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April 2014 Ballot Access News Print Edition

Ballot Access News
April 1, 2014 – Volume 29, Number 11


This issue was printed on white paper.



Table of Contents

  1. TENNESSEE LAW ON PARTY RETENTION STRUCK DOWN
  2. NEW HAMPSHIRE BILL PASSES HOUSE
  3. OKLAHOMA BALLOT ACCESS BILL ADVANCES
  4. FOURTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS MAY PETITION DEADLINE
  5. OHIO LIBERTARIANS FIGHT FOR ACCESS
  6. ALABAMA PROCEDURAL VICTORY
  7. KANSAS ALLOWS OUT-OF-STATE PETITIONERS
  8. ALABAMA COURT SAYS STATE NEED NOT VET QUALIFICATIONS
  9. SOCIALIST PARTY WINS NEW JERSEY CASE
  10. THIRD CIRCUIT HEARS PENNSYVANIA CASE
  11. ARKANSAS PETITION RULES STRUCK DOWN
  12. LEGISLATIVE NEWS
  13. LIBERTARIAN REGISTRATION UP BY 11% SINCE 2012
  14. 2014 PETITIONING FOR STATEWIDE OFFICE
  15. WRITE-IN CANDIDATE ELECTED TO PENNSYLVANIA LEGISLATURE
  16. FLORIDA SPECIAL ELECTION RETURNS
  17. STRONG INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE FOR MAYOR OF WASHINGTON, D.C.
  18. BERNIE SANDERS TELLS “THE NATION” THAT HE MAY RUN FOR PRESIDENT
  19. LaROUCHE SUPPORTER WINS SPOT IN TEXAS DEMOCRATIC SENATE RUN-OFF
  20. IDAHO TO HOLD PRIMARY FOR CONSTITUTION PARTY
  21. SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL

TENNESSEE LAW ON PARTY RETENTION STRUCK DOWN

FIRST FEDERAL COURT VICTORY ON THIS ISSUE

On March 14, U.S. District Court Judge William J. Haynes, a Clinton appointee, ruled that the Tennessee law on how a party remains on the ballot is unconstitutional. Green Party of Tennessee v Hargett, m.d., 3:13cv-1128.

When a newly-qualifying party gets on the ballot by submitting a petition, it is removed from the ballot after its first election, unless it polls 5% for President, Governor, or U.S. Senator. But a party that meets the 5% vote is then guaranteed to be on the ballot for the next two elections.

The decision finds that, therefore, newly-qualifying parties are not being treated equally. The state could cure this defect in one of two ways: (1) it could provide that when a party submits a petition, it gets the next two elections; (2) it could provide that after a party meets the 5% vote test, it gets only one additional election, not two. The decision hints that only alternative (1) would be acceptable, however. It quotes from the U.S. Supreme Court decision Norman v Reed, a 1992 decision from Illinois that said states must give voters a chance to "create and develop" new political parties. That case had been won by the Harold Washington Party, and reduced the petition burden to get on the ballot for county office in Cook County.

The Tennessee decision puts the Green Party and the Constitution Party on the ballot for 2014. They had each been on the ballot in 2012, but neither one of them had polled as much as 5% for either President or U.S. Senate. The Green Party had come closer, and had polled 1.66% for U.S. Senate. The Constitution Party did not run anyone for U.S. Senate in 2012. Both parties polled less than 1% for President in 2012. No other minor parties had been on the 2012 ballot.

Why Decision is Unprecedented

This decision is the first time that a federal court has ever struck down a law on how a party remains on the ballot. In 1982 the Alaska Supreme Court had struck down Alaska’s law, but that decision had been based on the Alaska Constitution, not the U.S. Constitution. That decision struck down a law that said a party needs a vote of 10% for Governor. The Alaskan Independence Party had won that case.

Some states have vote tests that are so severe, they have not been used in decades. The most severe are the laws of Pennsylvania, requiring registration membership of 15% of the state total; and New Jersey, requiring a vote of 10% for all votes cast for lower house of the state legislature.

The Tennessee decision also strikes down a state law that requires new parties to sign a loyalty oath that they do not advocate the violent overthrow of the government. That part of the decision was no surprise, because the U.S. Supreme Court had struck down a similar Indiana law in 1974, by a unanimous vote.

The Tennessee legislature is considering several bills to ease the ballot access laws. Probably the state won’t decide whether to appeal until legislative leaders decide whether to advance those bills.


NEW HAMPSHIRE BILL PASSES HOUSE

On March 13, the New Hampshire House passed HB 1322. It lowers the vote test to meet the definition of qualified party from 4%, to 3%, for Governor or U.S. Senator. It would not result in any immediate change, because the only party on the ballot in 2012 for those offices, the Libertarian Party, got 2.78% for Governor.


OKLAHOMA BALLOT ACCESS BILL ADVANCES

On March 13, the Oklahoma House passed HB 2134 by 74-11. It cuts the number of signatures for a new party from 5% of the last vote cast, to 2.5%. If the bill were in effect this year, the requirement would be 33,372 signatures, not 66,744.

The bill is now in the Senate Rules Committee. In the Senate, the sponsor is Senator Bryce Marlatt, the Majority Caucus Leader. The bill had been introduced in 2013 by the legislator who was elected Speaker of the House earlier this year.

If the bill is signed into law, Oklahoma will still require a higher percentage to get on the ballot for President than any other state. All other states have some procedure for a presidential candidate (running outside the major parties) to get on the ballot that is equal to, or easier than, 2% of the vote in a previous election.


FOURTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS MAY PETITION DEADLINE

On February 27, the Fourth Circuit upheld North Carolina’s May petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties. Pisano v Strach, 13-1368. The decision says the state needs an early deadline because it takes so long to check the petition. This is because the state requires almost 90,000 valid signatures. The decision did not even mention that the North Carolina deadline for statewide independent candidates is almost a month later, and the statewide independent petition requires just as many signatures.

On March 13, the Constitution and Green Parties for a request for rehearing en banc, which is still pending.


OHIO LIBERTARIANS FIGHT FOR ACCESS

On February 14, the Ohio Secretary of State certified three statewide Libertarian Party candidates for the party’s May 6 primary ballot. They were running for Governor and Lieutennt Governor (as a team), and Attorney General. They each needed 500 signatures, and the state determined that they had enough.

But on February 21, a challenge was filed to those petitions. On March 4, the Secretary of State held an administrative hearing, and then ruled the candidates off the ballot because the circulators had not filled out a blank, printed on each petition sheet, that asks for the employer of the circulator. This rule had been passed in 2005, but never before enforced. At the hearing, the circulators testified that they believed it did not apply to independent contractors.

On March 6, the Libertarian Party asked a U.S. District Court for an injunction, putting the three candidates back on the primary ballot, but on March 19, Judge Michael Watson refused. He wrote, "Evidence in the record supports an inference that operatives or supporters of the Ohio Republican Party orchestrated the protest", but says that a law requiring circulators to reveal their employers is valid, so there is no basis for relief.

On March 20, the party appealed, and the next day the.Sixth Circuit agreed to expedite the case. All briefs will be in by April 15. The primary is May 6. Normally, it would be too late for a court to put candidates on a ballot that close to an election, but in this case that is not a problem. Because the three statewide Libertarians are unopposed in the Libertarian Party primary, they each only need one vote. Some counties use electronic vote-counting machines, and a name can be added to those machines just days before a primary.

If the party doesn’t win in the Sixth Circuit, it won’t have a gubernatorial nominee on the November ballot, and it will be disqualified. Ohio requires parties to poll 2% for Governor in 2014 in order to remain on the ballot.


ALABAMA PROCEDURAL VICTORY

On March 3, U.S. District Court Judge Mark E. Fuller denied Alabama’s request to terminate the lawsuit Hall v Bennett. The issue is whether Alabama is violating the Constitution by refusing to ease the number of signatures for independent candidates and minor parties in special elections, when the petitioning time is much shorter. The case arose around a special U.S. House election held in December 2013, and the state argued that the case is moot because that election is over. But the judge disagreed, and will probably rule on the constitutional issue soon.

This is the first time any federal judge has ruled favorably on a ballot access lawsuit in Alabama in twenty years. During the last two decades, federal judges in Alabama have upheld the March petition deadline (that case, Stein v Bennett, is being appealed), the number of signatures for minor parties and independent candidates, and the policy that requires more signatures for an independent for U.S. House than for President. Federal judges in Alabama have also turned aside challenges filed by candidates who were excluded from primary ballots because of their political views.


KANSAS ALLOWS OUT-OF-STATE PETITIONERS

On March 19, the Kansas legislature passed HB 2130. The bill repeals all laws that prohibit out-of-state circulators. The new law says that anyone who is an adult citizen, and not an ex-felon, may circulate any petition. The House had passed this bill last year but only this year did the Senate pass it.

States that still prohibit out-of-state circulators for candidate petitions are Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota. In addition, Alaska, Maine, and North Dakota ban out-of-state workers for initiative petitions. Lawsuits are pending in Alaska and Michigan and one will soon be filed in North Dakota.


ALABAMA COURT SAYS STATE NEED NOT VET QUALIFICATIONS

On March 21, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the Secretary of State has no obligation to determine if presidential candidates meet the constitutional qualifications. Hugh McInnish and Virgil Goode v Bennett, 1120465. The lower court had come to the same conclusion.

The lawsuit had been filed in 2012 by individuals who feel that President Obama does not meet the constitutional qualifications. The lawsuit did not seek to keep him off the ballot, but merely to force the Secretary of State to investigate. The majority concludes that nothing in the law requires the Secretary of State to inquire about presidential candidates’ qualifications. The dissent, written by Chief Justice Roy Moore, says the Secretary took an oath to support the U.S. Constitution and her duty is implicit.


SOCIALIST PARTY WINS NEW JERSEY CASE

On March 19, New Jersey election officials agreed to let voters register into the Socialist Party, and to keep a tally. The party will then be able to obtain a list of its registered voters. The party had sued to obtain this outcome. The state agreed, without the need for a judge to make a decision. The lawsuit had been filed July 1, 2013, and is Noble v State, Mercer County Superior Court, c-86-13.

Six other minor parties also have voter registration rights in New Jersey. In all six instances, the parties had to sue the state. New Jersey still doesn’t have any law, or any regulations, to decide which minor parties may have voter registration rights. Perhaps the state will now issue some regulation so that future lawsuits won’t be needed. A regulation can also be useful for determining when to terminate the voter tally. New Jersey is still tracking registrants in the Natural Law Party, and the Conservative Party, but neither party is still in existence.


THIRD CIRCUIT HEARS PENNSYVANIA CASE

On March 6, the Third Circuit heard Constitution Party v Aichele, 13-1952. The issue is the Pennsylvania system that puts petitioning groups at risk of court costs of up to $110,000 if they submit a petition that doesn’t have enough valid signatures. The lower court had said that plaintiffs lack standing, even though the case had been filed in 2012, a year in which the Libertarian petition was challenged, and the Constitution Party withdrew its petition because of fear of court costs.

The attorney for the state admitted at the argument that the U.S. District Court had applied an incorrect legal standard. At the end of the hearing, the judges asked the state to order a transcript of the hearing, which seems to suggest that the opinion, when it comes, will quote the admission.


ARKANSAS PETITION RULES STRUCK DOWN

On February 28, an Arkansas Circuit Court struck down several restrictions on initiative petitions that had been passed by the legislature in 2013. Spencer v Martin, Pulaski Co., cv-13-4020. The State Constitution says, "No law shall be passed…in any manner interfering with the freedom of the people in procuring petitions." The state is appealing.

The restrictions include: (1) the signer must fill out all blanks himself or herself, including date of signing, birthday, and address; (2) when the sponsors submit a batch of signatures, all petitioning must stop until that batch has been checked; (3) the sponsor must submit a list of all paid circulators in advance, with the address of the circulator and a picture taken within 90 days; (4) "paid circulator" is defined to mean a circulator who receives "anything of value", which might even include a T-shirt or a clipboard or a free meal; (5) an entire sheet is invalid if voters from two different counties signed that petition, unless all the signatures from residents of one county are lined out.


LEGISLATIVE NEWS

Alabama: HB 62 was signed into law on February 4. It says the general election ballot must be finalized by the last week in August. However, the bill does not amend another law that says independent presidential candidate petitions are due the first week in September. The election code is now internally contradictory.

Arizona: on February 27, Governor Jan Brewer signed HB 2196. It repeals ballot access restrictions passed in 2013, which made it very difficult for members of small parties to get on their own party’s primary ballot.

Colorado: on March 12, the House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee defeated HB 1062 by 3-8. It would have let local governments use Approval Voting for non-partisan office. Approval Voting lets a voter vote for as many candidates as desired, even though only one candidate is being elected. All Democrats on the Committee voted "No."

Kentucky: on March 18, the Senate passed SB 205, to let someone run simultaneously for President or Vice-President, and some other office. U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s term is up in 2016, and he probably will run for re-election as well as for President.

Louisiana: on March 19, the House & Government Affairs Committee passed HB 193. It lets independent candidates have "independent" on the ballot, instead of "no party."

New Mexico: on March 7, Governor Susana Martinez signed HB 368, which makes several ballot access improvements: (1) the petition to establish a new party is now due in June instead of April; (2) the number of signatures for minor party nominees in midterm years is reduced somewhat; (3) petitions are deemed valid if they appear to have enough signatures.

Tennessee: on March 12, a Subcommittee of the House Local Government Committee passed HB 958, which lowers the number of signatures for a new party from 2.5% of the last gubernatorial vote to 2,500 signatures.

Utah: on March 10, the House passed HB 410, which provides that the presidential primary should be conducted on-line, and also says the date would be earlier than any other state’s presidential primary or caucus. However, the Senate did not take up the bill, and the legislature has adjourned.


LIBERTARIAN REGISTRATION UP BY 11% SINCE 2012

The chart below gives registration totals for each party. All figures are from early 2014, except that the Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania figures are from 2013; the Connecticut minor party totals are from 2012; and the Pennsylvania Constitution and Green totals are from 2012. The Nevada Green figure is for 2014 but is approximate.

The chart shows that the number of registered voters has declined since November 2012. Nevertheless, Libertarian registration has grown by 11.4%, although registration for all other nationally-organized parties, major and minor, has declined. The number of independent voters is up by .7%.

The parties in the "other" column are: Ak., Alaskan Independence 16,125, Veterans 1,162; Ca., American Independent 469,648, Peace & Freedom 76,268; Ct., Independent Party 13,933, Working Families 222; Del., Indp. Party 3,400, Working Families 544, Soc. Workers 156; Fl., Independent Party 266,193, Independence Party 54,331, America’s Party 512, Tea 705, Ecology 177, Socialism & Liberation 108, Peace & Freedom 110; Ky., Socialist Workers; La., Conservative; Mass., Socialist; N.J., Conservative 647, Natural Law 37; N.M., Independent American 1,851, Peace & Freedom 26 Socialist Workers 18; N.Y., Independence 439,754; Conservative 146,379; Working Families 42,972; Or., Independent Party 99,797; Working Families 10,276; Progressive 1,933; R.I., Moderate; Ut., Independent American 3,367, Justice 58.

All figures are as of early 2014, except that Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York are as of 2013.

MARCH 2014 REGISTRATION TOTALS

~

Dem.

Rep.

Ind, misc

Lib’t.

Green

Consti.

Reform

Am-Elect

other

Alaska

70,913

135,366

266,381

7,632

1,839

164

?

?

17,287

Arizona

960,701

1,130,170

1,128,642

26,595

5,601

?

?

332

- -

Calif.

7,695,907

5,073,380

4,103,528

112,527

108,785

355

16,377

3,482

545,916

Colorado

899,031

938,939

997,461

20,890

7,079

5,845

?

?

- -

Conn.

741,340

414,711

843,787

1,603

1,815

182

87

?

14,155

Delaware

303,251

179,396

144,198

1,026

629

384

89

?

4,100

Dt. Col.

337,980

27,213

77,157

231

3,613

?

?

?

- -

Florida

4,710,865

4,139,885

2,716,016

22,009

5,797

1,135

1,838

?

322,176

Idaho

56,741

240,996

550,189

3,421

?

1,713

?

?

- -

Iowa

602,487

605,192

706,776

2,667

978

0

0

0

- -

Kansas

423,345

764,610

528,460

12,281

0

0

0

0

0

Kentucky

1,669,536

1,175,497

225,353

3,411

788

268

101

?

68

Louis’na

1,378,150

807,310

711,940

9,156

1,868

120

1,410

694

643

Maine

305,920

260,768

356,522

?

37,640

?

?

?

- -

Maryland

2,050,805

947,339

649,854

13,424

8,432

?

?

287

- -

Mass.

1,523,236

471,466

2,247,203

12,205

6,820

96

173

?

230

Nebraska

361,863

550,801

231,755

4,819

?

?

?

?

- -

Nevada

465,483

401,906

205,991

8,398

4,000

54,175

?

?

- -

N. Hamp.

236,774

261,846

372,009

?

?

?

?

?

- -

N. Jersey

1,814,423

1,086,552

2,597,684

2,373

1,261

170

66

?

684

N. Mex.

597,165

398,443

268,374

3,024

4,807

150

74

0

1,895

N. York

5,441,544

2,649,058

2,271,828

4,956

21,086

?

?

?

629,105

No. Car.

2,763,183

1,992,664

1,728,452

23,264

?

?

?

?

- -

Okla.

885,609

854,329

238,870

?

?

?

?

4

- -

Oregon

836,862

657,794

517,397

15,964

10,258

3,443

?

165

112,006

Pennsyl.

4,089,866

3,030,658

1,042,965

45,340

12,599

3,814

?

?

- -

Rhode Is.

289,924

74,457

368,168

?

?

?

?

?

1,719

So. Dak.

176,081

234,976

95,431

1,271

?

441

?

7

- -

Utah

112,694

591,979

516,469

6,623

1,042

3,503

74

87

3,425

W. Va.

614,007

351,552

252,442

1,534

1,452

149

?

?

- -

Wyo.

53,022

166,250

34,939

1,917

?

318

?

?

- -

TOTAL

42,468,708

30,615,503

26,996,241

368,561

248,189

76,425

20,289

5,058

1,653,409

Percent

41.45%

29.88%

26.35

.36

.24%

.07%

.02%

.005%

1.61%

Totals October 2012 were: Dem. 43,512,746 (41.85%), Rep. 31,298,863 (30.10%), Indp. & misc. 26,808,810 (25.79%), Libertarian 330,811 (.32%), Green 250,682 (.24%), Constitution 77,918 (.07%), Reform 22,880 (.02%), Americans Elect 6,408 (.01%), other parties 1,659,537 (1.60%).

Totals October 2008 were: Dem. 43,933,901 (43.62%), Rep. 30,944,590 (30.72%), Indp. & misc. 24,157,259 (23.98%), AIP/Constitution 438,222 (.44%), Green 255,019 (.25%), Libertarian 240,328 (.24%), Reform 32,961 (.03%), other parties 675,980 (.67%).

Totals October 2004 were: Dem. 37,301,951 (42.19%), Rep. 28,988,593 (32.79%), Indp. & misc. 20,471,250 (23.15%), Constitution 320,019 (.36%), Green 298,701 (.34%), Libertarian 235,521 (.27%), Reform 63,729 (.07%), Natural Law 39,670 (.04%), other parties 695,639 (.79%).

Totals October 2000 were: Dem. 38,529,264 (43.84%), Rep. 28,813,511 (32.78%), Indp. & misc. 18,999,126 (21.62%), Constitution 348,977 (.40%), Libertarian 224,713 (.26%), Green 193,332 (.22%), Reform 99,408 (.11%), Natural Law 61,405 (.07%), other parties 620,668 (.71%).

Totals October 1992 were: Dem. 35,616,630 (47.76%), Rep. 24,590,383 (32.97%), Indp. & misc. 13,617,167 (18.26%), Green 102,557 (.14%), Libertarian 100,394 (.13%), other parties 554,668 (.74%).


2014 PETITIONING FOR STATEWIDE OFFICE

STATE
REQUIREMENTS
SIGNATURES OR REGIS. OBTAINED
DEADLINES
FULL PARTY
CAND
LIB’T
GREEN
CONSTI
Am Elect
Party
Indp.

Ala.

44,829

44,829

0

0

0

0

June 3

June 3

Alaska

(reg) 8,925

#2,975

already on

(reg)*1,839

(reg) *164

0

June 1

Aug. 19

Ariz.

23,041

(est) #31,000

already on

in court

0

already on

Feb. 28

May 28

Ark.

10,000

10,000

already on

already on

0

0

*Jan 2

in court

Calif.

(reg) 103,004

65 + fee

already on

already on

*too late

already on

Jan. 2

March 7

Colo.

(reg) 1,000

#1,000

already on

already on

already on

0

Jan. 8

July 10

Conn.

no procedure

#7,500

0

already on

0

0

- – -

Aug. 6

Del.

(est.) (reg) 650

(est.) 6,500

already on

already on

(reg) *384

0

Aug. 19

July 15

D.C.

no procedure

(est.) #3,900

already on

already on

can’t start

can’t start

- – -

Aug. 6

Florida

0

pay fee

already on

already on

already on

0

*May 2

May 2

Georgia

50,334

#50,334

already on

0

0

0

July 8

July 8

Hawaii

706

25

already on

already on

0

0

Feb. 20

June 3

Idaho

13,102

1,000

already on

0

already on

0

Aug. 30

March 14

Illinois

no procedure

#25,000

*50

*50

*50

*0

- – -

June 23

Indiana

no procedure

#34,195

already on

0

0

0

- – -

June 30

Iowa

no procedure

#1,500

0

0

0

0

- – -

Aug. 15

Kansas

16,776

5,000

already on

0

0

0

June 2

Aug. 4

Ky.

no procedure

#5,000

*400

0

0

0

- – -

Aug. 12

La.

(reg) 1,000

pay fee

already on

already on

(reg) *120

0

May 15

Aug. 22

Maine

*(reg) 5,000

#4,000

0

already on

0

0

Dec 12, 13

June 2

Md.

10,000

(est.) 40,000

already on

already on

0

*already on

Aug. 4

Aug. 4

Mass.

(reg) 42,391

#10,000

*0

*300

*0

0

Nov. 5, 13

July 29

Mich.

32,261

30,000

already on

already on

already on

0

July 16

July 17

Minn.

146,297

#2,000

0

0

0

0

May 1

June 3

Miss.

be organized

1,000

already on

already on

already on

0

March 3

March 3

Mo.

10,000

10,000

already on

0

already on

0

July 28

July 28

Mont.

5,000

#11,823

already on

*0

0

0

March 13

May 27

Nebr.

4,880

4,000

already on

0

0

0

Aug. 1

*Sep 2

Nev.

(reg. or pet) 9,738

*250

already on

(reg.) 4,000

already on

0

April 11

*Feb. 6

N. Hamp.

20,779

#3,000

0

0

0

0

Aug. 6

Aug. 6

N.J.

no procedure

#800

0

0

0

0

- – -

June 3

N. M.

3,009

18,053

already on

0

*3,600

0

*June 24

June 24

N.Y.

no procedure

#15,000

can’t start

already on

can’t start

can’t start

- – -

Aug. 5

No. Car.

89,366

89,366

already on

0

0

0

in court

June 12

No. Dak.

7,000

1,000

already on

0

0

0

Apr. 11

*Sep. 2

Ohio

27,905

5,000

already on

already on

already on

0

July 2

May 5

Okla.

66,744

pay fee

0

0

0

0

March 3

April 11

Oregon

17,700

18,279

already on

already on

already on

0

Aug. 26

Aug. 26

Penn.

no procedure

#16,639

*250

*200

*0

*0

- – -

Aug. 1

R.I.

17,115

#1,000

0

0

0

0

June 2

*July 11

So. Car.

10,000

10,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

May 4

July 15

So. Dak.

7,928

3,171

already on

0

already on

already on

Mar. 25

April 29

Tenn.

40,042

25

*0

*already on

*already on

0

Aug. 6

April 3

Texas

49,729

49,729

already on

already on

*0

*0

May 20

June 26

Utah

2,000

#1,000

already on

*too late

already on

*too late

March 1

March 20

Vermont

be organized

#500

already on

0

0

0

Jan. 1

June 12

Virginia

no procedure

#10,000

*1,800

0

0

0

- – -

June 10

Wash.

no procedure

#pay fee

can’t start

can’t start

can’t start

can’t start

- – -

*May 16

West Va.

no procedure

#6,516

already on

already on

*2,500

0

- – -

Aug. 1

Wisc.

10,000

#2,000

0

0

already on

0

May 1

*June 2

Wyo.

4,833

4,833

already on

0

already on

0

June 1

Aug. 25

TOTAL STATES ON
33
20*
15*
5*
`

# label permitted (other than "independent").
"AM ELECT means "Americans Elect."
* entry changed since the Mar. 1, 2014 issue).
"Reg" = registrations. "Pet" = petition signatures.
The 1787 Party will not petition in any state this year, not even Texas.


WRITE-IN CANDIDATE ELECTED TO PENNSYLVANIA LEGISLATURE

On March 18, a write-in candidate, Scott Wagner, was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate. This is the first time since 1934 that someone who was not a Democratic or Republican nominee has been elected to the Pennsylvania legislature. The vote totals are: Wagner 10,595; Republican Ron Miller 5,920; Democrat Linda Small 5,704.

Wagner is a registered Republican. He launched his write-in campaign after the Republican Party, in a party meeting, chose another Republican to be the party’s nominee. In special elections, Pennsylvania allows qualified parties to nominate without any primaries. Wagner campaigned against legislative pensions. One particular retired state legislator draws an annual pension of $286,000 per year.


FLORIDA SPECIAL ELECTION RETURNS

On March 11, Florida held a special election to fill the vacant U.S. House seat, 13th district. The results: Republican David Jolly 89,167; Democrat Alex Sink 85,673; Libertarian Lucas Overby 8,919; write-in candidate Michael S. Levinson 13. When this seat had been up in 2012, the vote was: Republican 189,605; Democratic 139,742.


STRONG INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE FOR MAYOR OF WASHINGTON, D.C.

Washington, D.C., city councilmember David Catania has announced that he will run for Mayor as an independent candidate. He has been on the city council since 1997, as an at-large member, which means he has been winning citywide, not just in one ward.

He was first elected as a Republican, but he left the party and was re-elected as an independent in 2006 and 2010. For city council-at-large races, the city’s election laws provide that the voters elect two members, but no party is permitted to run more than one nominee. The purpose of this law is to avoid having all city council members be from the dominant party.


BERNIE SANDERS TELLS "THE NATION" THAT HE MAY RUN FOR PRESIDENT

On March 6, "The Nation" carried an interview with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, in which Sanders says he is thinking about running for President. He has never run for public office as a Democrat before. He was elected to the U.S. House as an independent in all elections 1990 through 2004. In 2006 he was elected to the U.S. Senate as an independent, and he was re-elected as an independent in 2012. He holds the record for the longest service for any independent in Congress. In the interview, Sanders did not say whether he would run for the Democratic nomination, or whether he would run outside the major parties.


LaROUCHE SUPPORTER WINS SPOT IN TEXAS DEMOCRATIC SENATE RUN-OFF

Texas held its primary on March 4. Kesha Rogers, the candidate of the Lyndon LaRouche organization, placed second for U.S. Senate in the Democratic primary. Because no one got as much as 50%, there will be a run-off on May 27. The vote was: David Alameel 238,618; Rogers 110,160; Maxey Marie Scherr 89,735; Harry Kim 45,324; Michael Fjetland 23,175.


IDAHO TO HOLD PRIMARY FOR CONSTITUTION PARTY

Technically, Idaho holds primaries for all ballot-qualified parties except newly-qualifying parties. However, in practice, Idaho only prints up primary ballots for parties that have at least two candidates for a single office. This year, the Constitution Party has two candidates for State Senate, district one, so the state will print primary ballots for the party, for that office only, in that district. This is believed to be the first time Idaho has conducted a primary for a party other than the Democratic and Republican Parties in at least thirty years. The two candidates are Christian Fioravanti and Jack Marvin. Only registered members of the Constitution Party can vote in this primary.


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Ballot Access News is published by and copyright by Richard Winger. Note: subscriptions are available!


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7 Responses

  1. Cody Quirk

    Excuse me Richard, but the Oregon CP voter registration shouldn’t be included in the National CP category, since they are affiliated with the IAP- it is falsely inflating the National CP numbers.

  2. As we have discussed, the Constitution Party of Oregon is completely free to change its name to the Independent American Party any time it wishes. As we already talked about, a decision of the Oregon State Court of Appeals, Freedom Socialist Party v Bradbury, said that Oregon must permit two different parties to share the same word in their name. So the Independent American Party can use that name in Oregon, even if there is already an Independent Party in Oregon.

    Since the Constitution Party seems to like its existing name, and since rank-and-file members of the party registered as “Constitution” on voter registration forms, not “Independent American”, it would not be accurate to list those voters as Independent American registrants.

    • Sorry Richard but I’m going with Cody on this one. Once the Constitution Party of Oregon affiliated with the Independent American Party, it became the Independent American Party, whether they change their name or not. Voters in Minnesota may register with the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and consider themselves DFL members, but for national tallying purposes, they are Democrats.

      All those registered as affiliated with the Constitution Party of Oregon are affiliated with the national Independent American Party, whether they like it or not.

  3. Richard Winger

    There is no party registration in Minnesota. If there were, though, I would agree with you, because there is no factionalism involved and everyone in the DFL knows that the DFL is the Democratic Party affiliate in Minnesota.

    I just doubt that even 2% of the Oregon Constitution Party registrants know that there is any such organization as the Independent American Party.

    Do you think I should list the Americans Elect registrants in Arizona as registered members of the Independent American Party?

  4. Cody Quirk

    Guess I’ll be giving Jack Brown a heads up about this.

    By adding the Oregon CP to the National CP rank in both ballot access and voter registration, you are falsely inflating the National CP’s strength & numbers and therefore misleading BAN readers.

  5. Richard,
    When the California Independent American Party was still affiliated with the Constitution Party National Committee, did you list their registrants with the the Constitution Party regardless of their name? How do you accredit registrants of the Independent American Party of Nevada which is still affiliated with the Constitution Party National Committee? Let’s be consistent! Technically the Constitution Party of Oregon is independent of any national party, but is part of an Alliance of Independent American Parties, as is the National Independent American Party and its state affiliates.

  6. Richard Winger

    The California party you are referring to is the American Independent Party, not the Independent American Party.

    I am being consistent. The Green Party affiliate in West Virginia is called the Mountain Party, and I include Mountain Party registrants in the Green Party national total. Ditto for the American Independent Party of California, and ditto for the Independent American Party of Nevada. When a state party whole-heartedly switches from being a party without national affliation, to deciding to affiliate with a national party, they get included with that national party’s column. But your case is different. The Oregon Constitution Party petition drive was funded and carried out by people who supported the national Constitution Party. It had been affilated with the national Constitution Party for many years. Then, the state leadership disaffiliated from the Constitution Party, just as the Arizona Libertarian Party disaffiliated itself from the national Libertarian Party in 2000 and ran a different presidential candidate than the national party. But I didn’t stop putting Arizona Libertarian registrants in the national Libertarian registration column. The Socialist Party of Connecticut disaffilated itself from the national Socialist Party 1938-1940 and wouldn’t put Norman Thomas on the ballot for president in 1940, but if BAN had existed back then, I would still list the Connecticut Socialists in the national Socialist column. In 1948 the Democratic Parties of 4 southern states wouldn’t put Harry Truman on the ballot as their nominee, but if I were doing a registration chart for 1948, I would still lost the Democrats of those 4 states as Democrats. Because your state party is free to change its name to Independent American any time it likes, but your party seems to like the Constitution Party name, then I consider the members of your party to be Constitution Party registrants, regardless of the internal dispute.

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