HTML Online Editor Sample

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

formats

U.S. Supreme Court Sets Conference Date in Case on Whether Socialist Workers Exemption Precedent Should Apply In California Marriage Fight

Published on January 31, 2015,

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether to hear Protectmarriage.com-Yes on 8 v Padilla, 14-434, on February 20. There is a significant chance the court will hear the case, because after California officials had initially declined to file a response brief, the Court asked for a state response.

The issue is whether the contributors to the 2008 initiative in California concerning same-sex marriage deserve privacy, given evidence that when the names of donors were made public, they were subject to harassment. The proponents of the initiative, which banned same-sex marriage, say in many cases their contributors were treated as badly as members of the Socialist Workers Party had been in the 1960’s and 1970’s. In 1982 the U.S. Supreme Court had unanimously ruled in Brown v Socialist Workers ’74 Campaign Committee that the Socialist Workers Party is entitled to an exemption from campaign reporting, because the evidence showed that individuals revealed to be supporters of the party suffered harassment both from government agencies and private employers and individuals.

In this case, the U.S. District Court had ruled that the California initiative proponents were not entitled to privacy, and the Ninth Circuit had ruled the case moot. The initiative supporters acknowledge that the list of contributors has already been made public, but so far their residence addresses have not been made public, and therefore the case is not moot. The initiative supporters also hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will say they should have been entitled to privacy. Thanks to Thomas Jones for pointing out the pending U.S. Supreme Court conference in this case.

formats

Missouri Constitution Party Sues to Overturn Local Law that Says Only the Two Largest Parties Can Nominate in Special County Elections

Published on January 31, 2015,

On January 30, the Missouri Constitution Party filed a federal lawsuit against St. Louis County officials, over a provision in the charter that says only the two largest political parties may nominate a candidate in a special election to fill a seat on the County Council. “Two largest parties” is determined by the vote for Governor at the last gubernatorial election.

The case is Constitution Party of Missouri v St. Louis County, e.d., 4:15cv-207. The case was assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Ronnie White.

The case is somewhat similar to these two cases from twenty years ago: (1) New Alliance Party v North Carolina State Board of Elections, 697 F Supp 904 (e.d. 1991), struck down a North Carolina law that said newly-qualifying parties couldn’t run for partisan county office; (2) A Connecticut Party v Kezer, 2:92cv-550 (decision of August 28, 1992), struck down a Connecticut law that only the two largest parties could run for Justice of the Peace. Thanks to Carla Howell for this news.

formats

California Taxpayers Will Pay Approximately $2,000,000 to Hold a One-Candidate Special State Senate Election

Published on January 31, 2015,

In March, California will hold a special State Senate election in which only one candidate will be on the ballot. This newspaper story says the Los Angeles County part of the district will cost $1,400,000. The district has substantial parts of Los Angeles County and substantial parts of San Bernardino County. The reporter could not get the San Bernardino County estimate, but it will probably be at least half of the Los Angeles County’s costs.

formats

South Dakota Senate Defers Voting on Bill that Makes Ballot Access Worse

Published on January 30, 2015,

On Friday, January 30, the South Dakota Senate put off voting on SB 69, even though it had been placed on the day’s agenda. The bill makes ballot access more difficult both for newly-qualifying parties and independent candidates.

formats

California Pundit Suggests Making Los Angeles City Elections Partisan Instead of Non-Partisan Would Boost Turnout

Published on January 30, 2015,

Joe Mathews, who studies California politics and government, here suggests that low turnout in Los Angeles city elections might be increased if the city had partisan elections for city office. Los Angeles, and all California cities and counties, have non-partisan elections for their own officers.

formats

South Dakota Bill Making Ballot Access Worse Set for Floor Vote on Friday, January 30

Published on January 30, 2015,

The South Dakota Senate convenes at 1 p.m. on Friday, January 30. On the agenda is SB 69, which makes ballot access worse, both for newly-qualifying parties and independent candidates.