Peace & Freedom Party Threatened

The California Secretary of State, Bruce McPherson, seems to be on the verge of reversing 75 years of precedent, and ruling that a party that first qualified in a presidential election year cannot be on the following gubernatorial election ballot two years later, unless it has registration equal to 1% of the last gubernatorial vote.

The California election code section defining political parties has not changed in structure since 1929. Always, in the past, a party that qualifies in a presidential year is assumed to remain qualified, until it fails either the vote test or the registration test. The registration test is only one-fifteenth of 1%, and the vote test is 2% for any statewide race in a gubernatorial election year.

Peace & Freedom qualified in 2004. Since it wasn’t on the ballot in 2002, obviously it didn’t poll 2% of the vote for any statewide race in 2002. Precedents from 1934 (the Liberty Party), 1950 (Independent Progressive Party), 1970 (Peace & Freedom Party), and 1998 (Natural Law Party), all agree that a party that first qualifies in a presidential year remains on the ballot until it fails either test. PFP has not failed either test. Yet, the Secretary of State is saying it must, in effect, re-qualify this year.

The Secretary of State’s office has been furnished with the historical information, and the final decision is still pending.


Peace & Freedom Party Threatened — 2 Comments


    x – close Recent Stories By Dan Smith

    Party falls off ballot
    By Dan Smith — Bee Capitol Bureau
    Published 2:15 am PST Wednesday, February 1, 2006
    Story appeared on Page A5 of The Bee
    The Peace and Freedom Party has failed to qualify as an official party in California for the June 6 election, Secretary of State Bruce McPherson announced Tuesday.

    To maintain qualified status, a party must have registered voters equal to or more than 1 percent of the number of votes cast in the previous gubernatorial election (2002) or have had a candidate receive 2 percent of the votes cast in that election. The number of voters registered with the Peace and Freedom Party as of Jan. 3 fell below the 77,389 needed, and the party fielded no candidates in 2002.

    Six parties remain to nominate candidates in the June 6 primary: Democratic, Republican, American Independent, Green, Libertarian and Natural Law.

  2. FROM:

    “candidate or other activist, please check out our page of resources.
    Vote Peace and Freedom Party, for peace, freedom and justice!

    On January 24, 2006, a letter from Peace and Freedom Party State Chairperson Kevin Akin was delivered to Secretary of State Bruce McPherson’s office, requesting that he place an internal referendum on the party’s June primary ballot in accordance with a longstanding provision of the Peace and Freedom Party’s bylaws. This is the text of the referendum question:

    We call for an immediate end to the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. forces from those countries; and

    We further call on all California members of congress to vote against all appropriations that include funding for the continued occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan; and

    We further call for the withdrawal of the California National Guard from combat-related operations outside the United States.

    This position of the Peace and Freedom Party shall be adopted by our nominated candidates in their campaigns, and in office if they are elected.

    Secretary of State McPherson’s response was to claim a week later that Peace and Freedom was no longer a ballot-qualified party eligible to participate in the June primary. Since his decision was contrary to the plain language of the law and to four earlier decisions in comparable situations by previous Secretaries of State (most recently by Bill Jones in 1998), he must have had some other reason than “just following the law”. If his motive wasn’t to prevent Peace and Freedom Party registrants from voting against the war, what was it?

    Once the courts correct the situation, all California voters will have the chance to vote against the war by voting in November for Peace and Freedom Party candidates.”

    Post Script by former P&F party member:
    “You’ll notice that the party’s index page * has a large, prominent anti Schwarzenegger piece on it. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm”


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