February 2015 Ballot Access News Print Edition

Ballot Access News
February 1, 2015 – Volume 30, Number 9

This issue was printed on white paper.


Table of Contents

  1. BALLOT ACCESS BILLS INTRODUCED IN SIX STATES
  2. SOUTH DAKOTA BILL MAY BE AMENDED TO EASE DEADLINE
  3. STRAIGHT-TICKET BILLS
  4. VIRGINIA BALLOT ACCESS BILLS LOSE
  5. PENNSYLVANIA BALLOT ACCESS CHAMPION GAINS KEY POST
  6. TWO EVENTS BOLSTER MORE INCLUSIVE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES
  7. PROCEDURAL VICTORY FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE BALLOT ACCESS CASE
  8. COURT UPHOLDS VIRGINIA’S DISCRIMINATORY BALLOT FORMAT
  9. U.S. DISTRICT COURT UPHOLDS CALIFORNIA WRITE-IN BAN
  10. MONTANA REPUBLICAN PARTY LEGAL SETBACK
  11. MORE LAWSUIT NEWS
  12. 2014 VOTE FOR GOVERNOR
  13. 2014 VOTE FOR LOWER HOUSE OF STATE LEGISLATURE
  14. VIRGINIA ELECTS AN INDEPENDENT TO LEGISLATURE
  15. MARYLAND GREENS ARE ON BALLOT
  16. N.Y. WORKING FAMILIES PARTY HAS ITS BEST VOTE SHOWING EVER, FOR OFFICE OTHER THAN GOVERNOR
  17. LIBERTARIANS ARE ONLY PARTY THAT FILED INTENT TO QUALIFY IN MAINE
  18. CONSTITUTION PARTY GAINS AN ALABAMA OFFICE-HOLDER
  19. STOP COMMON CORE PARTY SAYS IT WILL CHANGE ITS NAME TO “REFORM”
  20. SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL

BALLOT ACCESS BILLS INTRODUCED IN SIX STATES

During January, bills to ease ballot access laws were introduced in at least six states. This does not include Virginia, where two bills were introduced but have already been defeated.

Connecticut: Representative Devin Carney (R-Old Saybrook) has introduced HB 5303, which says that if a party polls 1% for any statewide race, then it is ballot-qualified for all statewide races, not just that one statewide race. Connecticut has four parties that are on the ballot for some statewide races but not all of them, so this bill, if enacted, would help all four. The Working Families and Independent Parties are on the ballot for all the statewide offices except President. The Green Party is on for the lesser statewide executive offices but not President, Governor, or U.S. Senator. The Libertarians are on for U.S. Senator but no other statewide office.

Georgia: six Representatives have introduced HB 58. The lead sponsor is Representative John Pezold. It lowers the number of signatures for district and county office from 5% of the number of registered voters, to 2% of the last vote cast. If this bill passed, the number of signatures needed for an independent or minor party for U.S. House in the average district would decline from 18,540 to 3,294.

The worst ballot access law in the U.S. is the Georgia law on how an independent or minor party candidate gets on the ballot for U.S. House. The number of signatures for district office was set in 1943, and has never been lowered. No minor party has ever completed a petition for U.S. House, and no independent has complied with it since 1964. All of the sponsors of HB 58 are Republicans, except that the only independent member of the legislature, Representative Rusty Kidd, is also a co-sponsor.

Maine: Representative Ben Chipman (I-Portland) has introduced LR 1512, to ease the number of signatures for a member of a small ballot-qualified party to get on his or her party’s primary ballot. The existing law is so strict, no member of a ballot-qualified party, other than the Democratic or Republican Parties, has been able to get on a primary ballot for either house of Congress at any time in the last 90 years.

The law requires 2,000 signatures of party members for statewide office, and 1,000 for U.S. House. It doesn’t take into account that the Democratic and Republican Parties have far more registered members, so for them, the petitions are much easier. The Green Party did manage to comply with the law for its gubernatorial candidate in 2002 and 2006, but has not done so since then. When the Libertarian Party was on the ballot in 1992, and when the Reform Party was on in 1998 and 2000, they couldn’t run any statewide or U.S. House candidates. The bill would cap the primary petitions at 1% of the party’s registration.

New Hampshire: Representative Max Abramson (R-Seabrook) has introduced a bill to cut the number of signatures for independent candidates and the nominees of unqualified parties. Current law requires 3,000 signatures for statewide office, 1,500 for U.S. House, 750 for State Senate, and 150 for State House. The bill would require a number of signatures equal to one-tenth of 1% of the population. For statewide office, that would be 1,317 signatures for this decade.

Existing law for independent petitions for state representative is irrational. Some of the districts for that office have ten times the population of other districts, yet in all districts, independents need 150 signatures. The bill would solve that problem. The bill will get a bill number in the next few days, but has already been submitted.

North Dakota: Representative Corey Mock (D-Grand Forks) has introduced HB 1260, which would abolish the law that won’t let a party nominate candidates for the legislature unless between 10% and 15% of all the primary voters choose that particular party’s primary ballot. In North Dakota, all qualified parties nominate by primary, and voters are free to choose any party’s primary ballot. Generally, very few primary voters desire to choose a minor party primary ballot, because minor parties virtually never have contested primaries. As a result, no minor party has been able to nominate someone for the legislature since 1976. The bill has four Republican co-sponsors.

Oklahoma: bills to lower the number of signatures for newly-qualifying parties are pending in both houses of the legislature. The Speaker of the House, Jeffrey Hickman (R-Fairview), has introduced HB 2181. It lowers the petition from 5% of the last vote cast, to 1% of the last gubernatorial vote. If the bill passed, the 2016 petition would drop from 41,242 signatures to 8,249.

Representative Eric Proctor (D-Tulsa) has introduced HB 1813, which lowers the petition to exactly 5,000 signatures.

In the Senate, Senator David Holt (R-Oklahoma City) has introduced SB 318, which lowers the petition to 2% of the last vote cast. That bill also lowers the signatures for an independent presidential candidate, and the presidential nominee of an unqualified party, from 3% of the last presidential vote to 2%. In 2016 that would be 26,698 signatures.

Probably bills to ease ballot access laws will also soon be introduced in Alabama, Maryland, Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Sponsors for such bills have been found in those states. Activists are working to find sponsors in additional states.


SOUTH DAKOTA BILL MAY BE AMENDED TO EASE DEADLINE

The South Dakota primary for all partisan office (president and other office) is in June. All qualified parties must nominate by primary for most partisan offices. Therefore, the petition deadline for new parties is quite early. It was in April between 1984 and 2007, and then in 2007 it was moved to March.

This year, the state Board of Elections wrote SB 69, which moves the petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties from March to February. However, after it was pointed out to the committee that was hearing the bill, the Senate State Affairs Committee, that such an early deadline is probably unconstitutional, a Senator on the Committee suggested amending the bill so that the petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties would be in late June, and such new parties would nominate by convention for all office, instead of primary.

The ACLU had sued South Dakota in 1983 over the old deadline, which was then in February. That case was Libertarian Party of South Dakota v Kundert. The state in 1983 didn’t even try to defend the February deadline, and admitted that it was too early, and in 1984 moved it to April. But, unfortunately, all memory of that had been lost, until the ACLU informed the committee about the 1983 case. Soon the committee will decide whether to pass the bill as originally written, or whether to amend it so that the deadline is in June, or perhaps just to reject the entire bill.


STRAIGHT-TICKET BILLS

Bills to repeal the straight-ticket device exist in Iowa and West Virginia. The Iowa bill, HF 4, is by Representative Peter Cownie (R-West Des Moines). The West Virginia bill is SB 249, by Senator Charles Trump (R-Martinsville). Bills to restore the device exist in New Hampshire (HB 185, with Republican sponsors) and Missouri (HB 249, by a Democrat).


VIRGINIA BALLOT ACCESS BILLS LOSE

Two bills to improve ballot access in Virginia have already been defeated. HB 1463 would have lowered the definition of a party from a group that polled 10% for any statewide race, to one that had polled 4%. This is the first bill ever introduced in Virginia to lower the 10% vote test to a lower number. On January 22, a subcommittee of the House Privileges & Elections Committee voted to postpone consideration of the bill indefinitely, even though four witnesses had testified in favor and no one had testified against.

On January 19, the Senate Subcommittee on Campaigns defeated SB 766 by 4-2, with all Republicans voting "no" and both Democrats voting "yes." It would have lowered the number of signatures for non-presidential statewide independent candidates, and the nominees of unqualified parties, from 10,000 to 5,000 signatures. Current law already requires 5,000 signatures for presidential petitions.

The ideas in these bills were new to the Virginia legislature. It is common for ballot access bills to fail in the first session in which they are introduced, but to pass in later sessions. Similar bills in the future will do better if activists persuade newspapers to editorialize in their favor. The case for both bills is strong. Virginia is one of only four states that has not had a ballot-qualified party, other than the Democratic and Republican Parties, at any time during the period 1998 to the present. The others are New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.


PENNSYLVANIA BALLOT ACCESS CHAMPION GAINS KEY POST

Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Folmer, who has introduced ballot access bills in each of the last three legislative sessions, has been appointed Chair of the committee that hears election law bills, the State Government Committee.


TWO EVENTS BOLSTER MORE INCLUSIVE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES

During January, two events occurred that will help open up the 2016 general election presidential debates to more than just two candidates: (1) the two major parties expanded the general election campaign season for president by 40 days, relative to 2012; (2) British debate sponsors decided to invite the party leaders of seven parties into the British debates.

Major parties expand the general election campaign season: the Democratic national convention in 2016 will be July 25-28, and the Republican national convention will be July 18-21. These are by far the earliest dates for the two major party conventions since 1960. In 2012, the Democratic convention did not end until September 6. General election presidential campaigns do not start until after the major party national conventions. As a result of the drastic change in dates, the 2016 campaign season will be 40 days longer than the 2012 season.

This, in turn, will give more time for more general election debates. Last time the two major party conventions were both in July, in 1960, there were four presidential debates. Never since have there been that many. It will now be an easier case to make that at least one of the presidential debates should include more candidates than just the two major party nominees, since it is plausible that there could be four, five, or six debates. The debates could start in August and continue into September and October.

Britain’s example: the House of Commons election will be May 7, 2015. The BBC and ITV will sponsor debates on April 15 and April 22, for the leaders of seven parties. There will also be a debate on April 29, for just the leaders of the Conservative and Labour Parties. If the first two debates are successful, the British example will be a powerful argument that the United States should also try inclusive debates.


PROCEDURAL VICTORY FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE BALLOT ACCESS CASE

On December 30, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro, a Bush Sr. appointee, declined to dismiss Libertarian Party of New Hampshire v Gardner, 1:14cv-322. The case challenges the new law that makes it illegal to circulate the petition for a new party during an odd year.

The state had tried to persuade the judge that the new law is constitutional as a matter of law, and that there should not be a trial or any evidence presentation. But the opinon said that the case needs evidence before it can be decided. The New Hampshire party petition requires the signatures of 3% of the last gubernatorial vote. It is so difficult, it has existed since 1996 but it has only been used twice, by the Libertarian Party in 2000 and 2012.


COURT UPHOLDS VIRGINIA’S DISCRIMINATORY BALLOT FORMAT

On January 13, U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Payne, a Bush Sr. appointee, upheld a Virginia law that puts the nominees of the qualified parties on the ballot above all the other candidates. Sarvis v Judd, e.d., 3:14cv-479.

This is the first decision that ever acknowledged that being on the top of the ballot helps a candidate, and still upheld the law. Other decisions upholding such laws always say that there is no evidence that position on the ballot makes any difference.

This decision says the state interests in putting the Democrat and the Republican on top are: (1) avoid voter confusion; (2) create a more orderly ballot; (3) encourage larger parties over a multiplicity of parties. Footnote seven says, "The Court takes judicial notice of the fact that the vast majority of voters will choose a candidate from one of the major parties." This is not true in all races; an independent was elected to the Virginia legislature on January 13.

There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution to support discriminating against a small party, relative to a large one. No political science research supports the idea that discriminatory laws on the order of candidates helps society. One-third of the states do not discriminate on the basis of party when they place candidates on ballots, and there is no evidence that any adverse effect occurs in those states. Plaintiffs will appeal.


U.S. DISTRICT COURT UPHOLDS CALIFORNIA WRITE-IN BAN

On December 24, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter upheld California’s ban on write-ins at the general election for Congress and partisan state office. Milonopoulos v Bowen, c.d., 2:14cv-5973.

The plaintiff had been a write-in candidate for Congress in June 2014, and he had only received one write-in vote. But he wanted to be a write-in candidate in the same race in November. He had also been in the news during 2014 for being arrested for trespassing on a college campus in southern California. He represented himself.

The U.S. Supreme Court said in 1992 in Burdick v Takushi that the U.S. Constitution does not require Hawaii to permit write-in votes, so this would have been a difficult case to win in any event. However, the California opinion erroneously says that general election voter choice in Hawaii is more limited than in California. This is not true. Hawaii has five qualified parties on the ballot, and each is free to easily run nominees for any partisan office. There were some 4-candidate partisan races in November 2014 in Hawaii, and many 3-candidate races. By contrast, the California top-two law limits the general election ballot to either one or two candidates in all partisan races except President. It is not known if the plaintiff will appeal.

The decision came down only two days after the oral argument, which suggests Judge Carter didn’t work very hard on his decision.


MONTANA REPUBLICAN PARTY LEGAL SETBACK

On January 8, U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris, an Obama appointee, refused to enjoin a Montana law that lets any primary voter help choose Republican Party officers. Ravalli County Republican Central Committee v McCulloch, cv 14-58. The opinion says there is no evidence that non-Republicans are voting in Republican primaries for party office. The party has appealed to the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit had previously ruled in a case from Arizona that if parties don’t want non-members helping choose their officers, they need not permit it. However, the Montana opinion says that because Montana doesn’t have registration by party, whereas Arizona does, the Arizona precedent doesn’t apply.


MORE LAWSUIT NEWS

Kansas: on December 29, the 10th circuit refused to rehear Kobach v U.S. Election Assistance, the case over whether Kansas and Arizona can force the federal government to alter the federal voter registration form to require documents proving citizenship be attached to the form. Kansas and its co-plaintiff Arizona will almost surely now appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Texas: on January 9, a U.S. District Court enjoined a Houston ordinance that makes it illegal for anyone to give a contribution to a candidate for city office earlier than February 1 of an election year. Gordon v City of Houston, s.d., 4:14cv-3146. The city won’t appeal.

Virgin Islands: on January 8, the Supreme Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands ruled that write-in candidates are bona fide candidates, if they campaign, and therefore they can request a recount if they wish. The Virgin Islands permits write-ins and does not require write-in candidates to file a declaration of candidacy. Hansen v O’Reilly, 2014-0085. However, the decision also denied a recount because the candidate didn’t formally request one by the deadline.


2014 VOTE FOR GOVERNOR

– –

Republican

Democrat

Lib’t.

Green

Wk Fam

Constit

oth(1)

oth(2)

indp.

Alab.

750,231

427,787

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

Alas.

128,435

– –

8,985

– –

– –

6,987

– –

– –

134,658

Ariz.

805,062

626,921

57,337

– –

– –

– –

15,432

– –

– –

Ark.

470,429

352,115

16,319

9,729

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

Cal.

2,929,213

4,388,368

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

Colo.

938,195

1,006,433

39,590

27,391

– –

– –

– –

– –

29,965

Conn.

503,998

529,552

– –

– –

24,762

– –

22,297

– –

11,456

Fla.

2,865,343

2,801,198

223,356

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

61,527

Ga.

1,345,237

1,144,794

60,185

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

Hi.

135,775

181,106

6,395

– –

– –

– –

42,934

– –

– –

Ida.

235,405

169,556

17,884

– –

– –

5,219

– –

– –

11,671

Ill.

1,823,627

1,681,343

121,534

684

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

Iowa

666,023

420,778

20,319

– –

– –

– –

10,582

10,239

– –

Kan.

433,196

401,100

35,206

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

Me.

294,533

265,125

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

51,518

Md.

884,400

818,890

25,382

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

Mass.

1,044,573

1,004,408

– –

– –

– –

– –

71,814

– –

35,673

Mich.

1,607,399

1,479,057

35,723

14,934

– –

19,368

– –

– –

– –

Minn.

879,257

989,113

18,082

– –

– –

– –

56,900

31,259

– –

Nebr.

308,751

211,905

19,001

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

Nev.

386,340

130,722

– –

– –

– –

14,536

– –

– –

– –

N.H

230,610

254,666

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

N.M.

293,443

219,362

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

N.Y.

1,234,951

1,811,672

16,967

184,419

126,244

– –

77,762

360,693

– –

Ohio

1,944,848

1,009,359

– –

101,706

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

Okla.

460,298

338,239

9,125

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

17,169

Ore.

648,542

733,230

21,903

29,561

– –

15,929

13,898

– –

– –

Pa.

1,575,511

1,920,355

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

R.I.

117,428

131,899

– –

– –

– –

– –

69,278

– –

4,711

So.C.

696,645

516,166

15,438

– –

– –

– –

5,622

– –

11,496

So.D.

195,477

70,549

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

11,377

Tenn.

951,796

309,237

8,321

18,570

– –

26,580

– –

– –

39,191

Tex.

2,796,547

1,835,596

75,488

18,490

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

Vt.

87,075

89,509

8,428

– –

– –

– –

1,673

– –

5,680

Wis.

1,259,706

1,122,913

18,720

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

7,530

Wyo.

99,700

45,752

4,040

– –

– –

– –

– –

8,490

9,895

TOT.

32,027,999

29,438,775

883,728

405,484

151,006

88,619

388,192

410,681

443,517

Parties in the "Other(1)" column are: Americans Elect (Az.), Independent Party (Ct. and Hi.), New Independent Party (Iowa); United Independent (Mass.); Independence (Minn. & N.Y.); Progressive (Ore.); Moderate (R.I.); United Citizens (S.C.); Liberty Union (Vt.).

Parties in the "Other(2)" column are: Iowa Party (Iowa); Grassroots (Mn.); in New York, Conservative 250,634; Women’s Equality 53,802; Stop Common Core 51,294; Sapient 4,963. In Wyoming, it is the write-in total for Taylor Haynes.

Gub. totals in 2010 were: Republican 33,588,679; Democratic 30,173,343; Constitution 872,494; Libertarian 731,134; Independence 521,964; Green 488,919; Conservative 232,264; Working Families 181,155; Peace & Freedom 92,856; Rent is 2 Damn High 41,131; Moderate 22,146; Liberty Union 429; other parties 163,784.

Gub totals in 2006 were: Democratic 33,077,885; Republican 29,146,681; Green 900,455; Libertarian 447,203; Constitution 193,896; Independence 332,396; Conservative 168,654; Working Families 155,184; Reform 97,816; Peace & Freedom 69,934; other parties 13,406; independents 1,753,556.

Gub. totals in 2002 were: Republican 30,766,464; Democratic 27,727,271; Green 830,620; Libertarian 799,086; Nat. Law 215,571; Constitution 150,030; Reform 11,783; Soc. Workers 3,361, Independence 1,018,550; other parties 374,497; independents 404,167.


2014 VOTE FOR LOWER HOUSE OF STATE LEGISLATURE

– –

Libertaran

Wk Fam

Indpc

Green

Consti

Ind Pty

oth(1)

oth(2)

indep.

Alab.

– –

– –

425

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

5,327

Alas.

1,461

– –

– –

– –

1,874

– –

– –

– –

8,508

Ariz.

14,362

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

2,487

– –

4,093

Ark.

7,833

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

Cal.

30,735

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

30,266

– –

18,017

Colo.

32,347

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

5,071

Conn.

830

17,820

– –

3,916

– –

21,695

269

– –

2,820

Del

1,263

– –

– –

– –

– –

369

– –

– –

– –

Fla.

38,275

– –

– –

1,606

– –

– –

2,262

– –

81,646

Ga.

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

11,875

Hi.

6,518

– –

– –

3,072

– –

– –

– –

– –

103

Ida.

6,199

– –

– –

– –

3,734

– –

– –

– –

2,061

Ill.

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

5,611

Ind.

14,905

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

980

Iowa

8,432

– –

– –

1,865

– –

– –

– –

– –

3,908

Kan.

3,502

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

1,548

Ky.

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

6,656

Me.

– –

– –

– –

4,492

– –

– –

– –

– –

17,213

Md.

2,734

– –

– –

6,801

– –

– –

– –

– –

2,869

Mass.

14,379

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

2,049

– –

19,648

Mich.

7,688

– –

– –

– –

3,455

– –

– –

– –

6,592

Minn.

– –

– –

2,846

2,001

1,924

– –

– –

– –

– –

Mo.

7,877

– –

– –

– –

7,013

– –

– –

– –

– –

Mont.

633

– –

– –

– –

775

– –

– –

– –

2,974

Nev.

4,528

– –

– –

– –

27,986

– –

– –

– –

– –

N.H

969

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

10,697

N.M.

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

5,867

N.Y.

2,155

149,977

129,442

1,786

– –

– –

257,846

3,993

17,111

No.C.

13,259

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

No.D.

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

Ohio

21,180

– –

– –

3,894

– –

– –

– –

– –

14,967

Okla.

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

3,575

Ore.

36,037

– –

– –

1,986

909

– –

– –

– –

– –

Pa.

7,808

– –

– –

1,403

– –

– –

– –

– –

14,794

R.I.

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

275

– –

12,914

So.C.

4,381

– –

1,628

1,225

– –

– –

1,207

– –

– –

So.D.

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

8,070

Tenn.

– –

– –

– –

1,206

2,638

– –

– –

– –

13,634

Tex.

154,200

– –

– –

13,536

– –

– –

– –

– –

3,166

Utah

3,017

– –

– –

– –

3,127

– –

3,512

– –

– –

Vt.

1,105

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

8,321

– –

13,818

Wa.

82,057

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

8,606

– –

64,611

W.V.

2,600

– –

– –

3,720

347

– –

– –

– –

7,800

Wis.

9,301

– –

– –

– –

– –

– –

3,943

– –

9,943

Wyo.

– –

– –

– –

– –

1,179

– –

– –

– –

1,631

TOT.

542,570

167,797

134,341

52,509

54,961

22,064

321,043

3,993

410,118

Parties in the "Oth(1)" column are: Americans Elect (Az.), American Independent (Ca.), Peace & Progress (Ct.), America’s Independent Party (Fl.), Pirate (Mass. & Wis.), Conservative (N.Y.), Moderate (R.I.), American (S.C.), Independent American (Utah); Progressive (Vt.); Socialist Alternative (Wash.)

Parties in the "Oth(2)" column are: Stop Common Core 2,293; Women’s Equality 1,700.

In the charts above, "Indpc" = Independence Party; "Wk Fam" = Working Families; "Ind Party" = Independent Party. . "Consti" = Constitution. States not named had no partisan state house elections in 2014.

In 2010, when these same seats were up, independent candidates received 601,732 votes; Libertarians received 530,648; Greens received 172,002; Working Families received 160,250; Constitution received 97,348.


VIRGINIA ELECTS AN INDEPENDENT TO LEGISLATURE

On January 13, Virginia held a special election to fill the vacant House seat in district 74. Three candidates were on the ballot. The independent candidate, Joseph Morrissey, won the race with 42.3%, defeating his Democratic and Republican opponents. Ironically, the election was on the same day that a federal court upheld the law putting independent candidates last on the ballot. The court said it was taking judicial notice that the vast majority of voters vote for the major party nominees.


MARYLAND GREENS ARE ON BALLOT

On January 17, the Maryland State Board of Elections said the Green Party petition for party status has enough valid signatures, to the party is on in 2016 and 2018. The party is now on the ballot for President in 21 states, which contain 55.4% of the popular vote cast for president in 2012.


N.Y. WORKING FAMILIES PARTY HAS ITS BEST VOTE SHOWING EVER, FOR OFFICE OTHER THAN GOVERNOR

At the November 2014 election, the Working Families Party of New York polled the highest percentage for U.S. House and each house of the legislature in its history. In 2014, for U.S. House, 6.12% of the voters who were able to vote "Working Families" did so; for State Senate, 5.96% did so; for Assembly, 7.24% did so.

For the first time in a regularly-scheduled election, the WFP percentage of the vote topped 25% in a state legislative race. That was in the 44th Assembly district in Brooklyn, where the party got 25.12%.

For Governor in 2014, though, the WFP percentage was only 3.31%. Its best gubernatorial showing had been in 2006, when it got 3.50%; and 2010, which was 3.33%. But the WFP got its best percentages ever for the other statewide state offices, Comptroller (4.72%) and Attorney General (4.55%).


LIBERTARIANS ARE ONLY PARTY THAT FILED INTENT TO QUALIFY IN MAINE

Maine has a strange new law, passed in 2013, that says the way for a group to qualify as a political party is to persuade 5,000 voters to register into that party. The strange part of the law says that a group that wants to attempt that must tell the state during December of an even-numbered year. In December 2014, the Libertarian Party was the only party that filed the notice. The Green Party is already on the ballot.


CONSTITUTION PARTY GAINS AN ALABAMA OFFICE-HOLDER

On January 14, a city councilmember in Riverside, Alabama, announced that he has left the Republican Party and joined the Constitution Party. He is William Cantley. Riverside has a population of 2,000 and is in St. Clair County.


STOP COMMON CORE PARTY SAYS IT WILL CHANGE ITS NAME TO "REFORM"

Last year, New York Republican leaders created a new party called the "Stop Common Core Party", which nominated Rob Astorino, the Republican gubernatorial nominee, as its nominee as well. Because it polled over 50,000 votes last year, it is a ballot-quaified party. On January 13 its leaders said it will rename itself the "Reform Party." The original Reform Party founded in 1995 by Ross Perot still has an organization in New York state, and it says it will attempt to block the name change.

ERRATA: the December 1, 2014 B.A.N. listed the independent state legislators elected on November 4, 2014, but failed to mention David Luneau, who was elected in New Hampshire’s state house district, Merrimack County #10. Thus there were 23 independent and minor party wins for state legislature in November 2014, not 22.


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Comments

February 2015 Ballot Access News Print Edition — 2 Comments

  1. Thank you. I hadn’t known that the Illinois Green Party legislative nominees filed for write-in status. IF I had known, I would have included their votes in the Green state house column. I can’t fix the omission now, but I appreciate learning this.

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