Ballot Access News: Minor Parties Have a Lot Riding on Their Percentage of the Vote on November 4

From Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:

One of the reasons the November 4 election is suspenseful is because there are so many states in which it is difficult to predict whether various minor parties will poll enough votes to obtain, or keep, recognized party status.

Alabama: although no minor party candidate has any candidates on the ballot for statewide office, parties can also obtain recognized party status, for county office only, if they poll 20% of the vote for a countywide county office. The Libertarian Party hopes to obtain this status in Jefferson County, the state’s most populous county.

Alaska: the Constitution Party hopes to attain qualified party status for the first time, which it will do if it polls 3% for Governor. The Libertarian Party hopes to keep its party status, so it also needs to poll 3% for Governor. However, if the Libertarian Party fails to do that, chances are it can keep its party status if it increases the number of registered voters, which it has always been able to do in the past.

Arizona: it is unlikely that Americans Elect will get 5% for Governor, but if it did, it would be on the ballot for another four years. The Libertarian Party will stay on regardless of its gubernatorial total, since it has enough registrations to remain on.

Arkansas: both the Green Party and the Libertarian Party hope to poll 3% for Governor, which would keep them on the ballot for two years. The Green Party had a gubernatorial candidate in 2006 and 2010, but neither time polled 3%. This is the first year the Libertarian Party has been on for Governor.

Colorado: the Libertarian and Green Parties will remain qualified due to their registration, and the Constitution Party is virtually certain to poll 1% for Secretary of State and thus remain on.

Delaware: the Libertarian, Green and Independent Parties will remain on due to their registration.

D.C.: the Green Party always passes the vote test, which requires 7,500 votes for any partisan districtwide office. This is the first time the Libertarian Party has been a qualified party during a midterm year, and it also hopes to poll 7,500 votes.

Florida: parties remain ballot-qualified based on being organized.

Georgia: the Libertarian Party always passes the vote test to retain its qualified status for statewide offices. That vote test is 1% of the number of registered voters for any statewide office.

Hawaii: the Libertarian Party will remain ballot-qualified if its legislative nominees poll a number of votes equal to 2% of the vote cast for all legislative candidates. No party has ever before used this part of the law to remain ballot-qualified, but the party has enough legislative nominees to meet this test. The Green Party will remain ballot-qualified because it is in its ten-year “free” period. The Independent Party will remain ballot-qualified if it polls 10% for Governor.

Idaho: the Libertarian and Constitution Parties will remain ballot-qualified because each of them is running at least 3 nominees.

Illinois: the Libertarian Party will become ballot-qualified for all office if it polls 5% for Governor. It will become ballot-qualified just for the statewide offices if any of its statewide nominees polls 5%.

Indiana: the Libertarian Party always polls 2% for Secretary of State.

Iowa: the Libertarian Party, the Iowa Party, and the New Independent Party each hope to obtain qualified status, which requires 2% for Governor.

Kansas: the Libertarian Party always meets the 1% vote test.

Louisiana: the Libertarian, Green and Reform Parties will remain ballot-qualified based on the number of candidates each is running or has run recently.

Maine: the Green Party will remain ballot-qualified if at least 10,000 party members vote in the general election. The party’s registration is so large, it is overwhelmingly likely it will meet this test.

Maryland: the Libertarian Party will remain ballot-qualified for two more years if it gets 1% for Governor. The party has never before managed to poll 1% for Governor, but this year the party expects to meet the goal.

Massachusetts: the Green Party will become ballot-qualified if it polls 3% for any of its three statewide candidates. The United Independent Party will become ballot-qualified if it polls 3% for Governor.

Michigan: the vote test is so easy, it is obvious that the Libertarian, Green, Constitution and Natural Law Parties will retain their status.

Minnesota: the Independence Party, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and the Grassroots Party all hope to poll 5% for any statewide race.

Mississippi: all parties remain on the ballot just by being organized.

Missouri: the Libertarian and Constitution Parties will easily retain their qualified status for four more years, which requires 2% for any statewide race. No Democrat is running for Auditor this year. Even if they didn’t exceed the vote test this year, they would still be on in 2016 based on their 2012 showings.

Montana: the Libertarian Party is safely on the ballot for 2016 based on its 2012 showing, but if it does will for either U.S. Senate or U.S. House, it will also be safely on for 2018. The vote test is 5% of the winning candidate’s vote, which is approximately 3% of the total vote.

Nebraska: the Libertarian Party will retain its status if it polls 5% for any statewide race.

Nevada: the Constitution Party retains its status by having over 1% of the registration, but in any event is easily expected to meet the 1% vote test. The Libertarian Party is also expected to easily pass the vote test, which can be met by candidates for any partisan office, not just statewide office.

New Mexico: the Libertarian Party will retain its status based on its 2012 vote for President. The Green, Independent American, and Constitution Parties will retain their status because they petitioned this year and they are not running for Governor. New Mexico law is very strange and rewards parties for not running for Governor in midterm years by extending their status, whereas if they do run for Governor, they risk losing it.

New York: parties obtain and keep qualified status if they poll 50,000 for Governor. The already-established parties, Conservative, Working Families, Independence, and Green, are all expected to meet this goal. The Libertarian, Women’s Equality, Sapient, and Stop Common Core Parties each also hope to poll 50,000 votes. The Women’s Equality Party and the Stop Common Core Parties are not really bona fide parties, but are controlled by, respectively, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.

North Carolina: the Libertarian Party is safely on the ballot for 2016, regardless of its vote in 2014.

North Dakota: the Libertarian Party will retain qualified status if it polls 5% for Secretary of State. No minor party has met the 5% vote test since the Reform Party met it for President in 1996.

Ohio: the Green Party will retain qualified status for four years if it polls 2% for Governor.

Oregon: if Measure 90 passes, the Progressive and Constitution Parties will be at risk of going off the ballot, unless each of them polls 1% for Governor or U.S. Senator. If it fails, all of the minor parties will retain their status, based on their registration or their votes in 2012.

Rhode Island: the Moderate Party will remain ballot-qualified if it polls 5% for Governor.

South Carolina: all of the minor parties will retain, based on the fact that they are running at least one candidate.

South Dakota: the Libertarian and Constitution Parties will both go off the ballot because they don’t have gubernatorial candidates.

Tennessee: the Constitution and Green Parties need 5% for Governor to remain ballot-qualified.

Texas: the Libertarian and Green Parties will both easily pass the 5% vote test, which applies to all statewide offices, because the Democrats don’t have a full slate.

Utah: the Libertarian and Constitution Parties will remain on the ballot regardless because of their 2012 votes, but if they poll more than 2% for Attorney General, they will also be on for 2018.

Vermont: all qualified parties retain by being organized.

Virginia: the Libertarian Party will become ballot-qualified if it gets 10% for U.S. Senate.

West Virginia: the Libertarian and Green Parties will retain their status based on their 2012 vote.

Wisconsin: the Libertarian and Green Parties each hope to regain their qualified status, by polling 1% for any statewide race. The Constitution Party hopes to retain its status.

Wyoming: the Libertarian and Constitution Parties need 2% for U.S. House, Governor, or Secretary of State, to retain.

10 thoughts on “Ballot Access News: Minor Parties Have a Lot Riding on Their Percentage of the Vote on November 4

  1. Thane "Goldie" Eichenauer

    This election cycle I cast my vote for Governor for other than one of the four ballot qualified candidates for Governor of Arizona. My vote will not aid Arizona’s Americans Elect gain ballot status for four years, neither did I cast my ballot for the Libertarian Party nominee due to that nominee advocating for a worse than status quo “secure the border” policy. I wrote in J. Johnson for Governor, an independent write-in candidate.
    http://writeinjjohnson.com
    I am a ballot qualified candidate for the Maricopa County Arizona office of Constable for the Downtown Phoenix Justice Court against the worst incumbent constable in office at this time (believe it or not it is very true). http://nostrangertospeed.tk http://votethane.tk If 51% of voters research their votes I am certain to be declared the winner come tabulation day.
    I offer sincere thanks to Barry Hess the Libertarian Party nominee for Governor of Arizona for allowing every voter to have a bare minimum of 1 Libertarian Party candidate to vote for. 85% of the voters in this state (e.g. Maricopa County) will have a minimum of 3 ballot qualified Libertarian Party candidate to vote for. Some may have as much as 5 ballot qualified Libertarian Party candidates to choose (if they so choose) thanks to my running mate for Justice of the Peace Tyler Nadjara Thornton. I may not have voted for every Libertarian Party candidate on my ballot but I appreciate the hard work and time each has invested in jumping over legal and regulatory hurdles to make it to the ballot to offer voters one more choice come Tuesday, November 4th, 2014.
    http://hessforgovernor.com/our-issues/ http://lpaz.org http://lpmaricopa.org
    I am thankful that Nick Sarwark the National LP Chairman took the time to visit with us at a local picnic here in Phoenix, Arizona a few weeks ago. I hope that in the next two years all Libertarians across the United States will again offer voters a choice to be proud of come election day 2016 and beyond.
    Thane “Goldie” Eichenauer
    P.S. “Goldie” is my way of saying that I work to support The Golden Rule.
    http://www.harryhiker.com/poster.gif
    http://www.harryhiker.com/goldrule.htm
    Arizona Libertarians on Facebook -> https://www.facebook.com/groups/61351968857/
    P.P.S. I am very thankful for the aid of all my state and county LP officers without with I hardly think I would be on the ballot on election day. I am very thankful for the wisdom offered by Treasurer Joe Cobb in advocating for a special minority group so that no minority should be crushed under the boot heel of government. I hope that his stellar performance in past candidate debates will launch him to Washington DC as the US House member from Arizona’s 7th Congressional district. I voted for him as the best person to protect the rights of people to travel freely and peaceably from other countries to the US. http://joecobb.com/
    I hope that by 2016 that Arizona has 15 active county parties, up from 3 currently.
    http://pimalp.org/
    Pinal County Libertarians -> https://www.facebook.com/groups/714937471929461/
    Cochise County Libertarians -> https://www.facebook.com/groups/756561447733675/
    Coconino County Libertarians -> https://www.facebook.com/groups/205445238345/
    Yuma County Libertarians -> https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yuma-County-Libertarians/707411372635710
    P.P.P.S. Lastly, Thank You Mikester. You know best how you have aided the cause of Liberty. Keep up the good work.

  2. paulie

    The Libertarian Party hopes to obtain this status in Jefferson County, the state’s most populous county.

    Also Shelby, Bibb and Chilton.

  3. Jesus

    Does anyone here really know if a 3rd party will really be able to change politics or is there something else that is more likely to work? It feels like there are a lot of third parties across different states, but none are really operating nationally and few are holding or changing state elections except as spoilers for one party or the other.

  4. paulie

    We actually do and have changed politics quite a bit (and not as “spoilers,” more like unspoilers). And the Libertarian Party operates nationally as well as locally, as do several others.

  5. Jesus

    Thank you for the reply, I also read the post on the spoiler myth.

    Hmm…I guess let me try to rephrase. I voted for evan falchuk in Massachusetts in this election and down the line for green rainbow as well. Both united independent and green got above the 3%. The first time I voted in a presidential election I voted for obama. The second time I voted for jill stien, she came in I think maybe 4th, to the libertarian who ran for president, who didn’t even get above 1%. Both numbers were almost statistically insignificant for the presidential race. I am not going to vote for a democrat or republican on principle anymore because both are linked by voting records to bad public policy (Like the iraq war or the wall street bailout) but it doesn’t seem like there are enough third party votes to carve a permanent place.

    I realize that some third party candidates hold or have held major offices, but as I talk to people in my daily life it increasingly seems like people feel they must chose one of the major two party candidates for their vote to be significant in deciding the differences between public policy. And this perception keeps people firmly making fear based votes for democrats or republicans.

    Here is my question, is voting for 3rd party candidates a viable strategy to bringing about electoral change in the long term or do other strategies have more viability? I have heard of runoff voting, there are plenty of people unenrolled in Massachusetts, 65% (no party) and many that have run as independent with no party designation. Also in Massachusetts voters know if they can’t count on the legislature they can take to the streets to get a ballot initiative going. Is it possible to advocate for a national ballot initiative process? Advocating for campaign finance reform so normal people can run successfully under democrat or republican tickets in primaries? Better informed voters, like what project vote smart tries to do? What americans elect was trying to do?

    The first time I heard about a third party was when nader ran vs gore and bush. 3rd party politics seems to be at about the same place as it was then. Is there academic or published work that would suggest 3rd party politics as a viable way to change electoral politics?

    I am asking this question because I really want to see change, and like other people are willing to vote 3rd party to see that change. I guess I am asking is there any source of information where someone has done any sort of analysis that would suggested a best way to change electoral politics?

  6. paulie

    Both numbers were almost statistically insignificant for the presidential race.

    They are actually extremely significant. It’s why establishment parties play dirty tricks to keep us off ballots and invent lies about us spoiling elections and stealing votes even though mountains of evidence show it not to be true.

    http://www.lp.org/news/press-releases/why-your-libertarian-vote-on-tuesday-nov-4-is-worth-100-times-the-other-guys

    http://www.lp.org/have-you-seen-these-7-reasons-to-join-the-libertarian-party-now

    it doesn’t seem like there are enough third party votes to carve a permanent place.

    We certainly do have a place that’s as permanent as anything else in US politics.

    I talk to people in my daily life it increasingly seems like people feel they must chose one of the major two party candidates for their vote to be significant in deciding the differences between public policy.

    Alt party votes and registrations are actually growing, so it only seems that way. The dam is cracking, so it’s up to you to decide whether to join us in cracking it with a cudgel or join the establishment in trying to hold up their failing wall just a little bit longer.

    Here is my question, is voting for 3rd party candidates a viable strategy to bringing about electoral change in the long term

    Absolutely. There’s a long historical record of the “threat” coming from alt parties forcing establishment parties to make policy changes.

    I have heard of runoff voting, there are plenty of people unenrolled in Massachusetts, 65% (no party) and many that have run as independent with no party designation.

    It’s even better to build a brand that communicates to voters what candidates they may not have heard of stand for when they see them on the ballot.

    Also in Massachusetts voters know if they can’t count on the legislature they can take to the streets to get a ballot initiative going.

    That’s great, but you can only advocate for a very limited number of issues that way, while the legislature can pass more bad legislation all day long every day.

    Is it possible to advocate for a national ballot initiative process?

    It would be better to have state level initiative and referendum in every state. You wouldn’t necessarily want people in Alabama to have too much say in local matters in Massachusetts, and vice versa.

    campaign finance reform so normal people can run successfully under democrat or republican tickets in primaries?

    It gives too much advantage to incumbents, celebrities and whoever media outlets like (which is usually also incumbents and celebrities. It’s much better to make government so small that no one would really want to spend a bunch of money to buy it.

    Better informed voters, like what project vote smart tries to do?

    That does not exclude an alt party strategy.

    What americans elect was trying to do?

    What they said they wanted to do is not what they wanted to do. They were an establishment outfit that wanted to take the growing anti-establishment energy and direct it to yet another pro-war, pro-espionage, pro-corporatist party. They’ll be back in some form in 2016.

    The first time I heard about a third party was when nader ran vs gore and bush. 3rd party politics seems to be at about the same place as it was then.

    It depends on what measures you use. For example, there are a lot more Libertarian registered voters now and a lot more people calling themselves libertarian. We’re finally starting to see some things we have advocated for decades, such as marijuana legalization, start to happen. We have a growing share of the vote among young people. And so on.

    Is there academic or published work that would suggest 3rd party politics as a viable way to change electoral politics?

    Lots of them, but I don’t have any particular ones immediately in mind. There are other people here who could help you with that better, or maybe I could look for a few suggestions later.

  7. Jesus

    Thank you for the detailed reply, Some of what you say makes a lot of sense. A ballot question process in mass hasn’t been enough to stop bad legislation that ends up being too small and cost prohibitive to put up a fight against it, but together with hundreds of other pieces of legislation end up costing us billions of dollars to the benefit of special interest groups (most of which are wealthy to begin with).

    National examples like the abrams tanks http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/370230/us-army-we-dont-need-more-tanks-defense-contractors-well-be-judge-veronique-de-rugy

    Or even the penny issue http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/03/10/taxpayers-lost-105-million-on-pennies-and-nickels-last-year/

    and a national ballot imitative process doesn’t sound good especially if like you say it gives alabama the ability to decide what happens in mass or the other way around

    I think the most interesting idea in you response is that you seem to have identified themes that are common across all 3rd party voters whether libertarian, green or liberal

    “anti-establishment, anti-war, anti-espionage, anti-corporatist party”

    Thank you again

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