Minor party and independent candidates are in at least 26 courts, in cases that challenge the constitutionality of various state election laws. A few new cases will probably be filed in December.
The issues in each state are:
1. Alabama: whether the state may require more signatures for an independent candidate for U.S. House than are required for an independent presidential candidate.
2. Arizona: whether the state may ban out-of-state circulators for petitions to put political parties on the ballot.
3. Arkansas: whether the state may remove a party from its position on the ballot because it failed to perform well for President, even though it performed very well for other office and elected a state legislator.
4. Colorado: whether a state may tell someone that she can’t be an independent candidate on the grounds that she was a member of a qualified party in the year before filing.
5. Connecticut: whether a state may give public funding to Democratic and Republican candidates with no petition needed, but require an independent candidate to collect signatures of 20% of the last vote cast to get equal public funding.
6. District of Columbia: whether the District must count the write-in candidates for president of declared write-in presidential candidates.
7. Georgia: whether the state may have procedures for independent candidates for U.S. House that are so difficult, they have not been used since 1964.
8. Hawaii: whether the state may require six times more signatures for an independent presidential candidate than for an entire new party with its own primary.
9. Idaho: whether the state may ban out-of-state circulators.
10. Louisiana: whether the state should have accepted presidential elector paperwork from a ballot-qualified party in 2008 by September 12.
11. Massachusetts: whether the state must let unqualified parties use a stand-in presidential candidate on its petition.
12. Montana: whether the state may require a candidate for office other than president to submit his or her petition by mid-March of an election year.
13. New Hampshire: whether the state must let unqualified parties use a stand-in presidential candidate on its petition.
14. New Jersey: whether the state can confine all non-Republican, non-Democratic candidates into a space on the ballot that is labeled “nomination by petition”.
15. New Mexico: whether the state may require a qualified party to submit separate petitions for all the candidates it has nominated via the convention process.
16. North Carolina: whether the state may require an independent candidate for U.S. House to submit 20,000 valid signatures, give the historical background that no independent has ever qualified for the government-printed ballot in that state. Another case on whether the state may require new or previously unqualified parties to submit approximately 85,000 valid signatures.
17. Pennsylvania: whether the state may force all parties to continually submit petitions for its nominees unless that party has registration membership of approximately 1,000,000 members; also whether the state can continue to enforce its petition deadline when the legislature has never enacted that deadline and the previous deadline was declared unconstitutional in 1984; also whether the state may threaten candidates with being charged for the expenses of disqualifying their petitions; also whether the state may continue to discard write-in votes without counting them.
18. Rhode Island: whether a city can limit voters to signing for only one candidate for the same office.
19. South Carolina: whether the state can disqualify a party’s nominee if that nominee, after obtaining one party’s nomination, tries to get another party’s nomination.
20. Tennessee: whether the state can require new or previously unqualified parties to submit a petition signed by 2.5% of the last vote for Governor, on a petition that says all the signers are members of that party.
21. Washington: whether the state can limit the general election ballot to the top-two vote-getters in the primary.
In addition to these lawsuits, a challenge is pending against a federal ruling that says individuals may not give more than $5,000 to a new political party that is not yet a “National Committee”. Also, cases involving petitioning for initiatives and referendums are pending in Maryland and Washington, and against the U.S. Postal Service regulation that bars petitioning on its sidewalks.