On May 30, U.S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson, a Carter appointee, upheld Alabama’s June 6 petition deadline for minor parties and non-presidential independents. Swanson v Worley, 2:02cv644-T.
The decision is only 7 pages long, and doesn’t even mention the two U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the issue of petition deadlines, Mandel v Bradley, and Anderson v Celebrezze. Mandel v Bradley, issued in 1977 by the U.S. Supreme Court, said that early petition deadlines are unconstitutional if the record shows that very few minor parties or independents ever qualify. Thompson ignored the record, which showed that few such candidates have qualified in Alabama ever since the deadline was moved from mid-July to early June, in 2002.
Plaintiffs can now appeal this case, which was filed in 2002, to the 11th circuit.
May 30 is the Texas deadline for minor party petitions this year. The Texas Green Party worked very hard, but only collected 26,584 signatures, so they won’t be on the Texas ballot this year. 45,253 are required this year.
On May 30, the California Assembly passed AB 2948, by a vote of 42-25. AB 2948 is the bill being introduced around the U.S., in various state legislatures, that sets up an interstate compact. The compact would only go into effect after states containing a majority of electoral votes had joined. After that, states in the compact would appoint presidential electors pledged to the winner of the national popular vote. The authority for a state to do that is in Article II, sec. 1, which says, “Each state shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors”.
Ironically, in the same year in which Ohio and Pennsylvania Democrats took advantage of the ability to win primaries by write-in votes, Tennessee Democrats were making it more difficult for anyone to be nominated by write-in votes at primaries. On May 27 (Saturday), the last day of the Tennessee 2006 legislative session, a bill pushed by Democrats just barely passed. It changes the formula for the number of write-ins needed to win a primary, from 5% of the number of voters who turn out in that primary, to 5% of the number of registered voters. Thanks to Michael Morrison for this news.
Pennsylvania held primaries for the Democratic and Republican Parties on May 16. In both the 9th U.S. House district, and the 15th U.S. House district, no Democrat had appeared on the primary ballot. However, in both districts, a Democrat received enough write-in votes to be nominated. Pennsylvania law requires 1,000 signatures for a write-in candidate in a primary to be nominated. The write-in winners are Tony Barr in the 9th district, and Charles Dertinger in the 15th district. Thanks to Tony Roza for this news.
As reported earlier, on May 2, Ohio Democrats also used write-in votes to nominate a candidate for US House this year, in the 6th district.
On May 26, the Minneapolis city council voted 11-1 to ask voters whether to amend the city charter to use Instant Runoff-Voting. The question will be on the November 2006 ballot.