Associated Press Story on Minnesota’s Independence Party Losing its Qualified Status

The Associated Press has this story, saying the Minnesota Secretary of State has formally notified the Independence Party that it has lost its qualified status, something it has enjoyed for twenty years. The party needed to poll 5% for one of the statewide offices. The party was very unlucky, polling only 4.9% for Secretary of State. Its other statewide results were: Governor-Lieutenant Governor 2.9%; U.S. Senator 2.4%; Auditor 4.0%; Attorney General 2.3%.

The party is free to ask the legislature to ease the 5% vote test. The median vote test in the 50 states is 2%.


Associated Press Story on Minnesota’s Independence Party Losing its Qualified Status — 11 Comments

  1. I know I’d feel uncomfortable even in less formal settings of members of the Independence Party, despite that I am a Independent, but this party has played a major role in Minnesota’s electoral history over the last 20 years, and it ought to get some kind of break.

    Since its doubtful a Court would rule on the argument being made that most states have an average of a 2% threshold for their 3rd parties to keep, (as it seems with some of these biased courts, their “state’s rights” philosophy kicks in) and they claim the 5% threshold is a decision of the legislature- not the court. Case dismissed.

    The Independence Party could use the argument before the Legislature for fusion, i.e., if a party got 2% for one of its candidates, then the Independence Party would have to then fuse with one of the major parties for the next election cycle. {Note: Seems Ricard Winger ran a article a few years ago that the Courts has ruled that fusion prohibition under Minnesota statutes was constitutional,therefore this would not be helpful.} We’d be back to square One.

    If I were among the leadership of the Independence Party, I’d ask that fusion be included as a deal with the Legislature. Rewrite the law, where if the party got 5% as a fusion ticket in 2016 or 2018, then they would have full ballot position again, but if not and they got at least 2% they would have to remain “fused” with one of the major parties.

    It’s better than dieing off and become lost in the cemetery of Third Parties. Too bad they can’t get Jesse Ventura to come back to Minnesota (I don’t think he lives there anymore – but could be wrong) and lead a crusade to gather the necessary signatures to put the party back on the ballot again.

    Surely, Jesse’s still a hero to lots of folks around Lake Woebegon and they’d remember typing class when all had to type, “now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party.

  2. Yes that would work, but they (the Democrats and Republicans of the Establishment) ain’t gonna do it. Having the system the way it is, keeps 3rd parties and Independents at bay.

    The only practical thing, is to attempt to get some fusion law passed, and this way, parties like the Independence Party can always fall back to a “fusion” status if they don’t meet the threshold for autonomous ballot access.

    I’d rather have the fusion option available any day, as at least you get a seat at the table. Your candidate might not be your preferred man, but he’s got your label to run on, and if he’s popular, he’s going to get some spill over votes for the party he is fused with that looks good for the history books.

    This is why fusions has helped New York State 3rd parties have more influence than 3rd parties in any state in the last 50 years.

    Until we can convince the voters to make one of our 3rd parties a major party, then use what options you can get to have a chance to participate in the game.

    Classic recent example: The Independence Party of New York gave Michael Bloomberg 13% of the vote he needed in his 3rd (and last) run for Mayor of New York. Had the Independence Party nominated and heavily financed its own candidate, and Bloomberg not had the Independence label, he might not have gotten re-elected.

    Regardless of how one looks at it, the official vote count shows for historians, that 13% of the vote cast on the Independence line made the difference in his election.

    That fact can never be changed.

  3. Minnesota had completely non-partisan elections in the past for state legislature. Party labels didn’t appear on the ballot. But it didn’t work well and was eliminated in 1974.

  4. It’s top-two supporters who view voters as sheep to be lead. Top-two supporters don’t see anything wrong with giving voters in the election itself only two choices, and in the case of California, not even any write-in option.

    Why is it that you hold yourself out as being so in favor of top-two, yet you never engage in any activism in your home state of Texas to bring about top-two in Texas?

  5. We at the Unity Coalition considering multiple decision items simultaneously and we can easily unite to attain higher and higher levels of satisfaction by using a direct democracy eballot:

    “Building united inter-party coalitions to get things done collaboratively, not unilaterally”

  6. Every election is NEW.
    i.e. NEW ballot access required.
    NO primaries.
    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V.

  7. We have a variety of options available to us to regain major party status (automatic ballot access). In the meantime, relegation to minor party status may well be good for us in terms of organizing, re-branding and restructuring. As long as we’re able to do that in 2015 we should be set for a legitimate growth spurt beginning in 2016.

    You can read a blog post on our state web site outlining what was lost and gained by his:

  8. Thank you, Phil. I read the blog post on the Independence Party’s web page. It says the party is advantaged without being forced to nominate by primary, because when you have a primary, outsiders can invade and easily capture a nomination if no one runs against them in the party primary.

    But there is a better solution, which is to work for a Minnesota election code amendment that would allow small ballot-qualified parties to nominate by convention. In other words, there would be two categories of parties automatically on the general election ballot…big parties to nominate by primary and small parties to nominate by convention. One-third of the states have two-tier systems like this: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Also Alabama, South Carolina, and Virginia let all ballot-qualified parties decide whether to nominate by primary or convention.

    Don’t settle for less than an ideal situation. Ask the Minnesota 2015 legislature for a system like one of those states. Michigan, a neighbor state, would be a good model.

  9. From a public policy viewpoint, progressives believed that removal of partisan labels from the ballot would force voters to do more research about candidates before they made an informed choice.

    Advocates for partisan labels claim that voters are making a pragmatic decision to vote for the nominee of a party they trust, and which they have a brand identify. They extoll the time efficiency of such voters, who concentrate on other aspects of their busy lives, and let party leaders remind them when it is time to vote.

    Political scientists have compared the roll-off between congressional and legislative races between Kansas and Nebraska, and Minnesota pre-1974 and post-1974, and shown that a few percentage more vote for legislative candidates in partisan elections.

    Of course none of this is relevant to Top 2 as it is practiced in Louisiana, Washington, and California, because they do have partisan labels, but do not have the critical aspect that Justice Scalia identified in ‘California Democratic Party v Jones’.

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