Louisiana House Utterly Revises Bill on “Independent” as a Ballot Label, and Passes Bill

On April 8, the Louisiana House passed HB 193 by a vote of 84-5, after utterly revising it. The original bill said that independent candidates could have the ballot label “independent” instead of “no party.” But as amended, the bill does nothing to help independent candidates. Instead, now the bill repeals the law that says no party can be called the “Independent Party” and no party can have “Independent” as one of the words in its name. Thanks to Jim Riley for this news.


Louisiana House Utterly Revises Bill on “Independent” as a Ballot Label, and Passes Bill — No Comments

  1. Rep. Jerome “Dee” Richard, the sponsor of the bill and one of two Independent members of the House, is registered as Other Party: Independent. The original bill would have allowed No Party registrants to appear on the ballot as “Independent”.

    Richard, if he sought election, would have had to change his registration to No Party in order to take advantage of his original bill. The original bill would also have changed the voter registration forms to say “Independent” instead of “No Party”, which would have been more confusing since you would have then had “No Party”, “Independent”, and “Other: Independent” registrants, and also had a fiscal note.

    Richard had a proposed floor amendment that would have permitted both No Party and Other party candidates to run as “Independent” or under the current designations of “No Party” and “Other” at their discretion. But that was withdrawn and the latest floor amendment adopted.

    The latest amendment was also proposed by Richard, and there is no evidence that it was coerced.

    There are around 44,000 registered “Other: Independent” voters in Louisiana, with only 1000 needed to become a recognized party. If HB 193 becomes law in its present form, it would be a simple matter of a $1000 fee, and some group organizing themselves as the “Independent Party” with officers and governing documents to have the party recognized.

    With recognition would come a change to voter registration forms, and many new registrants and some current registrants would likely select “Independent” rather than “No Party”. At 5% of registrants, which I think is around 150,000; the party would have representation on electoral boards.

  2. More mindless stuff by the robot party hacks playing their EVIL ANTI-Democracy games.

    Where is that 24/7 Election Law Supreme Court ???

    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V. — NO moron primaries in any party hack regime.

  3. Yes, if the bill passes. But it has to go through the Senate and get signed by the Governor.

  4. HB 193 had its 1st Reading in Senate on Wednesday, April 9. It is scheduled for its 2nd Reading on April 14.

    It appears that in Louisiana, that the committee referral in the non-originating house occurs on 2nd Reading.

  5. SB 60 has also been revived. It was left “pending” in committee, but apparently not dead. The aponsor got together with the main opponent, and crafted a new bill that is the same as HB 193, except for a slightly different enactment clause.

    SB 60, like HB 193, would now simply remove the prohibition of an “Independent Party”. The original SB 60, would have removed the prohibition, and let “No Party” voters run as “Independent” The senator who had opposed the bill was apparently concerned that persons who said they had no party would run under a false label. He also sought assurance that the bill would not be amended further in the process.

    The sponsor said that an Independent Party would have to get 1000 registrants amd then pay the $1000 fee to be recognized. But I think the 1000 registrans are already there. A 2012 listing from the SOS said that there were about 44,000 voters who said that their “Other Party” was Independent (there are close to 700,000 No Party voters).

    In the House committee hearing someone from the SOS office said that Rep. Richard was an Other Party: Independent and would have to change to No Party in order to run as an “Independent”, so the SOS understands that Other Party voters are members of parties, that are not recognized, but are nonetheless parties.

    SB 60 after being amended in committee was sent to the senate without objection. It was then passed by the Senate on a 37-1 vote.

    Both bills have now been referred to committee in the opposite house. Presumably, the committees will be told the bill is the same as the bill they approved last week, and one or both will be passed within a week or so.

    The House enactment clause sets an effective date of January 1, 2015 (after the congressional elections, but in time for the state and legislative elections). The Senate enactment clause says the same, but if it is vetoed, then it becomes effective at the time of a veto override. I don’t know the reason for this, but perhaps Louisiana permits a veto overrided at a subsequent session.

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