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California Ballot Access Bill Tentatively Set for Assembly Elections Hearing on May 6

The California Assembly Elections Committee is expected to hear AB 2351 on May 6. This is the bill to ease the definition of “political party”, from a group with registration of 1% of the last gubernatorial vote (currently 103,004 members) to one-third of 1% of the state registration total (which would be approximately 60,000 members).

3 Responses

  1. Mark Seidenberg

    As of March 10, 2014, last post date there are no co-sponsors.
    If this bill does not pass or one of a similar contact, by 2015
    there could only be three political parties qualified in California.

  2. Mark Seidenberg

    I see a problem with this bill in its current form. That is
    a conflict with the National Voters Registration Act. It take
    those electors that used the circa 2007 National Voters Registration Form after December 31, 2010 that gave a party
    affiliation and does not extend the party preference to them
    as the legislature deemed under California Election Code
    section 2151(d) in its grandfather enactment to persons
    intending to affiliate with a political party on or prior to
    December 31, 2010.

    Gordon needs to go back to the drawing board!

    The numbers are fair, viz., .33%. But it should be based
    on affiliation and not party preference. Assemblyman
    Gordon need to figure how persons that gave a party preference
    after December 31, 2010, can easily affiliate with a political party and be counted in the number to stay a qualified political party by a affiliation count only, if their registration was not on the NVRA form..

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

  3. Jim Riley

    California should change its definition of a political party to one with at least 100 registrants. Since it is such a reasonable number, recognition could be done by petition, in which the voters agree to change their registration. Then ordinary registrants who write-in an unrecognized name, would be contacted as to whether they had made a misspelling, or would have their registration changed to independent.

    An active political party would be one which would be one that demonstrated organized political activity:

    (1) Bylaws;
    (2) A chairman, secretary, and treasurer;
    (3) Periodic audited financial reporting;
    (4) A biennial state convention;
    (5) Executive bodies elected by voters registered with the party.

    Division 7 would be ripped out of Elections Code.

    California could provide for party elections by-mail in which the county election officials would distribute and collect ballots, and hand the ballots over to the parties to be tabulated. This would permit the party to structure its executive bodies and elections in whatever form they feel is appropriate.

    A party that was not active, but maintained 100 registrants, would be considered dormant, and could be activated by a state convention.

    A candidate for a voter-nominated office could have their preference for an active political party expressed on the ballot, or have a blank space. Other candidates could have “Independent”, “Nonpartisan”, “No Party Preference” or a blank space.

    Major parties would be those whose registration is at least 1/10 of 1% of the previous presidential vote (13,039).

    Major parties would be entitled to make endorsements for the sample ballot; have poll watchers; participate in the selection of poll workers; etc.

    Major parties could participate in the presidential preference primary. Ballots would list all candidates for all parties, and would be marked with the affiliation of the voter if it is with a major party. A voter could vote for any candidate, and each party could do what it wanted with the results.

    Qualification for the general election presidential ballot would be by petition only, with again 1/10 of 1% of presidential votes required. However, presidential preference votes for the candidates could be counted for this purpose, and other candidates could donate the support they received in the primary.

    Thus Jill Stein would have had 9,165 of the 13,039 votes need to qualify for the general election ballot. Roseanne Barr or Kent Mesplay could donate their support, or Stein would need to collect additional support by petition.

    A major political party could also block use of votes cast by its members for qualifying other candidates. Thus the Republican Party could withhold use of GOP votes cast for Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul, for qualifying for the general election ballot. These candidates would be free to use votes cast by other parties, or to petition to qualify for the general election ballot if they wished.

    The general election would require a majority to elect the presidential electors. If no candidate received a majority, then a sample of the electorate would participate in a runoff.

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