Three Pennsylvania Parties Ask U.S. District Court to Put Them on 2016 Ballot with no Petition

On April 26, the Constitution, Green, and Libertarian Parties asked a U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania to put them on the November 2016 ballot, on the basis that the old ballot access law was declared unconstitutional last year, and the legislature has not passed a new one. Constitution Party of Pennsylvania v Aichele, e.d., 12-cv-2726.

The parties are requesting a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction. Such requests are usually handled very quickly.

The same parties, as well as the Socialist Party, obtained similar relief in Ohio in 2008. The old Ohio law had been declared unconstitutional in September 2006 and the legislature had not passed a new law as of 2008, so a U.S. District Court put the four parties on the November ballot. They not only remained on in 2010, but 2012 and 2014 as well.


Three Pennsylvania Parties Ask U.S. District Court to Put Them on 2016 Ballot with no Petition — 11 Comments

  1. I suspect this will be the only way the CP will appear on the PA ballot. The LP and the GP can probably petition their way on.

  2. There needs to be equal access to the ballot for all parties. There should not be separate sets of rules.

  3. Tom- I asked a similar question on another thread and the answer seems to be only if the other party had been challenged on its petitions. Since these were the only parties in that position apparently no others can expect relief.

  4. When a state ballot access law for new parties is unconstitutional, and the legislature hasn’t replaced it, then courts are supposed to decide on their own which parties have a modicum of support. They look at various signs, including a party’s past showings in elections, how many registered voters it has in that state (if it is a state that has registration by party), media coverage. It is a vague process and if legislatures did their jobs, courts wouldn’t need to do that.

  5. Well then… given the bizarre liquor laws we have in PA the Prohibition Party MUST have a modicum of support!

  6. We have in Pennsylvania about 50,000 registered Libertarians here. we need just under 22,000 valid petition signatures to get our statewide LPPA Candidates on the ballot, And for the offices like State Rep, we need to collect 300 valid signatures out of that district as I’m Running for State Rep. 141. For The U.S. House of Reps I think it is 2,000 valid signatures in each congressional district that the candidate is running in. Richard knows these requirements better then I do on the number of each signatures that are needed for on the petitions for State & local public offices.

  7. @Raymond Agnew: Sorry; I don’t understand your statement, “For the U.S. House of Reps I think it is 2,000 valid signatures in each congressional district….”

    A U.S. Congressional Representative is elected by *one* Congressional District. For example, I live in the 10th C.D. California. My current CongressRep (Jim Hightower likes to call them CongressCritters) is Mark DeSaulnier. He could run only in the 10th because he’s representing the 10th.

    How could a CongressRep run in multiple districts? thx for explaining to me 🙂

  8. Cynthia, I didn’t say one candidate could run for every congressional district, I said that each candidate that in running out of there own Congressional district has to collect like 2,000 valid ballot petition sigs. out of their own districts 1 through 18 within their own Con. districts in Penna. We have 18 congressional districts in Penna. each candidate runs out of their own district & has to collect 2,000 valid signatures out of their own district where they live.

  9. Actually, some states used to elect their US House members at-large. That, or multi-member districts for big-population states, might give supporters of alternative parties a better chance to be represented.

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