United Independent Party Launches Voter Registration Drive

From Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:

The United Independent Party of Massachusetts became ballot-qualified on November 4, when it polled over 3% for a statewide office (for Governor, for Evan Falchuk). However, it will go off the ballot in November 2016 unless it polls 3% in that election as well, and the only statewide offices up in 2016 in Massachusetts is President.

However, the party can also remain ballot-qualified if its statewide registration rises to 1% of the state total. According to this news story, the party is already starting to work on its registration drive. The 1% registration alternative to obtaining or retaining party status has only existed since 1991, and it has never been used.

The story says that the current voter registration form on the Massachusetts state government web page is so obsolete, it still shows the name of another minor party (which the story doesn’t name, but which probably refers to the Green-Rainbow Party) which lost its status two years ago. This part of the story seems not to be correct. Here is a link to the Massachusetts registration form, showing only the Democratic and Republican Parties. New forms, when they are produced, will list four parties, including the Green-Rainbow Party, which regained its party status by polling over 3% last year for some of the less important statewide offices.

At the October 2014 tally, the United Independent Party only had 83 registered voters. It will need approximately 45,000.

18 thoughts on “United Independent Party Launches Voter Registration Drive

  1. Andy

    Good luck with this. It is more difficult to get people to register to vote under a minor party banner than it is to get them to sign a petition to place a minor party on the ballot. Unless they have a lot of money behind them, I’m skeptical that they will pull this off in time for the next election, if they can even pull this off at all.

    Having the word independent in the name will probably held them in this regard, because people could think that they are registering as independents, which in Massachusetts is called unenrolled (as in unenrolled in a political party). Even so, I’m still skeptical about their prospects for success in this endeavor.

  2. paulie

    Unless they have a lot of money behind them

    Maybe they do. I’m not assuming either way. They must at least have some since they got on the statewide ballot, which is not that easy in Mass. How much I don’t know.

    Having the word independent in the name will probably held them in this regard, because people could think that they are registering as independents

    Yep.

  3. Richard Winger

    Evan Falchuk spent over $1,000,000 of his own money on his gubernatorial campaign this year. But Massachusetts campaign finance laws may interfere with his ability to contribute to the party he created. If so, I feel he and the United Independent Party should sue. There is no public interest in preventing people from contributing as much money as they want to a political party. Before the McCain-Feingold law passed in 2002, there were no federal laws interfering with the ability of individuals to give as much money as they wish to parties.

  4. Andy

    “Richard Winger

    November 13, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Evan Falchuk spent over $1,000,000 of his own money on his gubernatorial campaign this year. But Massachusetts campaign finance laws may interfere with his ability to contribute to the party he created. If so, I feel he and the United Independent Party should sue. There is no public interest in preventing people from contributing as much money as they want to a political party. Before the McCain-Feingold law passed in 2002, there were no federal laws interfering with the ability of individuals to give as much money as they wish to parties.”

    Could the money be donated to a Political Action Committee, and then the Political Action Committee could pay for the voter registration drive?

  5. Andy

    “paulie

    November 13, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    I guess we’ll hear it through the grapevine if they pay.”

    I never heard about them paying for petition signatures to get on the ballot in this past election. They could have done it with all volunteers, but I doubt it. I would guess that they paid somebody to collect at least some of the signatures.

  6. paulie

    Could the money be donated to a Political Action Committee, and then the Political Action Committee could pay for the voter registration drive?

    Also what if it was routed through an out of state organization, or paid by an individual to individuals?

  7. Andy

    “Richard Winger

    November 13, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Evan Falchuk spent over $1,000,000 of his own money on his gubernatorial campaign this year.”

    If this guy has this kind of money to throw around, then maybe he could fund a successful voter registration drive for ballot access in Massachusetts.

    It is more difficult to get people to register to vote under a minor party banner, however, like I indicated above, the word “independent” is a popular, generic sounding buzz word. There are lots of people who self identify as independents, even though all of these people may differ on the issues, and even though the word independent can mean different things to different people. I could seem them picking up a lot of voter registrations (and votes) just because a lot of people like the word independent.

  8. paulie

    If this guy has this kind of money to throw around, then maybe he could fund a successful voter registration drive for ballot access in Massachusetts.

    I guess it will depend on what or isn’t legal in Mass, or if it’s not legal, whether they can do it under the radar.

  9. George Phillies

    UIP is entirely well placed to solve the issue by bombing the problem with money. 45,000 registrations at, say, $20 a registration is not even a million dollars. Registering people to vote is routinely done by groups that are not PACs; it is not Federal Election Activity unless there is a special Federal election in the next 90 days.

    In more amusing news, independent Governor candidate Scott Lively has reregistered Republican and will be campaigning vigorously to bring his sound conservative doctrine to the Massachusetts Republican Party.

  10. paulie

    Registering people to vote is routinely done by groups that are not PACs

    I guess the question Richard brings up is whether it is illegal to do so on a partisan basis in Mass. I know there are states that do have such laws. I am not aware of the MA law in question, if there is one.

  11. johno

    Scott Lively should instead be in the Constitution Party. Charlie Baker, and Massachusetts Republican Party is more moderate. I believe Charlie Baker is Pro-Gay Marriage and Pro-Choice. Scott Lively is not a good fit with Charlie Baker’s Mass- R’s. Of course, if he moved to Utah or Kansas he’d fit in with those states’ R’s.

  12. Jed Ziggler Post author

    “Scott Lively should instead be in the Constitution Party.”

    I’m not sure that there is much of a Constitution Party organization in Massachusetts. They have a website, but I haven’t seen much activity out of them, and the site is only updated sporadically.

  13. paulie

    In more amusing news, independent Governor candidate Scott Lively has reregistered Republican and will be campaigning vigorously to bring his sound conservative doctrine to the Massachusetts Republican Party.

    I’m sure it will be fun and educational for both of them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *