Ballot Access News is edited and published by Richard Winger, the nation's leading expert on ballot access legal issues.


Several Ballot Access Constitutional Cases Filed in 2011 or 2012 Are Still Pending

Several constitutional ballot access cases filed for the 2012 election are still pending.

In Georgia, the ballot access case filed by the Green and Constitution Parties is undergoing discovery, in preparation for a trial. This case challenges the law on how minor party and independent presidential candidates get on the ballot. The state requires approximately 50,000 valid signatures, and each petition sheet must be notarized. This case has been delayed, because initially the U.S. District Court upheld the law without allowing a trial, but then the 11th circuit said the case needs evidence. The state recently asked for a short extension of time in which to find expert witnesses on its side. The deadline for identifying the state’s witnesses is October 27. Discovery will be complete by November 20, 2015.

In Illinois, the Libertarian Party case against the law requiring newly-qualifying parties to file a full slate still hasn’t had a decision. Twice, the case was reassigned from one judge to another judge. The third judge to have the case has seven times announced a date when the opinion would be released, but each time she then didn’t issue it. She now says the opinion will be out before October 30.

In Pennsylvania, the case filed by the Constitution, Green, and Libertarian Parties against the threat of huge court costs (if the petition doesn’t have enough valid signatures) won in U.S. District Court on July 24, 2015, but the state has appealed, so the case is still alive.

In Tennessee, the 2011 case filed by the Constitution and Green Parties against the petition requirement for new parties (2.5% of the last gubernatorial vote) is still pending. Twice the U.S. District Court struck down the laws, and then twice the U.S. Court of Appeals sent it back, saying more evidence is needed. Discovery is complete, but no trial date has been set yet.


Larry Lessig Supporters Demonstrate Outside CNN Over Debate Exclusion

On Friday, October 9, supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Larry Lessig held a protest in New York city outside the building where CNN broadcasts. CNN is hosting the October 13 debate for Democrats, and so far is excluding Lessig, even though in some polls he is at 1%.

There seems to be no news story about the protest, but see here for the Lessig campaign’s announcement of the protest. It was to be outside the Time Warner Center near Central Park.


New York Times Carries Letter in Defense of Fusion

Dan Cantor, head of the New York Working Families Party, has this letter in the October 10 New York Times. Cantor defends fusion, the practice of letting two parties jointly nominate the same candidate.


New California Poll Shows Two Democrats Will Likely Place First and Second in June 2016 Senate Primary

On October 9, a Field Poll was released for the U.S. Senate race in California. The results are here. The two strongest Democratic candidates are at 30% and 17%. The strongest Republican is at 9%. If these results persist, it is likely that if the California election system is not changed, in November 2016 California voters will only have two Democrats on the ballot, with no write-in space. The two Democrats, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and Attorney General Kamala Harris, do not fundamentally disagree with each other on the issues. Thanks to AroundtheCapitol for the link.


Florida State Court Settles on a New Set of U.S. House District Boundaries

On October 9, a Florida state trial court released an opinion that recommends new U.S. House districts. The plan won’t be final until the Florida Supreme Court reviews the plan. See this story, which has a map. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.


Intrepid Reporter Lee Prince Sets Out to Interview All Declared Presidential Candidates with a Web Presence

Lee Prince has set out to interview and record interviews with everyone who is running for President and who has a website. He has already done 48 interviews and the number grows daily. Here is a list of the candidates interviewed, with links to those interviews.