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  Ballot Access News is edited and published by Richard Winger, the nation's leading expert on ballot access legal issues.

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U.S. District Court Enjoins Maine’s Discriminatory Campaign Contribution Limits

Published on August 22, 2014,

On August 22, U.S. District Court Judge D. Brock Hornby enjoined a Maine campaign finance law that lets individuals contribute twice as much money to a candidate for state office who is nominated by primary, relative to a candidate who qualifies for the November ballot by petition. The case is Woodhouse v Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, 1:14cv-266.

The case had been filed by individuals who wanted to donate to an independent candidate for Governor, Eliot Cutler. The law says they can only donate $1,500. But the law lets individuals contribute $3,000 to candidates who run first in a primary, and then, if they win the primary, in the general election. The decision says, “I do not lightly find a state statute unconstitutional. But these four Maine residents have shown a strong likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that in this election they have suffered unconstitutional discrimination as compared to contributors to party candidates.” Thanks to Thomas MacMillan for the news.

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West Virginia Secretary of State Says Constitution Party Petition for U.S. Senate is Valid

Published on August 22, 2014,

On August 22, the West Virginia Secretary of State certified Phil Hudok for the November ballot, as a candidate for U.S. Senate. He is the Constitution Party nominee. The Constitution Party statewide petition in 2012 had not succeeded, although its 2010 petition for U.S. Senate had succeeded.

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Tennessee Libertarian Party Files Brief in Ballot Access Case

Published on August 22, 2014,

On August 19, the Tennessee Libertarian Party filed this brief in Lewis v Goins, 3:14-1565, over whether the party’s nominee for Governor should be on the ballot with “independent” or “Libertarian” as his ballot label. The basis for the case is that the existing law on how parties get on the ballot has been held unconstitutional. The Green and Constitution Party nominees in this year’s election are already on the ballot with their party labels.

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Libertarian Party Statewide Slate Will Appear on Illinois Ballot

Published on August 22, 2014,

On August 22, the Illinois State Board of Elections certified the statewide Libertarian Party slate for the November ballot. The decision was not surprising, given that the “binder-check” process had found over 25,000 valid signatures, and that the Hearings Officer for that process had recommended that the petition be considered valid. The vote on the eight-member Board was 5-2.

This is the first time since 2004 that the Libertarian Party will be the only minor party on the Illinois ballot for statewide offices.

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“Tax Wall Street Party” Petitions for Party Status in Nebraska, But Distribution Requirement Thwarts Effort

Published on August 22, 2014,

A new party called the Tax Wall Street Party petitioned for status as a party in Nebraska this year. It wanted to run Dan Buhrdorf for U.S. Senate. However, the party’s attempt failed because it didn’t gather enough signatures in the Third U.S. House district, the districts that includes the western and central part of the state and has no large population centers. Here is the Nebraska party’s web page; here is the party’s national web page.

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Hawaii Voters Unable to Vote in August 9 Primary due to Tropical Storm File Voting Rights Lawsuit

Published on August 22, 2014,

Hawaii held primaries on August 9, during a severe tropical storm. Although two particular precincts were permitted to vote again in the following week, many other voters who don’t live in those two particular precincts were also unable to travel to the polls. On August 21, some of them filed an original case with the State Supreme Court, asking for relief. Here is the Complaint. The ACLU is handling this case for the voters.