New Mexico Independent Candidate Files Lawsuit Against 3% Petition Requirement for Independent Candidates

On July 3, James T. Parker, an independent incumbent on the New Mexico Public Education Commission, filed a federal lawsuit against the state law that requires him to submit the signatures of 3% of the last gubernatorial vote (within the district in which he is running), whereas minor party nominees need a petition of 1% of the last gubernatorial vote. Parker v Duran, 1:14cv-617.

Parker is an incumbent because he was appointed by the Governor. The Public Education Commission is elected on a partisan basis. No independent candidate has ever appeared on the ballot for that office. The number of candidates for this office is so low, there has never been a general election for that office with more than two candidates on the ballot.

New Mexico law has always been hostile to independent candidates. The state did not have procedures for independent candidates until 1977. The state’s first law for independent candidates required the signatures of 5% of the last vote cast, due in March, and the petition could not start to circulate until January. The petition deadline was declared unconstitutional in 1980. The 5% was lowered to 3% in 1991, but New Mexico still has one of the most onerous petition burdens in the nation.

Parker needed 2,196 valid signatures. He submitted 1,379. If he had been the nominee of a minor party, he would have needed 732 valid signatures.


New Mexico Independent Candidate Files Lawsuit Against 3% Petition Requirement for Independent Candidates — No Comments

  1. ANY genius lawyers capable of detecting that —

    Every election is NEW.

    Separate is NOT equal. Brown v. Bd of Ed 1954

    Thus – EQUAL ballot access tests for ALL candidates for the same office in the same area.

  2. Gary Johnson was Governor of New Mexico for two terms. Perhaps he could have done more during his tenure for ballot access in New Mexico?

    And since he was so interested in equal time for candidates in the R POTUS debates maybe he’ll start speaking up about equal time for L POTUS candidates too?

  3. Richard can you speak to him about that and let us know what he says? You once said that are one of his good friends in 2012.

    You can let us know about what he has done.

    You were one of his most outspoken supporters at the California State Libertarian Party convention in 2012 so that’s key in California. 😉

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