Ohio Democratic Ballot Access Woes

Charlie Wilson, the leading Democratic contender for U.S. House, Ohio 6th district, fell short by four signatures in his attempt to get on the Democratic primary ballot. The 6th district is currently represented by another Democrat, Ted Strickland, who is leaving Congress to run for Governor. Ohio requires 50 signatures for candidates for district office to get on a primary ballot. Wilson submitted 96, but almost half of them were from outside the district. Wilson had already raised $400,000 for the race. He can still be a write-in candidate in the May 2 primary, or he can gather 2,200 signatures to be an independent candidate. Two lesser-known Democrats will be on the primary ballot in that race. Thanks to Rick Hasen for this news.

No Democrat in Indiana US Senate Race

The Indiana U.S. Senate race this year will have only a Republican and a Libertarian on the ballot, since no Democrat filed for the May 2006 primary. Although the Green Party is circulating a statewide petition, that petition must list candidates, and the Greens didn’t put anyone on that petition for U.S. Senate.

Pro-minor party Democrats to run for Secretary of State in Alabama, Massachusetts

The Democratic primaries this year for Secretary of State in both Alabama and Massachusetts both may be interesting to friends of minor political parties. In both primaries, pro-minor individuals will try to unseat veteran Secretaries of State. In Alabama, Ed Packard, a long-time employee of the Secretary of State’s office, will oppose incumbent Nancy Worley. In Massachusetts, attorney John Bonifaz of the National Voting Rights Institute will oppose incumbent William Galvin.

Packard has always been helpful to minor party and independent candidates in Alabama, to the extent he was able to help. Worley has not been openly hostile to minor parties or independent candidates, but she hasn’t been interested in helping them, either. Alabama is one of the five worst states for ballot access.

Bonifaz, as Secretary of State in Massachusetts, would work very hard to implement “clean elections” in that state. As an attorney, he has represented the Natural Law, Reform, Constitution and Reform Parties in fighting the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Jay Fisher Drops Out of US House Race in Georgia

Jay Fisher, who had hoped to be the first US House candidate on the ballot in Georgia from a party other than Democratic or Republican since 1942, has dropped out. He had hoped to appear as the Libertarian nominee in the 6th district. The first blow to his campaign was when he learned that the signature requirement is not 15,000, but 19,377. Since past experience with U.S. House petitioning in Georgia shows that the invalidity rate of signatures is typically 50% (since so many registered voters who sign don’t live in the correct district), this would have meant collecting 40,000 signatures before mid-July. Another barrier was that his employer informed him that, even though there is no formal policy against state employees running for federal office, an informal policy frowns on it.