California Republican Initiative on Electoral College Would Complicate Independent Candidate Ballot Access

The Republican-backed initiative to provide that each California US House district would elect its own presidential elector, if passed in June 2008, would make it somewhat more complicated for an independent presidential candidate to get on the California ballot in November 2008. Current law requires an independent presidential candidate petition to list the names and addresses of 55 candidates for presidential elector. However, current law does not have a residence requirement for candidates for presidential elector, except that the electors must be California residents.

The initiative says that candidates for presidential elector must each live in the district that he or she hopes to represent. Therefore, an independent candidate for president would have the task of lining up a slate of candidates for presidential elector, one per US House district. This work must be done before the petitions are printed. California requires 158,372 valid signatures, to be obtained between April 2008 and August 8, 2008.

Political parties on the California ballot would also need to submit a list of presidential elector candidates, in accordance with the residency requirement imposed by the initiative, if the initiative gets on the ballot in June 2008 and passes. If passed, it would take effect as soon as the votes had been counted in June.


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California Republican Initiative on Electoral College Would Complicate Independent Candidate Ballot Access — No Comments

  1. There is a twist in the event that the initiative is passed on the Nov, 2008 election the following applies
    Election Code § 6905. In case of the death or absence of any
    elector chosen, or if the number of electors is
    deficient for any other reason, the electors then
    present shall elect, pursuant to subdivision
    (b) of section 6902 as many persons as will
    supply the deficiency.

  2. Ross Perot, the last person who qualified as an independent presidential candidate in California (in 1992), lost a month’s worth of scarce petitioning time, just coming up with a list of presidential elector candidates. It wouldn’t be such a problem if they didn’t all need to be listed on the petition, but they do. Having to find one in each of California’s 53 US House districts will make the job even more complicated.

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