August 2013 Ballot Access News Print Edition

Ballot Access News
August 1, 2013 – Volume 29, Number 3

This issue was printed on white paper.


Table of Contents

  1. NORTH CAROLINA REPEALS STRAIGHT-TICKET DEVICE
  2. OTHER NORTH CAROLINA CHANGES
  3. INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE LOSES IN NINTH CIRCUIT
  4. RESTRICTIVE CALIFORNIA BILL WITHDRAWN
  5. ARKANSAS CREATES UNCONSTITUTIONAL DEADLINES
  6. ALABAMA RULING
  7. OTHER LEGISLATIVE NEWS
  8. BOOK REVIEW: E PARTY
  9. 2012 CANDIDATES WITH BALLOT LABEL OF “INDEPENDENT”
  10. 2012 INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES WITH SYNONYM FOR “INDEPENDENT”
  11. SIXTH CIRCUIT WON’T RE-HEAR PRESIDENTIAL “SORE LOSER” CASE
  12. 1787 PARTY ESTABLISHES WEB PAGE
  13. COFOE ANNUAL MEETING
  14. KENTUCKY SPECIAL ELECTION
  15. NORTH DAKOTA LIBERTARIAN PETITION
  16. SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL

NORTH CAROLINA REPEALS STRAIGHT-TICKET DEVICE

On July 25, the North Carolina legislature passed HB 589, an omnibus election law bill which makes many election law changes. One part of the bill repeals the straight-ticket device. Governor Pat McCrory is expected to sign the bill.

The North Carolina straight-ticket device, like the device in all states, injures minor party and independent candidates. However, the North Carolina straight-ticket device also injures voters who vote for the major parties. North Carolina is the only straight-ticket state in which the device does not include President. Although the ballots warn voters that they should vote for President before using the straight-ticket device, there are invariably some voters who don’t notice that warning. They use the straight-ticket device and do not vote separately for President. Thus, they inadvertently fail to vote for anyone for President.

The North Carolina Republican Party has long sought to eliminate the device. In 1982, the Republicans lost the U.S. House race in the Eleventh District by only 1,325 votes. After the election, the Republican nominee, William Hendon, sued in federal court to overturn the device as it existed back then. At the time, the law said that if a voter used the straight-ticket device to vote for one party, but then cast a vote for one particular office for a different party, the straight-ticket vote overrode the vote for the individual candidate. The Fourth Circuit invalidated that aspect of the device. The case was Hendon v North Carolina Board of Elections.

The legislature, then controlled by Democrats, then amended the law to say that when a voter used the device for one party, but cast a vote for another party for one particular race, then the voter was deemed not to have voted in that one particular race at all. That was also held unconstitutional.

Finally, the law was amended again so that the vote cast for the candidate would override the straight-ticket device, for that one race.

The straight-ticket device has also injured voters in legislative races. North Carolina has legislative districts in which voters elect several legislators. Sometimes a voter uses the straight-ticket device for one party but votes separately for just one legislative candidate of another party. If that happens in a multi-member district, the law provides that the device does not cast a vote for any candidate in the legislative race. So, again, as in the Presidential race, the device probably tricks some voters into not using their full voting power.

There is some empirical evidence that straight-ticket devices injure minor party and independent candidates. In 2010, the Wisconsin Green Party had a very strong campaign for State Assembly in Madison. The candidate, Ben Manski, polled 31.1% in a three-candidate race and did not win. However, after the election, he analyzed the election returns and determined that among those ballots in which the voter did not use the straight-ticket device, he did win.

Also, in 2012, the Democratic Speaker of the Rhode Island House, Gordon Fox, was in a two-candidate race with an independent candidate, Mark Binder. Binder received 41.96% of the vote. Research after the election showed that among those ballots in which the voter did not use the straight-ticket device, the independent candidate won.

The number of states with a straight-ticket device has been declining for the last thirty years. Assuming Governor McCrory signs the bill, only twelve states will still have the device: Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

States that have eliminated it in the last thirty years are Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Wisconsin (Wisconsin eliminated it in 2012). Michigan temporarily repealed it but then restored it.


OTHER NORTH CAROLINA CHANGES

HB 589, discussed above, does far more than remove the straight-ticket device. It has provisions that injure voters. The bill: (1) shrinks the early voting period from 17 to 10 days; (2) makes it impossible for voters to register at a poll station during the early voting period; (3) repeals the provision that lets 16- and 17-year olds pre-register; (4) eliminates the mandate for high school registration drives; (5) repeals out-of-precinct voting (6) bans paying voter registration workers; (7) requires government-photo ID to vote at the polls, and student ID cards can’t be used.

The bill also eliminates public funding for non-partisan judicial elections. And in a move that seems aimed at the Libertarian Party, it eliminates the state income tax check-off, which has allowed taxpayers to send a small donation to the party of the taxpayer’s choice. Last year the Libertarian Party received almost $100,000 from this program.

Other parts of the bill improve ballot access. The bill makes it slightly easier to get on a primary ballot, if the candidate chooses not to pay a filing fee and instead submits a petition in lieu of the fee. Also, the bill makes it easier for candidates to enter a presidential primary. Current law requires 10,000 signatures unless the candidate qualifies for federal matching funds. The bill deletes the reference to matching funds, and says any candidate discussed in the media may appear on a presidential primary ballot with no petition.


INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE LOSES IN NINTH CIRCUIT

On July 3, the Ninth Circuit refused to invalidate California’s ban on the ballot label "independent" for independent candidates. Chamness v Bowen, 11-56303. However, the decision is based mostly on the fact that the plaintiffs didn’t submit much evidence that independent candidates are injured by not being permitted to use "independent" on the ballot. Also, the decision says that if a member of a non-qualified party challenges the same law, that theoretical lawsuit might win.

California requires all candidates who are not members of a qualified party to appear on the ballot as "no party preference." The only candidate-plaintiff in this lawsuit, Michael Chamness, said in his complaint that he wanted the label "independent." In later briefs he suggested that he really wants the label "Coffee Party", but the decision does not refer to what he said about that, and treats him as a genuine independent.

The decision does not mention two contrary decisions that said independents do have a right to that label, and which did not require any evidence. The Supreme Courts of both Massachusetts and Minnesota had ruled that "independent" is such an important term for independent candidates, that it cannot be denied; in neither case did the plaintiff present any evidence. Those courts felt the harm of denying "independent" was self-evident and didn’t need evidence.

The decision erroneously refers to California November elections as "run-offs." This shows the author of the decision, U.S. District Court Judge James Carr (who was visiting the Ninth Circuit from Ohio) is not familiar with the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision Foster v Love, a 1997 Louisiana case that said federal law provides that in congressional elections, the November election is the election itself, and run-offs must be held in December.

The decision says that it is rational for California to bar use of "independent", because otherwise, voters might be confused between independent candidates and American Independent Party candidates. The decision does not acknowledge that California still permits the "independent" label for independent presidential candidates. Nor does it mention that California permits the Americans Elect Party and the American Independent Party to both be on the ballot simultaneously.

California presented no evidence that voters are confused by having both "independent" and "American Independent Party" on the ballot, and California had both types of candidate on the ballot continuously 1968-2010.

Evidence

The charts on pages four and five list every independent candidate for federal and state office in 2012, in the entire nation. Page four lists the independent candidates who had "independent" on the ballot. Page five lists the independent candidates who did not have "independent", but who instead had synonyms, such as "Unenrolled", "Nomination by Petition", or "Unaffiliated."

The chart shows that the average candidate who had "independent" polled 33.23%, but the average candidate who had some synonym for "independent" only polled 30.21%. Also, the median showing for those with "independent" was 31.94%, but the median for those without that word was only 28.79%.

These charts are confined only to independent candidates who were in two-candidate races in November, so as to make it possible to compare results from all states with the California system, in which only two candidates are permitted on the ballot in November. Also, legislative elections in which the voters elect more than a single member from the district were excluded. Again, this was for the purpose of making a clear comparison with California, which does not have multi-member legislative districts.

Finally, the handful of legislative races in which the only candidates on the November ballot were two independents were excluded. Such races existed in South Carolina and Vermont. They were excluded because when the only option on the ballot is an independent, those results cannot reveal anything about the comparative advantages of the term "independent" versus another term.

Other evidence also exists that depriving candidates of "independent" is hurtful. The editor of this newsletter interviewed most of California’s 2012 independent candidates last year. Approximately 80% of the candidates said that their campaigns were injured by not having "independent" on the ballot next to their names. Generally they campaigned as independent candidates; their campaign literature identified them as independent candidates; their web pages used "independent." Their campaigns did not refer to them as individuals with "no party preference."


RESTRICTIVE CALIFORNIA BILL WITHDRAWN

On July 1, California Assemblyman Richard Pan withdrew his AB 1038, which would have made it illegal to pay registration drive workers on a per-registration card basis. The legislature had passed a similar bill in 2011 and in 2012, but both times, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed it. Probably the bill was withdrawn because the Governor indicated he would veto it yet again.

The Peace & Freedom Party is currently carrying on a voter registration drive, in which it pays workers a certain amount of money for each new registrant into the party. This drive is essential if the party is to remain ballot-qualified. Due to the top-two law passed by the voters in 2010 (Proposition 14), parties can no longer remain on the ballot by virtue of polling 2% of the vote for any statewide race in a midterm year. The Peace & Freedom registration effort would be illegal if the Pan bill had passed.


ARKANSAS CREATES UNCONSTITUTIONAL DEADLINES

Earlier this year, the Arkansas legislature passed HB 2036, which moves the petition deadline for a newly-qualifying party to January, and which moves the deadline for a non-presidential independent candidate to March. This action is very surprising, because on five different occasions, federal courts in Arkansas have declared similar early petition deadlines to be unconstitutional.

In 1977 a U.S. District Court invalidated the old deadline for a new party to submit its petition. The opinion says the law is unclear as to whether the deadline was in March or in April, but the decision says that in any event, it is too early. That decision was American Party of Arkansas v Jernigan, 424 F.Supp.943. The legislature moved the deadline to May, but in 1987, moved it to January. That deadline was thrown out in 1996 in Citizens to Establish a Reform Party in Arkansas v Priest, 970 F.Supp. 690. The legislature then lowered the number of signatures but did not move the deadline. In 2006 the deadline was again held unconstitutional, in Green Party of Arkansas v Daniels, 445 F.Supp.2d 1056. The legislature then moved the deadline to July. The 2011 legislature moved it to April, and now it is back in January.

The independent non-presidential deadline was held unconstitutional in 1976 in Lendall v Jernigan, unreported decision of a 3-judge court which was summarily affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1977. The legislature moved it to May, but in 1987 moved it back to March. That was held unconstitutional in 1988 in Lendall v McKuen, unreported.


ALABAMA RULING

On June 29, the Alabama Secretary of State ruled that independent candidates in the upcoming special election, U.S. House, district one, may begin to circulate their petitions now, even though the Governor has not yet set the date of the election.


OTHER LEGISLATIVE NEWS

District of Columbia: on July 10, the city council passed bill B20-0245, which permanently repeals the ban on out-of-district petitioners. Last year the Council had repealed the restriction, but last year’s bill only repealed it temporarily.

Massachusetts: Representative Dan Winslow, who introduced two ballot access improvement bills months ago, is trying to persuade the House Rules Committee to schedule the bills for a hearing. One bill eases the definition of "political party" and the other cuts the number of signatures for candidates (both primary and general) in half.

Meanwhile, another bill, HB 639, suggested by the Secretary of State, requires a group that wants to qualify for party status by obtaining registered members to have 500 sponsors, instead of just 50, before it can get its registrations tallied. A group becomes a qualified party by persuading approximately 43,000 voters to join the party.

Ohio: SB 47 was signed into law several months ago. This newsletter had reported that it repeals the state ban on out-of-state circulators. Unfortunately, the bill was amended before it passed, so it only repeals the ban on out-of-state circulators who are working on an independent presidential petition. The bill provides that out-of-state circulators cannot work on a petition to qualify a new party, or an initiative.

South Dakota: in 2012, the legislature passed HB 1182, which moves the non-presidential independent candidate petition deadline from June to March. Previous bills to make this change had been defeated after the former Secretary of State, Chris Nelson, warned that such a change would probably be held unconstitutional. But Nelson is no longer Secretary of State, and the current Secretary of State, Jason Gant, did not follow Nelson’s lead. This news should have been reported last year, but it was only just discovered.


BOOK REVIEW: E PARTY

E Party, Volume One, Starting in the Middle, by Steven Nemerovski, 333 pages, paperback, 2010.

This novel describes a scenario under which a billionaire decides to launch a new political party. He and some very talented and creative associates want to build a force that will effectively help solve social, economic and environmental problems that the Democratic and Republican Parties are not solving. The group decides to create the party in one state only, Illinois, for the time being. In the real world, Illinois is fairly famous for having the worst budgetary crisis of any state, and for being effectively a one-party state (the Democratic Party has controlled both houses of the legislature since 1997).

The author is an attorney who once was Parliamentarian to the Illinois House, and also once special counsel to the Speaker. He is very familiar with Illinois politics, Illinois election law, and what it takes to create political change in that state. The party, on its first attempt, elects enough state legislators to hold the balance of power in both houses of the legislature.

This sounds unrealistic, but the book is worthwhile because it describes events that really could happen. One key to the party’s success is its candidate recruitment strategy. Of course, another key, sad to say, is that the party has almost unlimited financial support at the beginning.

The most fascinating part of the book is what happens after the first election, in which the party’s small legislative caucus manages to alter policy. Both major parties are determined to prevent the new party, which is called the E Party, from making further growth, and the political warfare is underhanded, unethical, almost criminal. Although the first twenty-eight pages of the book get off to a slow start, describing the billionaire founder’s life history, after that point the book is so exciting it is difficult to stop reading.


2012 CANDIDATES WITH BALLOT LABEL OF "INDEPENDENT"

STATE

CANDIDATE

OFFICE

OPPONENT’S LABEL

VOTE %

Arizona

Tom Rawles

State Senate 1

Republican

28.77%

Arkansas

Peter Cyphers

State Rep. 6

Republican

17.61%

Arkansas

Dennis Knapp

State Rep. 64

Republican

39.31%

Arkansas

Mark Moore

State Rep. 95

Republican

38.58%

Arkansas

Anton Such

State Rep. 99

Republican

22.14%

Connecticut

Joseph P. Nolan

State Rep. 74

Republican

18.84%

Florida

Nancy Argenziano

State Rep. 34

Republican

42.03%

Florida

Kerry Babb

State Rep. 78

Republican

32.66%

Georgia

Rusty Kidd

State Rep. 145

Democratic

53.79%

Idaho

Bill Chisholm

State Senate 23

Republican

31.22%

Illinois

Dee Beaubien

State Rep. 52

Republican

40.73%

Kentucky

Bill Barron

State Rep. 13

Democratic

49.20%

Maine

James Arundel

State Senate 4

Democratic

46.51%

Maine

Richard Yarmouth

State Senate 11

Republican

52.88%

Maine

Martin Windham

State Senate 12

Republican

39.36%

Maine

Kelly Newburgh

State Rep. 39

Republican

43.80%

Maine

Jeffrey Evangelos

State Rep. 49

Republican

55.26%

Maine

James J. Campbell

State Rep. 138

Republican

55.63%

Massachusetts

Lincoln A. Blackie

State Rep., Hampden 6

Democratic

36.31%

Massachusetts

Norman W. Oliver

State Rep., Hampden 11

Democratic

23.05%

Missouri

Jim Nash

State Rep. 2

Republican

22.01%

Missouri

Jack (Skip) Johnson

State Rep. 153

Republican

20.41%

Montana

Kim Miller

State Rep. 71

Republican

42.83%

New Mexico

Joseph J. Carraro

State Senate 10

Republican

45.71%

New Mexico

Robert Schiller

State Senate 14

Democratic

28.78%

Oklahoma

Tommy W. Nicholson

State Senate 27

Republican

18.40%

Oklahoma

Richard Prawdzienski

State Senate 41

Republican

20.60%

Oregon

Tracy Olsen

State Senate 23

Dem,Rep,Work Fam.

19.35%

Pennsylvania

Ronald Gazze

State Senate 39

Rep, Dem

13.04%

Pennsylvania

Dante Picciano

State Rep. 124

Republican

21.51%

Rhode Island

Catherine E. Graziano

State Senate 7

Democratic

27.06%

Rhode Island

Beth M. Croll

State Senate 8

Democratic

24.53%

Rhode Island

Robert P. Venturini

State Senate 15

Democratic

22.33%

Rhode Island

Francisco L. Gonzalez

State Rep. 1

Democratic

20.10%

Rhode Island

Mark Binder

State Rep. 4

Democratic

41.96%

Rhode Island

Daniel J. Grzych

State Rep. 5

Democratic

25.26%

Rhode Island

Peter J. Bonk

State Rep. 38

Democratic

30.00%

Rhode Island

Karin N. Gorman

State Rep. 43

Democratic

35.04%

Rhode Island

Kenneth J. Amoriggi

State Rep. 54

Democratic

44.09%

Rhode Island

David Sullivan

State Rep. 63

Democratic

30.05%

Rhode Island

John A. Perkins, Jr.

State Rep. 70

Democratic

28.14%

South Dakota

Kathy Miles

State Sen. 15

Democratic

45.23%

South Dakota

Matt McGrath

State Sen. 33

Republican

42.59%

Tennessee

Kent Williams

State Rep. 4

Republican

53.71%

Tennessee

W. Rodger Cooksey

State Rep. 26

Republican

24.85%

Tennessee

Virgil Kidwell

State Rep. 36

Republican

21.05%

Tennessee

Daniel Lewis

State Rep. 52

Democratic

24.37%

Tennessee

John Crandall

State Rep. 71

Republican

23.26%

Vermont

Tim Ryan

State Rep., Addison 2

Democratic

38.65%

Vermont

Amos Bell

State Rep., Essex-Caledonia

Rep, Dem

44.07%

Vermont

Estella Leach

State Rep., Rutland-Bennington

Democratic

45.18%

Washington

Larry Carter

State Senate 24

Democratic

34.56%

Washington

Tim Sutinen

State Rep. 19-2

Democratic

42.11%

Wisconsin

David D. King

State Senate 4

Democratic

13.15%

Wisconsin

Anthony R. Edwards

State Assembly 17

Democratic

14.97%

Wyoming

Bill Winney

State Rep. 22

Republican

44.46%

Above are all the November 2012 candidates for federal and state office who were in two-candidate races in single-member districts, and who had the ballot label "Independent". The column on the far right tells what percentage of the vote they received. The fourth column shows the opponent’s label.


2012 INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES WITH SYNONYM FOR "INDEPENDENT"

STATE

CANDIDATE

BALLOT LABEL

OFFICE

OPPONENT’S LABEL

VOTE %

Alaska

Ron Devon

Non-Affiliated

State Senate N

Republican

40.70%

Calif.

Marilyn M. Singleton

No Party Preference

U.S. House 13

Democratic

13.22%

Calif.

Terry Phillips

No Party Preference

U.S. House 23

Republican

26.78%

Calif.

David R. Hernandez

No Party Preference

U.S. House 29

Democratic

25.95%

Calif.

Bill Bloomfield

No Party Preference

U.S. House 33

Democratic

46.04%

Calif.

Chad Walsh

No Party Preference

State Assembly 28

Democratic

38.00%

Florida

Jim Klauder

Non-Partisan

U.S. House 4

Republican

23.85%

Florida

Randall Terry

Non-Partisan

U.S. House 20

Democratic

12.10%

Florida

Richard Harrison

Non-Partisan

State Senate 1

Republican

25.59%

Florida

John Iler

Non-Partisan

State Senate 11

Republican

28.44%

Florida

Travis W. Pitts

Non-Partisan

State Rep. 5

Republican

27.11%

Florida

Rebecca "Sue" Sharp

Non-Partisan

State Rep. 17

Republican

27.51%

Florida

Christina Spencer-Kephart

Non-Partisan

State Rep. 25

Republican

38.71%

Florida

Carol Castagnero

Non-Partisan

State Rep. 39

Republican

35.20%

Florida

Lillian Lima

Non-Partisan

State Rep. 40

Republican

36.20%

Florida

Pam Brown

Non-Partisan

State Rep. 80

Republican

34.44%

Iowa

Ruth Eileen Smith

Nomination by Petition

State Rep. 27

Republican

32.58%

Iowa

N. John Boehm

Nomination by Petition

State Rep. 37

Republican

24.58%

Iowa

Craig Clark

Nomination by Petition

State Rep. 52

Democratic

28.60%

Iowa

Chad Folken

Nomination by Petition

State Rep. 62

Democratic

12.80%

Iowa

Carolyn Grimes

Nomination by Petition

State Rep. 98

Democratic

23.74%

Maine

David Slagger

Non-Party

State Rep. 22

Republican

26.23%

Maine

Joseph E. Brooks

Unenrolled

State Rep. 42

Republican

50.74%

Mass.

Jose L. Santiago

Unenrolled

State Rep., Essex 16

Democratic

15.57%

Mass.

Kevin M. Cuff

Unenrolled

State Rep., Essex 17

Democratic

36.49%

Mass.

Robert J. Underwood

Unenrolled

State Rep., Hampden 9

Democratic

15.23%

Mass.

James F. O’Donnell, Jr.

Unenrolled

State Rep., Middlesex 22

Republican

39.20%

No. Car.

Shane Murphy

Unaffiliated

State Rep. 38

Democratic

12.32%

Ohio

Pete Schlegel

(no label at all)

State Rep. 82

Republican

40.96%

So. Car.

Rex Rice

Petition

State Senate 2

Republican

35.41%

So. Car.

Tommie Reece

Petition

State Senate 6

Republican

30.39%

So. Car.

Kerry Wood

Petition

State Senate 11

Democratic

28.79%

So. Car.

Joe Thompson

Petition

State Senate 15

Republican

25.53%

So. Car.

Tom Young

Petition

State Senate 24

Republican

6.23%

So. Car.

Ed Rumsey

Petition

State Rep. 2

Republican

26.47%

So. Car.

Ed Harris

Petition

State Rep. 3

Republican

46.50%

So. Car.

Ted W. Luckadoo

Petition

State Rep. 8

Republican

47.11%

So. Car.

Robert Merritt

Petition

State Rep. 13

Republican

20.86%

So. Car.

Raye Felder

Petition

State Rep. 26

Libertarian

52.94%

So. Car.

Gaye Holt

Petition

State Rep. 34

Republican

36.34%

So. Car.

Jim McMillan

Petition

State Rep. 36

Republican

33.17%

So. Car.

Phil Perry

Petition

State Rep. 39

Republican

48.91%

So. Car.

Jane Vaughters

Petition

State Rep. 81

Republican

34.76%

So. Car.

Tom Winslow

Petition

State Rep. 103

Democratic

22.81%

So. Car.

Carol Tempel

Petition

State Rep. 115

Republican

31.98%

Wash.

Mark T. Davies

No Party Preference

State Rep. 1-2

Democratic

38.86%

Wash.

Craig Durgan

No Party Preference

State Rep. 24-1

Democratic

35.76%

Wash.

Tamra Smilanich

Nonpartisan Party

State Rep. 37-2

Democratic

12.43%

Wash.

Brandon Robinson

No Party Preference

State Rep. 40-1

Democratic

26.38%

Above are all the November 2012 candidates for federal and state office who were in two-candidate races in single-member districts, and who had a ballot label that suggested they were independents, and yet that label was not "independent". In some cases this is because state law bars the the term "independent." In other cases, the candidate was free to choose "independent" as a ballot label, but in these states, if the candidate doesn’t choose a label, the state automatically uses another term, such as "Unenrolled."

The average candidate on this page polled 30.21% of the vote. By contrast, the average candidate on page four (those who did have "independent") polled 33.23%. See page two for more about these charts.


SIXTH CIRCUIT WON’T RE-HEAR PRESIDENTIAL "SORE LOSER" CASE

On July 1, the Sixth Circuit refused to rehear Libertarian Party of Michigan v Ruth Johnson, 12-2153. The issue is whether Michigan’s "sore loser" law applies to presidential primaries. The Libertarian Party plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear this case. In the entire history of the nation, no minor party presidential candidate had ever before been kept off a November ballot on the grounds that he or she had run in a presidential primary, and candidates have run in major party presidential primaries and then as minor party nominees in 1912, 1924, 1932, 1952, 1968, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 2008, and 2012. Gary Johnson ran in eight Republican presidential primaries in 2012, and only Michigan kept his name off the November ballot on the grounds that he was a "sore loser."


1787 PARTY ESTABLISHES WEB PAGE

The 1787 Party is a new centrist political party being established by Emily Mathews. The party’s web page is now up. See www.1787forAmerica.org.


COFOE ANNUAL MEETING

COFOE, the Coalition for Free and Open Elections, held its annual meeting in New York on July 14. COFOE was established in 1985 and is a loose coalition of some of the nation’s minor parties. Its purpose is to improve election laws for minor parties and independent candidates.

COFOE’s Board passed a resolution, asking the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives to improve future editions of the publication, "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of (year)." The 2012 booklet, which has already been published, is a very useful compilation of election returns for President and Congress. Similar books have been published by the Clerk since 1920. Unfortunately, the book’s Table of presidential election returns give the impression that the various minor party presidential candidates polled fewer votes than they actually did.

The 2012 Presidential vote table shows columns for the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Constitution, Socialism and Liberation, Reform, Socialist, Socialist Workers Parties, as well as a column for "other parties" and a column for independent presidential candidates.

The Democratic column includes President Obama’s vote from Minnesota and North Dakota, even though the name of the Minnesota Democratic Party, as listed on the ballot, is "Democratic-Farmer-Labor" and the party’s name on the North Dakota ballot is "Democratic-Nonpartisan League."

However, the Green Party column does not include any vote entry for Maine, Massachusetts, or Oregon. Just as the Democratic Party’s name in two states is somewhat different than it is in the rest of the nation, the Green Party’s name in those three states is also different than it is in the remainder of the country. In Maine, the party is on the ballot as "Green Independent Party"; in Massachusetts as "Green-Rainbow"; in Oregon as "Pacific Green." The Clerk put the presidential vote of the Green Party for those three states in the "other parties" column instead of the Green Party column.

As a result, the total at the bottom of the Green column is 401,164, when actually the Green nominee, Jill Stein, polled 469,581. The COFOE letter asks the Clerk to apply the same policy used for the Democrats to all parties.


KENTUCKY SPECIAL ELECTION

On June 25, Kentucky held a special election to fill House seat district 56. The results: Democrat James Kay 44.0%, Republican Lyon Crews 34.4%; independent John-Mark Hack 21.6%. When this seat had been up in 2012, the results had been: Democratic 53.3%, Republican 46.7%.


NORTH DAKOTA LIBERTARIAN PETITION

On July 25, the North Dakota submitted over 8,000 signatures to qualify for party status in the 2014 election. This is the first instance this year at which any party in any state has completed the process to gain ballot access for 2014.


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August 2013 Ballot Access News Print Edition — No Comments

  1. In California “INDEPENDENT” is not synonym to “No Party Preference”. It is part of the name “American Independent Party Of California”. In fact if an elector writes “Independent” on a HAVA form in Imperial County and a check
    by that county’s election official, that electors is registered
    with the American Independent Party.

    I ran that practice by Secretary of State Debra Bowen in February. 2008, at a meeting in Los Angeles. She informed
    me that was the correct practice to follow with the use of
    Independent on the HAVA registration forms.

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