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California Secretary of State Says Americans Elect Will be Ballot-Qualified Throughout 2014

The California Secretary of State has ruled that Americans Elect is still ballot-qualified, and will be through November 2014. Americans Elect registration is below one-fifteenth of 1%. Section 5101 says, “Whenever the registration of any party that qualified in the previous direct primary election falls below one-fifteenth of 1% of the total state registration, that party shall not be qualified to participate in the primary election but shall be deemed to have been abandoned by the voters.”

However, a preceding code section, 5100.5, says, “Upon the occurrence of the gubernatorial election, each party shall have its qualifications reviewed by the Secretary of State. A party that does not meet the standards for qualification set forth in Section 5100 shall be prohibited from participating in any primary election.”

Section 5100, which precedes 5100.5, says a party must either have polled 2% for a statewide office at the preceding gubernatorial election, or it must have registration of 1% of the last gubernatorial vote, or it must have submitted a petition signed by 10% of the last gubernatorial vote.

The Secretary of State believes that the language of 5100.5 means that no party is ever in jeopardy of losing qualified status except at the beginning of a presidential election year, and since 2014 is not a presidential election year, it is safe.

Chances are, no one will run for Congress or partisan state office in 2014 who is a registered member of Americans Elect, and so the party’s continued qualified status during 2014 will make no practical difference. Filing ends March 7 (or March 12 for races in which the incumbent didn’t file for re-election).

8 Responses

  1. Mark Seidenberg

    The gubernatorial election will not take place until November,
    2014. After that date the Secretary of State “shall have” each party’s “qualifications reviewed”. If American Elect does not
    have one fifteenth of 1 percent of the total State Registration,
    “that party shell not be qualified to participate in the primary
    election…”

    However, the Green Party’s, Libertarian Party’s and Peace and
    Freedom Party’s numbers are not looking very good either, viz. those parties will also get reviewed by the Secretary of State, viz., “[I]f on or before the 135th day before any
    primary election, it appears to the Secretary of State, as a
    result of examining and totaling the statement of voters and
    their political affiliations transmitted to him or her by the
    county elections officials, that voters equal in numbers to
    a least 1 percent of the entire vote pf the state at the last
    preceding gubernatorial election have declared their intention
    to affiliate with that party.”

    The last date that all voters had a declaration to declare
    “their intention to affiliate with” a party was on December
    31, 2010. The electors starting on January 1, 2011 just made
    a party preference and no “intention to affiliate with” a party. Only those persons using old registration card or
    the federal government generated card from circa 2007 on or after January 1, 2011 gave an “intention to affiliate with a”
    party.

    Therefore, all parties have been losing “affiliates” since
    December 31, 2010. Looking at the rate of lose by 2015, there
    will be only three political parties qualified on the ballot
    for the 2016 California Presidential Primary.

    Therefore, if one is voting for the first time or wants to re-register to vote and also wants to give an “intention to affiliate with a political” party, they need to register with
    the federal HAVA voter registration, based on the case law in CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY v. JONES.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg
    Vice Chairman, American Independent Party of California

    • Richard Winger

      Your interpretation of the law on party registrants is contradicted by the Report of Registration that the Secretary of State released today. That Report does not differentiate between two types of membership.

      • Mark Seidenberg

        The is only one type of member in a Political party.
        Having a party preference does not make one a member
        of a political party, electors should use the HAVA
        registration from circa 2007, because the case of California Democratic Party v. Jones explains that
        area of law.

        Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg,
        Vice Chairman, American Independent Party of California,

        • Mark Seidenberg

          Richard Winger,

          I had the figures for Los Angeles County for
          December, 2013 weeks ago. To part of those
          figures were not new to me. However the numbers here are not for party affiliation,
          they are for people that have a political
          party preference.

          Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg,
          Vice Chairman, American Independent Party of California

      • Jim Riley

        Mark Seidenberg is overlooking Sections 300.5, 2151(d), and 7000; all of which were included in SB 9. Further he is ignoring the preamble to Proposition 14 which expresses the legislative intent of the voters to convert “affiliation” to “preferences”.

        The two terms are wholly equivalent.

        • Mark Seidenberg

          Jim Riley,

          Thank you for the post. However, I have not
          overlooked those code sections or the preamble.
          FYI, The current 1% of the electors is at 176,603. That is the current safe number if voter turnout is circa now (and not 15 days
          be for the general election) and there is 100%
          turn out. However turnout will be less than
          17,660,257. One question is how much. Now
          Peace & Freedom has 76,258 (43.18 %), Green
          has 108,765 (61.24 %), Libertarian has
          112,527 (63.71 %). I have noted that the
          SofS has been rounding down their numbers.
          even when it violates law after the second
          number beyond the “.”.

          However, we are not dealing with all electors
          here or even electors with a “party preference”. We are dealing with those electors that have register by December 31,
          2010 and have not changed registration after
          that date , plus elector that have register
          after that date with the circa 2007 HAVA
          forms that gave a “party preference”. That is because of a ruling in CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY v. JONES, related to the use of the HAVA forms of circa 2007.

          Please note both CA Election Code Sections
          2150 and 2151. They need to be read together. Remember the old sub-section of CA
          Election Code Section 2050(a)(8) that was in effect as of December 31, 2010, because the new subsection effective January 1, 2011 did
          not end “political party affliations” if using a HAVA form circa 2007, after January 1, 2011.

          Also note that electors with political party
          affiliations were deemed to have a party
          preference on or after January 1, 2011 under
          Election Code section 2151. It was not the
          other way around.

          I also note the limitation of electors that
          are not “affiliated with the American Independent Party” can not sign “nomination
          papers” to qualify a candidate for the
          Presidential Preference Ballot. That would
          be a sub-part of electors that gave a
          “party preference” of American Independent
          Party, viz., those electors that were
          under 2050(a)(8) by December 31, 2010 or
          those registering using the circa 2007
          HAVA form on January 1, 2011 or after.

          It clearly states in part of CA Election
          Code Sections 6523 that “[i]n order to
          qualify his or her name for placement on the
          presidential preference primary ballot , the
          candidate’s nomination papers shall be signed by voters registered as affiliated with the
          American Independent Party equal in number
          to not less than 1 percent of the numbers of
          persons registered as members of the American
          Independent Party as reflected in the report
          of registration issued by the Secretary of State on the 135th day preceding the presidential primary election.” CA Election
          Code section 6523.

          It should be noted that Secretary of State
          Debra Bowen did not list the number of ”
          voters affiliated with the American Independent Party” in the report of registration 135 days before the 2012
          presidential primary election. Therefore,
          a claim could be made that one qualified
          elector could file a nomination paper.
          However, that elector would have to sue
          Secretary of State Bowen.

          I raised that issue with Virgil Goode in
          2012, when Secretary of State Bowen rejected
          him and eight others from running for POTUS
          in that 2012 Presidential Primary Election for the American Independent Party.
          He choose not to sue.

          Sincerely,
          Mark Seidenberg
          Vice Chairman
          American Independent Party of California.

  2. Mark Seidenberg

    The report does not contradict anything I stated.
    I just finished reading the report. It does tell
    that total registration went up. So the current
    0ne percent figure is 176,603. Therefore, the
    Green, Libertarians, and Peace & Freedom Party
    affiliation is falling from the fixed number in place on December 31, 2010. Using the HAVA form
    can and will get the elector into an affiliation
    status and not just in a “party preference” status.

    I did note that the Constitution Party of Don Grundmann went up to 355 in party preference,
    but it affiliation should be well below the
    former figure in place circa December 31, 2010
    of 157. Don Grundmann should have used the HAVA
    form so it will shop the number falling from that
    157 mark.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg
    Vice President, American Independent Party

  3. Jim Riley

    Mark Seidenberg makes a distinction that does not exist, that there is a difference between “intent to affiliate with a party at an ensuing primary” (pre-Proposition 14) and “party preference” (Proposition 14).

    Even if there were such a distinction it would fail Equal Protection and the 26th Amendment.

    The federal HAVA form has not been updated since Proposition 14. This is not because of a desire to maintain a distinction, but likely mere incompetency on the part of California and the federal government.

    ‘California Democratic Party v Jones’ simply defined “party members” as those “who have declared affiliation with that party when they register to vote”. The SCOTUS is unwilling to address the issue of what constitutes a political party, voters affiliate with the party or the formal party structure because they don’t want to address the conflict between treating parties as both private and public.

    The modicum of support decisions simply do not apply to the Top 2 Open Primary. The only rational interest that California has is determining that a preferred party exists, and this does not require membership beyond a 100 or 200 persons.

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