Ballot Access News is edited and published by Richard Winger, the nation's leading expert on ballot access legal issues.


Florida Initiative for a Top-Two System Begins to Circulate

An initiative to create a top-two system for Florida has started to circulate. Progressive Campaigns is the paid petitioning company that is doing the drive. Here is a newspaper story about the initiative.

Florida initiatives need 60% of the vote in order to take effect.


April 20 Hearing Set on Whether Republican National Committee May Intervene in New Hampshire Libertarian Ballot Access Case

U.S. District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro will hold a hearing on April 20, Monday, at 10 a.m., over whether the Republican National Committee should be allowed to intervene in Libertarian Party of New Hampshire v Gardner. The Libertarian Party argues that the intervention came too late, and if it is allowed, the outcome in the case will be delayed. The lawsuit was filed on July 22, 2014.

The issue is the 2014 law that makes it illegal for a group to petition for party status during an odd year. Obviously, the longer it takes to decide the case, the less time there will be to take advantage of the outcome for 2016, assuming the case wins. The Libertarian Party also argues that the Secretary of State and his attorneys are capable of defending the law in court, and the Republican National Committee has nothing valuable to add to the case. Thanks to Darryl Perry for this news.


Marijuana Party is Petitioning for Party Status in Nebraska

The Marijuana Party, which seems to be a party organized only in Nebraska, is petitioning to get on the 2016 ballot. The party needs 5,395 valid signatures by August 1, 2016. If it completes the petition by February 1, 2016, it can have its own primary.


Arkansas Bill to Move Presidential Primary from May to March Dies

Arkansas State Senator Gary Stubblefield has withdrawn his SB 389, which would have created a presidential primary on the first Tuesday in March that is separate from the May primary for other office. The bill had passed the State Senate on March 27 by a vote of 20-5. But the chair of the House committee that hears election law bills doesn’t support the bill, and so the author withdrew it. Thanks to Josh Putnam for this news.


Britain Hold Another Inclusive Debate

On April 16, five British political party leaders debated each other. Last week seven had appeared. See this story about the April 16 debate.


Illinois Libertarian Decision Promised in Two Weeks

On April 16, a U.S. District Court Judge in Chicago held a status conference in Libertarian Party of Illinois v Illinois State Board of Elections. The judge said the decision will be out in two weeks. The issue is the Illinois law that says a newly-qualifying party must run a full slate of candidates. Old parties are not subject to the same requirement.