November 2014 Ballot Access News Print Edition

Ballot Access News
November 1, 2014 – Volume 30, Number 6

This issue was printed on green paper.


Table of Contents

  1. MINOR PARTY AND INDEPENDENT VOTE FOR TOP OFFICE LIKELY TO BE HIGHEST MID-TERM RESULT SINCE 1930
  2. KANSAS AND NEBRASKA MAJOR PARTIES WIN PARTY RIGHTS CASES
  3. MASSACHUSETTS COURT EXPANDS PETITIONING SITES
  4. 2014 DEBATES
  5. LAWSUIT NEWS
  6. WHICH MINOR PARTIES EVER POLLED OVER 900,000 MID-TERM VOTES?
  7. INDEPENDENT & MINOR PARTY CANDIDATES ON BALLOT 2001-2014
  8. INDEPENDENT WINS IN ST. LOUIS
  9. SCHOLAR LISTS ALL INDEPENDENT SENATORS IN U.S. HISTORY
  10. SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL

MINOR PARTY AND INDEPENDENT VOTE FOR TOP OFFICE LIKELY TO BE HIGHEST MID-TERM RESULT SINCE 1930

Polls show that the national vote for minor party and independent candidates for the top office on the ballot is likely to exceed 6%. If the polls are correct, 2014 will be the best year for minor party and independent candidates in a mid-term year, for the top office, since 1930, and perhaps 1918.

Polls have shown that one particular minor party or independent candidate, or several of them together, for the top office, will be as high as 7% or more in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Vermont. There have been no polls for the top offices in some states, such as Secretary of State in Indiana, Auditor in Missouri, and Attorney General in Utah, but minor party and independent candidates are likely to receive high percentages in those races.

"Top office" is deemed to be Governor, in the states that elect Governors in 2014. In other states, U.S. Senate is deemed to be "top office." For the handful of states with neither office up, top office is the office that is actually at the top of the ballot, such as Secretary of State or Attorney General.

The national percentage will be artificially lowered by six states in which there is no minor party or independent candidate on the ballot for the top office: Alabama, California, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

In 2010, the eight states with no "other" candidate for the top office were Alabama, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Washington. States with top-two systems, so far, create a Democratic-Republican monopoly for the top office.

Percentages of the vote for the "other" candidates for the top office in past mid-term years are:

2010

5.4%

2006

5.0%

2002

5.3%

1998

4.9%

1994

4.5%

1990

4.6%

1986

3.6%

1982

1.8%

1978

2.4%

1974

2.4%

1970

3.4%

1966

3.2%

1962

1.1%

1958

.9%

1954

.6%

1950

1.1%

1946

1.4%

1942

4.8%

1938

3.8%

1934

5.6%

1930

6.1%

1926

4.5%

1922

4.2%

1918

6.8%

1914

16.3%

National news media do not generally inform readers about the share of the vote that goes to "other" candidates for the top offices in mid-term years, so B.A.N. readers who have media contacts may wish to disseminate this data. Of course the data will be more meaningful after the November 4 election returns are known.


KANSAS AND NEBRASKA MAJOR PARTIES WIN PARTY RIGHTS CASES

Kansas: on October 1, a state trial court ruled that if the Democratic Party doesn’t wish to run anyone for U.S. Senate (or any office), the state has no right to interfere. Orel v Kansas Democratic Party, Shawnee Co., 2014-cv-958.

The plaintiff, a Democratic voter, sued the party because its nominee for U.S. Senate withdrew and the party didn’t replace him with another candidate. He argues that he has a right to vote for a Democrat in the general election, and he interprets the law to mean that the party must replace a withdrawn nominee. The court interpreted the law differently, and said in any event, states may not require parties to nominate candidates if they don’t wish to. Democrats don’t want a nominee because the party is backing independent candidate Greg Orman.

Nebraska: on September 17, a state trial court upheld the Secretary of State’s decision to let the Republican Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor withdraw, and to replace him with a new nominee. Elworth v Gale, Lancaster Co., C114-3204. State law says withdrawals must be made by September 1, but the party made the change on September 15.


MASSACHUSETTS COURT EXPANDS PETITIONING SITES

On October 10, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that stand-alone stores must allow petitioning in front of those stores, even if it is private property. Glovsky v Roche Brothers Supermarkets, SJC-11434. The same court had ruled in 1983 that shopping centers must also allow petitioning.


2014 DEBATES

This year, 46 states are holding elections for at least one of these offices: Governor, U.S. Senator, or U.S. House-at-large. The states without such offices up this year are Indiana, Missouri, Utah, and Washington.

Of those 46, there is at least one independent or minor party candidate for at least one of those offices on the ballot in 41 states. The five without such "other" candidates are Alabama, California, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania.

From those 41 states, debates with both the Republican and Democrat, for at least one of those three offices, were held in 38 states. The states in which no debates with both major party nominees were held are Mississippi, Nevada, and Ohio. In each of those states, it was the Republican who refused to debate.

Among those 38 states, at least one minor party or independent candidate debated both the major party opponents in 22 states. Below is a list of those 22 states, and a list of which non-major party candidates participated:

Alaska: on October 1, the gubernatorial nominees of the Republican and Libertarian Parties, and independent candidate Bill Walker, debated. No Democrat is running.

Arizona: on September 29, the gubernatorial nominees of the Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, and Americans Elect Parties debated.

Arkansas: on October 13, the nominees for U.S. Senate of the Democratic, Republican, Green and Libertarian Parties debated.

Colorado: on October 14, all six gubernatorial candidates who are on the ballot participated in a joint forum. They are the nominees of the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and Green Parties, and the two independent candidates.

Connecticut: on October 16, the three gubernatorial candidates on the ballot debated. They are the nominees of the Democratic and Republican Party and the independent.

Georgia: on October 7, the nominees of the Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian Parties debated. One debate was for the U.S. Senate candidates and another was for the gubernatorial candidates. Also, on October 19, another three-party gubernatorial debate was held.

Hawaii: on October 8, the Democrat, Republican, Libertarian and Independent Party gubernatorial nominees debated. On October 19, the two major party and Independent Party nominees debated again.

Idaho: the October 3, four gubernatorial candidates debated. They are the Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian nominees, and independent candidate Pro-Life.

Kansas: the September 19, the gubernatorial nominees of the Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian Parties debated. On October 15, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate debated his independent opponent.

Maine: on October 8 and again on October 15, the major party nominees debated each other and the independent candidate, Eliot Cutler.

Massachusetts: the October 7 gubernatorial debate included all five candidates, the Democrat, Republican, United Independent Party nominees, and the two independent candidates, Scott Lively and Jeff McCormick.

Minnesota: the October 1 and October 8 gubernatorial debates included the nominees of the Democratic, Republican, and Independence Parties.

Montana: on October 19, the Republican, Democrat and Libertarian for U.S. House-at-large debated.

Nebraska: on September 15, all four U.S. Senate candidates debated. They are the Republican and Democratic nominees, and independents Jim Jenkins and Todd Watson.

New York: the October 22 gubernatorial debate included the Democratic, Republican, Green and Libertarian nominees.

North Carolina: the October 9 Senate debate included the nominees of the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian Parties.

North Dakota: on October 15, the U.S. House-at-large nominees of the Republican, Democratic and Libertarian Parties debated.

Rhode Island: the October 21 gubernatorial debate included nominees of the Democratic, Republican and Moderate Parties.

South Carolina: the October 14 gubernatorial debate included the nominees of the Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, and United Citizens Parties, and independent Tom Ervin.

South Dakota: the October 22 gubernatorial candidate included the two major party nominees and the independent candidate, Mike Myers. The October 13 U.S. Senate debate included both major party nominees and the two independent candidates, Larry Pressler and Gordon Howie.

Vermont: the September 23 gubernatorial debate included the nominees of the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Liberty Union Parties. The October 8 gubernatorial debate included the Democratic, Republican, and Liberty Union nominees.

Wyoming: the October 9 and October 16 gubernatorial debates had the Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, and independent Don Wills. The October 13 debate for U.S. Senate included the Republican, Democratic, Libertarian nominees and independent Curt Gottshall.

Major party debates for Governor, Senator, or House-at-large in Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin were all exclusionary. However, Delaware and Florida had inclusive debates for Attorney General.

In Ohio, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee debated the Green nominee on October 22.

In West Virginia, the Democratic Senate nominee debated her Green, Libertarian, and Constitution Party opponents on October 17. There was an earlier Senate debate between the Democrat and Republican.


LAWSUIT NEWS

Alabama: U.S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson will hear Hall v Bennett in Montgomery on November 13 at 10 a.m. This is the case over whether Alabama must either reduce the number of signatures, or give more time, to independent candidates in special elections, on the grounds that the petitioning period in special elections is so much shorter than in regular elections.

Arizona: on October 2, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Arizona State Legislature v Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, 13-1314. This issue is whether Article One of the U.S. Constitution requires that only state legislatures may draw U.S. House district boundaries. In Arizona, an independent commission draws the boundaries.

Arkansas: on October 15, the State Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the requirement that voters show certain types of government photo-ID at the polls violates the state Constitution. Martin v Kohls, cv14-462. The lower court had come to the same conclusion.

Florida: on October 14, U.S. District Court Judge James I. Cohn refused to issue an order letting the Libertarian nominee for Governor, Adrian Wyllie, participate in the October 15 debate. Wyllie for Governor Campaign v Leadership Florida Statewide Community Foundation, s.d., 0:14cv-62322. Some polls have shown Wyllie at 14%, and the debate organizers had barred him because they had set a 15% standard. Wyllie charged that the standard had been raised, and that earlier it had been 12%, but the judge found the earlier 12% had not been intended to apply to the October debate, but to an earlier forum.

Florida (2): on October 2, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Williams-Yulee v Fla. Bar, 13-1499. The issue is a rule that forbids candidates for judge from asking for donations. The plaintiff had sent a mass e-mail, asking for donations, for which she was punished. The Florida Supreme Court had upheld the rule.

Kentucky: on October 14, U.S. District Court Judge William Bertelsman struck down a law forbidding any electioneering within 300 feet of the entrance to a polling place, on election day. Russell v Grimes, e.d., 14cv-112. A few days later, the Sixth Circuit stayed the decision, as applied to non-private property. The U.S. Supreme Court had already upheld 100 foot "no-politics" zones in 1992.

Kentucky (2): on October 12, U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove ruled that public TV may sponsor debates and invite only those who have a "realistic chance" to win. Libertarian National Committee v Holiday, e.d., 3:14cv-63. Therefore, Libertarian U.S. Senate nominee David Patterson may not participate in a debate sponsored by Kentucky’s public television network. The decision appears to conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court 1998 decision Arkansas Educational TV v Forbes, 523 U.S. 666, which said that when government sponsors a candidate debate, all candidates with a genuine campaign must be invited. Patterson has a strong campaign and has been consistently at 5% in polls.

Ohio: on October 17, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Watson again declined to put the Libertarian nominee for Governor on the ballot. Libt. Party of Ohio v Husted, s.d. 2:13cv-953. This was after a trial had demonstrated that Republican officials had orchestrated a challenge to the primary petitions of those particular Libertarian candidates. However, the decision hints that the ongoing part of the case that challenges the constitutionality of Ohio’s definition of "political party" might result in striking down that definition. Ohio keeps a party on the ballot depending on its vote for Governor, and no other office, in midterm years. The Libertarians have candidates on the ballot for Secretary of State and Auditor who are likely to poll sizeable votes. The question in this lawsuit in the future will be whether a party that shows a modicum of voter support for some statewide offices, but is unable to show it for Governor due to the exclusion of the gubernatorial candidate, may remain qualified.

Tennessee: on October 3, U.S. District Court Judge William J. Haynes declined to order the state to print "Libertarian" on the ballot next to the names of the party’s nominees. Instead, they will be on as "independent". Lewis v Goins, m.d., 3:14cv-1565. The order is only one page. Although Judge Haynes had earlier held the state’s ballot access law for parties unconstitutional, the Sixth Circuit had ruled on August 22 that the earlier case needs more evidence, a process that will take time. So, in the meantime, although the Green and Constitution Parties are safely on the 2014 ballot, no new party, such as the Libertarians, may benefit.

Texas: on October 18, a Saturday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to disturb a ruling of the Fifth Circuit that said Texas may require voters at the polls to show certain types of government photo-ID at the November 4 election. Veasey v Perry, 14A393. The vote was 6-3. The Court did not explain why it took this action. It is very likely that the Court will accept this case eventually and issue a full opinion. The October 18 action should not be taken as a clue to how the Court will eventually rule; it seems most likely the Court felt changing the rules so soon before the 2014 election is bad policy.

Virginia: on October 8, a 3-judge U.S. District Court struck down the state’s U.S. House boundaries. Page v Va. State Bd. of Elections, e.d., 3:13cv-678. The decision has no effect on the 2014 election. The basis is that the existing plan packed so many black voters into the Third District that black influence in the adjoining districts is artificially limited. The vote was 2-1. Currently Virginia has eleven districts, eight held by Republicans and 3 by Democrats.

Wisconsin: on October 9, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Seventh Circuit and said the state may not require voters at the polls to show certain kinds of photo-ID. Frank v Walker, 14A352. The difference between this outcome, and the Texas outcome, is probably because of timing. The vote was 6-3. Justices Alito, Scalia and Thomas dissented.


WHICH MINOR PARTIES EVER POLLED OVER 900,000 MID-TERM VOTES?
CREATING A MEANS TO MEASURE PARTY STRENGTH IN MID-TERM YEARS

After the 1840 election, newspapers and almanacs developed the habit of adding up the vote for president for each party in the entire nation, and publicizing the national vote totals. Ever since, journalists and others use a party’s presidential vote as a stand-in for its success, or lack of it.

But in 174 years since then, there is no commonly accepted pattern to measure the voting strength of parties in midterm years. B.A.N. hopes to suggest a new tradition, in which the votes for the office at the top of the ballot in midterm years is used.

Because three-fourths of the states elect Governors in midterm years, and since Governor, as the chief executive of a state, seems most comparable to President, it seems most rational to use the gubernatorial vote. For the fourteen states that don’t elect Governors in midterm years, Senate seems the most obvious substitute. Because only two-thirds of the states have a U.S. Senate in any particular year, there are generally a few states that have neither Governor nor U.S. Senator up, so for those states, the office actually at the top of the ballot seems most logical.

Some results of the calculation are shown in the chart below. This chart shows all seven of the instances in which any party other than the Democratic and Republican Parties polled at least 900,000 votes for the top offices. It seems probable that the Libertarian Party will poll 2,000,000 votes for the top offices on November 4, because the party has candidates for the top office in 36 states (the most ever for the party), and because polls are showing that the party’s candidates will poll unusually high votes in many states.

State
1894 PEO
1914 PRG
1998 REF
2002 LBT
2006 GR
2010 LBT
2010 CON

Alabama

83,283

3,611

– –

23,272

– –

– –

– –

Alaska

unorganized

– –

– –

1,109

593

2,682

– –

Arizona

3,006

5,206

8,371

20,356

– –

38,722

– –

Ark.

24,541

– –

11,099

– –

12,257

– –

– –

Calif.

51,304

460,495

.- –

161,203

205,995

150,895

166,312

Colo.

74,894

33,320

– –

20,547

– –

13,314

651,232

Conn.

1,546

8,030

– –

– –

9,584

– –

– –

Del.

– –

Sept. 14

– –

922

– –

2,101

– –

D.C.

unorganized

unorganized

– –

– –

4,914

– –

– –

Florida

4,469

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

Georgia

96,888

– –

– –

47,968

– –

103,194

– –

Hawaii

not in U.S.

610

– –

1,364

5,435

– –

– –

Idaho

7,121

10,583

– –

8,187

– –

5,867

– –

Illinois

60,067

203,027

50,372

73,794

361,163

34,681

– –

Indiana

29,388

108,581

– –

60,937

– –

94,330

– –

Iowa

34,907

16,796

5,606

13,048

7,728

14,398

– –

Kansas

118,329

84,060

7,830

8,097

– –

22,460

– –

Ky.

18,287

14,108

12,546

– –

– –

– –

– –

La.

8,803

8,876

– –

2,423

– –

13,957

– –

Maine

5,328

18,226

– –

– –

52,690

– –

– –

Md.

1,056

3,697

– –

11,546

15,551

14,137

8,612

Mass.

9,037

32,145

– –

23,044

43,193

– –

– –

Mich.

30,012

36,747

– –

– –

20,009

22,390

20,818

Minn.

87,890

3,553

773,713

– –

10,800

– –

– –

Miss.

12,061

– –

1,762

– –

– –

2,188

1,235

Mo.

42,467

27,609

8,780

18,345

18,383

58,663

41,309

Mont.

15,240

6,694

3,078

10,420

– –

20,691

– –

Nebr.

– –

8,655

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

Nevada

711

– –

– –

8,104

6,753

4,672

5,049

N.H.

832

2,572

– –

13,028

– –

10,089

0

N.J.

4,155

14,197

1,906

12,558

– –

8,536

4,120

N.M.

1,835

1,695

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

N.Y.

11,049

45,586

364,056

5,013

42,166

48,386

– –

No. C.

81,454

– –

– –

33,807

– –

55,687

– –

No. D.

9,354

4,263

3,598

– –

– –

3,890

– –

Ohio

49,495

60,904

111,468

– –

40,965

92,116

– –

Okla.

15,988

4,189

10,535

– –

– –

– –

– –

Oregon

26,723

6,129

10,144

57,760

20,030

19,048

20,475

Penn.

19,464

140,327

– –

40,923

– –

– –

– –

R.I.

223

1,256

1,848

– –

– –

– –

– –

So. C.

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

So. D.

26,568

9,725

– –

1,983

– –

– –

– –

Tenn.

23,092

– –

– –

1,589

2,681

– –

– –

Texas

152,731

1,794

– –

66,717

– –

109,211

– –

Utah

– –

1,078

– –

7,133

2,512

12,871

35,937

Vt.

740

6,929

– –

938

1,936

– –

– –

Va.

10,330

210

20,293

106,055

– –

23,681

– –

Wash.

26,128

83,282

– –

48,677

21,254

– –

– –

W.Va.

3,441

8,733

– –

– –

8,565

– –

6,425

Wisc.

25,604

– –

– –

185,455

40,709

6,790

– –

Wyo.

2,176

– –

– –

3,924

– –

5,362

– –

TOTAL

1,312,017

1,489,151

1,407,005

1,100,246

955,866

1,015,009

961,524

"PEO" = Peoples; "PRG" = Progressive; "REF" = Reform; "LBT" = Libertarian; "CON" = Constitution; "GR" = Green


INDEPENDENT & MINOR PARTY CANDIDATES ON BALLOT 2001-2014

The chart on page five shows the number of minor party and independent candidates in each state, 2001-2002.

A set of presidential electors counts as one. When Governor and Lieutenant Governor run as a team, that counts as one. The chart covers all partisan statewide office, and Congress, and legislature. It does not include partisan judicial races, except for statewide races. It does not include state district offices other than for legislature (such as Board of Education, elected from districts in Texas). The reason for the latter two exclusions is that most states don’t have such partisan district elections, and a goal of the chart is to compare the states.

No candidate is counted twice. Fusion candidates are credited to the party in which the candidate is a member.

The chart shows the fewest minor party and independent candidates were in New Mexico, North Dakota, and Nebraska. The reason there are so few in New Mexico is that the state has very severe petition requirements for independent candidates (3%), and also New Mexico requires qualified minor parties to submit a petition of 1% for each of their nominees, except president.

North Dakota is low because minor parties can’t run candidates for the legislature unless approximately 10% to 15% of the primary voters choose to vote in a minor party primary. As a result, there have been no minor party legislative candidates with the party label since 1976. Nebraska has few minor party and independent candidates because it has a non-partisan legislature.

State

2001-2002

2003-2004

2005-2006

2007-2008

2009-2010

2011-2012

2013-2014

TOTAL

Ala

47

3

4

3

10

3

11

81

Alas

24

25

15

11

12

8

14

109

Ariz

23

26

23

23

41

27

17

180

Ark

3

8

9

21

19

25

21

106

Cal

137

104

116

65

109

12

7

550

Colo

75

47

23

30

33

99

49

356

Ct

51

111

59

36

56

25

44

382

Del

19

14

9

8

14

23

16

103

Fla

85

25

20

40

71

44

34

319

Ga

14

9

9

6

11

4

8

61

Hi

12

7

6

8

8

5

19

65

Id

49

17

17

14

16

18

18

149

Ill

26

15

12

32

35

10

8

138

Ind

53

38

17

27

49

22

25

231

Iowa

35

20

18

21

22

22

25

163

Kan

26

38

38

35

27

20

11

195

Ky

4

8

6

12

11

15

4

60

La

10

31

5

47

15

39

9

156

Me

29

35

27

20

27

29

32

199

Md

12

13

25

14

23

14

9

110

Mass

42

24

28

27

55

22

31

229

Mich

96

93

113

114

140

83

81

720

Minn

90

43

39

21

48

30

26

297

Miss

10

33

3

26

8

34

11

125

Mo

49

63

33

47

53

30

28

303

Mont

21

29

28

20

15

17

11

141

Neb

10

10

6

7

2

2

6

43

Nev

44

39

32

44

46

17

31

253

N H

18

7

6

17

11

22

10

91

N J

65

93

57

72

53

71

56

467

N M

5

8

2

6

1

10

2

34

N Y

194

76

47

38

64

73

72

564

No C

100

40

1

29

14

14

7

205

No D

4

5

4

4

7

7

3

34

Ohio

12

12

7

21

75

23

27

177

Okla

15

9

8

7

9

9

14

71

Ore

33

59

24

27

24

43

48

258

Penn

40

62

44

32

36

20

12

246

R I

20

29

8

22

50

45

32

206

So C

20

24

13

13

36

47

20

173

So D

10

10

18

14

15

7

13

87

Tenn

60

25

37

40

66

48

44

320

Tex

125

51

145

136

108

129

130

824

Utah

28

81

62

63

39

40

36

349

Vt

72

42

59

51

54

64

69

411

Va

29

23

28

32

42

31

37

222

Wash

26

52

5

11

9

14

15

132

W Va

11

8

2

9

10

17

23

80

Wis

41

35

18

24

35

24

17

194

Wyo

6

5

7

9

10

17

11

65

TOTAL

2,030

1,684

1,342

1,456

1,744

1,474

1,304

11,034



INDEPENDENT WINS IN ST. LOUIS

On October 7, independent candidate Megan Green was elected to the St. Louis Board of Alderman, defeating her major party opponents.



SCHOLAR LISTS ALL INDEPENDENT SENATORS IN U.S. HISTORY

Eric Ostermeier’s blog Smart Politics has a list of all independent U.S. Senators in history. See this address. If Greg Orman wins, there will be more independent Senators at once than ever before.


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