Reform Institute Releases Study on Presidential Ballot Access

The Reform Institute, associated somewhat with U.S. Senator John McCain, released “Presidential Ballot Access: A State by State Scorecard” on January 30. The 70-page report can be seen here. The Report condemns restrictive ballot access laws, and for that, it is praiseworthy.

Unfortunately, the state-by-state pages are massively inaccurate. The only accurate pages are for Connecticut, Iowa, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Some of the errors say that the state requirements are easier than they actually are, while others say they are much harder than they actually are. The North Carolina page says an independent presidential candidate needs 15,000 signatures. Sadly, the actual number is 69,734. For California, the report says all a new party needs to do, to get on the ballot, is file a list of its state officers. Actually it must persuade 88,991 people to register as members.

But most of the errors portray state laws as worse than they actually are. For example, the report says a qualified party in Mississippi is one that got 20% of the vote in the last presidential election. Actually any party that submits a list of state officers, and U.S. House district officers, and a copy of its Bylaws, may be recognized.

Ballot Access News editor Richard Winger repeatedly contacted the Reform Institute, over several months last year, offering to help with the report, but those phone calls were never returned.


Reform Institute Releases Study on Presidential Ballot Access — No Comments

  1. Separate is NOT EQUAL.

    Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 495 (1954).

    Way too difficult for the armies of MORON lawyers in ballot access cases.

    How many super-computers are needed to keep up with the D/R UNEQUAL ballot access laws ?

  2. The main problem is revealed in your first sentence. This group is “associated… with U.S. Senator John McCain…”

    Several years ago, I tried repeatedly– and in vain– to get a copy of Crazy John’s amicus brief from the blanket primary case, California Democratic Party v. Jones.

    In 2004, McCain had a statement on the Web site of the group promoting the “top two” initiative in California. He said that his state of Arizona also had an “open primary,” implying that the Arizona setup and the California proposal were the same. In fact, the two systems were considerably different.

  3. Their info is incorrect, an Independent Presidential Candidate only needs 5,000 signatures; however the number they give is correct for OTHER independents.

  4. Wow!

    I am sure there are many important pieces of information in this article.

    But, the one that sticks out the most for me is:

    Who would even think about writing a report on ballot access and not check in with Richard Winger, the premiere expert on it in the country?

    I am serious. Every time someone mentions a ballot access question, someone is likely to say, “We should ask Richard Winger.” Or, “Check with Ballot Access News.” And, the list of court cases Richard Winger has been on, as an expert witness, is amazing.

    If that Reform Institute report was associated with McCain, than maybe it figures. The Duopoly just absolutely does not get it. They can’t even see the facts on the ground that third parties see. Richard Winger is the point person on ballot access.

    (Does the Reform Institute know how to google search?)

    Kimberly Wilder

  5. Thank you very much, Jim R. This makes up for your failure to respond to my e-mails.

    Interesting that an ex-RNC chairman like Bill Brock would join McCain in support of the blanket primary. Brock attended the Oklahoma meeting that David Boren recently hosted.

    I was in Tennessee in ’76, when Brock ran for a second term as U. S. senator against Jim Sasser. It came out that the wealthy Brock had paid little or no income tax for a period of time, and almost overnight, the state was covered with bumper-stickers that said, “I paid more income tax than Bill Brock!”

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