New Louisiana Voter Registration Figures for Each Qualified Party

The Louisiana Secretary of State posts new voter registration totals on his web page every month, but those statistics never include any parties except the Democratic and Republican Parties, even though Louisiana has five qualified parties. However, on November 3, his office issued a report that shows how many registered voters there are in each party, including even the unqualified parties.

The new totals, converted to percentages, for the five qualified parties, are: Democratic 49.44%; Republican 26.89%; Libertarian .17%; Reform .05%; Green .05%. Independent voters, plus those registered in unqualified parties, equal 23.41%.

A year ago, the percentages were: Democratic 50.62%; Republican 26.21%; Libertarian .13%; Reform .05%; Green .04%; independents plus miscellaneous 22.95%.

The monthly totals for the two major parties show that the Democratic Party dipped below 50% of all registered voters for the first time at the June 1, 2011 tally, and has continued to make very slow declines since then.

A party becomes ballot-qualified when its registration reaches at least 1,000, and also when it submits a list of its officers, its bylaws, and a fee of $1,000. The only three unqualified parties that are organized, and that have even 50 registrants, are the Conservative Party with 396 registrants, the Constitution Party with 137 registrants, and the Socialist Party with 62 registrants. Thanks to Randall Hayes, who obtained the full registration report.


Comments

New Louisiana Voter Registration Figures for Each Qualified Party — 12 Comments

  1. I wonder if a group organized a Louisiana Independent Party, filed the listing of By-Laws, a listing of the officers, and paid the $1000 fee, if the SOS would recognize such as a party since surely of those 22.95% there are 1000 or more who are registered as independent – or who in time would check or list the Independent Party as their party – similar to what many claim happens in California with the AIP and in Florida with the IP?

    Richard, what do you think would happen if such occurred?

  2. An Alabama Independent:

    I’m afraid that wouldn’t work.

    LA RS 18:441B(4) says: Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no political party shall be recognized in this state which declares its name solely to be “Independent” or “the Independent Party”.

    See here:
    http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=81575

    In fact, that part of the statute was Gov. Jindal’s claimed basis for vetoing a recent bill which would have, among other things, allowed an “Independent” ballot label for candidates who wanted it. He said, unreasonably, that the proposed law allowing an “Independent” ballot label would have conflicted with current law denying recognized status for an “Independent Party.”

    I do wonder if the statutory ban on recognized status for an Independent Party might be successfully challenged on constitutional grounds (maybe equal protection). Denying recognized status to a specific party seems questionable. In a court challenge I think the state would have to show a good reason for singling out the Independent Party for that denial. The fact that some other states do allow recognized status for parties called “Independent” would undercut most of the arguments I can think of that the state might make (e.g., that it would be too confusing).

    Louisiana is very inconsistent in what it calls voters and candidates who don’t have a party affiliation. If the state claimed in court that an “Independent Party” would cause confusion, the counter-argument could be that the confusion is caused by the state’s own inconsistency.

  3. I wonder what would happen if a group used and organized under the name “Louisiana Independence Party” and at least 1000 people registered under that label? Would election officials then claim there was so much similarity between “Independent Party” and “Independence Party” that it would be confusing to the voters and nix such a party? Of course we all understand the rationale the officials there in Lousisiana, as they are afraid (as they are many in other states) of the concept of an organized “Independent Party.” With polls showing some 30% of voters considering themselves as “Independents” even this fact strikes fear in the hearts of both Democratic and Republican party leaders.

  4. I’ve had the same thoughts about the possibility of an Independence Party. My guess is that it would be challenged on the official grounds you mention and for the actual reason you mention. My counter-argument would be that the legislature could have included “Independence Party” in the part of the statute that bans certain, specified names for recognized parties, but chose not to.

    However, there are currently only 12 voters in Louisiana whose registration is “Independence,” so there would be lots of work to do in reaching the 1000 registrant threshold.

  5. #8, in 1992 Ross Perot got on the Louisiana ballot with the label “Prudence, Action, Results”, and since he got over 5% of the presidential vote, that created a new ballot-qualified party. The only other person who used that label ran for a state office in 1995. The party ceased to exist in November 1996.

  6. It is interesting that they used the abbreviation, while they counted all the variants of INDIANPENDANT inndipindintally.

  7. Pingback: New Louisiana Voter Registration Figures for Each Qualified Party | ThirdPartyPolitics.us

  8. #10 There appears to be a 15 character limit on party names, though there is no statutory basis for that limit. However, when a presidential candidate’s ballot label exceeds 15 characters (as Perot’s did in ’92), the full label DOES appear on the ballot, so long as it does not exceed three words.

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