Arkansas News has this story about the lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court, Moore v Martin. The case challenges the March petition deadline for non-presidential independents that the 2013 session of the legislature passed. The case was filed on February 6. So far, no briefs in the case have been filed.
As of March 10, 2014, here are the percentages of Pennsylvania voters registered in each party: Democratic 49.72%, Republican 36.85%, Libertarian .55%, others and independent 12.87%. Efforts are underway to learn how many voters are registered in the Green and Constitution Parties.
In November 2012, the percentages were: Democratic 49.78%, Republican 37.11%, Libertarian .47%, Green .16%, Constitution .05%, other and independent 12.43%.
The March 10, 2014 totals are: Democratic 4,089,866; Republican 3,030,658; Libertarian 45,340; other and independent 1,059,378.
The Libertarian Party now exceeds one-half of 1% of the state total. It is the first Pennsylvania party, other than the two major parties, to have registration above one-half of 1% since 1934, when the Socialist Party last had registration that high. Past issues of the Pennsylvania Manual contain voter registration data. Back in 1934, the Socialist Party was electing a few state legislators in Pennsylvania, from Berks County.
Montana Supreme Court Still Hasn’t Decided Whether to Remove Top-Two Ballot Measure from November 2014 Ballot
On November 27, 2013, some opponents of the Montana top-two ballot measure filed a case in the State Supreme Court, asking the Court to remove the measure from the November 2014 ballot. A few days later, the same groups also filed a separate case in the same court against another ballot measure, asking the voters if they wish to eliminate election-day registration.
The Montana Supreme Court ruled on the election-day registration lawsuit on February 5, 2014. The Court kept the measure on election-day registration on the ballot. However, the Montana Supreme Court still hasn’t ruled on the challenge to the top-two measure. Nor has the Court scheduled an oral argument on the matter, although the Court is free to act without oral arguments. All of the briefs were before the Court on February 11. The case is Montana Education Association-Montana Federation of Teachers v State of Montana, OP 13-0789.
The basis for the lawsuit is that Montana law sets a 100-word limit on the description of ballot measures on the ballot, and opponents of the ballot measure say this law was disregarded. The opponents of the ballot measure also say the measure violates the single-subject rule.
North Carolina Constitution and Green Parties Ask for Rehearing in North Carolina Ballot Access Case
As previously noted, on February 27, the Fourth Circuit upheld North Carolina’s May petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties. On March 13, the plaintiff Constitution Party and Green Party asked for a rehearing en banc (“en banc” means that all the full-time judges of the Fourth Circuit are being asked to re-examine the earlier decision).
The parties’ request for reconsideration argues that the earlier decision is erroneous because it upheld the failure of the U.S. District Court to allow the parties to engage in discovery. In the U.S. District Court, the parties wanted to question state election officials about the state’s claim that the state needs a deadline as early as May, in order to have time to check the signatures. But the U.S. District Court refused to allow discovery.
It seems obvious that North Carolina does not need a May deadline to check signatures, because the state allows a June deadline for independent candidates, and statewide independent candidates need just as many signatures as minor parties. Furthermore, in 1988, the state waived the minor party petition deadline and was still able to check the New Alliance Party petition, even though those signatures were not submitted until July. And in 2004 the state also permitted independent candidates to file their signatures in July, due to late redistricting.
The U.S. District Court hearing on whether the Ohio statewide Libertarian candidates should be restored to the Libertarian primary ballot is extending into a two-day hearing. The hearing held Thursday afternoon, March 13, will be continued on Friday morning, March 14, starting at 10 a.m.
The attorney for the Libertarian candidates is hoping to question the attorney for one of the individuals who filed the ballot access challenge. It is not yet determined whether that will be allowed. Such testimony presumably would reveal information about the connection between the Ohio Republican Party and one of the three challengers. If the Libertarians had not been challenged, they would now be on the ballot, because originally the Secretary of State put them on the ballot.
The Utah legislature adjourned in the middle of the night without having passed HB 410, the bill to give Utah the nation’s earliest presidential primary. The bill had passed the House but was not taken up in the Senate. UPDATE: see this story. The sponsor says he will probably try again in 2015.