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California Bill Making Miniscule Improvement in Ballot Access Dies

On August 29, California SB 1043 was put on the inactive file. Since the legislature will go home for the year either Friday night (August 29) or on Saturday (August 30), the bill is dead. It changed the wording on the petition for party status to delete the requirement that the petition say that the signers “represent” the party. In 2011, when Americans Elect became the first group to successfully circulate the party petition in California since 1948, the party omitted this language from the petition, but the Secretary of State accepted the petition anyway. Similar wording has been held unconstitutional in several other states. Petitions for parties to gain a place on the ballot can say that the signers desire the group to be put on the ballot, but they can’t say that the signers themselves represent the party.

2 Responses

  1. Demo Rep

    Each candidate gets on the ballot (with or without a party hack label) — not any *party* as such.

    Much too difficult for the MORON judges and lawyers involved.

  2. Jim Riley

    I was going to say that AB 2351 had incorporated the changes from SB 1043, but it doesn’t. The final amendments to AB 2351 were to account for the possibility that both bills would pass, and introduce conflicting language, or undo the changes made by the other.

    If both had passed, and AB 2351 was passed last, then it would have incorporated the language from SB 1043 with regard to the petitioners wishing to qualify a party rather than “represent” it.

    The ability to qualify Americans Elect by petition rather than constructing some sort of party structure is what led to the situation where “Americans Elect” is essentially a party label owned by some agent in Washington, rather as a political membership organization, which is the more conventional understanding. It also demonstrates the utter stupidity and misguidedness of the court rulings in other states.

    California would be better served by removing the “qualified to participate in the primary” language. The purpose of Proposition 14 and SB 6 was to extirpate nomination rights of political parties. The only meaningful right that they have with respect to primaries, is to have their endorsements printed in the voter’s guide. That section refers specifically to the qualification sections, rather than the generic use of “political party”.

    Alternatively, California should permit relatively small groups of voters (100 or 200) to petition for recognition of their party, with the understanding that recognition would automatically change their registration. This would eliminate the need for write-in on voter registration forms.

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