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Oregon Secretary of State Rules that Constitution Party is Still Ballot-Qualified

Published on December 21, 2012, by in General.

On December 21, the Oregon Secretary of State ruled that the Constitution Party is still ballot-qualified. The Secretary of State interprets the law to mean that the vote test does count when a candidate is the nominee of two parties. However, it only counts for the party of membership of that candidate. Here is the December 20 blog post about this issue, which explains this issue in greater detail.

The Secretary of State acknowledges that the law is not clear, and it appears that the Secretary of State is depending on legislative intent. The law permitting fusion was never intended to make it more difficult for a party to remain qualified.

26 Responses

  1. Jed Siple

    Good news for the Oregon CP, and good news for voter choice! I love it!

  2. Jed Siple

    @1

    But they nominated Christensen instead. ;)

  3. That’s odd. The section quoted in the comment that led you to revise your post seemed pretty unambiguous.

  4. johnO

    CP should run in each office in Oregon.

  5. dave

    The law was pretty clear. That parties couldn’t use fusion to gain ballot access. That access had to be by one party – one candidate.

  6. :-)

    @3 haha I know, I was just trying to make a pun :p

  7. “(7) An affiliation of electors or a minor political party may not satisfy the one percent requirement referred to in subsection (1)(b) of this section by nominating a candidate who is the nominee of another political party at the same election.”

    That’s not clear?

  8. johnO

    CP would do well in rural Oregon.

  9. Jed Siple

    @8

    I don’t see how it is. You can’t stay on by nominating the nominee of another party, but does that mean either party can be okay or not? Does it just mean the Working Families Party can’t stay on by clinging on to the Democratic Party or that it wouldn’t count for either the Democratic Party or the Working Families Party?

    @9

    Especially in the “State of Jefferson” portion of the state.

  10. dave

    #8 So why is the CP ballot qualified if the candidate was listed on both the LP line and CP line.’by nominating a candidate who is the nominee of another political party at the same election’.

  11. @11 Good question

    @10 If Democrats failed to qualify for other reasons then neither would qualify. Seems to be plain English.

  12. johnO

    How many state have fusion?

  13. Jim Riley

    Oregon should assume that registration with a party is equivalent to attending an assembly of electors (independent nomination). When it mails out the primary ballots, it should include directions how to participate in a minor party’s nomination activities (state or county convention).

    Candidates should be be required to pre-file. If James Leunberger wished to be the nominee of both the Libertarian and Constitution parties, he should file for both nominations.

    The same would also apply for candidates seeking a major party nomination. If a candidate wished to be the nominee of both the Democratic and Working Family parties, file for both, and remove the “sore loser” rule. Also let a non-party member qualify for the primary ballot by petition.

  14. Richard Winger

    #13, about half the states have fusion for president. It isn’t possible to give an exact number because it all depends on whether one is talking about fusion between two qualified parties, or one qualified party and one unqualified party, or one qualified party and an independent.

    For other office, fusion is legal and possible (but not necessarily easy) in Connecticut, Idaho, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Vermont.

  15. @14 A bit surprised to see Jim Riley advocate that.

    I think that’s what the new Oregon Libertarians are doing BTW.

  16. Jed Siple

    @12

    It doesn’t sound like plain English to me. It doesn’t say neither party qualifies, it says you can’t qualify by nominating another party’s nominee. Which could imply that the first party could qualify, since they didn’t nominate another party’s nominee, they nominated their own guy and some other party stole their thunder.

  17. It says nothing about first or second.

  18. Jed Siple

    My point exactly.

  19. “may not satisfy the one percent requirement … by nominating a candidate who is the nominee of another political party at the same election.”

    This has nothing to do with which party was the first to nominate. Grammar or logic – take your pick – says that if two parties run the same candidate, that candidate can’t qualify either party for the ballot (although they can qualify in other ways).

  20. Jed Siple

    No, it says you can’t qualify by nominating the nominee of another party. But then, one party didn’t nominate the nominee of another party. The second party did.

  21. There’s no first and no second. A nominee of party A is the nominee of party (B), whereby he’s the nominee of party B — and thus the nominee of another party to party A. The structure of that sentence says it makes no difference which party nominates first.

    She is still the nominee of another party in the same election regardless of which party nominated first.

  22. Jed Siple

    That’s one way of looking at it, yes. But as has already been mentioned, there’s more than one way to interpret it.

  23. Any other way seems patently illogical.

  24. To anyone with a rudimentary grasp of sentence structure and logic.

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