Three California Parties Appeal to the Legislature for Election Law Relief

On May 23, the California Green, Libertarian, and Peace & Freedom Parties sent this one-page letter to each California legislator. It outlines the election law problems faced by these parties. A California legislator has tentatively agreed to introduce a bill to relieve at least some of these problems. Although it is too late to introduce new bills, existing election law bills can be amended.


Comments

Three California Parties Appeal to the Legislature for Election Law Relief — 3 Comments

  1. The document appears to be supporting the special privileged status of the existing minor parties, who do not want independents or other minor parties to appear on the ballot.

    California should switch to qualification primarily based on petition, with the filing fee to be considered in lieu of petition.

    If the signature were perhaps 1/10 of 1% of the gubernatorial vote, that would be around 10,000 statewide, but only 250 for a typical senator, 189 for a congressman, and 125 for an assembly member. The fee should then be based on the minimum wage and some reasonable rate of signatures, say 6 per hour. That would mean $1.33 per hour, and make the fee around $13,000 for statewide office, $332 for senator, $252 for congress, and $166 for assembly.

    This would put all candidates on equal footing, and would in particular apply to nonpartisan offices.

    Party recognition should be based on some small number of registrants (perhaps 100 or 200) coupled with some minimal level of structure and activity:

    1) A name.
    2) Rules, precleared under Section 5 of the VRA, that provide for election of officers, naming of presidential candidates, presidential electors, party governance, etc.
    3) Responsible financial oversight and reporting.
    4) Ultimate control of the party vested in party registrants, including a biennial state convention, and opportunity to participate at a local level through conventions or party elections.
    5) Annual registration and fee, say $100.

  2. #1, When one or more political parties file a constitutional lawsuit, and they win, then the ruling helps all political parties, not just the parties that won the lawsuit.

    For example, when the Libertarian Party won its ballot access case against Ohio in the 6th circuit in 2006, that resulted in five new parties getting on the ballot in 2012, and four in 2010 and 2008.

    Similarly, when three parties ask the legislature to improve the ballot access laws, if they prevail, that helps all parties, not just the parties that did the lobbying work.

  3. But in this case, the three parties are not attempting to improve ballot access.

    Why should it have been easier for a Libertarian to run for Insurance Commissioner than Superintendent of Public Instruction?

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