Ballot Access News
September 1, 2012 – Volume 28, Number 4
|This issue was printed on yellow paper.|
Table of Contents
- MINOR PARTIES WIN BALLOT ACCESS FIGHTS IN 4 STATES
- VIRGINIA VICTORY
- OKLAHOMA AMERICANS ELECT NOMINATES GARY JOHNSON, BUT STATE SAYS NO
- PENNSYLVANIA PETITION CHALLENGE
- 2012 PRIMARIES IN TOP-TWO STATES HIT RECORD LOWS
- LEGISLATIVE NEWS
- OTHER LAWSUIT NEWS
- 2012 PARTY REVENUE FROM STATE INCOME TAX “CHECK-OFF”
- TOTALS FOR THE ENTIRE NATION THROUGH HISTORY, 2000-2012
- 2012 PETITIONING FOR PRESIDENT
- PARTIES NOT ON PETITIONING CHART
- AUGUST PRESIDENTIAL CONVENTIONS
- JILL STEIN RECEIVES MATCHING FUNDS
- COFOE HELPS ALABAMA LAWSUIT
- SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL
MINOR PARTIES WIN BALLOT ACCESS FIGHTS IN 4 STATES
On August 24, a challenge was filed to the Libertarian Party’s ballot status. The case was heard on August 27, in front of the three officials who have jurisdiction to hear a ballot access challenge: the Secretary of State, the Auditor, and the Attorney General. On August 29, they ruled 3-0 that Johnson may be on the ballot.
The basis for the challenge was that the method the party used to get on the ballot, requiring 250 signatures of convention attendees, was not legal. Iowa has two methods for unqualified parties to place nominees on the November ballot for statewide office: (1) a petition of 1,500 names; (2) a convention in which 250 attendees sign in. Johnson used the petition method, but two days before the petition deadline, it was discovered that one piece of paperwork was missing, and it could not be replaced because the form had to be signed by the party’s stand-in presidential candidate, and he was in Mexico and could not be reached.
Therefore, with little time remaining for an entire new petition, the Iowa Libertarian Party called a quick convention, to be held on the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Passers-by were invited to sign, and the party submitted approximately 400 signatures, and the Secretary of State accepted the filing. The Socialist Party had got on the ballot the same way in 2008.
But two Iowa voters, and a witness for them, filed a challenge to the convention document. They said the signers must be party members and delegates. The witness for the voters is an official with the Mitt Romney campaign in Iowa. Their challenge was rejected because the election law doesn’t define "convention" and has no rules about which kinds of people may participate.
On August 1, the Secretary of State said Jon Barrie, U.S. Senate nominee of the Independent American Party, doesn’t have enough signatures, and also that he can’t be on the ballot because he wasn’t a registered member of his party early in the year.
On August 22, the State Supreme Court ruled that Barrie may be on the ballot whether he was a registered member of his party early in the year or not. The Court said forcing nominees of newly-qualifying parties to be members of their party before the party was on the ballot would be unconstitutional. Barrie v Duran, 33755. The State Supreme Court remanded the case to a lower court to decide if Barrie had enough signatures.
On August 28, a lower state court ruled that Barrie has enough valid signatures. That court ruled that signatures are valid, even if the voter moved after last registering, so that the address on the petition is different from the address on the voter registration form. In the lower court in Santa Fe County, that is case D-101-cv-2012-02233. As a result, New Mexico voters will see the first candidate on the November ballot for U.S. Senate (other than the Democratic and Republican nominees) since 1996.
On August 9, the Sixth Circuit issued an order, keeping the Constitution Party and the Green Party on the ballot. Green Party of Tennessee v Hargett, 12-5271. The vote was 3-0. The judges were Danny Boggs, a Reagan appointee; Ronald Gilman, a Clinton appointee; and Bernice Donald, an Obama appointee. In February 2012 a U.S. District Court had put those two parties on the ballot, and the state had then tried to overturn that order.
The matter of the constitutionality of requiring over 40,000 signatures for a new party, when only 25 signatures are needed for an independent candidate, is still to be decided in the Sixth Circuit. However, if the three judges had felt the law is constitutional, they would have been obliged to remove the two parties. The Sixth Circuit did stay the portion of the U.S. District Court decision that said all parties must have an equal chance to appear on the top line of the ballot. That issue isn’t settled yet either, but for now, the state may continue to list the Democratic and Republican Parties first on the ballot.
On August 6, a lower state court ruled that the Justice Party may have another two weeks to finish its presidential petition. The state’s deadline is June 14, which is tied for being the earliest presidential independent deadline in the nation. The basis for the order was not that the deadline is too early, but that the Justice Party had submitted enough valid signatures to the town clerks, but the town clerks had then taken too long to verify the signatures. Anderson v State of Vermont, 480-6-12. The Secretary of State has asked the Vermont Supreme Court to reverse the decision. In the meantime, the Vermont Supreme Court will hear another case, challenging the June petition deadline, on September 12.
On July 30, a U.S. District Court overturned Virginia’s ban on out-of-state circulators. Libertarian Party of Va. v Judd, 3:12-cv-367. The state is appealing to the 4th circuit, but in the meantime the ban is not in effect. The only states that now ban out-of-staters for all petitions are California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
OKLAHOMA AMERICANS ELECT NOMINATES GARY JOHNSON, BUT STATE SAYS NO
On July 21, the ballot-qualified Oklahoma Americans Elect Party held a state convention and nominated Gary Johnson for President. It also nominated candidates for presidential elector who are pledged to Johnson, and submitted their names to the Board of Elections.
However, on August 17, the Attorney General’s office wrote a 20-page opinion saying the Board of Elections should not allow Americans Elect to nominate anyone for President, because the national office of Americans Elect had complained that it has a trademark on the name "Americans Elect" and the national leaders don