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Two Ballot Access Bills Advance in California Legislature

On May 6, the California Assembly Elections Committee passed two bills that ease ballot access restrictions. Both bills passed unanimously. AB 2351 makes it easier for parties to remain ballot-qualified. AB 2233 reduces the number of signatures in lieu of the filing fee in special elections, on the grounds that the petitioning period is so much shorter in special elections than in regular elections.

3 Responses

  1. Jim Riley

    California’s current restriction on a candidate expressing a political parry preference for a small party will not stand up to a court challenge based on freedom of speech.

    A political party preference does not represent an endorsement by the political party, therefore the modicum of support decisions such as Storer v Brown simply do not apply. Instead decisions such as Cook v Gralike will. Under current law, the State of California requires a candidate to state a preference for one of 7 select state-recognized parties, or state that he has no political party preference.

    California’s only interest is that the political party preference is accurate, which can be determined from the candidate’s voter registration, and that the political party functions as a political organization. This can be achieved by the political party having a name in 85 languages; a small number of registrants (100 should be enough); bylaws; officers and an executive body, which is ultimately responsible to party registrants; and financial reporting.

    In essence, California should use the model of corporate registration for political parties. California does not care how large a corporation is, or what its products are, or even whether it is successful or not. It cares that it has officers and a board of directors, chosen ultimately by the shareholders, bylaws, financial reporting, and that it pays its registration fee.

  2. Mark Seidenberg

    AB 2351 creates “sum of the votes cast for all of the candidate
    for an office voted on throughout the state who disclosed a
    preference for that party on the ballot was at least two percent of the entire vote of the state”.

    If it passes, will Jonathan Jaech get 2 % of the vote for attorney general? As of now the only race that show a hope
    of a 3rd party candidate getting the 2 % is David Curtis for S of S.

    • Dave Kadlecek

      It is reasonable to expect, not just hope, that Nathalie Hrizi, Peace and Freedom Party candidate for Insurance Commissioner, and Ellen Brown, Green Party candidate for Treasurer, will get at least 2% of the vote in June. In each case, they are one of only three candidates on the ballot in their race.

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