Thursday, June 28, 2018

Reform Party Primary for Two U.S. House Seats Will Cost $1,000,000 in Election Administration Costs

Ballot Access News


According to this story in City and State New York, an on-line and print publication covering government in New York city, the Board of Elections is being required to spend $1,000,000 just because the ballot-qualified Reform Party has two primary contests on June 26. NOTE: the article originally said $25,000,000, but City and State amended the story to say $1,000,000. Thanks to Jim Riley for pointing this out.
New York election administration is already terribly wasteful, because the primary for state and local office is in September, but the primary for U.S. Senate and House is separate, and is on June 26. The major parties don’t have any primaries for the U.S. Senate election, nor in many U.S. House districts, so many parts of New York state won’t have an actual primary on June 26. But the Reform Party set up primaries for itself in two districts. No one is on the ballot for either primary, but because voters in those two districts submitted an “opportunity to ballot” petition, the election administrators must hold primaries and tally any write-in votes. There is no write-in filing procedure, so all write-ins must be tallied. Furthermore, the Reform Party is exercising its rights to invite all independent voters to vote in its primaries, so enough ballots must be printed to accomodate thousands of voters, even though probably only a tiny number of the independent voters in those districts will be interested in voting in the Reform Party no-candidate primaries.
The Reform Party says its motivation is to force the state legislature to pass some sensible election law changes, including giving small qualified parties the option to nominate by convention instead of primary. Thanks to Michael Drucker for the link.

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