|This issue was originally printed on yellow paper.|
(See also this update.)
On August 15, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kopf ruled that it violates the First Amendment for a state to insist that only registered voters may circulate an initiative petition. Bernbeck v Moore, 4:CV96-3263. Judge Kopf is a Bush appointee.
No court had previously taken this position. Judge Kopf based his ruling on the U.S. Supreme Court 1988 decision, Meyer v Grant, which had ruled unanimously that it violates the First Amendment for a state to ban paid petitioners. The First Amendment specifically mentions "the right of the people... to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
However, Kopf also based his decision on logic. The decision points out that nothing in Nebraska law makes it illegal for anyone to hire out-of-state campaign consultants, or out-of-state printers, or out-of-state canvassers, or out-of-state lobbyists.
The decision says that the state is still free to require all petition circulators to provide, under penalty of perjury, their temporary and permanent addresses, so if the state needs to find them later, it can do so. Therefore, the state has no compelling need to require petitioners to be registered voters in Nebraska.
The decision, if upheld and applied in other states, will be immensely useful to third parties, almost all of whom rely on paid petitioners. Many of the best paid petitioners desire to work in many states in the same year, and must now place themselves in legal jeopardy by registering to vote in states even though that state is not their permanent home.
The decision can also be used to attack West Virginia's law requiring all petitioners to be licensed, and Virginia's law that no one may circulate a statewide petition outside of his or her own congressional district or a neighboring congressional district.
Also, it could be used to attack laws which make it very difficult to circulate a petition to get a third party or independent candidate on the ballot for U.S. House, by insisting that circulators of such petitions must be registered voters in the district.
The case was filed by proponents of congressional term limits. Ironically, no one would have thought to challenge the ban on out-of-state petitioners. The case was filed because Nebraska had added a restriction in 1995, providing that not only did all petitioners need to be registered voters, they all had to be people who had been registered to vote for at least 30 days before beginning to petition. Even the Nebraska Attorney General had argued that the 30-day restriction was unconstitutional, since it discriminates against newly-registered voters.
Nebraska has until September 14 to say whether it will appeal.
On August 22, the State Supreme Court issued an order, telling the Secretary of State to accept Harry Browne's filing fee. The Secretary of State had argued that presidential candidates of previously unqualified parties, must pay a $2,000 filing fee on or before July 2. The Libertarian Party had failed to pay this fee by the deadline. But the State Supreme Court said that the actual deadline for the fee for presidential candidates is August 1, not July 2, and that the party may now pay the fee. State ex rel Browne v Hechler, no. 23637. The party had argued that the filing fee is unconstitutional, but the Court didn't reach this issue.
The Court also suggested that even August 1 may be too early; and it added that the state's ballot access laws are very badly written and that the legislature should re-write them.
On August 15, Arizona Superior Court Judge Norman D. Hall issued an injunction, requiring the Secretary of State to list Harry Browne (Libertarian presidential candidate) on the November ballot. Arizona Libertarian Party v Hull, CV96-13996, Maricopa County.
The Libertarian Party had been three business days late, filing its slate of presidential elector candidates back in June. However, the state was unable to come up with any reason whatsoever, as to why the names of the presidential electors were needed in June, well before most political parties have even chosen their presidential candidates.
This was the first time any court had been willing to waive a deadline for filing presidential electors, on behalf of a "third" party. The judge was probably influenced by the fact that, in the past, when the Democratic and Republican Parties have missed such deadlines, state elections officials have forgiven them and placed the major party presidential candidates on the ballot.
On September 6, U.S. District Court Judge John Kane, a Carter appointee, refused to issue an injunction against a Colorado law which gives the two top spaces on the ballot for "the two major parties". Libertarian Party of Colorado v Buckley, no. 96-K-1983.
The decision in Libertarian Party of Florida v Mortham, 96-cv-258-RLH (Tallahasssee) will be released on September 10, too late to be included in this B.A.N. This is the case over whether a stand-in presidential candidate may be replaced with the actual candidate. The clerk of the court is at (904)-942-8826.
Late-breaking news (special to the Web edition): on Monday September 9th at 5pm the court announced its decision, which was in favor of the Libertarian Party. This means that their real candidate, Harry Browne, will appear on the ballot in Florida, instead of the stand-in. There may be further details in the next B.A.N.
(See also this update.)
On August 15, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Jackson, a Reagan appointee, ruled that the pre-clearance portion of the Voting Rights Act does not apply to actions by the national chairman of a political party. LaRouche v Fowler, cv96-1816. Lyndon LaRouche, who brought the lawsuit, is appealing.
§5 of the Act says that sixteen particular states may not change any election law or procedure, without first getting permission from the U.S. Justice Department. One of those states is Louisiana. In March 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Morse v Republican Party of Virginia that political parties, as well as state and local governments, are also subject to §5 pre-clearance.
LaRouche ran in the Democratic presidential primary this year in Louisiana, and he polled over 15% of the vote in one congressional district. Therefore, under the Democratic Party rules, he was entitled to one delegate to the national convention. However, he didn't get that one delegate, because of a rule promulgated by the national chairman of the Democratic Party in January 1996, saying that LaRouche is not a bona fide Democrat and therefore votes for him should be disregarded.
LaRouche noted that this was a rule change which affected Louisiana, and neither the Democratic national or state party ever asked the Justice Department for permission to make this change. He sued the Democratic Party to obtain his one delegate, but he did not prevail.
Under Judge Jackson's theory, if the Republican Party of Virginia (which had lost its case in the U.S. Supreme Court a few months ago) had wished to charge a fee for delegates to its state convention, it could have done so, and avoided having to get permission from the U.S. Justice Department, if it had persuaded the national chairman of the Republican Party to issue a national party rule on the subject. If this theory is upheld on appeal, the rights of the national officers of political parties, relative to the state officers of political parties, will be greatly increased.
Section 315(a) of the federal Communications Act says "If any licensee shall permit any person who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office to use a broadcasting station, he shall afford equal opportunities to all other such candidates for that office."
However, on August 21, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that television networks, including the Public Broadcasting Service, may give free time to the Democratic and Republican Party presidential candidates, for speeches by those candidates; and may deny such "equal opportunity" to all other presidential candidates.
Sec. 315 exempts bona fide "news events", and the Commission ruled that any speech by the Democratic or Republican presidential candidates is a bona fide "news event".
Thus, an agency of the government has now determined that speech by the candidates of certain political parties is intrinsically "news" (i.e., of importance), whereas speech of candidates of other parties is not "news".
This ruling contradicts the Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, signed by the U.S. government in June 1990. Among other things, the Document states that the signatory nations will "provide that no legal or administrative obstacle stands in the way of unimpeded access to the media on a non-discriminatory basis for all political groupings and individuals wishing to participate in the electoral process".
The Natural Law Party plans to fight the ruling in court.
In accordance with the federal court ruling of July 3, that Oklahoma can no longer automatically put the Democratic Party on the top spot on the ballot, a drawing was held to determine the ballot position of the four parties on this year's ballot. The results are: Reform Party on the top line, then Republican, then Libertarian, then Democratic.
On September 3, the Alabama Secretary of State agreed to put the Natural Law Party on the ballot, even though it only submitted a petition signed by 1% of the last gubernatorial vote. The legislature had changed this to 3% last year.
The Natural Law Party had been threatening to sue the Secretary of State, but at the last minute, the Secretary gave in, so the lawsuit was never filed. The party had argued that it violates due process to raise the number of signatures, in the middle of petitioning season (the change from 1% to 3% had not been approved by the U.S. Justice Department until March 1996, while the party was circulating its petition).
On September 3, the Georgia Secretary of State rejected the Natural Law and U.S. Taxpayers Party petitions for statewide ballot status (including president) because in each case, the notaries who notarized the petitions, also obtained a few hundred signatures themselves.
Although the notaries did not notarize their own petitions, the state ruled that all of the petitions notarized by these notaries are invalid, since the notaries had shown themselves to be other than "neutral" by having participated in the petition drive.
The parties plan to sue. Neither party had any reason to know that if their notaries participated in the petition, they could not notarize any petitions. Nothing in the election law mentions this, and the law covering notaries only says that notaries must not notarize anything if the notary is a party to the document.
It is true that the Georgia Supreme Court upheld this interpretation of the law, in 1994, by a vote of 5-2, in Poppell v Lanier, 448 SE 2d 194. In that case, a petition for a state legislative candidate, bearing 1,157 signatures, was void because the notary participated in petitioning. However, the Secretary of State should have included a warning on this point, in his instructions on how groups attain a place on the ballot.
1. Georgia: (See also this update.) on August 20, the Libertarian Party filed a new lawsuit against Georgia law, which requires it to submit petitions signed by 5% of the number of voters if it wishes to run candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, even though it is a qualified party for statewide office. Amendola v Miller, 96-cv-2103-JEC. The case was assigned to Judge Julie E. Carnes, a Bush appointee who has never had a case involving ballot access. The party filed a similar lawsuit in 1994, which was not pursued. This case is stronger than the old one, since the U.S. Supreme Court term limits decision came out in 1995 and supports this case.
2. Illinois: On August 29, the Libertarian Party filed a lawsuit against Cook County, which was the only county in the state which refused to include the party in a lottery to determine its position on the ballot. The Libertarian Party is one of only three parties which is "qualified" for statewide office. The law says that each county shall hold a lottery to determine ballot order for the "qualified" parties. Libertarian Party of Illinois v Orr, no. 96 CH 08627, Cook County Circuit Court.
3. Maryland: on August 21, the Libertarian Party filed a lawsuit in federal court against a law which forces it to collect the signatures of 3% of the number of registered voters, for all office other than president, even though it is a qualified party. Creager v Bd. of Elections, DKC96-2612. The case was assigned to Judge Alexander Williams, a new Clinton appointee. There is a hearing September 12 in Greenbelt.
4. Virginia: on August 27, the Green Party sued to get write-ins for president. The state Constitution guarantees write-ins at general elections, yet the state refusees to permit write-ins for president. Green Party of Virginia x Board of Elections, HH-950-1, circuit court, Richmond.
5. West Virginia: Nader supporters are about to file a lawsuit in State Supreme Court, arguing that it is unconstitutional to charge them $2,000 just to file a declaration of write-in candidacy for Ralph Nader.
1. Alabama: on July 17, the 11th circuit ruled 2-1 that while petitioners may work on public sidewalks, they may not set up tables. International Caucus of Labor Committees v Montgomery, 87 F 3d 1275. A re-hearing request is pending.
2. Arkansas: the state is appealing to the 8th circuit, in the lawsuit brought by the Reform Party which overturned the ballot access laws.
3. Indiana: On August 19, U.S. District Court Judge Hugh Dillin denied an injunction to a Libertarian candidate for local partisan office who also won the Republican nomination for the same office, and who seeks to be listed on the ballot as the nominee of both parties. Stewart v Taylor, IP96-1085, Southern District.
4. Nebraska: On August 15, federal judge Richard Kopf upheld Nebraska law which forces initiative proponents to circulate their petition, before they know how many signatures are needed on it. Dobrovolny v Moore, 96-cv-3262.
5. New York: on September 5, U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan ordered a candidate placed on the primary ballot, even though the state courts had removed him from the ballot the week before. Rosado v Board of Elections, 96cv-6669-LAK.
The issue was the candidate's residency. All sides agreed that he really did reside in the district, but he hadn't been listed as a tenant, and for this reason, the state courts had disqualified him. Kaplan correctly noted that this was a case of someone making up a new rule, with no prior notice, and reversed the state court decision under the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution.
6. Texas: On June 10, U.S. District Court Judge David Briones, a Clinton appointee, used the Americans with Disabilities Act to rule that Texas must have a voting system in place by 2000 which permits blind voters to cast a secret ballot. Lightbourn v Garza, 928 F Supp 711. Briones said the Americans with Disabilities Act takes precedence over the Voting Rights Act.
On August 21, independent presidential candidate Charles Collins filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking that court to declare the ballot access laws of all states unconstitutional. Collins v Alabama, et al, no. 124-original. The odds are extremely high that the Court will refuse to hear the case.
The Commission on Presidential Debates says it will decide by September 15 whom to invite into the presidential debates.
The Commission has been making erroneous statements, which have been widely reported, that there are 131 or 157 or 257 (all three numbers have been used) candidates for president. There are only 18 candidates for president who are on the ballot in even one state. It is possible this number could rise before September 15. No state has more than 10 candidates on the ballot for president, except Colorado 13; Utah 12; and the Arkansas number is still unknown.
On September 3, the Missouri Secretary of State told the Libertarian Party that it may use a mule as its symbol ("logo") on the ballot. The Missouri Democrats use a Statute of Liberty as their logo, so "turn about is fair play".
The Republican National Convention passed some national bylaws, to assist state Republican Parties in their fights against blanket primaries. Rule 34F says that if a Republican is nominated in a blanket primary against the state party's wishes, then the party need not recognize that person as the Republican nominee.
The National Convention also passed Rule 31C, which provides that state parties have the right to set their own presidential primary dates. Related rules changes provide that state parties must submit their primary or caucus dates to the national party, no later than July 1, 1999, for the 2000 election.
The Reform and Libertarian Parties have qualified to place a presidential candidate on the ballot of all states (and DC). Harry Browne, Libertarian nominee, will have the label "Libertarian" next to his name in all states except Ohio and Tennessee, where he will be labeled "independent".
Ross Perot, Reform nominee, will have the word "Reform" next to his name in all states, except New York, where the label will be "Independence"; and in Alabama, Delaware, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming, where his label will be "independent". In South Dakota it is "Independent-Reform".
Web note: in the following, the "percentage of voters" figures are based on the actual voter turnout in the 1992 presidential elections.
Ballot status for the other third party and independent presidential candidates is as follows:
Natural Law: on except in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and West Virginia; status in South Carolina is still not determined, pending the party's lawsuit. Assuming the party gets on in South Carolina, its presidential candidate, John Hagelin, will be on the ballot in states containing 86.6% of the voters. These states have 463 electoral votes.
U.S. Taxpayers: on except in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Wyoming; also not on in D.C. Status in Arizona depends on the party's winning its lawsuit in the 9th circuit. The party might qualify in Massachusetts if it can find 500 improperly invalidated signatures. Assuming it qualifies in Arizona and Massachusetts, its candidate, Howard Phillips, will be on the ballot in states containing 80.1% of the voters. These states have 434 electoral votes.
Green: on in Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin. On in Ohio if the party can show that it has 363 more valid signatures than the Secretary of State claims.
Status in Arizona depends on the party's winning its lawsuit in U.S. District Court. If Nader gets on in Arizona and Ohio, he will be on in states with 46.3% of the voters. These states have 254 electoral votes. Because Nader is not on the ballot in states containing at least 270 electoral votes, he does not meet the conditions of the Commission on Presidential Debates.
Workers World: on the ballot in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin. Its candidate, Monica Moorehead, will be on the ballot in states containing 33.5% of the voters. These states have 163 electoral votes.
Socialist Workers: on the ballot in Alabama, Colorado, District of Columbia, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin. Its candidate, James Harris, will be on the ballot in states containing 22.8% of the voters. These states have 119 electoral votes.
Peace & Freedom: on in California. Its candidate, Marcia Feinland, will be on before 10.7% of the voters, in a state with 54 electoral votes.
Socialist Equality: on the ballot in Michigan, Minnesota and New Jersey. Its candidate, Jerry White, will be on the ballot in states containing 9.5% of the voters. These states have 43 electoral votes.
Socialist: on the ballot in Arkansas, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, Wisconsin. Its candidate, Mary Cal Hollis, will be on in states containing 6.5% of the voters. These states have 35 electoral votes.
Charles Collins (independent): on the ballot in Arkansas, Colorado, Tennessee and Washington. These states contain 6.5% of the voters. They have 36 electoral votes.
Prohibition: on the ballot in Arkansas, Colorado, Tennessee, Utah. Its candidate, Earl Dodge, will be on in states containing 5.0% of the voters. These states have 30 electoral votes.
Grassroots: on the ballot in Minnesota, Vermont, and perhaps Arkansas. If so, its candidate, Dennis Peron, will be on in states containing 3.4% of the voters. These states have 19 electoral votes.
American: on the ballot in Colorado and Utah. Its candidate, Diane Templin, will be on in states containing 2.2% of the voters. These states have 13 electoral votes.
AIDS Cure: on the ballot in Tennessee. Its candidate, Steve Michaels, will be on in a state containing 1.9% of the voters, and 11 electoral votes.
Independent Party of Utah: on the ballot in Utah. Its candidate, A. Peter Crane, will be before .7% of the voters, in a state with 5 electoral votes.
In the interests of non-duplication of data, I've moved this table out to its own web page, which you can get to by just clicking on those three words. This way, I only have to maintain it in one spot. Thanks for your understanding! -- rab
The next Ballot Access News will contain a table, showing how many candidates each party has on the ballot for Congress in each state. It appears that neither the Libertarian nor Natural Law Parties met their goal of having candidates for the U.S. House in over half of the districts. No third party has had candidates for the U.S. House in even half of the districts, since the Socialist Party last did it in 1920.
The next B.A.N. will not be published until October 12. The editor will be on vacation Sept. 10-29.
Beloit College, in Beloit, Wisconsin, is hosting "Third Party National Conference: Is It Time to Redraw American Political Geography?" on September 20-21. The conference will be in the Laura Aldrich Neese Performing Arts Center.
Speakers will include John B. Anderson, former Wisconsin Governor Patrick Lucey, Libertarian national chair Steve Dasbach, Reform national coordinator Russell Verney, Rob Richie of the Center for Voting and Democracy, and many others. Former New York Times columnist Tom Wicker will give the opening address at 8 p.m. on September 20.
See this note about tables.
|STATE||REFORM SUPPORTERS||VOTE FOR PEROT AND LAMM||TURNOUT|
|NUMBER||PERCENT||PEROT||PEROT %||LAMM||LAMM %||NUMBER||PERCENT|
"Reform Supporters" are the number of people who signed a petition, and who received a mail ballot to choose the Reform Party's presidential candidate. For more details about this table, see the following article.
On August 17, the Reform Party announced that Ross Perot had won the party's mail ballot. The vote by state is shown above, for Perot, and for his opponent, Richard Lamm. Lamm won only in Colorado, Minnesota, the District of Columbia, and Alaska. Over one-third of the votes were cast by Californians.
The chart shows the number of ballots which were mailed out, in each state. Any voter who signed a petition to qualify the Reform Party, was eligible to receive the ballot. The chart shows the percentage of such people, as a share of the total vote cast in each state for president in November 1992. The number of people who were eligible to vote, ranged from 8% of the Wyoming electorate, to only two-hundredths of 1% of the Louisiana electorate.
The chart shows the turnout in each state, which ranged from 29% in Virginia, to under 1% in North Carolina.
On August 19, the party formally requested general election funding from the U.S. Treasury. On August 22, the Federal Election Commission forwarded $29,055,000 to the party's presidential campaign. The Reform Party is the first party in U.S. history, other than the Democrats and Republicans, to receive general election funding prior to any particular presidential election campaign.
The state executive committee of the Peace & Freedom Party of California, voted 9-8 on August 29 to nominate Marcia Feinland of Berkeley, California, for president, and Kate McClatchy of Massachusetts for vice-president. The minority would have chosen Monica Moorehead (who is the Workers World presidential candidate).
On August 29, the Green Party announced that Ralph Nader had chosen Winona LaDuke as his v-p running mate. LaDuke, 37, who lives on the White Earth reservation in northwestern Minnesota, is a Native American activist. She was named by TIME Magazine in March 1995 as one of fifty leaders for the future, and is on the Board of Directors of GreenPeace USA.
On August 17, in San Diego, the U.S. Taxpayers Party nominated Howard Phillips for president, and Herb Titus for vice-president. The vote for president was Phillips 392 2/3, Charles Collins 20 1/3, Ted Gunderson 5, Pat Buchanan 5. Phillips, of Vienna, Virginia, is head of Conservative Caucus, and Titus, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, is a founding dean of Regent University School of Law and Public Policy, and a practicing attorney.
On August 24, the ballot-qualified Right to Life Party of New York state also nominated the Phillips-Titus ticket. The vote was Phillips 49, no candidate 11. No delegate voted for Bob Dole, even though in 1992 the party had nominated Republican George Bush. Bush received 127,959 votes in November 1992 on the Right to Life line in New York state.
The Natural Law Party national convention was in Washington, D.C., August 21-23. The nominees are John Hagelin, 42, a physicist, of Fairfield, Iowa, for president; and Mike Tompkins, 47, an author, of Boone, North Carolina, for vice-president.
The national Patriot Party was formed in 1994, by supporters of Ross Perot who were eager to establish a new party before Perot himself supported that idea. It included activists of the New Alliance Party. The Patriot Party has generally merged itself into the Reform Party. The Patriot Party is not on the ballot in 1996 in any state, except South Carolina, where the Reform and Patriot Parties are jointly running Ross Perot for president. Voters will be able to vote for Perot under either label.
The Independent Party of Utah, which has been ballot-qualified since 1988, had joined the Patriot Party, but the Utah party did not agree with the action of the Patriot Party in merging into the Reform Party. Therefore, the Independent Party of Utah has its own ticket, A. Peter Crane, 72, a physician of Murray, Utah, for president; and Connie Chandler of Ogden, Utah, for vice-president.