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Tentative Ohio Ruling in Now Final; Ohio Has 6 Political Parties on 2010 Ballot

Published on December 31, 2009, by in General.

On December 31, an earlier Ohio Secretary of State ruling on ballot-qualified parties for the 2010 election was officially promulgated to county election boards in Ohio. The ruling says that the Constitution, Green, Libertarian and Socialist Parties are ballot-qualified in Ohio in 2010. Some time ago, the Secretary of State had posted this ruling on her web page, and no one made any negative comments, or comments as to why the tentative ruling should be reversed. The comment period is now over. The ruling is now final.

The four minor parties must nominate any 2010 candidates in their own primary. Candidates for statewide office in the primary of any of these parties need 500 signatures. Candidates for district and county office need 25 signatures. Signatures are due in February. The primary is in May.

The Ohio Constitution says all ballot-qualified parties must nominate by primary. Ohio and Oklahoma are the only states that have state constitutional provisions that require all parties to nominate by primary. Most states let small or new qualified parties nominate by convention. Allowing newly qualifying parties to nominate by convention allows for later petition deadlines for new parties, and also saves tax money.

Ohio still doesn’t have any valid election law to determine which parties are ballot-qualified. The 6th circuit invalidated the old laws in 2006 and the legislature has not replaced them. One bill, HB 260, would revise the laws, but it has not passed the State Senate. There is no bill pending that would revise the State Constitutional provision about mandatory primaries for all parties. Thanks to Kevin Knedler for the news about the final status of the Secretary of State’s ruling.

35 Responses

  1. Buckeye Kned

    We will NOT stop until our 1st amendment rights are allowed in the voting booth in OHIO. Simple as that.

  2. I have one question: what are these guys afraid of? Could it be that the state Senate is hearing footsteps? Do they now see the Libertarian Party of Ohio in their collective rearview mirrors? Fear has the tendency to cause delay and vacillation. Man up Messrs. in the senate. Full and complete ballot access is our #1 goal, and as Buckeye Kned said, there aint’t no stopping us.

  3. Phil Sawyer

    That is wonderful that the Socialist Party of Ohio has ballot status. Hearty conratulations!

    By the way, one of the best things about primary elections is that it tends to keep the leadership of the political parties more in touch with the membership. If the parties do not want independents voting in their primaries that is a different issue. Let’s take the Peace and Freedom Party of California as an example: For all primary elections, other than for President of the United States, the primary results are binding (and independents are not allowed to vote in PFP-CA’s primaries). That (binding primary elections) helps to keep the more extreme elements of the California Left from forcing their will on the Party Membership.

    Now, if only the PFP-CA leadership had the good sense to affiliate its party, nationally, with SPUSA; the Socialist Party would have ballot access in two of the largest states. I’m sure that the “divide and conquer” opposition is happy about the current state of affairs.

  4. Phil Sawyer

    By the way, Richard, do you think that we could convince the Yahoo! people that the “s” word is a good word and not a bad word? Every time we write the “s” word, our comments end up “awaiting moderation.”

  5. Buckeye Kned

    ONLY in America?
    My grandmother told me how women fought for the right to vote in the early 20th century.
    I have older friends who tell me stories about the fight for minority rights in the voting booth during the 1950′s and 1960′s.
    And here we are in Ohio in the 21st century still fighting for our voting rights, as alternative party supporters.

    The irony?
    Party hacks in Washington DC telling other countries how to operate elections and operate a democracy.

  6. Mark Brown

    One strange quirk in the Directive involves circulators of candidates’ petitions. The Directive recognizes that because of the Nader (2008) opinion, circulators need not be Ohio voters (or even residents). But, if a circulator is an Ohio voter, she must either be unaffiliated or a member of the candidate’s party. In order to satisfy this standard, the circulator could not have voted in another party’s primary over the course of the last two years. Thus, it would seem that candidates are better off using non-residents and/or unregistered circulators. Otherwise the candidate might find that whole sheets of signatures are thrown out because of an improper circulator. What is your take on this Richard?

  7. Phil Sawyer

    Steve Rankin wrote on a previous page:
    December 28th, 2009 at 2:55 am
    #44: Each person should be able to keep as much money as he can legally earn… it’s none of the government’s damn business.

    I know that Eugene McCarthy said that [remark about some people having too much money] because I watched the speech on C-SPAN… I heard it with my own ears.

    Translation of your last paragraph: “Workers of the world… UNITE!”

    Phil Sawyer responds:

    Money earned legally is not the same as money earned morally. The resources of this planet do not belong to the wealthy elite at the top of the food chain. The resources belong to all humans and, actually, to all living things on this earth.

    Workers of the world, unite, indeed!

  8. Phil Sawyer

    Buckeye Kned Says:
    December 31st, 2009 at 8:52 am
    We will NOT stop until our 1st amendment rights are allowed in the voting booth in OHIO. Simple as that.

    Phil Sawyer replies:

    Please explain, “Buckeye Kned.” What are you saying needs to be addressed here?

  9. Buckeye Kned

    Phil, this is only a Directive. We need Ohio Senate to get behind this and make permanent law, so we don’t have to keep going back to Ohio SOS or courtrooms.

  10. Phil Sawyer

    Thank you, Buckeye. That clears things up.

  11. Buckeye Kned

    ?workers of the world unite?
    Hmmm, I’m middle class and not elite and not poor. I want to keep my hard-earned money. I don’t trust most big corporations OR the GOvernment to do the “right thing”. Yes, the guy in the middle is squeezed. That is why I am NOT a R or a D .
    “Balance” is needed. Need rules but encourage small-business to build build build and thrive.
    More government regulation, means less small business.

  12. Demo Rep

    Prior to Great Depression I in 1929-1941 a number of other States had laws for official primaries for new and smaller older parties.

    The EVIL party hack Donkeys / Elephants repealed such laws during the Great Depression — to remove the competition from being a bit visible to the public.

    # 5 See the number of parties electing candidates in war blasted Iraq — via a mildly defective form of P.R. — probably the only thing holding Iraq (an artifical semi- Stone Age tribal regime) together at the moment.

    Happy New Year.

    Will the U.S.A. survive 2010 with its EVIL party hacks ??? Stay tuned. The issue is in MAJOR doubt.

  13. [...] Ballot Access News Tentative Ohio Ruling in Now Final; Ohio Has 6 Political Parties on 2010 Ballot December 31st, 2009 [...]

  14. Jim Riley

    #9 Wouldn’t it be simpler for the House to simply amend the Senate bill by adding in the provisions related to party access and see if the Senate will accept it?

  15. Jim Riley

    Why don’t the courts simply enjoin Ohio from holding elections until they have a lawful process in place?

  16. Jerry

    I think each political party should decide for itself whether to let members of other parties be petition circulators for primary ballot access petitions.

  17. Mark Brown

    In the absence of a lawful process, the courts revert to the “modicum of support” standard, which requires that parties and candidates be placed on the ballot if they have sufficient support. This standard is pretty minimal and is what was employed in Ohio by Judge Sargus in 2008. I am not sure that enjoining elections would be consistent with the Guarantee Clause in the federal Constitution, which guaranties a republican form of government.

  18. BuckeyeKned

    # 17 is correct. Plus, wouldn’t a judicial decision of enjoining elections violate the 1st amendment rights of everyone at the ballot box ? In other words, a government official would eliminate elections. Not going to happen in the USA– at least for now.
    KJK

    # 16 Bottom line, is that the Ohio Assembly needs to act like representatives of the people and do something. That is what they get paid to do, not play “politics” as usual. And they wonder why more and more people, at least in Ohio, are declaring themselves “independent” or “not affiliated”.

  19. Jim Riley

    #18 The House Democrats were not interested in passing any sort of election legislation this year. Including the ballot access provisions was simply a ploy.

    There is no reason that the few sections dealing with ballot access can’t be placed in a stand alone bill.

  20. Jim Riley

    #17 How can Ohio be considered to have a republican form government if public officials are not elected according to a lawful process devised by the legislature?

  21. Mark Brown

    Nothing in the Constitution requires that all public officials be elected according to rules prescribed by the legislature. The President and members of Congress must be elected in a manner prescribed by the state legistures; but this does not cover state and local officials.

  22. BuckeyeKned

    # 19 With all due respect, Whether a “ploy” or “sincere concern” for voter rights, or combination of both, we have minor party access in 2010. I should know, I sat in more than a handful of meetings down at the Ohio statehouse over the past two years. And the Libertarian Party sits on the Voting Rights Institute of the Ohio SOS, has had the opportunity to review ballot language for the voters, AND was allowed to be a presenter at a voters conference in March. Not bad for a group of common citizens who simply want a chance to get on the political playing field, as an alternative to the duopoly.

  23. BuckeyeKned

    # 19. “There is no reason that the few sections dealing with ballot access can’t be placed in a stand alone bill.”
    That would be correct. We (LP) have asked the GOP to do just that, since they control the Ohio Senate. Nothing to date. We got what we wanted via the Democrat controlled Ohio House in that monster HB # 260.
    End of message.

  24. Jim Riley

    The US Constitution implicitly requires that the larger house of the legislature be elected, in requiring a common electorate for that House and Congress.

    Are there any state officials or legislators who are not elected according to procedures in their constitution or statutes or regulations where the People or the legislature has delegated regulatory powers?

  25. Jim Riley

    #23 I would think that the LP would want a ballot access law passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. I don’t see why the LP would want to get involved in a cat fight rerunning the 2004 presidential election.

  26. Why NOT rerun and capture and exploit the divisiveness of the ’04 race?

    The Greens and Libertarians called for, staffed and PAID for that recount because we believe in free elections.

    If the democrats OR the republicans offer us something approximating equal access, we’ll take it. Not like there is much difference between them.

    PEACE

  27. BuckeyeKned

    # 25. I have no idea what you are talking about now–”cat fight”. Of course the LP wants a ballot access law passed by the Ohio legislature and signed by the governor. The LP wrote most of the language that is in the minor party ballot access bills in Ohio and has been lobbying for same since December 2007. And there were previous LP members doing the same prior to 2007, specifically Libertarian Party of Ohio vs “Mr.” Blackwell. We just need to get the Ohio Senate to agree and it is a done deal and Ohio can step into modern times.

  28. Mark Brown

    #24. I am not sure what your point is. You are correct that the Constitution assumes that a state’s lower house members are to be popularly elected. The Guarantee Clause supports this assumption. But the Constitution nowhere says that the procedure must be put in place by the state legislature. (Contrast elections of federal officials, where Articles I and II do require this.) The procedure for electing state officials can thus be put in place by the state constitution, or popular initiative, or even a state court. Hence, it could also be put in place by a federal court as part of a remedy for a constitutional violation.

  29. Jim Riley

    #27 If you read the entire H 260, and look at the party line votes and notice that 39 Democratic House members have signed on, it is quite clear that it is not going to go anywhere in the Senate. It may not even get a committee hearing; and it might not even be reported.

    It was not a party line vote because of the ballot access provisions, and 39 Democratic House members did not sign up as sponsors because of the ballot access provisions.

    If the LP wants the ballot access provisions to be enacted by the legislature, it will either be by a stand alone bill, or the House inserting them in S 8.

  30. Jim Riley

    #28 Why is a remedy necessary?

  31. BuckeyeKned

    SB # 8 aleady voted on and no mention of minor parties. Now the Senate and House meet in joint committee. LP continues to press. We have no choice but to push. Ohio SOS getting tired of court battles.

  32. Jim Riley

    If the Ohio SOS were tired of the court battles, she would prepare a stand alone bill that dealt with the party qualification issues.

    SB 8 has been assigned to a House committee. House committee either amends the bill, or recommends ballot access amendments for the House to make (depending on the procedures in Ohio). Ohio House passes SB 8 (with ballot access amendment, Senate accepts amended SB 8 and it is signed by the governor.

    I’d think that the LP would appreciate the provisions in SB 8 by which new registrants may affiliate with a political party, so that you can encourage them to participate in your primaries and other activities.

  33. Happy to have helped with helping make this happen.

    Me, Andy and Gary gathered the original signatures in 2007 which led to all this.

  34. BuckeyeKned

    # 32
    Still need someone to sponsor and entire in Ohio Assembly.
    More details after January 20 round of meetings with Ohio legislative members.

    Yes, we were frankly shocked about the new registration option. We had been asking about it but it was not high on the priority list at the time.

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