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Opening Briefs Filed in Arizona Green Party Ballot Access Case

On April 11, both sides filed opening briefs in U.S. District Court in Arizona Green Party v Bennett, 2:14cv-375. The issue is whether the February 28 petition deadline is too early. The law says the petition is due 180 days before the primary, and that all parties, even newly-qualifying parties, must nominate by primary. Arizona primaries this year are August 26. The state says it needs six months lead time to get ready for the new party’s primary.

Before 1999, the Arizona petition deadline for a new party was 112 days before the primary. Initiative petitions are due in Arizona in the first week in July, only four months before the general election. This suggests that if the state can cope with initiative petitions only four months before the appropriate election, it ought to be able to handle petitions to qualify a new party four months before the appropriate election.

The Green Party’s brief cites many cases that early petition deadlines for newly-qualifying parties are unconstitutional, but the state’s brief does not discuss any precedents on that issue. Also, the state says that the Green Party appeared on the ballot in 2002 and 2004, but in truth the party did not qualify in Arizona either of those years.

7 Responses

  1. Demo Rep

    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V. — NO moron primaries.

    How STONE Age primitive are ALL of the USA gerrymander regimes ???

  2. Jim Riley

    Arizona also needs provide for the opportunity for candidates to file for nomination.

  3. In Arizona, a newly-qualifying party (which the Green Party is, or will be if it wins the lawsuit) can easily nominate by write-ins at its own primary. A write-in candidate in the primary just needs one vote, assuming no one else gets any. People can file as a write-in as late as July 17.

  4. Jim Riley

    The purpose of a partisan primary is to let ordinary voters choose the nominees of the party they affiliate with.

    Your alternative is little better than insiders in smoke-filled rooms choosing the nominees.

    • What’s wrong with an insider choosing the candidate in a smoke-filled room?

      I chose myself in a smoke-filled room (my brother’s) and that’s how I won the primaries of the Green Party in Arizona’s Sixth Congressional District in 2010 (with six write-in votes, four of them from members of my immediate family) and the Americans Elect Party in 2012 (with eleven write-in votes, three of them from members of my immediate family).

      When smoke-filled rooms chose the candidates, we had a better America.

      Everyone is welcome to file as a write-in candidate of the Arizona Americans Elect Party for any office between May 29 and July 17. Thank you for smoking!

      • Gary Greenberg

        It’s just the opposite of a smoke-filled room, and you should know, you fool!

        The fool before you suggested the write-in route would be like party insiders picking candidates (that’s what “smoke-filled room” means).

        But when a lot of weirdos including you ran as Green Party write-ins in 2010 and won with just a handful voters, the Green Party wasn’t happy and sued your asses in federal court to get you hijackers off their party’s ballot.

        That the Green Party lost that case proves that it’s outsiders, not party insiders, that have the most to gain from the write-in gambit.

        So the first guy was wrong and the second guy is, well, just an idiot.

  5. Dear Jim, you live in Texas, where the Libertarian Party and the Green Party met this weekend (April 12-13) to choose their nominees in convention. Do you disagree with the Texas state election law that mandates conventions for parties of that size to choose their nominees?

    Arizona primary voters are free to see the list of declared write-in candidates, at the polls, or if they vote absentee, via the internet.

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