This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Nader v Connor, 04-918. The issues were whether it is constitutional for Texas to require more signatures for an independent presidential candidate than are needed for a new party or a statewide non-presidential independent; and whether it is constitutional for the state to require an independent presidential candidate to submit signatures two weeks before new party petitions are due. The lower courts had upheld these discriminatory ballot access laws.
On March 18, the North Dakota Senate Government & Veterans Affairs Committee amended HB 1433, to provide for a way for a party to remain on the ballot in a mid-term year. The bill, as amended, lets a party remain on the ballot if it polls 5% for Secretary of State or Attorney General. Under current law, it doesn’t matter how many votes a party gets in a mid-term year; if it’s a new party, it gets removed from the ballot no matter how well it does. That’s because under the old law, a party must poll 5% for Governor or President to remain on the ballot, and those offices aren’t up in mid-term years.
In the past, North Dakota elected all its statewide state offices in presidential years, but starting in 2006, it elects half of them in midterm years, including Secretary of State and Attorney General.
On March 15, the Working Families Party nominee for Mayor of Hempstead, New York was elected, defeating the 4-term incumbent Republican Mayor.
Wayne Hall, the winning candidate, is a registered Democrat, but the Democratic Party did not have any nominee in the race. Hall was on the ballot as the Working Families Party nominee.
On March 16, the Governor of Kentucky signed HB 141 into law. It lets minor party and independent presidential candidates start circulating a petition as early as they wish. Also it removes the requirement that minor party and independent presidential and congressional candidates file a declaration of candidacy in April of an election year. Instead they can enter the race as late as August of an election year, when their petitions are due.
On March 3, HB 119 passed the Hawaii House unanimously. Current law says a petition signer must include his or her Social Security number, or birthday. The bill changes the Social Security number requirement so that only the last 4 digits of the SS number need be shown.
On March 15, a write-in candidate for Mayor of Baxter Estates, New York was elected. The write-in candidate, John Maher, is a member of the Independence Party.
Maher defeated the incumbent Mayor. The incumbent Mayor, James Neville, was the only candidate whose named was printed on the ballot. The Maher write-in candidacy was a “stealth” candidacy. The incumbent Mayor did not realize that a write-in campaign was being run against him. New York does not have a requirement that write-in candidates must file a declaration of write-in candidacy before the election (except that New York does have such a requirement for write-in presidential candidates).