Home General May 2011 Ballot Access News Print Edition
formats

May 2011 Ballot Access News Print Edition

Published on June 6, 2011, by in General.

Ballot Access News
May 1, 2011 – Volume 26, Number 12


This issue was originally printed on yellow paper.



Table of Contents

  1. U.S. DISTRICT COURT IN NEW MEXICO STRIKES DOWN LAW THAT PARTIES CAN ONLY NOMINATE MEMBERS
  2. TENNESSEE STRUGGLES WITH BALLOT ACCESS
  3. BALLOT ACCESS BILLS SIGNED IN 3 STATES
  4. FLORIDA BILLS MAKE BALLOT ACCESS WORSE
  5. OTHER BALLOT ACCESS BILLS
  6. IDAHO PASSES BILL FOR CLOSED PRIMARIES
  7. CONGRESSIONAL PUBLIC FUNDING BILLS
  8. SUPREME COURT MAY TAKE ILLINOIS BALLOT ACCESS CASE
  9. SUPREME COURT REFUSES HAWAII BALLOT ACCESS CASE
  10. BRITAIN VOTES ON IRV
  11. NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE BILLS ADVANCE
  12. SOUTH CAROLINA REPUBLICANS LOSE PRIMARY LAWSUIT
  13. POLITICAL SCIENTIST RECOMMENDS REPEAL OF “SORE LOSER” LAWS
  14. CONSTITUTION PARTY LOSES KANSAS VOTER REGISTRATION CASE
  15. GEORGIA OFFICIALS HEAR COMPLAINTS ABOUT BALLOT ACCESS
  16. 2012 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT
  17. MINOR PARTY WINS
  18. CALIFORNIA SAYS MORE THAN ONE PARTY MAY USE “AMERICAN”
  19. COFOE HOLDS ANNUAL MEETING
  20. ROCHESTER, N.Y. MAYOR ELECTION
  21. GERMAN GREENS WIN STATE PREMIER
  22. SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL

U.S. DISTRICT COURT IN NEW MEXICO STRIKES DOWN LAW THAT PARTIES CAN ONLY NOMINATE MEMBERS

On March 31, U.S. District Court Judge Judith C. Herrera, a Bush, Jr. appointee, struck down a New Mexico law that tells political parties they cannot nominate people who were not registered members of that party on the day the election was proclaimed.

This is only the second time any court has ever struck down a state law, telling a party that it can’t nominate a non-member. The case is Woodruff v Herrera, 09-449. The only other precedent was in state court in Colorado in 1988, a case won by the Colorado Democratic Party. The New Mexico decision got no publicity, but it is very important.

Seventeen states now forbid political parties from nominating non-members: Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Laws that prohibit parties from nominating non-members are especially damaging to minor parties. Generally, candidates with a great deal of potential to win elections are already registered members of the Democratic and Republican Parties, and if minor parties can’t recruit them as candidates, that injures minor parties. Some states even say that parties can’t nominate someone who is a member of that minor party now, but wasn’t in the past. If a new major party were ever to come into existence, laws like those would inhibit that new party. For example, when the Republican Party was formed on July 6, 1854, most of its nominees that year had been members of one of the older parties, the Whig Party, the Free Soil Party, and the Democratic Party.

Judge Herrera wrote "Sections 1-8-18(A) and 1-8-2(D) violate the First Amendment rights of parties to free association by restricting their right to nominate as candidates persons of their choosing. Instead, under these provisions, political parties may only nominate individuals who are registered members of the party…The Secretary of State has failed to come forward with a compelling state interest to justify the burden that these provisions impose on the free association rights of political parties."

It is too early to know if the state will appeal. Ironically, Delaware and Florida are currently in the process of passing bills that, under this decision, would be unconstitutional. Delaware’s bill is HB 11, and it says that parties may not nominate non-members. It has passed the House but not the Senate. See page two to read about the Florida bills.


TENNESSEE STRUGGLES WITH BALLOT ACCESS

The Tennessee Senate has postponed its vote on the minor party ballot access bill, SB 935, six times now. The legislature must pass some bill, because last year the existing law was declared unconstitutional. The last vote had been set for April 28, but now it is set for May 5.

SB 935 was on the consent calendar in the Senate on March 21, but then it was transferred to the regular calendar. The consent calendar is only for bills that have no opposition or no amendments. Since then, seven amendments have been filed. One requires 6,000 signatures; two other amendments require 10,000 signatures. The original bill requires signatures of 2.5% of the last gubernatorial vote, which would be 40,042 signatures in 2012.


BALLOT ACCESS BILLS SIGNED IN 3 STATES

In the last thirty days,bills to improve ballot access have been signed in three states.

Arizona: on April 28, Governor Jan Brewer signed HB 2304, which says that when a new party qualifies, it is entitled to be on the ballot in the next two elections, not just the next election. As a result the Green Party is now automatically on the ballot for 2012, because it had successfully petitioned in 2010. The bill also makes it legal for out-of-state residents to circulate for any type of petition. Previously, they could only work on a petition for an independent presidential candidate.

Idaho: on April 11, Governor Butch Otter signed HB 275. It lowers the number of signatures for an independent presidential candidate from 1% of the last vote cast (6,552 signatures) to 1,000. It also legalizes letting out-of-state circulators work on an independent presidential candidate’s petition. This bill helps the Green Party, which is not a qualified party and now will probably be able to place its 2012 presidential candidate on the ballot as an independent. The Green Party presidential nominee has never been on the Idaho ballot in the entire history of the party.

New Mexico: on April 7, Governor Susana Martinez signed SB 403. It lowers the number of signatures to qualify a new party in midterm years from one-half of 1% of the last presidential vote, to one-half of 1% of the last gubernatorial vote. If this bill had been in effect in 2010, the petition would have been 2,796 signatures instead of 4,151 signatures. Also it moves the independent candidate deadline from early June to late June.


FLORIDA BILLS MAKE BALLOT ACCESS WORSE

On April 20, the Florida House passed HB 1355, which makes ballot access for presidential candidates of new parties overwhelmingly worse. It also harms ballot access, for all parties, for other office.

The bill is 157 pages long and makes many election law changes. The bill passed with all Republicans who voted voting "yes", and all Democratis who voted voting "no."

It says that if a party is not recognized by the Federal Election Commission as a "national committee", it cannot place a presidential candidate on the ballot unless it submits a petition signed by a number of voters equal to 4% of the last presidential vote. For 2012, that would be 355,630 valid signatures. Furthermore, parties must pay to have this petition checked. Also, the petition must include 4% of the last presidential vote from each of fourteen U.S. House districts.

The bill is worded so poorly, it does not say whether the petition must include the name of the presidential candidate. It would be due July 15, and has no provision for a party that hasn’t chosen its presidential nominee by then.

The bill’s author says he doesn’t even know which legislator added the ballot access amendment, nor does the committee chairman.

The same ballot access provision is included in SB 2086, except that in the Senate bill, the petition is 2% of the last presidential vote, not 4%. The Senate bill passed the Senate Rules Committee on April 26.

The bill has been attacked in Florida newspapers, because it harms voting rights in other ways. It shrinks the early voting period from two weeks to one week. It ends the law that lets voters change their address at the polls. It sets restrictions on groups who register voters. Generally the newspapers don’t mention that the bill also harms ballot access.

Why FEC Rulings on Status Don’t Make Sense for Ballot Access

Ever since 1974, the FEC has had the duty of awarding or denying "national committee" status to parties that request it. There are no clear guidelines, but when one reads all the rulings on whether any particular party qualifies, it is clear that the FEC will never grant that status to a new party, in time to meet the Florida July 15 deadline. The FEC always waits until after a new party has already placed its presidential candidate on the ballot in many states, and after the party has run congressional candidates in several states.

The FEC did not give "national committee" status to the Green Party until 2001, after it had participated in two presidential elections. It did not give that status to the Reform Party until 1998, even though Ross Perot had started the party in 1995. Thus, if the Florida bill had been in effect, those parties could not have placed a presidential nominee on the ballot in their first elections, without a petition of hundreds of thousands of signatures.

"National committee" status relates to campaign finance, not ballot access. Groups that have FEC recognition may receive donations of up to $25,000 in any one year from any individual. Ironically, if a party does not have "national committee" status, individuals may give as much money as they wish to the party, but only until the party nominates any candidates for federal office.

Some of the most significant minor parties of the last 35 years have never had national committee status, even though they ran many candidates. Examples are the New Alliance Party (which put its presidential nominee on the ballot in all 50 states in 1988), the Communist Party, the Socialist Workers Party, the Citizens Party (formed by Barry Commoner in 1980), the Populist Party (which ran David Duke for President in 1988), and the Working Families Party.

Other Problems with HB 1355

The bill says that no o
ne can be nominated by a party if that person had been a registered member of another party in the entire year before filing for office. It has no exception for new parties. Any new party, formed in an election year, would inevitably have very few candidates, if this idea were to become law. Courts have always struck down laws like this as applied to new parties, and courts have even struck down laws like this as applied to old parties (see the story on page one about the New Mexico decision).


OTHER BALLOT ACCESS BILLS

Alabama: SB 17, which lowers the number of signatures for minor parties from 3% of the last gubernatorial vote (44,829 signatures) to 5,000, passed the Senate Elections Committee unanimously on March 8, but it has made no further headway because the Senate Rules Committee Chair, Senator Scott Beason (R-Gardendale) won’t let the Senate vote on it.

On April 26, the House passed HB 425, which moves the petition deadline for new parties from June to March. If the bill becomes law, that deadline will be unconstitutional. The 11th circuit ruled in 1991 that April was too early for a petition to qualify a new party. That case was New Alliance Party of Alabama v Hand, 933 F 2d 1568.

Arkansas: on April 4, Governor Mike Beebe signed HB 1827. It moves the petition deadline for a new party from June 30 to the first week in April. It also requires new parties to choose their nominees no later than mid-May. New parties choose their nominees in convention in Arkansas. Under the old law, the Green Party was able to nominate candidates in July, and twice the party nominated candidates in races in which the major parties had not nominated anyone. This is how the Green Party elected a legislator in 2008, and a county official in 2010.

Delaware: HB 11, which tells parties that they can’t nominate a non-member, passed the Senate Elections Committee on March 31. However, it still has not received a vote on the Senate floor. If signed into law, this bill will probably be held unconstitutional; see the front page story about the New Mexico court decision.

Illinois: on March 29, the House passed HB 2009 by a vote of 75-38. It says that anyone who ran for any office in the primary cannot then run under a different party label in November. This applies equally to candidates who lost a primary, or those who won a primary but then withdrew. It appears to apply to presidential candidates. If it had been in effect in 1980, independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson would not have been able to run in November as an independent candidate, because Anderson had run in the Republican presidential primary in March 1980.

Missouri: on April 20, the contents of HB 796 were amended into SB 282, and the House Rules Committee passed the combined bill. It fixes an error in the law that describes how new parties get on the ballot. It deletes the requirement that if the new party intends to nominate a presidential candidate, it must identify that candidate on the petition.

Nevada: the parts of the Secretary of State’s omnibus election law bill, AB81, that injured ballot access, have been deleted by the bill’s author. The original bill vastly increased filing fees, and also moved the petition deadline for new parties from May to April, but neither of those ideas is in the bill any longer.

North Carolina: HB 32, which vastly improves ballot access, has been endorsed by the Vice-Chair of the state Republican Party, Major Timothy F. Johnson (ret.). The bill will probably begin to advance in mid-May. It lowers the number of signatures for a statewide independent or a new party from 2% of the last gubernatorial vote (85,000 signatures) to 10,000 signatures.

Oklahoma: the ballot access bill, HB 1058, has not made any headway in the State Senate, because the state chair of the Republican Party, Matt Pinnell, asked the Senate Rules Committee chair to stop the bill. However, it is conceivable that ballot access amendments might be inserted into another election law bill.

Two bills are close to passing, and one of them makes ballot access worse. It is HB 1615, and it moves the petition deadline for a new party from May 1 to March 1. This bill has been passed in both houses, but the versions differ. If this bill passes, the state law on how new parties get on the ballot is almost certainly unconstitutional, and a lawsuit will be filed. There are fifteen court precedents that say a petition deadline that early for a new party to get on the ballot is unconstitutional, and no contrary published opinions.

Texas: both SB 100 and HB 3585 improve the petition deadline for non-presidential independent candidates, moving it from early May to late June. SB 100 has passed all Senate Committees. The bills make this improvement by accident; they move the runoff primary to a later date, and the petition deadline for independent candidates is keyed to the date of the runoff primary.


IDAHO PASSES BILL FOR CLOSED PRIMARIES

On April 13, Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed HB 351, to provide that voter registration forms ask voters if they wish to choose a party. Parties will be free to close their primaries to only party members if they wish, or to decide that independents may vote in their primaries, but that members of other parties may not.

Idaho has four parties: Democratic, Republican, Constitution, Libertarian. Only the Republican Party seems interested in closing its primary to members of other parties, and Republicans have not yet decided whether to let independents vote in their primary.


CONGRESSIONAL PUBLIC FUNDING BILLS

On April 7, bills were introduced in each house of Congress to provide for public funding for candidates for Congress. They are S.750 and HR 1404. Neither bill discriminates for or against any candidate on the basis of that candidate’s partisan affiliation or lack of party membership. The chief sponsor in the Senate is Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois); in the House, Congressman John Larson (D-Connecticut).


SUPREME COURT MAY TAKE ILLINOIS BALLOT ACCESS CASE

On September 15, 2010, U.S. Senator Roland Burris of Illinois asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his ballot access lawsuit. The Court asked for a response from Illinois on November 3. The state did not file a response until January 21, 2011.
Since then, the Court has had the Burris case at three conferences (February 18, February 25, and March 4), but still hasn’t said whether it will hear the case.

The case is Burris v Judge, 10-367. The 7th circuit had ruled that Illinois should hold a special U.S. Senate election on November 2, 2010, for a two-month term, but had also said that the only candidates who could be on the ballot were the same four individuals who were already on the ballot for the regular six-year term. The Court said it wasn’t convenient to let anyone else on the ballot.

It is very unusual for the U.S. Supreme Court to hold a case for so long, without deciding whether to hear the case. Obviously the Court is very interested in the case, or it would have refused it months and months ago.

Another case the Court may take is Green Party of Connecticut v Lenge, 10-795. It concerns public funding for candidates for state office, not ballot access. The Court had it on its March 25 conference but made no decision as to whether to accept it.


SUPREME COURT REFUSES HAWAII BALLOT ACCESS CASE

On April 4, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Nader v Nago, 10-728. The Court thus continues its 20-year habit of refusing to hear any ballot access case brought by a minor party or independent candidate. Ralph Nader had brought this case in 2004, arguing that Hawaii has no reason to require six times as many signatures an independent presidential candidate as for a new party. The lower courts had upheld the law, saying that the presidential candidate of a new political party must work hard to get that party’s nomination, so the burden is really equal.

The facts contradict the lower courts. No one has qualified as an independent presidential candidate in Hawaii since Ross Perot did in 1992. All independent presidential candidates since then have got on the Hawaii ballot by qualifying a new party (to take advantage of the easier petition for new parties). No new party in Hawaii has ever failed to nominate the presidential candidate who caused that party to be created.


BRITAIN VOTES ON IRV

On May 5, British voters vote on whether to use Instant Runoff Voting. The ballot says, "Referendum on the Voting System for UK Parliamentary Elections." Then it says, "At present, the United Kingdom uses the ‘first past the post’ system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the ‘alternative vote’ system be used instead?" "Alternative vote" is the British term for Instant Runoff Voting.


NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE BILLS ADVANCE

In the last 30 days, National Popular Vote Plan bills have been signed into law in Vermont, and have passed legislative committees in California, Connecticut, and Minnesota. This year there is significant Republican support for the idea.


SOUTH CAROLINA REPUBLICANS LOSE PRIMARY LAWSUIT

On March 30, U.S. District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs, an Obama appointee, turned aside the Republican Party lawsuit against South Carolina’s open primary as applied to Republicans. Greenville County Republican Party v State, 6:10-cv-1407. South Carolina has never had registration by party. On primary election day, any voter is free to choose any party’s primary ballot. The Republican Party wants the ability to exclude people from its primary who are not loyal to the party.

The judge said that because South Carolina law lets parties choose to nominate by convention, the party should simply choose conventions instead of primaries. However, the party had argued that in practice, the law makes it virtually impossible for any party to nominate by convention, because it requires that three-fourths of the delegates to the state convention vote in favor of conventions. But, the judge refused to strike down the three-fourths law.

On April 27, the Republican Party asked the judge to clarify her ruling. The original ruling is unclear on whether she merely denied injunctive relief, or whether she has ruled the law constitutional. The party will decide whether to appeal after this is clarified.


POLITICAL SCIENTIST RECOMMENDS REPEAL OF "SORE LOSER" LAWS

Dr. Michael S. Kang, who is both a political science professor and a law professor at Emory University in Georgia, has published "Sore Loser Laws and Democratic Contestation" in the Georgetown Law Journal, volume 99, p. 1013. The paper is 64 pages. It is a political science paper on the effect of "sore loser" laws. Professor Kang concludes that these laws should be repealed, because their effect is to increase polarization in elected officials.


CONSTITUTION PARTY LOSES KANSAS VOTER REGISTRATION CASE

On April 27, U.S. District Court Judge Sam Crow, a semi-retired Reagan appointee, upheld Kansas’ policy of providing no write-in line on voter registration forms, in the part of the form that asks the voter to choose a political party. Currently, Kansas residents must choose Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Reform, or independent, when they fill out the form. Constitution Party of Kansas v Biggs, 10-4043. The party will probably appeal.

The 10th circuit ruled in 1984 that Colorado must provide a write-in line on the voter registration form, and Kansas is in the 10th circuit. Judge Crow declined to follow the 1984 precedent, which was called Baer v Meyer. He said if Kansas had to show a blank line, it might be difficult for elections officials to read the voter’s handwriting. Of course, if that were true, one wonders how election officials read the voter’s handwriting when the voter records his or her name and address. The judge also said if Kansas had a blank line, that would make more work for election officials.


GEORGIA OFFICIALS HEAR COMPLAINTS ABOUT BALLOT ACCESS

On April 27, Georgia’s Elections Advisory Council, a creation of the Secretary of State, held its first public meeting to hear ideas on improving the election laws. The meeting was in the State Capitol, and went from 10 a.m. until 2:15 p.m. Nineteen Georgia residents took the trouble to attend the meeting and offer ideas. Seven of them complained about Georgia’s ballot access laws, including two independents, one Libertarian, and four Greens.

There will be at least four more public meetings in different cities. The next one is May 25, at the Marriott Riverfront Hotel in Savannah, 100 General McIntosh Blvd., at 1 p.m.


2012 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT

STATE
REQUIREMENTS
SIGNATURES COLLECTED
DEADLINES
FULL PARTY
CAND
LIB’T
GREEN
CONSTI
AM. ELE
Party
Indp.

Ala.

44,829

5,000

0

0

0

2,000

June 1

Sep. 6

Alaska

(reg) 7,406

#3,262

already on

2,144

50

finished

June 1

Aug. 8

Ariz.

23,041

(est) #27,000

already on

already on

0

finished

Mar. 1

Sep. 7

Ark.

10,000

#1,000

finished

0

0

0

June 30

Aug. 1

Calif.

1,030,040

172,859

already on

already on

in court

90,000

Jan. 2

Aug. 10

Colo.

(reg) 1,000 t>

#pay $500

already on

already on

already on

0

June 1

June 19

Conn.

no procedure

#7,500

can’t start

can’t start

can’t start

can’t start

- – -

July 13

Del.

(est.) (reg) 650

(est.) 6,500

already on

563

283

0

Aug. 21

July 15

D.C.

no procedure

(est.) #3,900

can’t start

already on

can’t start

can’t start

- – -

Aug. 21

Florida

be organized

112,174

already on

already on

already on

already on

Sep. 3

July 15

Georgia

57,956

#57,558

already on

can’t start

can’t start

can’t start

Aug. 6

Aug. 6

Hawaii

691

#4,536

already on

0

0

0

Feb. 22

Sep. 7

Idaho

13,102

1,000

already on

can’t start

already on

can’t start

Aug. 30

ace="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Aug. 31

Illinois

no procedure

#25,000

can’t start

can’t start

can’t start

can’t start

- – -

June 25

Indiana

no procedure

#34,195

already on

0

0

0

- – -

June 30

Iowa

no procedure

#1,500

0

0

0

0

- – -

Aug. 17

Kansas

16,776

5,000

already on

0

0

finished

June 1

Aug. 6

Ky.

no procedure

#5,000

can’t start

can’t start

can’t start

can’t start

- – -

Sep. 4

La.

(reg) 1,000

#pay $500

already on

already on

0

0

May 17

Sep. 4

Maine

28,639

#4,000

0

already on

0

0

Dec 8, 11

Aug. 9

Md.

10,000

(est.) 35,000

in court

in court

0

0

Aug. 6

Aug. 6

Mass.

(est) (reg) 40,000

#10,000

15,857

already on

0

0

Nov. 1, 11

July 31

Mich.

32,261

30,000

already on

already on

already on

finished

July 19

July 19

Minn.

105,352

#2,000

0

0

0

0

May 1

Aug. 14

Miss.

be organized

1,000

already on

already on

already on

0

Jan. 6

Sep. 7

Mo.

10,000

10,000

already on

0

already on

0

July 30

July 30

Mont.

5,000

#5,000

already on

0

0

0

Mar. 15

Aug. 1

Nebr.

4,880

2,500

already on

0

0

0

Aug. 1

Aug. 28

Nev.

7,013

7,013

already on

0

already on

ign="TOP">

already on

July 2

July 6

N. Hamp.

13,698

#3,000

0

0

0

0

Aug. 8

Aug. 8

N.J.

no procedure

#800

0

0

0

0

- – -

July 30

N. M.

3,009

18,053

already on

0

0

0

Apr. 2

June 6

N.Y.

no procedure

#15,000

in court

already on

can’t start

can’t start

- – -

Aug. 21

No. Car.

85,379

85,379

already on

0

3,000

0

May 16

June 14

No. Dak.

7,000

#4,000

0

0

0

0

Apr. 13

Sep. 7

Ohio

no law exists

5,000

already on

already on

already on

0

unsettled

Aug. 8

Okla.

51,739

43,890

0

0

t size="2" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">0

0

May 1

July 15

Oregon

21,804

18,279

already on

8,710

already on

0

Aug. 28

Aug. 28

Penn.

no procedure

(es) #25,000

can’t start

can’t start

can’t start

can’t start

- – -

Aug. 1

R.I.

17,115

#1,000

0

0

0

0

June 1

Sep. 7

So. Car.

10,000

10,000

already on

already on

already on

0

May 6

July 15

So. Dak.

7,928

3,171

0

0

0

0

Mar. 27

Aug. 7

Tenn.

no law exists

275

0

0

0

0

unsettled

Aug. 16

Texas

49,729

80,778

already on

already on

can’t start

can’t start

May 20

May 14

Utah

2,000

#1,000

already on

ign="RIGHT">0

already on

0

Feb. 15

Aug. 15

Vermont

be organized

#1,000

already on

0

0

0

Jan. 1

Jun 14

Virginia

no procedure

#10,000

can’t start

can’t start

can’t start

can’t start

- – -

Aug. 24

Wash.

no procedure

#1,000

can’t start

can’t start

can’t start

can’t start

- – -

Aug. 28

West Va.

no procedure

#7,135

0

already on

0

0

- – -

Aug. 1

Wisc.

10,000

#2,000

can’t start

can’t start

already on

can’t start

June 1

Sep. 7

Wyo.

3,740

3,740

already on

0

400

0

June 1

Aug. 28

TOTAL STATES ON
27
15
12
2
`

#partisan label is permitted on the ballot (other than "independent").
"AMER ELE" means Americans Elect Party.


MINOR PARTY WINS nt>

Several states held local non-partisan elections in March or April. Some minor party candidates were elected:

Green Party: (1) Steve Alesch was elected to the Warrenville Park District Commission in DuPage County, Illinois; (2) Toni Williams was elected to the Thornton Township High School District 205 board, Cook County, Illinois; (3) Don Crawford was elected to the St. Elmo library board in Fayette County, Illinois; (4) Michael Drennan was elected to the Ridgeville Park Board, Cook County; (5) Bob Poeschl was re-elected to the Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Common Council; (6) Marsha Rummel was re-elected to the Madison, Wisconsin, Common Council.

Libertarian Party: (1) Andrew Gray was elected to the Topeka, Kansas city council; (2) Doug Burlison was re-elected to the Springfield, Missouri, city council; (3) Steve Hellin was elected to the O’Fallon School Board in St. Clair County, Illinois; (4) Doug Marks was elected to the Cappentersville Village Trustee Board in Kane County, Illinois; (5) Karin Vermillion was elected to the Library Board in Kane County, Ilinois; (6) John Harrington was elected to the San Gabriel, California city council.

Socialist Party: Matt Erard was elected to the Downtown Detroit Citizens District Council.


CALIFORNIA SAYS MORE THAN ONE PARTY MAY USE "AMERICAN"

The California Secretary of State has accepted political body status for two groups that wish to qualify as a party: American Third Position, and Americans Elect. California law says that a new party may not choose a name that is "so similar to the name of an existing party so as to mislead the voters", but the Secretary of State did not believe that either of the two new groups would be confused with the American Independent Party, which has been on the California ballot since 1968.


COFOE HOLDS ANNUAL MEETING

On March 27, the Coalition for Free & Open Elections (COFOE) held its annual Board meeting in New York city. Representatives from the Green, Libertarian, Reform, Socialist, and Working Families Parties attended, as well as from representatives of Free & Equal, and the Committee for a Unified Independent Party (CUIP). Also, observers from the Conservative Party attended.

The Board voted to donate $500 to the two lawsuits pending in California against the law passed by the voters in 2010, and by the legislature in 2009, that does not permit write-in votes to be counted. The lawsuits also challenged the discriminatory part of those laws, which permits members of qualified parties to list their party on the ballot, but does not permit members of unqualified parties to list their party on the ballot. COFOE gets almost all of its income from readers of this newsletter, and thanks everyone who has contributed to COFOE.


ROCHESTER, N.Y. MAYOR ELECTION

On March 29, Rochester, New York held a special Mayoral election. The results: Thomas Richards, Democrat, 49.05%; William Johnson, 32.03% on the Working Families Party line and another 10.18% on the Independence Party line; and Alexander J. White, Green Party, 8.74%.


GERMAN GREENS WIN STATE PREMIER

On March 27, the German state of Baden-Wuerttenberg held elections for state office. Because the Green Party did so well, outpolling the Social Democratic Party, its coalition partner, the new Premier of the state is a member of the Green Party. He is Winfried Kretschmann. This is the first time the Green Party has ever held the top position in any German state, and probably the first time it has held the executive position in any jurisdiction of significant size. Baden-Wuerttenberg has a population of 11,000,000.


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 don’t 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 © 2011 Ballot Access News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>