Minor Party and Independent Candidates Are Involved in Constitutional Election Law Cases in At Least 21 States

from Ballot Access News
Minor Party and Independent Candidates Are Involved in Constitutional Election Law Cases in At Least 21 States

November 28th, 2009

Minor party and independent candidates are in at least 26 courts, in cases that challenge the constitutionality of various state election laws. A few new cases will probably be filed in December.

The issues in each state are:

1. Alabama: whether the state may require more signatures for an independent candidate for U.S. House than are required for an independent presidential candidate.
2. Arizona: whether the state may ban out-of-state circulators for petitions to put political parties on the ballot.
3. Arkansas: whether the state may remove a party from its position on the ballot because it failed to perform well for President, even though it performed very well for other office and elected a state legislator.
4. Colorado: whether a state may tell someone that she can’t be an independent candidate on the grounds that she was a member of a qualified party in the year before filing.
5. Connecticut: whether a state may give public funding to Democratic and Republican candidates with no petition needed, but require an independent candidate to collect signatures of 20% of the last vote cast to get equal public funding.
6. District of Columbia: whether the District must count the write-in candidates for president of declared write-in presidential candidates.
7. Georgia: whether the state may have procedures for independent candidates for U.S. House that are so difficult, they have not been used since 1964.
8. Hawaii: whether the state may require six times more signatures for an independent presidential candidate than for an entire new party with its own primary.
9. Idaho: whether the state may ban out-of-state circulators.
10. Louisiana: whether the state should have accepted presidential elector paperwork from a ballot-qualified party in 2008 by September 12.
11. Massachusetts: whether the state must let unqualified parties use a stand-in presidential candidate on its petition.
12. Montana: whether the state may require a candidate for office other than president to submit his or her petition by mid-March of an election year.
13. New Hampshire: whether the state must let unqualified parties use a stand-in presidential candidate on its petition.
14. New Jersey: whether the state can confine all non-Republican, non-Democratic candidates into a space on the ballot that is labeled “nomination by petition”.
15. New Mexico: whether the state may require a qualified party to submit separate petitions for all the candidates it has nominated via the convention process.
16. North Carolina: whether the state may require an independent candidate for U.S. House to submit 20,000 valid signatures, give the historical background that no independent has ever qualified for the government-printed ballot in that state. Another case on whether the state may require new or previously unqualified parties to submit approximately 85,000 valid signatures.
17. Pennsylvania: whether the state may force all parties to continually submit petitions for its nominees unless that party has registration membership of approximately 1,000,000 members; also whether the state can continue to enforce its petition deadline when the legislature has never enacted that deadline and the previous deadline was declared unconstitutional in 1984; also whether the state may threaten candidates with being charged for the expenses of disqualifying their petitions; also whether the state may continue to discard write-in votes without counting them.
18. Rhode Island: whether a city can limit voters to signing for only one candidate for the same office.
19. South Carolina: whether the state can disqualify a party’s nominee if that nominee, after obtaining one party’s nomination, tries to get another party’s nomination.
20. Tennessee: whether the state can require new or previously unqualified parties to submit a petition signed by 2.5% of the last vote for Governor, on a petition that says all the signers are members of that party.
21. Washington: whether the state can limit the general election ballot to the top-two vote-getters in the primary.

In addition to these lawsuits, a challenge is pending against a federal ruling that says individuals may not give more than $5,000 to a new political party that is not yet a “National Committee”. Also, cases involving petitioning for initiatives and referendums are pending in Maryland and Washington, and against the U.S. Postal Service regulation that bars petitioning on its sidewalks.

13 thoughts on “Minor Party and Independent Candidates Are Involved in Constitutional Election Law Cases in At Least 21 States

  1. Robert Milnes

    I’d like to reiterate. There are 2 special elections in January. One in MA for U.S. Senate. There is a libertarian Independent endorsed by the LPMA chair and also Prof. Phillies. Evidently-but I’m not sure-there is no Green. There is also one in CA for state Assembly. There is a Green and no Libertarian. I propose an Experiment. In both voting districts we campaign with the proposition that progressives/Greens AND Libertarians vote for the candidate there. I believe we can actually win with this Strategy esp. if we also promote high Libertarian/Green voter turnout. The dem and rep turnout should be light in such an off year election. We can call this The Progressive Libertarian Alliance Strategy Experiment. I personally would like to go to MA on or about Jan 2 to campaign there. Also I’d like to do as much as I can from there for the Green in CA. I need some campaign volunteers and personal donations. Please go to http://www.robertmilnes.net and click the link to http://www.robertmilnes4president2008.com to volunteer and or click Make a Donation.

  2. Robert Milnes

    My first recommendation would be to conduct some polling -if it hasn’t been done already. Then call a press conference and announce the candidate supports the Progressive Libertarian Alliance Strategy and Experiment. Further publicize that on websites, mailing lists etc. Then conduct another poll. There should be a significant spike which should continue up.

  3. Robert Milnes

    I just checked wikipedia. It looks like there will be a primary on Dec. 8. + 2 Independents. No Green evidently. Which is not absolutely necessary for the PLAS or PLASE. It just simplifies things for the voters.

  4. paulie

    Two independents? I don’t think so.

    Kennedy might make the ballot (not yet certain). I don’t think any others have a chance.

  5. Robert Milnes

    I just checked on the CA 72nd District State Assembly special election on Jan 12. (The MA special election is on Jan 19.) It is a runoff as no one got a majority. I believe a plurality would win the runoff. Now this one is going to be more difficult. The reps have about a 10% registered voter edge. The dem got @27%, the Green, Jane Rands, got 2.8%. Basically the Strategy is to get about 1/2 of the democrat’s votes + The Libertarian Vote @13% making about 26%. However the 10% republican edge could translate into more libertarian vote. Plus if there is a large Libertarian and Green turnout that could also translate into more votes. This one is going to be CLOSE!

  6. Robert Milnes

    paulie @8, agreed. But another Independent in the race is not necessarily a bad thing. If that Independent took mostly some centrist vote-from the dems & reps, that would lower the threshold for plurality win.

  7. Robert Milnes

    Got that everybody? PLAS sux. Any possibility of voting in Greens & Libs & voting out dems & reps sux. The almost always winning reactionaries scoff at you progressives & libertarians-almost always losers. PLAS sux LOSERS.

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