Ballot Access News: Newspaper Article Illustrates Some Quirks of Massachusetts Election Law

united-independentFrom Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:

This article about the ballot-qualified United Independent Party contains some interesting details about Massachusetts election law. It says that individuals can only give $1,500 to an unqualified party, but that an individual can give $15,000 to a qualified political party.

It also says that if the United Independent Party can increase its registration to 1% of the state total by the end of 2015, then the party’s qualified status will continue into 2018. That was already known, but what is new is that those voters need not remain with the party indefinitely. The party’s status will be safe if those people leave the party and re-register as independents (or as members of some other party, if they wish) so that they can vote in the March 2016 presidential primary and also the September 2016 primary for other office.

The United Independent Party, the Green Party, and the two major parties are the ballot-qualified parties in Massachusetts. Unless the law is changed, the Green Party is likely to lose its qualified status in November 2016, because it isn’t likely to either poll 3% for President, or to have registration of 1% of the state total. It is conceivable that the legislature might ease the definition of “Political party”, or conceivably an initiative could do that. The United Independent Party probably has the financial resources to do an initiative, and is already planning another initiative to block Boston from bidding for the 2024 Olympics.

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