Nebraska Bill, Repealing Primary Screen-Out, Passes Legislature

On May 1, Nebraska LB 349 passed the legislature unanimously. It is an omnibus election law bill. Among other provisions, it repeals the law that says if a voter votes in a presidential primary, he or she can’t sign for an independent presidential candidate. Assuming the Governor signs the bill, Texas will then be the only state in which primary voters are not permitted to sign a petition for either a newly-qualifying party or an independent candidate.

The Nebraska bill is the third bill to improve ballot access that has passed in any state legislature this year, as far as is known. The other two were in Virginia and Montana, and each of those two bills has been signed into law.

In 2012, Jill Stein attempted the Nebraska independent presidential petition, but fell short. It is possible she would have been on the ballot if this bill had been passed before the 2012 election.


Comments

Nebraska Bill, Repealing Primary Screen-Out, Passes Legislature — No Comments

  1. Texas limits a voter to participating in the nominating activities of one candidate per office.

  2. Hopefully this bill gets enacted into law. The primary screen out is ridiculous, and it makes getting an independent candidate on the ballot in Nebraska a lot more difficult than it would be otherwise.

  3. When Texas says a voter who voted in the primary can’t sign for a new party, Texas is doing more than just limiting a voter to participating in the nominating activities of one candidate per office. The Texas petition for a new party does not list any candidates for office. It just asks the voter if he or she wishes to sign a petition to put a party on the ballot, without reference to any particular candidate that party may or may not have nominated. First the party nominates its candidates in a convention, and then it goes out in the street with a petition that doesn’t name those candidates. So the voter who signs for a new party is not putting his or her name on any document that mentions any particular candidate.

  4. #3 There is nothing that prevents the circulator of the petition from informing the voter which nominees have already been selected or who potential nominees of the party are. The circulator could also encourage the voter to participate in party activities.

  5. “Jim Riley Says:
    May 2nd, 2013 at 8:20 am

    #3 There is nothing that prevents the circulator of the petition from informing the voter which nominees have already been selected or who potential nominees of the party are. The circulator could also encourage the voter to participate in party activities.”

    Most people will never have heard of any of the candidates for the nominations of minor parties, so the names won’t mean anything to most people.

  6. #5 You could still tell them the names and show them a picture, and encourage them to participate in the activities of the party.

  7. “Jim Riley Says:
    May 3rd, 2013 at 5:45 am

    #5 You could still tell them the names and show them a picture, and encourage them to participate in the activities of the party.”

    You sound like a person who has never done any ballot access petitioning before. I gathered petition signatures in Texas in 2004 to get the Libertarian Party back on the Texas ballot. Everyone once in a while, somebody would ask me who the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President was. Since the petition drive was held prior to the LP’s National Convention in 2004, the LP did not have a Presidential candidate for 2004 at that point. I told them that the contenders for the nomination were Aaron Russo, Gary Nolan, and Michael Badnarik. Most of the time I was met with blank stares. I petitioned in Austin where Michael Badnarik lived at the time and nobody I ran into there had even heard of him.

  8. #7 What about Quanah Parker? It would be pretty unusual for a Texan not to know who that was.

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