On April 25, the California Assembly Elections Committee passed AB 2948 (the anti-electoral college bill), and AB 2949 (to hold an all-mail presidential primary on the first Tuesday of January, or whenever the New Hampshire primary is). Democrats have a majority on the committee. Republican members opposed AB 2948, but in part supported AB 2949.
On June 9, the 7th circuit will hear Lee v Keith, the case challenging Illinois requirements for independent candidates for legislature. Illinois requires petitions signed by 10% of the last vote cast, to be submitted in December of the year before the election. The lower court had upheld these requirements.
Although the Labor Party was formed in 1990, it had never run any candidates in a partisan race, nor tried to qualify for the ballot. However, it has been attempting to qualify in South Carolina this year. It wanted to run Leonard Riley of the International Longshoremen Union for the state legislature in the 119th House district, against an incumbent who is perceived as an enemy of labor.
However, that incumbent is not running for re-election, so Riley lost interest in running. The Labor Party has over 10,000 signatures on its petition (10,000 valid are required) and is still not sure if it will turn them in by this year’s May 7 deadline, to participate in the 2006 election. If it turns them in later than May 7, and more than 10,000 are valid, it will be ballot-qualified for 2008, but not 2006.
The Constitution Party national committee met in Tampa, Florida, April 20-21. Attempts by some to expel the Nevada state affiliate were defeated.
On April 17, the Colorado Senate passed SB223, which is identical to bills pending in 4 other states. It would authorize a compact among like-minded states, to change the electoral college system. Cooperating states would promise to appoint electors who would vote for the presidential candidate with the highest popular vote, nationwide. If enough states joined the compact, it would be impossible for anyone ever again to win the presidency who did not poll the most popular votes.
On April 29, the New York Libertarian Party holds its statewide nominating convention in Albany. William Weld, who is seeking the Republican nomination, will also attend the Libertarian convention and ask for its nomination as well. William Weld was once Governor of Massachusetts. Although he is a strong contender for the New York Republican nomination, he has a strong opponent for that Republican nomination. It is likely that the race for the Republican nomination won’t be settled until September. If the Libertarians nominate Weld in April, they face the risk that he would withdraw in September if he doesn’t get the Republican nomination as well.