June 2010 Ballot Access News print version

June 1, 2010 – Volume 26, Number 1

This issue was originally printed on tan paper.


Table of Contents

  1. COLORADO BALLOT ACCESS BILL PASSES LEGISLATURE
  2. OKLAHOMA DOESN’T PASS BALLOT ACCESS
  3. OHIO VICTORY
  4. SOUTH CAROLINA LIKELY TO MAKE BALLOT ACCESS WORSE
  5. MORE BILL NEWS
  6. LAWSUIT NEWS
  7. BOOK REVIEW: NO MIDDLE GROUND
  8. MAY 2010 REGISTRATION TOTALS
  9. 2010 PETITIONING FOR STATEWIDE OFFICE
  10. NORTH CAROLINA FIRST PARTY FAILS TO GET ON BALLOT
  11. FLORIDA GOVERNOR RUNS FOR U.S. SENATE AS AN INDEPENDENT
  12. SPECIAL U.S. HOUSE ELECTIONS
  13. TEXAS GREENS SUBMIT 93,000 SIGNATURES TO BE ON BALLOT
  14. SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL

COLORADO BALLOT ACCESS BILL PASSES LEGISLATURE

On May 11, the Colorado legislature passed HB 1271. It is the first ballot access improvement bill that has passed any legislature this year.

The bill was sent to Governor Bill Ritter on May 25. He is expected to sign it, but need not make up his mind until June 24. Ritter is a Democrat. Most of the opposition to the bill in the legislature was from Republicans.

Colorado and California have been the only two states that will not let an independent candidate (for office other than President) get on the ballot, if that candidate was a registered member of a qualified party in the year before the election. The current Colorado law disaffiliation period is an entire year before the filing deadline. In other words, if a candidate wants to run as an independent under current Colorado law, the person must have given up party membership no later than June 2009. Assuming HB 1271 is signed into law, the Colorado disaffiliation deadline will be January 1 of the election year.

HB 1271 only passed because of two courageous Colorado politicians. One is Joelle Riddle, an incumbent member of the La Plata County Commission, who switched her registration from "Democrat" to "independent" on August 21, 2009. That made her ineligible to run for re-election in 2010, because the law required her to switch by June 2009.

The other is state legislator Kathleen Curry, who switched her registration from "Democrat" to "independent" on December 28, 2009. Curry had been the Speaker Pro Tem, the second highest position in the House. Also she had been chair of the Agriculture Committee. She was forced to give up both positions because of her party switch. She authored HB 1271. Both Riddle and Curry live in the underpopulated part of Colorado that is west of the continental divide.

Ironically, HB 1271 does not take effect until 2011, so both Riddle and Curry will run for re-election this November as write-in candidates, unless Riddle’s pending lawsuit wins in federal court. Riddle had sued to overturn to disaffiliation deadline last November, and the lawsuit is still pending. It has been on hold, while everyone waited to see what the legislature would do. The legislature was free to have made HB 1271 take effect immediately, and that would have made the lawsuit moot. Because the bill is not effective until 2011, the lawsuit is not moot and should be decided this summer.

The basis for the lawsuit is that Colorado is violating Equal Protection by its strict disaffiliation deadline for independent candidates, while at the same time not imposing such a mandatory deadline on members of qualified parties who switch parties. Colorado law lets each party decide for itself what its policy should be on party switchers, and Colorado parties have chosen less severe time periods than are now imposed on independent candidates.


OKLAHOMA DOESN’T PASS BALLOT ACCESS

On May 28, the Oklahoma legislature adjourned for the year without passing HB 1072, the ballot access bill. That is a major disappointment. Bob Barr had even dismissed his pending ballot access lawsuit because the professional lobbyist who was working for the bill said the bill would be more likely to pass if no lawsuit were pending.

Both houses of the legislature had passed the bill in 2009, but the two versions were different from each other, and the bill needed action from a conference committee. The conference committee was appointed in February 2010, but it didn’t do anything.

The Oklahoma independent presidential petition requirement is vulnerable to a constitutional challenge in 2011 or 2012. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Anderson v Celebrezze in 1983 that states have less interest in severe ballot access for President, than for other office. Yet Oklahoma lets an independent on the November ballot with zero signatures, unless the independent is running for President. If the independent is running for President, he or she needs 43,880 valid signatures.

One might wonder, why hasn’t the independent presidential petition law already been declared unconstitutional? The answer is that all the cases on this subject, in 1996, 2000, and 2008, were assigned to U.S. District Court Judge David Russell. Russell, as a judge, has been an extremely partisan Republican, and he simply never would discuss the Anderson v Celebrezze point. None of the three cases was ever appealed to the 10th Circuit. Fortunately, Judge Russell resigned from service as an active judge last year.


OHIO VICTORY

On April 27, a lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court against an Ohio law that bans out-of-state initiative or referendum petitioners. The lawsuit also attacked a law that requires each petition sheet to list the permanent address of the circulator. On May 13, Ohio signed a consent decree, acknowledging that the laws are unconstitutional and promising not to enforce them. The case is Friedlander v Brunner, 2:10cv-378. It had been filed by the Humane Society and Citizens in Charge.

Lawsuits against residency requirements for circulators are pending in California, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Virginia. It is possible that California and Kansas will imitate Ohio, and sign consent decrees.


SOUTH CAROLINA LIKELY TO MAKE BALLOT ACCESS WORSE

On May 27, the South Carolina Senate passed H. 3746, which makes it more difficult for independent candidates to get on the ballot. Current law does not require the circulator of an independent candidate petition to sign the petition, so it is possible to leave petitions on bulletin boards or in other public places, and people may sign without the presence of a circulator. The bill ends that liberal policy, and says not only must the circulator sign the petition, each petition sheet must be notarized. Notarization of each sheet vastly increases the cost of petitioning.

The bill also says no one may circulate the petition earlier than six months before it is due. Also the bill says that independent candidates must file a declaration of candidacy no later than noon on primary day in June, although the petition deadline would continue to be on July 15. No exception is made for presidential independents. This part of the bill is probably unconstitutional as to independent presidential candidates, under Anderson v Celebrezze. The major parties don’t formally nominate their national tickets until late August or early September.

Finally, the bill says no voter may sign the petition, unless the voter had been
registered at least 30 days before the petition is submitted. This is probably unconstitutional because it discriminates against new registered voters.

South Carolina ballot access laws are already so restrictive for independent candidates, no independent candidate for Congress has ever appeared on a government-printed ballot, nor has any independent candidate for Governor ever qualified. The petition for independent candidates for the legislature, 5% of the number of registered voters, is tied with Georgia for being the most restrictive in the nation for that office.

The bill must return to the House for concurrence in Senate amendments.


MORE BILL NEWS

Arizona: SB 1024, the bill to remove the names of presidential elector candidates from the November ballot failed to pass, and the legislature has now adjourned. The bill had passed the Senate, but when it got to the House, it was amended to add a provision that presidential candidates must submit documents proving that they meet the constitutional qualifications, or their names won’t be printed on the ballot. The House passed the amended bill, but the Senate did not.

Only six states still print the names of presidential elector candidates on the ballot, and Arizona is the most populous of those six states. The 2008 ballot printed the names of 50 candidates for presidential elector, which takes up a lot of room.

Arizona (2): all bills to ask voters if they want to end public funding for candidates failed to pass.

California: on May 27, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed SB 1140, to make it possible for individuals to register to vote on election day, or to change their registration from one party to another party on election day. Such election day registration or re-registration could only be done at the office of the county elections department.

Hawaii: on May 20, HB 2397 was signed into law. It moves the primary from September to August, and moves the petition for a new party fro April to February.

Louisiana: HB 292 has passed both houses and is in conference committee. It ends the ability of parties to nominate candidates for Congress. Instead, all candidates from all parties would run on a single ballot in November. If anyone gets 50%, that person is elected. Otherwise there is a runoff in December. The bill is in conference committee to decide if it should take effect this year.

Ohio: On April 2, HB 48 was signed into law. It moves the independent presidential petition deadline from late August to early August. This helps ballots get printed earlier so they can be mailed overseas.


LAWSUIT NEWS

Alabama: the U.S. Supreme Court has Shugart v Chapman on its June 3 conference. This case challenges the number of signatures needed for an independent candidate for U.S. House. The requirement, 6,100 signatures, is higher than the number of signatures needed for an independent presidential candidate in Alabama.

Arizona: on May 27, the 9th circuit upheld the state’s policy of not letting ex-felons register to vote if they have any unpaid restitution or fines. Harvey v Brewer, 08-17253.

Arizona (2): on May 20, the 9th circuit upheld the public funding program for candidates for state office. Plaintiffs had not challenged the program itself, just the part of the program that gives extra public funding to candidates who have privately-funded opponents who raise a great deal of money. Plaintiffs then asked for U.S. Supreme Court review, which is pending. McComish v Brewer, 10-15166 in the 9th circuit, and 09A-1133 in the U.S. Supreme Court.

California: on May 20, the State Supreme Court refused to hear Fuller v Bowen, over whether the state constitution’s one-year residency requirement for legislative candidates violates the U.S. Constitution. The Superior Court had ruled earlier this year that the California Constitution violates the U.S. Constitution, and therefore the Secretary of State is correct to refuse to enforce it. The plaintiff, who wants the state law enforced, will ask for U.S. Supreme Court review.

Connecticut: in a surprise, on May 18 the State Supreme Court ruled that Susan Bysiewicz, the Secretary of State, does not meet the statutory requirements to run for Attorney General. The contrast with this outcome, and the California outcome mentioned above, is striking. The law requires an Attorney General candidate to have actively practiced law for the past 10 years. Bysiewicz is an attorney. Bysiewicz v Dinard, SC18612.

Arkansas: a U.S. District Court will hear oral arguments in Green Party of Arkansas v Daniels, 4:09-cv-695, on June 16. The case challenges a law that says a party should be removed from the ballot after a presidential election, if it fails to poll 3% for President.

Hawaii: the 9th circuit will hear Nader v Cronin on June 17. The issue is whether the state may require six times as many signatures for an independent presidential candidate as for an entire new political party.

Louisiana: the U.S. Supreme Court has Libertarian Party v Dardenne on its June 3 conference, This is the case that challenges the Secretary of State’s decision in 2008 to bar the Libertarian Party’s presidential and vice-presidential candidates from the ballot. The party complied with the emergency deadline set by the Governor, but not the earlier emergency deadline set by the Secretary of State.

Massachusetts: the U.S. Supreme Court has asked the Solicitor General for his view on whether the Voting Rights Act pertains to felon voting. Then the Court will decide whether to hear Simmons v Galvin, 09-797.

Mississippi: on May 17, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Moore v Hosemann, over whether the deadline for submitting paperwork for presidential electors is 5 p.m. or midnight. The refusal was not surprising, because while the case was in the Court, the legislature passed a bill setting the deadline at 5 p.m.

North Carolina: on May 20, a Superior Court in Charlotte ruled against an independent candidate for the legislature, Mark Brody. Brody challenged the need for him to submit 2,367 valid signatures to be on the ballot this year for state legislature. He had qualified as an independent in 2008 and polled 30%. Trying again in 2010, he said it is meaningless to
require him to collect thousands of signatures when his vote from 2008 shows he has a modicum of voter support. Brody hasn’t decided yet whether to appeal. Brody v N.C. Board of Elections, 10cvs-3216.

Pennsylvania: on April 29, the State Supreme Court refused to hear a case against a state law that requires circulators for a district candidate to live in the same district, if they are working to get a candidate on a primary ballot. The law is very difficult to defend, because in 2002 a federal court struck down the Pennsylania law requiring a circulator for a district candidate to live in the district, if the petition is for a minor party or independent candidate. There is no logic to having one of those laws held unconstitutional, and not the other law. In re Objection to Nomination Petition of Pia Varma, 12 EAP 2010.

Pennsylvanials (2): on May 6, the 3rd circuit ruled against Chuck Baldwin, the 2008 presidential candidate of the Constitution Party. The statutory law in Pennsylvania says the petition deadline for minor party and independent candidates is in May. But the state actually lets the petitions be submitted as late as August 1, pursuant to an out-of-court settlement in 1984. Baldwin submitted his 2008 petition on August 19, but it was rejected because it was after August 1. He sued, arguing that because the legislature has never passed the August 1 deadline, it is invalid. Article II of the U.S. Constitution says all election laws concerning presidential elections must be passed by state legislatures. But the 3rd Circuit disagreed with Baldwin’s logic, and said if the August 1 deadline is invalid, the actual deadline must be in May, which wouldn’t help Baldwin. Baldwin v Cortes, 09-2227.


BOOK REVIEW: NO MIDDLE GROUND

No Middle Ground: How Informal Party Organizations Control Nominations and Polarize Legislatures, by Seth E. Masket. Hard cover, 227 pages, the University of Michigan Press, 2009. $48.00.

Seth E. Masket is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Denver. The book describes his research into the California legislature and its high degree of polarization between the Democratic legislators and the Republican ones.

Masket was moved to study the California legislature after some preliminary research showed him that the California legislature was one of the least polarized state legislatures during the 1913-1959 era, when California allowed fusion (which in California was always called cross-filing).

The book finds that during cross-filing and low polarization, the legislature was largely controlled by certain economic interests. He writes, "There are still powerful, wealthy special interests whose hired-gun lobbyists try to ply legislators with money, food, liquor, favors, prostitutes, and everything else at their disposal. But today’s legislators have much less freedom to maneuver than their predecessors did. It’s dangerous for modern legislators to disappoint their activist backers, because those backers have the time and resources to track legislative activity and hold them accountable.

"As a result, legislators today are much more likely to do what they were elected to do, and are much less likely to be bought. Lobbyist money becomes much less powerful when legislators know they’ll lose their jobs for deviating from their party’s agenda…Paradoxically, even though the activists that run party primaries would seem to be in charge today, average voters have more power than they used to."

"An organized party system is an enormous aid to the have-nots, a finding that has been echoed in other research…It is no coincidence that New Deal-style legislation largely failed in California during the cross-filing regime. Advances on civil rights, education, and other issues that gave California its liberal reputation did not begin until the early 1960s, after the death of cross-filing….Those who rail against today’s intractable parties should remember that the alternative is not necessarily sanity and moderation, but more often corruption and unaccountability."

This book should be read by everyone who is interested in political parties.


MAY 2010 REGISTRATION TOTALS

Below is a chart showing the number of registered voters in each state, in each party, as of the spring of 2010. For Connecticut the data is from October 2009, because it doesn’t have a newer tally yet.

The chart shows that the two major parties now only have 73.8% of the registration, the lowest share since Ballot Access News has been tracking this data, starting in 1992.

The chart shows one column for the American Independent Party of California combined with the Constitution Party nationally. Whether the AIP is the California state unit of the Constitution Party is disputed, and will be resolved in state court. BAN does not wish to express an opinion about that, and keeps the AIP and the Constitution data in the same column for ease of comparing the data from the past, when the AIP clearly was affiliated with the Constitution Party.

A few states keep track of active voters and inactive voters. The chart only uses active voter data.

`

Dem.

Rep.

Ind, misc

AIP/Const

Green

Libt

Reform

Wk Fam

other

Alaska

74,659

125,105

252,179

?

2,379

9,239

?

?

18,697

Arizona

1,001,786

1,108,791

927,829

?

4,345

24,006

?

?

– –

Calif.

7,530,799

5,202,142

3,497,853

390,375

112,136

85,560

22,329

?

56,189

Colorado

813,126

849,572

752,503

1,271

4,207

8,453

?

?

118

Conn.

751,612

412,746

853,607

226

1,784

1,245

90

122

7,922

Delaware

290,588

181,776

136,731

283

563

830

90

624

2,263

Dt. Col.

321,105

29,264

71,892

?

4,270

?

?

?

– –

Florida

4,621,362

3,974,019

2,121,356

1,106

5,774

17,418

2,585

?

329,165

Iowa

671,832

572,436

707,785

– –

489

1,117

– –

– –

– –

Kansas

463,225

738,750

484,995

– –

– –

9,777

1,177

– –

– –

Kentucky

1,618,011

1,044,872

186,928

161

414

1,490

78

?

42

Louis’na

1,497,702

751,191

660,237

?

1,018

2,967

1,289

?

– –

Maine

317,977

259,502

365,690

?

32,501

?

?

?

– –

Maryland

1,930,775

902,436

522,554

374

8,165

8,086

?

?

34,125

Mass.

1,524,455

471,224

2,128,446

90

5,858

13,690

304

37

231

Nebraska

382,239

546,310

207,624

?

?

?

?

?

– –

Nevada

452,267

389,866

165,194

44,462

2,705

6,028

?

?

– –

N. Hamp.

267,725

266,077

388,220

?

?

?

?

?

– –

N. Jersey

1,752,561

1,056,279

2,436,343

134

961

1,323

67

?

288

N. Mex.

564,249

355,407

185,475

115

5,271

2,240

?

?

2,188

N. York

5,789,432

2,906,393

2,523,696

?

22,939

2,427

?

40,878

560,076

No. Car.

2,758,989

1,934,274

1,412,771

?

?

7,324

?

?

– –

Okla.

999,855

813,158

225,607

?

?

?

?

?

– –

Oregon

875,097

662,864

440,518

2,955

8,400

13,092

?

2,658

54,866

Pennsyl.

4,311,604

3,119,468

957,894

2,631

16,686

36,712

?

?

– –

Rhode Is.

286,890

72,863

338,671

?

?

?

?

?

293

So. Dak.

194,642

233,347

82,741

345

?

1,050

?

?

– –

Utah

155,407

662,056

647,297

2,674

?

4,261

?

?

– –

W. Va.

661,118

347,765

174,175


?

1,041

?

?

?

– –

Wyo.

65,724

156,364

36,693

?

?

1,325

1

?

26

TOTAL

447,202

241,906

259,660

28,009

44,319

1,066,489

Percent

43.35%

30.43%

24.12%

.45%

.24%

.26%

.03%

.04%

1.08%

The parties in the "Other” column are: Alaska, 14,047 Alaskan Independence, 2,885 Republican Moderate, 1,765 Veterans; Peace & Freedom in California; United Party in Colorado; in Connecticut, 6,849 Independent Party and 1,073 Independence Party; in Delaware, 271 Socialist Workers and 1,835 Independent Party; in Florida, too many to list here; the state has 35 ballot-qualified parties; Socialist Workers in Kentucky; Independent Party in Maryland; these Massachusetts parties: Socialist 206, Natural Law 18, Prohibition 7; Conservative in New Jersey; Independent Party in New Mexico; these New York parties: Independence 413,855, Conservative 146,221; these Oregon parties: Independent 54,593, Progressive 273; Moderate in Rhode Island; Natural Law in Wyoming.

Totals October 2008 were: Dem. 43,933,901 (43.62%), Rep. 30,944,590 (30.72%), Indp. & misc. 24,157,259 (23.98%), AIP/Constitution 438,222 (.44%), Green 255,019 (.25%), Libertarian 240,328 (.24%), Reform 32,961 (.03%), other parties 675,980 (.67%).

Totals October 2004 were: Dem. 37,301,951 (42.19%), Rep. 28,988,593 (32.79%), Indp. & misc. 20,471,250 (23.15%), Constitution 320,019 (.36%), Green 298,701 (.34%), Libertarian 235,521 (.27%), Reform 63,729 (.07%), Natural Law 39,670 (.04%), other parties 695,639 (.79%).

Totals October 2000 were: Dem. 38,529,264 (43.84%), Rep. 28,813,511 (32.78%), Indp. & misc. 18,999,126 (21.62%), Constitution 348,977 (.40%), Libertarian 224,713 (.26%), Green 193,332 (.22%), Reform 99,408 (.11%), Natural Law 61,405 (.07%), other parties 620,668 (.71%).

Totals October 1992 were: Dem. 35,616,630 (47.76%), Rep. 24,590,383 (32.97%), Indp. & misc. 13,617,167 (18.26%), Green 102,557 (.14%), Libertarian 100,394 (.13%), other parties 554,668 (.74%).


2010 PETITIONING FOR STATEWIDE OFFICE

STATE
REQUIREMENTS
SIGNATURES COLLECTED
DEADLINES
FULL PARTY
CAND
LIB’T
GREEN
CONSTI
WK FAM
Party

Indp.

Ala.

37,513

37,513

*too late

*too late

*too late

*too late

June 1

June 1

Alaska

(reg) 9,786

#3,128

already on

*0

0

0

June 1

Aug. 24

Ariz.

20,449

(est) #25,500

already on

already on

*too late

*too late

Mar. 11

May 25

Ark.

10,000

10,000

1,000

*9,500

*700

0

June 30

May 3

Calif.

(reg) 88,991

173,041

already on

already on

in court

0

Jan. 6

Aug. 6

Colo.

(reg) 1,000

1,000

already on

already on

already on

0

June 1

June 15

Conn.

no procedure

#7,500

already on

already on

0

0

– – –

Aug. 11

Del.

(reg) *612

*6,115

already on

*563

*283

already on

Aug. 10

July 15

D.C.

no procedure

#3,000

can’t start

already on

can’t start

can’t start

– – –

Aug. 25

Florida

be organized

pay fee

already on

already on

already on

*too late

Apr. 30

Apr. 30

Georgia

57,582

#44,089

already on

0

0

0

July 13

July 13

Hawaii

692

25

already on

already on

0

0

Apr. 1

July 19

Idaho

13,102

1,000

already on

0

already on

0

Aug. 27

March 19

Illinois

no procedure

#25,000

*35,000

already on

3,000

0

– – –

June 21

Indiana

no procedure

#32,742

already on

0

0

0

– – –

June 30

Iowa

no procedure

#1,500

*finished

0

0

0

– – –

Aug. 13

Kansas

16,994

5,000

already on

0

0

0

June 1

Aug. 2

Ky.

no procedure

#5,000

0

0

0

0

– – –

Aug. 10

La.

(reg) 1,000

pay $500

already on

already on

500

0

May 20

Aug. 20

Maine

27,544

#4,000

*too late

already on

*too late

*too late

Dec 11, 09

May 27

Md.

10,000

(est) 35,000

already on

already on

already on

0

Aug. 2

Aug. 2

Mass.

(est) (reg) 40,000

#10,000

already on

*3,000

80

20

Feb. 1

July 27

Mich.

38,024

30,000

already on

already on

already on

0

July 15

July 17

Minn.

145,519

#2,000

0

0

0

0

*Jun 1

*Jun 1

Miss.

be organized

800

already on

already on

already on

0

April 9

April 9

Mo.

10,000

10,000

already on

1,400

already on

0

July 26

July 26

Mont.

5,000

#15,359

already on

too late

already on

too late

Mar. 18

Mar. 18

Nebr.

5,921

4,000

*400

0

0

0

Aug. 2

Aug. 24

Nev.

9,083

9,083

already on

already on

already on

0

June 11

Mar. 12

N. Hamp.

20,394

#3,000

*1,500

0

0

0

Aug. 4

Aug. 4

N.J.

no procedure

#1,300

*600

*300

*120

0

– – –

June 8

N. M.

4,151

16,764

*already on

in court

already on

0

Apr. 1

June 3

N.Y.

no procedure

#15,000

can’t start

can’t start

can’t start

already on

– – –

Aug. 17

No. Car.

85,379

85,379

already on

0

0

0

May 14

June 10

No. Dak.

7,000

#4,000

already on

0

0

0

Apr. 9

Sep. 3

Ohio

be organized

5,000

already on

already on

already on

too late

*Feb. 3

May 3

Okla.

73,134

pay fee

0

0

0

0

May 1

June 9

Oregon

20,640

(est) 19,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

Aug. 26

Aug. 26

Penn.

no procedure

#19,056

*2,200

*6,000

*1,000

*0

– – –

Aug. 2

R.I.

23,589

#1,000

0

0

0

0

May 28

July 22

So. Car.

10,000

10,000

already on

already on

already on

already on

May 2

July 15

So. Dak.

8,389

3,356

0

0

already on

0

Mar. 30

June 8

Tenn.

in court

25

in court

already on

in court

0

unsettled

April 1

Texas

43,991

43,991

already on

*finished

0

0

May 24

May 10

Utah

2,000

#1,000

already on

0

already on

0

Feb. 15

March 15

Vermont

be organized

#500

already on

0

already on

already on

Jan. 1

*Jun 17

Virginia

no procedure

#11,000

*5,000

0

0

0

– – –

June 8

Wash.

no procedure

pay fee

0

0

0

0

– – –

May 15

West Va.

no procedure

#7,250

0

already on

*600

0

– – –

May 10

Wisc.

10,000

#2,000

already on

already on

can’t start

can’t start

June 1

July 13

Wyo.

4,988

4,988

already on

0

*finished

0

June 1

Aug. 23

TOTAL STATES ON
31*
20
16
5
`

*change from the May 1 2010 chart.
#partisan label is permitted on the ballot (other than "independent").
Mississippi, New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia have no statewide race in 2010, so the entry is for U.S. House.


NORTH CAROLINA FIRST PARTY FAILS TO GET ON BALLOT

The Service Employees International Union failed in its attempt to qualify the "North Carolina First" Party for the North Carolina ballot. The group needed 85,379 valid signatures by May 14, and collected 86,000, not nearly enough because typically 30% of signatures are invalid.

The group was free to have brought a lawsuit over the deadline, but it is not doing that. Instead it is now trying to put several independent candidates for U.S. House on the ballot. The deadline for those petitions is June 10. It is not clear if the party will continue working on its party petition. Since it kept the signatures, instead of turning them in, it is free to keep working and to use the signatures to qualify for the 2012 ballot.


FLORIDA GOVERNOR RUNS FOR U.S. SENATE AS AN INDEPENDENT

Florida Governor Charlie Crist, elected as a Republican in 2006, announced on April 29 that he is an independent candidate for U.S. Senator. He changed his registration from "Republican" to "independent" a few days later, although that was not legally required. Most polls show him leading.


SPECIAL U.S. HOUSE ELECTIONS

Hawaii held a special election to fill the vacant U.S. House seat, First District, on May 22. No party was permitted to have a nominee. Instead, the election was conducted as a non-partisan election in which individual candidates file, although party labels were on the ballot. Five Democrats, five Republicans, and four independents ran. No run-off was held. Charles Djou, a Republican, was elected with 39.4% of the vote. This is an odd outcome, because 59% of the voters voted for a Democrat.

Pennsylvania held a special election to fill the vacant U.S. House seat, 12th district, on May 18. The results: Democratic 53.4%, Republican 44.3%, Libertarian 2.3%. When the same district had voted in 2008, the results had been: Democratic 57.9%, Republican 42.1%.


TEXAS GREENS SUBMIT 93,000 SIGNATURES TO BE ON BALLOT

On May 24, the Texas Green Party submitted 93,000 signatures to be on the Texas ballot. This is the largest showing of support by any state’s Green Party since the California Green Party obtained 100,897 registered members in January 1992. The Texas Secretary of State will do a random sample check of the petition. Because the requirement is 43,991 signatures, the petition is very likely valid. This is only the second time that the Texas Green Party has submitted a petition; the first time was 2000.


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