On May 7, the New Mexico Libertarian Party, and the New Mexico Green Party, jointly filed a lawsuit in federal court against many ballot access laws, regulations and impediments. Woodruff v Herrera, cv-09-449. The case was assigned to Judge William Johnson, a Bush Jr. appointee. Alan Woodruff, the first-named plaintiff, was nominated for U.S. House last month by the Libertarian Party.
The lawsuit challenges New Mexico laws that require an unqualified party to submit one petition to qualify itself, and then separate petitions for each of its nominees. It challenges the Secretary of State’s refusal to make the nominee petitions available until October of odd years. It challenges the Secretary of State’s arbitrary practice (which started in 2006) of omitting a “straight-ticket” device on general election ballots for any parties except the Democratic and Republican Parties.
Also, it challenges the fact that qualified major parties may substitute new nominees if their original nominee dies, whereas qualified minor parties don’t enjoy the same right; it challenges the habit of always listing the major parties first on the ballot; it challenges the law that requires a party to either qualify statewide, or not at all; it challenges the “see-saw” effect, which inadvertently requires much higher petition requirements in mid-term years than in presidential years (because petition requirements are based on a percentage of the number of votes cast in the previous election, and presidential elections always have higher turnout).
One of the plaintiff-candidates, Daniel Fenton, is not a registered voter, and the lawsuit challenges his inability to become a candidate for Congress. New Mexico is in the 10th circuit, and the 10th circuit already ruled in 2001 that states cannot require candidates for Congress to be registered voters.
Here is the 26-page Complaint.