New Mexico Secretary of State Says Greens are Not a Qualified Party

On April 27, the New Mexico Secretary of State’s office said that it recognizes the Independent Party and the Constitution Party as being ballot-qualified. It said the Green Party and the Libertarian Party are not ballot-qualified.

The Green Party does appear to meet the statutory qualifications to be a major party. The law says, “Major party means any qualified political party, ANY of whose candidates received as many as 5% of the total number of votes for the office of governor, or president of the United States, as the case may be and whose membership totals not less than one-third of 1% of the statewide registered voter file on the day of the governor’s primary election proclamation.”

The Green Party candidate for Public Regulation Commission, Rick Lass, in 2008, polled 77,006 votes in a partisan race. The number of votes cast for president in New Mexico last year was 830,158. 5% of 830,158 is only 41,508, so Lass polled more than 5%. Also, the Green Party’s registration is greater than one-third of 1% of the state total.

The catch is that in order to be a qualified major party after any election, a party must be a qualified party, and qualified parties must have polled at least one-half of 1% at either of the last two elections for the office at the top of the ticket. The Green Party was a qualified party on the day of the election, so it would be possible to interpret the law either for or against the Green Party. But the Secretary of State has accepted the more restrictive interpretation.

The Constitution Party is a ballot-qualified party, even though it didn’t poll as much as one-half of 1% for president last year, because law and precedent say that a party gets two elections after submitting the party petition. The Constitution Party did its last party petition in 2008.

The Libertarian Party is not a ballot-qualified party because it did its last party petition in 2006, and because it did not poll as much as one-half of 1%. The Independent Party is a ballot-qualified party because it polled more than one-half of 1% for its presidential candidate last year. The candidate was Ralph Nader.


New Mexico Secretary of State Says Greens are Not a Qualified Party — No Comments

  1. Separate is NOT equal — for schools and even ballot access — regardless of the armies of lawyer MORONS since 1968 in screwing up ballot access.

    Brown v. Bd of Ed 1954

  2. Yours is an extremely contrived interpretation (of 1-1-9)

    You are interpreting it to say that a party that would be classified as a “major political party” is therefore a “qualified party”. One might as well argue that a party that would be a “minor political party” is therefore a “qualified party”.

    Instead, the requirement is that to be either a “major” or “minor” political party, one must be a a qualified party. And the Green Party was disqualified due to their low performance at two consecutive elections (under 1-7-2).

  3. Think philosophically, Jim. It is truly absurd, and an obscenity, that New Mexico does not recognize a party that carried Santa Fe County and Los Alamos County for its November 2008 nominee for an important state executive position. Furthermore, the Greens are the only minor party in New Mexico that has enough registrations to meet the “major party” test. The whole purpose of laws defining “political party” is to separate out the parties with substantial support, from parties with virtually no support. The Green Party clearly belongs on the ballot, at least as a qualified minor party, yet New Mexico won’t recognize it even as a minor party. The law is absurd.

  4. This seems a bit silly. The simple solution would be to look at the political parties that — at the last preceding presidential election — had their nominee on the ballot to have a mathetical chance of winning enuough E.C. votes.

    That would grant automatical ballot access to about six different parties every four years.

  5. Well it’s a certainty that we will fight this one way or another and continue to point out the absurdity of New Mexico’s ballot circus.

    With our restrictive national laws and undemocratic debate structure in place, it only follows that it is extremely difficult to garner enough votes at the top ticket level to base qualifications for state ballots on . . . especially when those laws vary from state to state and exist at the discretion of lawmakers already aligned with the two major parties.

  6. #4 Rick Lass was a candidate for a district seat on the New Mexico Regulation Commission for which there was no Republican candidate. On the SOS site, the NMRC result appear after the district legislative races, presumably reflecting the ballot order as well. Santa Fe County is split among three districts (considering that there are only 5 districts, there are an obscene amount of county splits).

    The Democrat candidate, Jerome Block, Jr. was nominated in a 6-way primary in which he received 23% of the vote, and may have been mistaken for his father (Jerome Block, Sr.) who had previously served for 18 years on the commission or its predecessor agency.

    During the campaign he was under attack for misreporting campaign expenditures (he and his father were indicted earlier this month). He had paid $2500 out of public campaign funds to a county clerk who happened to be a member of a band that never performed at a campaign rally.

    The presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party received 17 votes in Los Alamos County (0.15%) and good for a 6th place finish behind Obama, McCain, Nader, Barr, and Baldwin.

    In Santa Fe County, she received 148 votes (0.20%), but did finish ahead of Chuck Baldwin.

    New Mexico should eliminate partisan primaries like Washington, Louisiana, and Nebraska have done, and the legislature has proposed in California.

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