North Dakota Ballot Access Bill Loses on House Floor by Vote of 37-55

From Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:

On February 19, the North Dakota House defeated HB 1260 by a vote of 37-55. It would have eliminated the minimum vote test for a candidate to be considered nominated in a party primary. North Dakota is the only state that says it isn’t enough for a candidate in a partisan primary to poll the most votes; the candidate, even if unopposed, must also poll a certain minimum number of votes. The minimum is the same regardless of the size of the party or regardless of how many voters choose that party’s primary. For statewide office, it is 300 votes. For legislature, it is far more severe, and requires between 110 and 140 primary votes.

The law is especially unfair to small qualified parties, because very few voters choose to vote in a minor party primary. As a result, no minor party has been able to run anyone for the legislature since 1976, when the American Party managed to qualify a few candidates. The sponsor of the bill, Representative Corey Mock, says he will continue to introduce this bill in future sessions of the legislature.

Minnesota had a similar law, but it was invalidated by the State Supreme Court in 2004 in a unanimous decision. That Minnesota case was brought by the Independence Party. Other states that had similar laws in the past are Oklahoma and Wisconsin, but they repealed these laws long ago.

2 thoughts on “North Dakota Ballot Access Bill Loses on House Floor by Vote of 37-55

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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