Alaska Supreme Court Explains Why it Kept Repubican Moderate Party Off 2004 Ballot

On April 15, the Alaska Supreme Court released an explanation of why it removed the Republican Moderate Party’s candidate for U.S. Senate last year. State of Alaska v Metcalfe, S-11618.

The court ruled that Alaska’s old definition of “party” is constitutional. The old definition (which was changed in 2004, and which is in the process of changing again) was a group that had polled 3% for Governor, or which had registration equal to 3% of the last gubernatorial vote. The Republican Moderate Party did not fulfil either of these hurdles. However, in September 2004, a lower court had put that party on the ballot. The lower court had ruled that since independent candidates only need a petition of 1%, the state could not require parties to meet a higher standard. But the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that since parties have more impact on the ballot than a single independent candidate does, the state is justified in having a higher threshold for a qualified party, than for a single independent candidate.

West Virginia Bill Passes

On April 9, HB 3002 passed the legislature. Among other election law changes, it deletes provisions held unconstitutional in 2003 that required circulators to tell people that if they sign a petition for a minor party or independent candidate, they can’t vote in that year’s primary.

Campaign Finance Institute Recommends Removing Caps on Contributions for Presidential Ballot Access

On April 15, the Campaign Finance Institute released a set of recommendations for altering federal campaign finance. Included is a recommendation that individual campaign contributions to minor party and independent presidential candidates, for the purpose of ballot access, should not be limited. Under current law, individual contributions to federal candidates are limited to $2,150.

California, Alaska Release New Registration Data

On April 7, California’s Secretary of State released registration totals for each party as of Feb. 10, 2005. The chart below compares each party’s share of the total, versus each party’s share of the registration at the last tally (October 2004).

Party

Oct. 2004 share of Registration

Feb. 2005 share of Registration

Democratic

43.00%

43.04%

Republican

34.70%

34.49%

Am. Indp. (Constitution)

1.97%

1.99%

Green
.97%
.95%

Libertarian

.54%

.54%

Peace & Freedom

.41%

.40%

Natural Law

.17%

.17%

Indp. & other

18.22%

18.43%

Alaska releases new registration data each month. Between March 2005 and April 2005, no party’s state total changed by as much as 150, except the Libertarians gained 412, due to their ongoing voter registration drive. They now have 8,646. If HB 94 passes, any party that didn’t poll as much as 3% of the vote for any statewide race will need 9,648 registrants.