Strange New Mexico Law Gets Liberal Interpretation from Democratic Party, but Restrictive Interpretation from Republican Party

New Mexico has a unique election law, 1-1-20. It is “Major Fractions. In any place in the Election Code requiring counting or computing of numbers, any fraction or decimal greater than one-half of a whole number shall be counted as a whole number.” This law seems to have been passed in 1978.

Suddenly, the law has assumed importance. New Mexico laws also say that qualified major parties hold endorsement conventions. Any candidate who has the support of at least 20% of the delegates is granted an easier path to the primary election ballot. All major party members seeking a place on a primary ballot need a petition, but candidates without 20% of the delegates need a tougher petition. The petitions are due near the end of March.

Adam Kokesh, a Republican who supports Ron Paul’s ideas, is running for U.S. House in the 3rd district. He only got 19.6% of the convention vote at the recent Republican endorsements convention, and the party says he didn’t meet the threshold for easier access to the primary ballot. But a Democratic Party member running for Lieutenant Governor, Joe Campos, who also got over 19.5% of his party’s convention vote but under 20%, is being treated by the Democratic Party as someone who got 20%, due to the rounding law. See this story. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.


Strange New Mexico Law Gets Liberal Interpretation from Democratic Party, but Restrictive Interpretation from Republican Party — No Comments

  1. There’s an ironic story here. Joe Campos, the beneficiary of the rounding up rule, is the House Voters & Elections committee chair in NM. He apparently went looking for this rule when he was declared to be one of the candidates falling short. He’s being hailed for his knowledge of the rules of the State of New Mexico Election Handbook and the party. I’m not sure if these are synonymous however.

    “The DPNM just issued a statement clarifying their decision, saying that “after thorough review of the rules of the party and the State of New Mexico Election Handbook, Representative Campos received 20% of the votes cast in the Lt. Governor convention vote.

    According to the DPNM, Joe Campos received 19.69% of the votes, which in accordance to the rule is rounded to 20%.”

    The irony is that Joe Campos, when asked about the lawsuit filed against the Secretary of State on behalf of several third parties active in New Mexico, was blissfully ignorant. He had “heard something about it” but his curiosity was not aroused, nor has the SoS apparently thought to tell him about it, even as several rulings have come down already that might propel the legislature into forced action on NM electoral statutes.

    On the SoS front though, it gets better.
    Seems that there’s been a lil mixup at the office.
    A friend blogged that “Secretary of State’s office is calling all campaigns today to inform them that the March 31st deadline that was printed in all handbooks is wrong and petitions are due March 23rd! Another mix up in this office.”

    We still don’t know what this means for alternative parties like the Green Party. We have never been informed formally of our party status and the county clerks have also not notified our registered voters as they are directed to in the handbook.
    Seems they are very selective when it comes to reading the very fine print, or is that the print that doesn’t apply to them?

  2. Thanks for this interesting comment. It also may occur to some people that the ballot access petition requirements should be subject to the rounding rule. Nominee petitions for the nominee of each ballot-qualified minor party are required, and they must contain signatures of 1% of the number of votes cast for that office in the last election. It seems plausible that if the petition turns out to fall short, but it does bear the signatures of more than .51%, that such a petition should also be considered valid.

  3. Now, that *would* be interesting. (On the other hand, somebody could also argue that percentages aren’t whole numbers — 1% is really .01, for example — so this section wouldn’t apply.)

  4. This just shows that the Republican Party is an exclusive “elite” group. Ignoring laws when it suits them is more important than fielding a diverse set of candidates. Tom Mullins is the GOP chosen one. If Adam Kokesh and his liberty loving friends want ballot access, then they will have to get another 1000 signatures. It is simple as that, and they can cry all they want, but the GOP doesn’t really want a “peace” friendly candidate on the ballot.

  5. The two party tyranny will do anything to keep qualified candidates like Adam Kokesh from winning. Adam is running for the right reason. He wants to represent the people – not the establishment. The two party tyranny AKA war party will continue to manipulate the rigged electoral system if we don’t UNITE against them.

    Candidates such as Adam Kokesh are already beginning to grow tire of these deceptive tactics. These are the same type of tactics the establishment has used for well over 50 years in successfully keeping third party and independent candidates from becoming real threat to the “pork barrel” two party establishment. Did you know that the former chair of the Republican & Democratic party control who participates in the Presidential debates? These people should be ashamed of themselves.

    The two party tyranny AKA war party now support CA’s top two /proposition 14 “Protect the Incumbents Act.” If “The Protect the Incumbents Act” initiative passes in CA on June 8th, this will catch on fire in the 9th circuit then spiral across the nation. Richard Winger quotes it as the “biggest threat to third party and independents in the last 50 years.”

    Candidates like Adam Kokesh & many others are starting to realize that running as an independent is the only viable option. This is the reason why the establishment needs to protect themselves furthermore. Ron Paul himself stated to “The Free & Equal Elections Foundation” that the primary reason he didn’t run for President as a third party or independent candidate in 2008 is because of the restrictive ballot access laws in the United States.

    2008 Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader quotes, “Unless defeated, Proposition 14 would establish a two-party tyranny that prevents other candidate choices for California voters from the November election ballot. In short, Proposition 14 wants to shut you up if you disagree with the arrogant, big, two-party politicians.

    2008 Libertarian Vice-Presidential nominee Wayne Allyn Root states, ““Top Two is an outrage that reeks of corruption. It’s just another trick by the career politicians to make sure we can only choose them every November. Californians, like all Americans, are disgusted with the two party system. For us to be able to take back our government, first we have to Stop Top Two.”

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  6. There is a provision in the New Mexico State Code that says petitions have to be approximately 8-1/2 wide and signature lines separated by 3/8 inches.

    Will the NMSOS reject petitions that aren’t 8 or 9 inches wide, or don’t have signature lines that are not separated?

    0 is the closest whole number to 0.01, so a petition with any signatures should be considered valid.

  7. Pingback: New Mexico Republicans Try to Bring Down Anti-War Candidate « Libertarians Abroad Blog

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