Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:
According to this article, it is likely that a ballot-qualified Independent Party will soon come into existence in Louisiana. Louisiana permits groups to become ballot-qualified parties if they have at least 1,000 registered members, and pay a one-time fee of $1,000.
There are approximately 80,000 voters who wrote in “Independent” on the voter registration forms, in the blank that asks the applicant to choose a party. But Louisiana had a law forbidding any party from being named the “Independent Party”. However, the legislature repealed that law in 2014, effective January 1, 2015. Therefore, there is no legal barrier to the formation of the party, assuming someone pays the fee of $1,000. Now that the idea has been publicized, the individuals mentioned in the story probably realize that if they don’t pay the fee and fill out the paperwork, someone else will.
Here is a link to the Louisiana voter registration form. Scroll down. The form lists the qualified parties and gives them each their own check box. Voters who don’t want to be members of any party are supposed to choose “no party” from the form.
Qualified parties in Louisiana can’t have their own presidential primary unless they have registration of 5%. Assuming the Independent Party comes into existence, it would be only about half-way to qualifying for its own presidential primary.
Other states with a ballot-qualified “Independent Party” are Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, and Oregon. Thanks to Randall Hayes for the link to the newspaper story.