential candidate received the most popular votes in the entire nation.

California: AB 2948 passed the Senate Elections Committee on April 25. Neither Republican Senator who was in attendance voted for the bill.

Colorado: SB 223 passed the Senate on April 17, by a vote of 20-15. All Democratic Senators voted for the bill, and two Republican Senators, Lew Entz and John Evans, also voted "Yes"; all the other Republicans voted "No." The bill now goes to the House, where Democrats have a 35-30 majority.

Illinois: SB 2724 has 7 co-sponsors, and HB 5777 has 18 co-sponsors. They include both Democrats and Republicans.

Louisiana: HR 927 has not made any headway so far, but the legislature only went into session on March 27.

Missouri: HB 2090 has both a Democratic and a Republican sponsor. It was heard in the House Elections Committee on April 25, but the Committee has not acted on it yet.

There are two Websites about this proposal. See nationalpopularvote.com for more information. A 619-page book to promote the plan, Every Vote Equal, can be read online. Go to every-vote-equal.com to read it. Unfortunately, the printed book is not for sale, at least so far. The book answers critics who claim that Article I, sec. 10, of the Constitution forbids compacts between the states.

The bookís lead author is Professor John R. Koza, a computer scientist and at Stanford University. One of the co-authors is Political Scientist Joseph F. Zimmerman of SUNY-Albany.


IRV NEWS

Alabama: HB 711, to use Instant-Runoff voting in run-off primaries, failed to pass.

California: on April 5, the San Diego city council appointed nine community leaders to a panel to study Instant-Runoff Voting.

Maryland: on April 10, the Takoma Park city council implemented Instant-Runoff Voting.

Vermont: hope is fading that this yearís session will pass Instant-Runoff Voting. Instead, the legislature is likely to pass a bill, asking the Secretary of State to say how she would go about implementing it, if it were put into effect.


EARLIER PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES, CAUCUSES

The trend toward earlier major party presidential selection continues.

Alabama: on April 27, the Governor signed HB 51, which moves the stateís presidential primaries from June to the first week in February.

California: on April 25, the Assembly Elections Committee passed AB 2949, to have an all-mail presidential primary the first week in January, or on the same day that New Hampshire holds its presidential primary, whichever is earlier. The bill passed unanimously. The Democratic Party rules forbid such an early primary (except for New Hampshire).

Florida: the new Speaker of the House of Representatives wants to move the stateís primary from March to one week after New Hampshire. Governor Jeb Bush supports the idea.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Partyís plan to let two states (besides Iowa) hold caucuses before the New Hampshire primary has attracted applications from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada and South Carolina.


POLL

On April 25, Princeton Survey/Pew Research Center released a poll that 53% of Americans would like to see a new major political party.


LEGISLATIVE NEWS

California: on April 18, the Assembly Elections Committee passed AB 2097, requiring companies that sell vote-counting machines to make their software public.

Louisiana: on April 5, the State Senate passed SB 18, for closed primaries for congressional elections. A hearing in the House Committee has not yet been set.

Maryland: on March 31, the legislature passed SB 129 on an emergency basis. Since it is an emergency bill, it does not need gubernatorial approval, and it takes effect immediately. It implements the 2003 court victory Maryland Green Party v Bd. of Elections, that eliminated nominee petitions for minor parties. It also removes a law that had seemed to legalize fusion in federal elections, although that law was murky and the State Election Board did not acknowledge that it had that effect.


MORE INDEPENDENTS RUN FOR GOVERNOR

Ohio: Jim Lundeen, a physician who has developed a statewide industrial medicine practice with 14 offices throughout the state, is running for Governor as a centrist independent.

Pennsylvania: Russ Diamond, a businessman who started "Clean Sweep" last year to reverse a pay raise voted for itself by the state legislature, is an independent candidate for Governor.


LATE 2008 CONVENTION

The 2008 Republican presidential convention will be Sep. 1-Sep. 4; the Democratic one will be Aug. 25-28.


BALLOT ACCESS IN ELECTION LAW JOURNAL

The web page of the Election Law Journal is letting anyone read the April 2006 issue free, on-line. Go to www.liebertonline.com/loi/elj, and choose Vol. 5, no. 2. The issue includes Richard Wingerís original research paper on ballot access, 31 pages long.


2006 PETITIONING FOR STATEWIDE OFFICE

STATE
REQUIREMENTS
SIGNATURES COLLECTED
Deadline
FULL PARTY
CAND
LIB'T
GREEN
CONSTI
WK FAM
LABOR

Alabama

41,012

41,012

*10,000

0

0

0

0

in court

Alaska

(reg) 9,258

#3,128

already on

already on

0

0

0

Aug. 22

Ariz.

26,835

est. #20,000

already on

0

0

0

0

June 14

Arkansas

10,000

10,000

1,000

*12,000

0

0

0

May 1

Calif.

(reg) 77,389

165,573

already on

already on

already on

0

0

Aug. 11

Colorado

(reg) 1,000

#1,000

already on

already on

already on

0

0

July 10

Connecticut

no procedure

#7,500

already on

*1,700

already on

0

0

Aug. 11

Delaware

est. (reg) 280

est. 5,600

already on

already on

already on

0

0

July 15

D.C.

no procedure

est. #3,800

can't start

already on

can't start

can't start

can't start

Aug. 30

Florida

be organized

pay fee

already on

already on

already on

0

0

July 18

Georgia

42,676

#42,676

already on

0

0

0

0

July 11

Hawaii

648

25

already on

already on

*0

0

0

July 25

Idaho

11,968

5,984

already on

0

already on

0

0

Aug. 31

Illinois

no procedure

#25,000

0

*7,000

*2,000

0

0

June 26

Indiana

no procedure

#29,553

already on

*9,000

0

0

0

June 30

Iowa

no procedure

#1,500

*200

0

0

0

0

Aug. 18

Kansas

16,477

5,000

already on

0

0

0

0

July 31

Kentucky

no procedure

#2,400

0

0

0

0

0

Aug. 8

La.

(reg) 1,000

pay fee

already on

already on

47

0

0

Sep. 7

Maine

24,798

#4,000

0

already on

0

0

0

May 25

Maryland

10,000

est. 29,400

already on

already on

already on

0

0

Aug. 7

Mass.

est. (reg) 41,000

#10,000

0

*800

0

0

0

Aug. 1

Michigan

31,731

31,731

already on

already on

already on

0

0

July 20

Minnesota

141,420

#2,000

0

0

0

0

0

July 18

Mississippi

be organized

1,000

already on

already on

already on

0

0

April 7

Missouri

10,000

10,000

already on

*5,000

500

0

0

July 31

Montana

5,000

#5,000

already on

0

already on

0

0

May 30

Nebraska

4,735

2,500

300

*4,500

already on

0

0

Aug. 29

Nevada

7,915

7,915

already on

*already on

already on

0

0

July 7

New Hamp.

20,299

#3,000

*2,600

0

0

0

0

Aug. 9

New Jersey

no procedure

#800

*100

0

0

0

0

June 6

New Mex.

3,782

14,079

*already on

already on

already on

0

0

July 11

New York

no procedure

#15,000

can't start

can't start

can't start

already on

can't start

Aug. 22

No. Car.

69,734

law is void

in court

0

0

0

0

June 30

No. Dakota

7,000

1,000

0

0

0

0

0

Sep. 8

Ohio

56,280

5,000

in court

*finished

0

0

0

May 1

Oklahoma

73,188

pay fee

in court

0

0

0

0

June 21

Oregon

18,381

18,356

already on

already on

already on

*10,000

0

Aug. 29

Penn.

no procedure

#66,827

in court

in court

in court

0

0

Aug. 1

Rhode Isl.

21,815

#1,000

0

0

0

0

0

July 20

So. Caro.

10,000

10,000

already on

already on

already on

*12,000

*11,000

July 15

So. Dakota

8,364

#3,346

already on

0

already on

0

0

June 6

Tennessee

41,314

25

0

*already on

0

0

0

April 6

Texas

45,253

45,253

already on

*10,000

*500

*0

0

May 30

Utah

2,000

#1,000

already on

already on

already on

0

0

Mar. 17

Vermont

be organized

#1,000

already on

already on

0

0

0

Sep. 21

Virginia

no procedure

#10,000

0

*finished

0

0

0

June 13

Washington

no procedure

in court

canít start

can't start

can't start

can't start

can't start

July 7

West Va.

no procedure

#8,724

0

0

0

0

0

May 8

Wisconsin

10,000

#2,000

already on

already on

already on

0

0

July 11

Wyoming

4,774

4,774

already on

0

0

0

0

Aug. 28

TOTAL STATES ON
28
20*
18
1
0
`


3 states (Ky., La., N.C.) have no statewide race.
*change since Apr. 1 chart.
#partisan label is permitted (other than "indp.").
"Deadline" is procedure with latest deadline.
"Wk Fam" = "Working Families Party."


SPECIAL US HOUSE ELECTION

On April 11, a special election to fill a vacancy in Californiaís 50th U.S. House district was held. California uses a blanket primary for special elections, with a run-off for the top vote-getters from each party, if no one gets 50% in the first round. The ballot listed 14 Republicans, two Democrats, one Libertarian and one independent. The various Republicans polled 53.5%; the Democrats 45.1%; the independent polled .8%; the Libertarian .6%. There will be a run-off on June 6.

In November 2004, the vote in this district had been: Republican 58.4%; Democratic 36.5%; Green 2.3%; Constitution 1.6%; Libertarian 1.2%.


VERMONT PROGRESSIVE PARTY GETS NEW LEGISLATOR

In Vermont, when a vacancy occurs in the legislature, the Governor appoints someone new. By tradition, the Governor chooses someone from the same party that had held the seat before. One of the Progressive Partyís former legislators resigned from the legislature, because he had been elected Mayor of Burlington. To fill the vacancy, the Governor appointed another Progressive, Chris Pearson. Pearson had been the partyís Executive Director for five years.


CLIFTON DeBERRY, FIRST BLACK PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, DIES

Clifton DeBerry died on March 24, 2006, at the age of 82. He was the Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate in 1964. He was the first non-caucasian presidential candidate to ever appear on a ballot in the United States. He was on in eleven states, and polled 32,720 votes.

In 1960, the Independent Afro-American Unity Party had placed presidential elector candidates on the Alabama ballot, and those elector candidates were pledged to Clennon B. King, another African-American. However, in Alabama at the time, presidential candidatesí names did not get printed on ballots.


LIBERTARIAN EXPECTED TO BE ON BALLOT FOR FLORIDA GOVERNOR

John Wayne Smith, a long-time activist in the Florida Libertarian Party, expects to be on the November 2006 ballot as a candidate for Governor. He will be the first minor party gubernatorial candidate on the ballot in Florida since 1920. Ironically, Smith will appear with the ballot label "American Libertarian," not "Libertarian." The Libertarian Party decided not to run any statewide candidates this year. Those activists who disagreed with this decision organized and qualified the American Libertarian Party, and that party nominated Smith. Florida has very easy rules for qualification of new parties, and has more qualified parties than any other state. However, the filing fees are so high, very few minor party candidates run for office. Most of the qualified minor parties in Florida have never had any candidates for any office. Smithís filing fee is $8,500.


GREENS GET ELECTED

On April 18, the Madison, Wisconsin city council chose a president. He is Austin King, 24, a Green Party member.

On March 29, Cara Jennings, 29, was elected to the Lake Worth, Florida City Commission. She is a Green Party member. She defeated her only opponent 2-1, even though he spent three times as much money as she did.


SOUTH CAROLINA

South Carolina is about to get two new ballot-qualified parties, both of them backed by unions. The state AFL-CIO is officially supporting the creation of the Labor Party. The Working Families Party, a rival party that has the support of many unions within the AFL-CIO, is also petitioning. The main difference between the two parties is that the Labor Party doesnít believe in fusion, and the Working Families Party does.

Neither party has made a final decision on whether to submit their signatures by May 7. A party that qualifies by that date may participate in the 2006 election. A party that submits petitions after that date will be qualified for 2008.


SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL

If you use Paypal, you can subscribe to B.A.N., or renew, with Paypal. If you use a credit card in connection with Paypal, use richardwinger@yahoo.com. If you donít use a credit card in conjunction with Paypal, use sub@richardwinger.com.

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


Go back to the index.
Copyright © 2006 Ballot Access News