The Independent Party has submitted a petition to be a ballot-qualified party in Hawaii. See this story. Although the story focuses on whether former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman will seek this party’s gubernatorial nomination, the Independent Party may also serve as a vehicle for various independent candidates for the legislature and even perhaps for U.S. House.
Independent candidates in Hawaii face an unpredictable process for qualifying for the November ballot. Except for president, independent candidates must run in the August primary. They must poll the lesser of 10% of the vote cast for that office in all party primaries, or the number of votes received by the lowest vote-getting party nominee.
When a minor party runs candidates in its own primary, it is easy for independents to meet this primary vote test. Traditionally, very few Hawaii voters vote in a minor party primary, so if there is a minor party candidate for a particular office, that almost guarantees that the independent candidate for that same office will outpoll the minor party nominee, and then the independent can be on the November ballot.
But when there is no minor party nominee for a particular office, the typical independent almost never polls enough primary votes to qualify for the November ballot. Therefore, many would-be independent candidates in 2014 will probably not file as independent candidates, but will instead file to run in the Independent Party primary, because then they are guaranteed to be on the November ballot (unless, of course, some one else files for the same office in the Independent Party primary). Thanks to Independent Political Report for the link.