|This issue was originally printed on white paper.|
On November 30, the 10th circuit ruled that Colorado cannot require candidates for Congress to be registered voters. Campbell v Davidson, 99-1257. The decision was written by Judge Robert Henry, a Clinton appointee; and co-signed by Judge Mary Briscoe, a Clinton appointee, and Wayne Alley, a Reagan appointee. Assuming the decision is not reversed by a rehearing or by the U.S. Supreme Court, it also invalidates laws in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming, since those states are in the 10th circuit and also require congressional candidates to be registered voters.
The 9th circuit (which covers the other western states) had made a similar ruling back on June 20, in a California case. California is seeking U.S. Supreme Court review (Jones v Schaefer, 00-675), and the U.S. Supreme Court will probably say in January whether it will grant review.
The Colorado law is very restrictive. It says, "No person shall be placed in nomination by petition unless the person is an eligible elector of the political subdivision or district in which the officer is to be elected and unless the person was registered as unaffiliated, as shown on the books of the county clerk, for at least 12 months prior to the last date the petition may be filed".
In 1982 that law was used to disqualify Eileen Thournir, a Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. House, because she had moved into Colorado (from California) during the one year prior to the filing deadline. Even though she had been registered as a member of the Socialist Workers Party in California during the first part of that period, and as an independent ever since she had registered to vote in Colorado (since Colorado at the time didn't permit people to register as members of minor parties), she was kept off the ballot.
In effect, the Colorado law requires a candidate for Congress to have lived in the state for a full year before filing a petition to get on the ballot. Nevertheless, Thournir's lawsuit against the law failed, in an ACLU action which dragged on for eight years.
The reason the new Campbell case won, whereas the old Thournir case lost, is that in 1995 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in U.S. Term Limits v Thornton that neither states nor Congress may add to the list of qualifications (contained in the U.S. Constitution) to be eligible for election to Congress. Since the Constitution doesn't require a candidate for Congress to have lived in the state prior to election day, states cannot add such a requirement.
Eventually, the Campbell and Schaefer decisions, as well as others which are likely to win, may make it possible for lawsuits against extremely onerous ballot access petition requirements to prevail, on the grounds that these petition requirements are not just procedures, but do in fact add to the qualifications. So far, the Campbell and Schaefer decisions are the only ones striking down barriers to candidacy (on Article I grounds) since the 1995 term limits case.
Election contest lawsuits (court fights over which candidate won a close election) are common for local offices. Occasionally they occur for statewide offices, such as one in New Hampshire in 1974, when the U.S. Senate election there resulted in a two-vote victory for the Republican nominee (later, both sides agreed to hold a new election).
The battle over the presidential vote in Florida has resulted in 44 lawsuits (as of December 4th). Here are the most important ones:
1. Bush v Palm Beach County Canvassing Board, 00-836, remanded by the U.S. Supreme Court back to the Florida Supreme Court on December 4. The issue is the deadline by which counties had to certify their votes.
2. Gore v Harris, cv 00-2808, in which the Florida Circuit Court, 2nd district, ruled on December 4 that Gore is not entitled to a recount in certain counties. An appeal in the State Supreme Court is pending.
3. Taylor v Martin County Canvassing Board, cv 00-2850, in Florida Circuit Court, 19th district, over whether absentee votes should be excluded because Republican Party workers were allowed to remove absentee ballot applications from public offices and add missing data to them.
4. Jacobs v Seminole County Canvassing Board, cv-00-2816, 18th district, is similar to case #3.
5. Fladell v Palm Beach County Canvassing Board, SC 00-2373, in which the Florida Supreme Court upheld the format of the Palm Beach County ballot on December 1.
6. Siegel v LePore, 00-15981, the Republican case now pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th circuit, to stop recounts in certain counties.
Briefs and decisions in these cases may be seen at http://www.findlaw.com/ Click on the box which says, "Election Center 2000; Florida Deadlock."
Recently, articles about "faithless electors" have appeared. Some of these articles say that only 7 times in history have presidential electors failed to support their own party's national nominees; others say the number is 9. Also, these articles always say that the "faithless electors" have never affected the outcome.
These assertions are all erroneous. See the article at the end of this issue for details.
In November 2000, either the Democrats or the Republicans failed to run a candidate in 40.6% of all state legislative contests.
2000 was not atypical. In 1998, there was no Democrat or no Republican in 41.1% of the state legislative races; in 1996, 32.7%; in 1994, 35.8%; in 1992, 32.8%.
|STATE||SEATS||NO D||NO R|
Seven states did not elect partisan legislators in 2000 and are omitted.
"No R" means the number of seats with no Republican candidate; "No D" means the number with no Democratic candidate.
When any major party nominee won the other major party's nomination as well as his or her own party's nomination, the opposing party is considered not to have a nominee.
On October 25, the 5th circuit ruled that the constitution does not require Texas to let minor parties qualify in just a single legislative or U.S. House district, if the party is unable to qualify statewide. Holmes v Gonzales, 99-50997. The decision is one page and merely says, "We agree with the district court that this requirement (that a party qualify statewide, or countywide, but not in a single district) is narrowly tailored toward ensuring that a party seeking to place district candidates on the ballot has a modicum of support within the state."
None of the three judges who sat on the panel was willing to acknowledge having written this inadequate decision, but the three are Thomas Reavley, a Carter appointee; and E. Grady Jolly and Edith Jones, Reagan appointees. The case had been brought at great expense by the Constitution Party, which was unable to qualify statewide in 1998 but wanted to run a single U.S. House and a single legislative candidate.
As of December 4, some states had announced their official vote totals; others weren't done but were publicly releasing running totals as they worked to finish; and some states hadn't released any figures at all. Using Associated Press figures for the latter category of states, and the latest state figures for the other states, the current figures are: Gore 50,422,431; Bush 50,076,492; difference 345,939.
The official figures for the entire nation won't be known until December 15, when Ohio will release its totals. B.A.N. will carry the official figures by state in January.
|California||(reg) 89,007||(reg) 86,212|
|Delaware||(reg) 224||(reg) *250|
|Washington||pri vote 10,444||pri *11,000|
This shows what a new party needs to put a statewide candidate on the November ballot with a party label, for both 1998 and 2002. * estimate.
|Dem.||Rep.||Indp. & Misc.||Constit.||Lib't.||Green||Reform||Nat Law||other|
|Iowa||567,180||591,717||691,047||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -|
|Kansas||449,297||734,771||424,349||2,701||9,976||- -||1,888||- -||- -|
|Nebraska||392,344||537,605||153,088||- -||1,790||325||55||65||- -|
|New Hampshire||224,564||302,138||329,817||?||?||?||?||?||- -|
|New Jersey||1,179,577||876,386||2,654,805||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -||- -|
|New Mexico||508,414||318,282||131,109||6||3,787||11,674||215||46||- -|
|New York||5,243,617||3,171,044||2,308,714||- -||- -||12,121||- -||- -||527,320|
|North Carolina||2,588,137||1,765,476||831,857||?||6,909||?||254||?||- -|
|South Dakota||181,129||226,906||61,913||?||1,074||?||130||?||- -|
|West Virginia||659,833||309,970||97,058||?||956||?||?||?||- -|
The parties in the "Other" column are: in Alaska, 19,346 Alaskan Independence and 2,094 Republican Moderate; Peace and Freedom in California; Independence in Connecticut; Independent Party in Delaware; Umoja in D.C.; these parties in Florida: Socialist 167, Socialist Workers 156, Workers World 28; Socialist in Louisiana; these parties in Massachusetts: Socialist 221, Prohibition 11; these parties in New York: Independence 197,246, Conservative 173,905, Liberal 95,207, Right to Life 53,107, Working Families 7,855; Socialist in Oregon.
All data is for September, October or November 2000, except Maine data, which is for June 2000. November 2000 data for Maine will be reported in the next issue. States not mentioned above do not provide for voters to register into parties, when they register to vote. Rhode Island registration forms ask the voter to choose a party, but the state does not keep track of how many people join any party. Utah switched to a system in which voters register into parties this year, but the state as yet has no data on how many registrants any party has. A court this year ordered New Jersey to let voters register into unqualified parties, but the decision is being appealed, and in the meantime the lower court order is not in effect.
Dashes mean that the voters are not permitted to register into a particular party, since the particular party is not, or was not, qualified in that state, and the state won't let people register into unqualified parties. A question mark means that the state has not tabulated the number of registrants in a particular party.
Totals in November 1998 were: Dem. 37,425,660 (44.94%), Rep. 27,695,767 (33.26%), Indp. & misc. 16,804,922 (20.18%), Constitution (then called US Taxpayers) 317,510 (.38%), Reform 245,831 (.30%), Libertarian 179,255 (.22%), Green 118,537 (.14%), Natural Law 70,032 (.08%), other parties 424,101 (.51%).
|Dem.||Rep.||Libt.||Green||Consti.||Reform||Nat Law||Soc Wkr||other||indp.|
Notes: "Other" vote for U.S. Senate in Minnesota: Independence 140,583, Grassroots 21,447. New Jersey: Conservative 3,536, Socialist 3,358. New York: Independence 42,308, Right to Life 20,700. Vermont: Grassroots 4,889, Liberty Union 1,477. Utah: Independent American. Delaware: Independence Party. West Virginia: Mountain Party. (New York vote for minor parties which cross-endorsed major parties is still unknown).
Some of these figures are official; others are not.
|Dem.||Rep.||Libt.||Green||Consti.||Reform||Nat Law||Soc Wkr||other||indp.|
|MEDIAN||49.47||48.52||.98||1.22||.43||.64||.50||.11||- -||- -|
Some of these figures are official; others are not.
|MEDIAN||50.12||46.26||1.30||.25||.38||.13||.22||9.59||- -||- -|
Presidential electors have frequently voted for someone for president or vice-president, who was different than their own party's nominees. In 1836, these "disobedient electors" actually changed the outcome, and deadlocked the Electoral College for vice-president.
That year, all 23 Democratic electors from Virginia refused to vote for their own party's vice-presidential candidate, Richard M. Johnson of Kentucky, because he had lived with an African-American woman and fathered two daughters with her. The Virginia electors voted instead for William Smith of Alabama. As a result, no one received a majority of the electoral college vote, and the Senate had to pick the new vice-president (they chose Johnson).
There have been many other instances of electors voting for someone other than his party's nominees:
1. In 1808, six Democratic-Republican electors refused to vote for the party's presidential candidate, James Madison, and instead voted for George Clinton for president (Clinton was the party's v-p nominee).
2. In 1812, three Federalist electors refused to vote for the party's vice-presidential candidate, Jared Ingersoll, and instead voted for Elbridge Gerry, who was the Democratic-Republican Party's candidate for vice-president.
3. In 1820, one Democratic-Republican elector refused to vote for his party's presidential nominee, James Monroe, and instead voted for John Quincy Adams, who wasn't a candidate.
4. In 1828, seven of Georgia's nine Democratic electors refused to vote for the party's vice-presidential candidate, John Calhoun of South Carolina, and instead voted for William Smith, another South Carolinian.
5. In 1832, Pennsylvania's 30 Democratic electors refused to vote for the party's vice-presidential candidate, Martin Van Buren, and instead voted for William Wilkins of Pennsylvania.
5a. The events of 1836 were described above.
6. In 1872, 63 of the 66 Democratic electors refused to vote for the party's presidential candidate, Horace Greeley, because he had died on November 29, 1872.
7. In 1896, the Peoples Party and the Democratic Party had run the same presidential candidate (William Jennings Bryan) but different vice-presidential candidates. Four of the Peoples Party electors who had promised to vote for the Peoples Party candidate for vice-president, Thomas Watson, instead voted for the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Arthur Sewall. Watson ended up with only 27 electoral votes, instead of the 31 he was expecting.
8. In 1912, all eight Republican electors had pledged to vote for James S. Sherman, but since he died on October 30, they instead all voted for Nicholas Murray Butler.
9. In 1948, two Tennessee electors had been nominated by two parties (Democratic and States Rights), each with a different presidential candidate (the Democratic Party of Tennessee had foolishly nominated them early in the year, before the party split in July). Both said that if elected, they would vote for Strom Thurmond. They were elected, but only one voted for Thurmond; the other voted for Truman.
10. In 1956, an Alabama Democratic elector refused to vote for Adlai Stevenson for president, and instead voted for Walter B. Jones, an Alabama judge.
11. In 1960, an Oklahoma Republican elector refused to vote for Richard Nixon, and instead voted for Harry F. Byrd of Virginia.
12. In 1968, a North Carolina Republican elector refused to vote for Richard Nixon, and instead voted for George Wallace.
13. In 1972, a Virginia Republican elector refused to vote for Nixon, and instead voted for the Libertarian presidential candidate, John Hospers.
14. In 1976, a Washington Republican refused to vote for Gerald Ford, and instead voted for Ronald Reagan.
15. In 1988, a West Virginia Democrat refused to vote for Michael Dukakis for president, and instead voted for the party's vice-presidential candidate, Lloyd Bentsen, for president.
This year, the electoral college votes on December 18.