Ballot Access News Article on the Likelihood of a New “Independent Party” in Louisiana

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 However, the legislature repealed that law in 2014, effective January 1, 2015.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.

8 thoughts on “Ballot Access News Article on the Likelihood of a New “Independent Party” in Louisiana

  1. AndyCraig

    As amusing as this is, it strikes me as profoundly wrong for a new party to claim to represent tens of thousands voters whose undisputed intention was to declare NPA. It also seems to be inviting the legislature to promptly amend the law.

  2. paulie

    If they are going to count people who wrote something in before the law passed it should only be people who wrote Independent Party rather than just Independent due to this ambiguity.

  3. Richard Winger

    The Louisiana voter registration form has a choice called “No party” that applicants can choose. If people deliberately pass up the “no party” choice, and instead go to the trouble of writing “Independent Party” in the blank line labeled “other”, then I guess those people really do want to be part of an “Independent Party.”

  4. paulie

    If they write Independent Party, maybe, although it could still be a mistake, but if they just write Independent (especially when no Independent Party was formed) it is almost positively guaranteed to be a mistake, although there’s a No Party box.

  5. Sal Peralta

    Presumably, anyone who wrote the word “Independent” or “Independent Party” on their voter registration card prior to the formation of the Independent Party of Louisiana would not be enrolled as members of the party once the party was actually formed. That’s how it worked in Oregon when the Independent Party was formed..

  6. Adrien

    The threshold for a presidential preference primary in Louisiana is 40,000, not 5% (which is about 180+K)

    Also, yes, they would count any PREVIOUS registrations.

    Finally, MANY people in Louisiana did not fill out the form directly themselves, but did so verbally to someone either at a registration office, DMV, or even someone canvassing in a registration drive. They just signed the form. If they ‘told’ the form filer they were “independent” it is VERY possible that is what was written in the blank instead of the filer checking “no party.”

    Partial proof of this, as well as removing any doubt about gauging ‘intentions’ of voters when writing in party names is that the LA sec. of state maintains a list of about 120+ ‘parties’ that people write in as their affiliation. Many write in their eye color, religion, name, misspell a legitimate party name, and even make up crazy stuff like “Jedi.” (but that last one is presumably intentional since Jedi registration grew after a news story about it.)

    The entire notion of an ‘independent party’ when you also have the option of ‘no party’ is truly nonsensical. I suspect the legislature may come to its senses and repeal the repeal of that provision.

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