Ballot Access News: Nevada Bill Passes, Eliminates the Easy Method for a New Party to Qualify for the Ballot

From an article posted on June 9, 201, on

On May 30, the Nevada legislature passed AB 81. It injures major political parties, new political parties, and independent voters. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 11-10, with all Democrats voting “yes” and all Republicans voting “no.” Governor Brian Sandoval is a Republican and it is possible he will veto it.

The bill, one of the Secretary of State’s omnibus election law bills, deletes the easier method for new or previously unqualified parties to get on the ballot. Existing law gives groups two choices to get on the ballot: (1) a petition signed by 1% of the last US House vote throughout the state, which required 9,083 signatures for the 2010 election; or (2) a petition for each candidate of that party, which requires 250 signatures for a statewide nominee and 100 for a U.S. House nominee. The bill deletes the second, easier method. However, the bill does not affect presidential elections, because the old easy method does not apply to presidential nominees.

Oddly, the bill does not disturb the easy requirements for non-presidential independent candidates. They can still get on the ballot with 250 signatures, if running for statewide office, or 100 for U.S. House.

AB 81 also moves the petition deadline for new parties from May to April, even though in 1986 a U.S. District Court in Nevada struck down the old April petition deadline for new parties, in Libertarian Party of Nevada v Swackhamer, 638 F.Supp. 565.

AB 81 also tells parties that nominate by primary that they cannot invite independents to vote in their primary. Only the Democratic and Republican Parties nominate by primary in Nevada. They have not been letting independents vote in their primaries recently anyway, but previously, the law was silent on whether independents can vote in primaries. AB 81 bars a party from inviting independents to vote in its primary. That part of the bill would be unconstitutional under Tashjian v Republican Party of Connecticut, but only the Democratic and Republican Parties would have standing to bring a lawsuit against the restriction. In Nevada, smaller qualified parties nominate by convention. The only qualified minor parties currently in Nevada are the Independent American (Constitution) and Libertarian Parties. They, of course, are free to decide for themselves who votes at their state nominating conventions.

If you wish to ask Governor Brian Sandoval to veto the bill, his fax is 775-684-5683. His postal address is Capitol, 101 N. Carson St., Carson City Nv 89701.

Read the original article here.

2 thoughts on “Ballot Access News: Nevada Bill Passes, Eliminates the Easy Method for a New Party to Qualify for the Ballot

  1. Steven R Linnabary

    “BallotAccess” should be hyphenated for the link to work…


  2. Cody Quirk

    Sandoval already signed the Bill into law.
    On the plus side, major-party agents like Scott Ashjian can’t qualify bogus third parties on the Nevada ballot so easily anymore

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