The Washington Post of July 16 contains this op-ed about the electoral college. It says that Peter Camejo was not eligible to be an independent candidate for vice-president in 2004 in California because he was a registered member of the Green Party. This is not true.
California’s Secretary of State ruled in 1980, 1988, and 1992, that anyone may be an independent candidate for president or vice-president, regardless of how that person is or was registered. It is true that California law says no one may be an independent candidate of that person has been a member of a qualified party for the preceding year, but this law does not apply to candidates for president or vice-president. This is because the true candidates in a presidential election are the candidates for presidential elector. Presidential and vice-presidential candidate names appear on the ballot, not in their capacity as candidates, but as labels for competing slates of presidential elector who are pledged to them.
Independent candidates for president and vice-president who appeared on the California ballot even though they were or had recently been members of qualified parties include John Anderson in 1980, Liz Munoz in 1988 (she was a registered member of the Peace & Freedom Party and qualified as an independent candidate for vice-president, running with Lenora Fulani) and Admiral James Stockdale in 1992 (he was Ross Perot’s 1992 running mate; he was registered Republican in California until mid-May 1992).