The January 1, 2014 print edition of Ballot Access News had a chart showing the petition deadline in each state, for a newly-qualifying party that wants to be on the November ballot for president, with the party name next to the name of the candidate. That chart erroneously said Mississippi has the nation’s earliest such deadline. However, Hawley Robertson, a senior attorney in the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office, says that the actual deadline for a group to qualify as a party in Mississippi, if it just wants to run for president, is less than 90 days before the November election. A party that qualified that late would be too late to have congressional nominees on the ballot, but it could be on the ballot for president with its party label.
Therefore, the correct information is that Alabama has the nation’s earliest petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties in presidential elections. That deadline in 2016 will be March 8, unless the pending lawsuit against that deadline wins, or unless the legislature changes the law.
In half the states, candidates who use the independent candidate petition method can choose a party label instead of just “independent”. The analysis assumes that if a party label is on the November ballot next to the name of the candidate, then the party itself is “on the ballot.”