Monday, August 31, 2020

Tennessee Finishes Validating Presidential Petitions

Ballot Access News

The Tennessee Secretary of State finished validating independent presidential petitions on August 31. Six were valid: Rocky De La Fuente, Howie Hawkins, Jo Jorgensen, Alyson Kennedy, Gloria La Riva, and Kanye West.

On August 31 two petitions that had been under review were rejected: those of Don Blankenship and Brock Pierce. Here is the link to the Secretary of State’s list of presidential candidates.

Brock Pierce Wyoming Petition is Valid

Ballot Access News

The only independent presidential candidate who submitted in Wyoming this year is Brock Pierce. The Secretary of State has determined that is has enough valid signatures.

The qualified parties in Wyoming are Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, and Constitution.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Kanye West Petition for Virginia is Valid

Ballot Access News

On August 28, the Virginia Board of Elections said that Kanye West’s independent presidential petition is valid. Although last month a U.S. District Court had lowered the requirement due to the health crisis from 5,000 signatures to 2,500 signatures, that order only included the four plaintiff minor parties. Kanye West could have filed a separate lawsuit to benefit from the 2,500 figure, but he did not. Instead he collected 5,000 valid signatures. Thanks to Mark Seidenberg for this news.

Kanye West Files Ballot Access Lawsuit in Wisconsin

Ballot Access News

On August 28, Kanye West filed a ballot access case in state court in Wisconsin. See this story. Thanks to several people for the link.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Washington State Court Rules that When Voters Sign More Than One Presidential Petition, None of the Signatures Count

Ballot Access News

On August 27, a Washington state trial court ruled that if an individual signs more than one presidential petition, none of the signatures count. As a result, the Constitution, Alliance, and American Solidarity Parties are off the ballot for president. The case was Wyman v Alliance Party, Thurston County Superior Court.

Washington Secretary of State Announces Which Presidential Candidates Have Enough Valid Signatures

Ballot Access News

On August 25, the Washington Secretary of State issued a press release, saying that four petitions for presidential ballot status are valid: those of the Libertarian, Green, Socialism & Liberation, and Socialist Workers Party.

As reported previously, there is no determination yet about the petitions for the Constitution, American Solidarity, and Alliance Parties, because the Secretary of State is waiting for a state court to tell her if she can count signatures of voters who signed more than one presidential petition.

Ballot Access Relief in Connecticut, Georgia and New York Didn’t Help Any Statewide Candidates

Ballot Access News

In Connecticut, Georgia, and New York, ballot access relief due to the health crisis was granted, either by Governors or by courts. But the relief wasn’t enough in any of those three states to help any petitions for statewide office, for either minor parties or independents.

In Connecticut, the Governor had cut the number from 7,500 to 5,250, but no one submitted a statewide petition. The only statewide office in Connecticut this year is President. The only presidential candidates who will be on the ballot are from the four parties that were already ballot-qualified for that office: Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Green.

In Georgia, the state legislature extended the petition deadline a month, and a U.S. District Court cut the presidential petition from 7,500 to 5,250, but neither improvement made any difference in statewide races. No statewide or U.S. House petition succeeded. The only presidential candidates who will be on are the nominees of the ballot-qualified Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian Parties.

In New York, the Governor had cut the number from 30,000 to 15,000, but no statewide petition succeeded. There is no other statewide race in New York this year. The qualified parties are Democratic, Republican, Conservative, Green, Working Families, Libertarian, Independence, and SAM.

No Statewide Independent Petitions or New Party Registration Drives Succeeded in Delaware This Year

Ballot Access News

The Delaware Election Commission has posted a candidate list, although it does not include Democrats or Republicans for office other than president, because their primaries haven’t been held yet. For president, only the nominees of the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and Green Parties will be on the ballot, unless the nominee of the American Delta Party is able to prevail. The Independent Party is also ballot-qualified but it chose not to run anyone for president, although it is active this year and has nominees for many other offices.

No statewide independent petition has succeeded in Delaware since 1992, when Ross Perot qualified. The law requires 7,118 signatures, due July 15.

No new parties qualified in Delaware this year.

The American Delta Party is ballot-qualified and wants to run Rocky De La Fuente for president, but the party was late with some of its presidential elector paperwork. The Delaware law is discriminatory and requires qualified minor parties (which nominate by convention) to certify their nominees before the Democratic and Republican Parties are required to do so. The Delaware Elections Commission is considering whether to rule that the American Delta Party should be allowed to put its nominee on the ballot.

No Statewide Minor Party or Independent Presidential Petitions Succeeded in Nevada This Year

Ballot Access News

Nevada requires 9,608 signatures for a new party, or an independent presidential candidate. No candidate or group submitted a petition in Nevada that would have added a presidential candidate to the ballot.

The qualified parties in Nevada are Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Constitution. The Green Party had been planning to sue, because Nevada only requires 250 signatures for a statewide independent candidate for office other than president. The U.S. Supreme Court decision Anderson v Celebrezze says states should be more lenient for president than for other office. The proposed Nevada lawsuit would have been similar to the winning 2020 lawsuit against the District of Columbia ballot access law, which had a similar flaw (D.C.. required 250 signatures for all district-wide partisan office except president, but approximately 5,000 for president). But the Green Party was never able to find an in-state attorney in Nevada. It is possible the case will still be filed, for declaratory judgment, but it is too late to expect any court to grant injunctive relief.

Republican National Congressional Committee Sues to Remove Most Texas Libertarian Congressional Candidates from Ballot

Ballot Access News

On August 21, the National Republican Congressional Committee filed a lawsuit in Texas Court of Appeals to remove the Libertarian congressional candidates from the ballot if they hadn’t paid a filing fee. At the same time, the Texas House Republican Caucus PAC filed a parallel lawsuit to remove the Libertarian candidates for state office who had not paid a filing fee.

Whether the filing fee for convention parties is constitutional is still pending in another lawsuit in Texas state court.

On August 25, the Texas Court of Appeals in Austin rejected the Republican lawsuits, which are numbers 03-20-421-cv and 03-20-422-cv. On the evening of August 26, the Republicans appealed to the State Supreme Court.

No Petition Since the Health Crisis Began, for Any Independent Candidate or Minor Party, That Required More than 5,000 Signatures, Succeeded

Ballot Access News

So far, no independent candidate or minor political party has managed to overcome any petition requirement greater than 5,000 signatures, during the period starting in March 2020. This statement might cease to be true if Kanye West is able to collect 37,769 valid signatures in Arizona, which he is attempting to do.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Illinois Will Have Four Minor Party or Independent Candidates on Ballot for U.S. House

Ballot Access News

This year, there will be one independent, two Libertarians, and one Green on the Illinois ballot for U.S. House. Illinois has 18 districts. This paltry number of candidates shows that the normal Illinois requirements for U.S. House are far too severe. This year, the requirement was only 10% of the normal statutory requirement of 5% of the last vote cast. Even reducing the requirements to only 10% of normal still resulted in just four candidates.

Furthermore, the Green was not required to petition, because under the court order that limited petitions to 10%, minor parties that had been on the ballot in either of the two previous election in the same U.S. House district did not need any petition. The Greens have had qualified party status in the Fifth District in every election starting with 2008.

The four candidates are independent Tracy Jennings in the Seventh District, Libertarians Bill Redpath (6th district) and Preston Gabriel Nelson (8th district), and Green Thomas J. Wilda in the Fifth District. Redpath was challenged but he survived the challenge. Jennings and Nelson were not challenged.

New Hampshire Libertarian Statewide Petitions Appear to Have Enough Signatures

Ballot Access News

The New Hampshire Libertarian statewide petitions have now been checked by various town clerks, and it appears they have enough valid signatures. Because of the July 28 court victory, the requirement this year is 1,950 instead of 3,000.

No other presidential candidate petitioned in New Hampshire this year. The only qualified parties are the Republican and Democratic Parties.

The New Hampshire news means that it is virtually certain the Jo Jorgensen will be on the ballot in all 51 jurisdictions. Her Rhode Island petition is still proceeding, but the deadline is not until September 4. The Rhode Island requirement is 1,000. The party has about 700 gross signatures.

No Independent Presidential Petitions Submitted in Hawaii

Ballot Access News

This year, independent presidential candidates in Hawaii need 4,347 signatures. The petition was due August 5. No one submitted such a petition.

The qualified parties in Hawaii are Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Constitution, Aloha Aina, and American Shopping. Parties have until September 4 to certify a presidential nominee.

Various News Stories Say Kanye West is Spending up to $500,000 on his Arizona Petition

Ballot Access News

Various news stories say Kanye West is spending up to $500,000 of his own money to complete the Arizona independent presidential petition. It requires 37,769 signatures by September 4. He reportedly has 100 paid circulators and they are each receiving $8 per signature.

No Arizona independent presidential petition has succeeded since 2008, when Ralph Nader did it. Assuming West submits a very large number of signatures, Arizona election officials will be hard-pressed to check the petition in time for ballot-printing deadlines.

The only ballot-qualified parties in Arizona are Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian.

Kanye West Files Ballot Access Lawsuit in Ohio

Ballot Access News 

On August 26, Kanye West filed a lawsuit in Ohio state court to force the Secretary of State to validate his petition. He had submitted 15,000 signatures, and the requirement is only 5,000. The Secretary of State had rejected the petition because the Secretary said the copy of the candidacy declaration on each petition is not identical to the original declaration of candidacy. See this story. Thanks to Mark Seidenberg for the link.

No Statewide Petitions in Massachusetts Succeeded This Year

Ballot Access News

Massachusetts requires 10,000 signatures for independent candidates, and the nominees of unqualified parties, for president and U.S. Senate. This year no one even tried any statewide petition, neither for president nor U.S. Senate.

The qualified parties are Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Green.

No Independent Presidential Petitions Submitted to Nebraska

Ballot Access News

Nebraska requires 2,500 signatures for independent presidential candidates, due August 3. No one submitted such a petition this year.

Nebraska has three ballot-qualified parties: Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian.

South Carolina Constitution Party Will Not Have a Presidential Candidate

Ballot Access News

On August 25, the South Carolina Constitution Party informed the State Elections Commission that it will not have a presidential candidate this year. It is ballot-qualified. If it were to change its mind, it has until September 8.

Four Presidential Independent Petitions Succeed in Utah

Ballot Access News

Four independent presidential candidates petitioned successfully in Utah. They are Gloria La Riva, Brock Pierce, Kanye West, and Joe McHugh. Each needed 1,000 signatures.

Utah has seven qualified parties: Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, Constitution, Green, United Utah, and Independent American.

Only One Presidential Petition was Submitted to West Virginia, and It Didn’t Have Enough Valid Signatures

Ballot Access News

Only one presidential candidate submitted a petition in West Virginia this year, Kanye West. The petition was ruled insufficient. West submitted approximately 15,000 signatures but the state says only 6,383 were valid. There were 1,135 signatures that were not counted because election officials could not read the handwriting. The requirement for president this year is 7,144.

The qualified parties in West Virginia are Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, and Green.

Washington Secretary of State Asks State Court for Guidance on Validating Presidential Petitions

Ballot Access News

The Washington Secretary of State has been validating presidential petitions, which require 1,000 signatures. Whether the Constitution Party, the Alliance Party, and the American Solidarity Party have enough valid signatures depends on whether voters may sign for more than one presidential candidate. The three groups have enough valid signatures if it is legal for voters to sign more than one such petition.

The case is Wyman v Alliance Party, Thurston County Superior Court, 20-2-1929-34.

No Statewide Petitions in Kansas Succeeded This Year

Ballot Access News

No statewide independent petitions in Kansas succeeded this year. The requirement is 5,000 signatures. The only petition that was submitted was for Howie Hawkins, but it did not have enough signatures.

The qualified parties in Kansas are the Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian Parties.

Only Three Independent Presidential Petitions Submitted in Idaho

Ballot Access News

This year, only three independent presidential petitions were submitted in Idaho: those for Rocky De La Fuente, Kanye West, and Brock Pierce. They have not been verified yet. The requirement is 1,000 signatures.

The qualified parties in Idaho are: Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, Constitution.

Only Two Petitions Submitted for President in Virginia

Ballot Access News

Only two petitions for presidential candidates were submitted in Virginia this year. Jo Jorgensen’s petition has been verified by the State Board of Elections. The other petition, for Kanye West, is still being checked for accuracy.

Virginia has no qualified parties except for the Democratic and Republican Parties.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Minnesota Will Have Eight Presidential Candidates on Ballot

Ballot Access News

Five presidential candidates have had their Minnesota petitions validated by the Secretary of State: the nominees of the Libertarian, Socialist Workers, and Socialism & Liberation Parties; and two independent candidates, Kanye West and Brock Pierce.

In addition, the three qualified parties with presidential nominees are the Democratic-Farmer-Labor, Republican, and Legal Marijuana Parties. The Legal Marijuana Party nominee is Howie Hawkins, who in other states is the Green Party nominee.

Progressive Party of Oregon Nominates Dario Hunter for President

Ballot Access News

On August 25, the Oregon Progressive Party nominated Dario Hunter for president. The Oregon Progressive Party is ballot-qualified and is not associated with any party in any other state. Hunter is an independent candidate who had earlier sought the Green Party nomination.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan Denies Montana Ballot Access Case, Without Submitting it to Other Justices

Ballot Access News

On August 25, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan denied any relief in the Montana Secretary of State’s request to reinstate the Green Party. Justice Kagan did not refer it to any other justice, and she did not ask for a response from the other side. Stapleton v Montana Democratic Party, 20A33.

The same issue is still pending in the Ninth Circuit, in a different case filed not by the Secretary of State, but by some of the Green Party nominees. That case is Royal Davis v Stapleton, 20-35734.

No Statewide Minor Party or Independent Petitions Succeed in Missouri This Year

Ballot Access News

No statewide minor party or independent statewide petitions succeeded in Missouri this year. The only attempt was by Kanye West, but his petition did not have enough valid signatures.

Missouri’s qualified parties are Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, Green, and Constitution.

New York Independence Party Nominates Brock Pierce for President

Ballot Access News

On August 20, the New York Independence Party nominated Brock Pierce for president. It is ballot-qualified.

Brock Pierce Is Only Independent Presidential Candidate to Submit a Wyoming Petition

Ballot Access News

August 25 was the Wyoming deadline for independent candidate petitions. The only presidential independent petition submitted was for Brock Pierce.

Wyoming has four ballot-qualified parties: Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, and Constitution.

Although Kanye West petitioned, he apparently did not get enough signatures, because he did not submit any.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Only One Presidential Candidate Submitted a Petition in Alabama

Ballot Access News

Jo Jorgensen is the only presidential candidate who submitted an Alabama petition this year. The deadline was August 20. The petition, which required 5,000 signatures, has already been verified.

Alabama voters will see three presidential candidates on their ballot, the smallest number in that state since 1964. In 1964, the only choices were Barry Goldwater and unpledged segregationist Alabama Democratic electors.

Virginia Has Fewer Minor Party and Independent Candidates for Congress This Year Than in Any Year Since 1938

Ballot Access News

In the November 2020 election, Virginia will have only one independent candidate for Congress on the ballot, and no minor party candidates on the ballot. This is the smallest number of minor party and independent candidates on the ballot for Congress in Virginia since 1938, when there was also only one.

The lone congressional independent this year is David Bruce Foster, in the 2nd U.S. House district. The reason for the much reduced number of candidates is the health crisis.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Tennessee May Have 13 Presidential Candidates on Ballot

Ballot Access News

The Tennessee Secretary of State’s website has this list of presidential candidates who filed petitions. The only qualified parties in Tennessee are the Republican and Democratic Parties, so all others must use the independent presidential procedure, which requires 275 signatures.

Three independent petitions have already been approved: those for the Libertarian, Alliance, and Socialist Workers Party presidential nominees.

Still under review are petitions for the nominees of the Constitution, Green, Prohibition, Socialism & Liberation, and Unity Parties. Also under review are the petitions for three independent candidates: Brock Pierce, Horace Taylor, and Kanye West.

Common Sense Party Founder Makes the Case for His Party in the Orange County Register Newspaper

Ballot Access News

Former Congressman Tom Campbell, a founder of the Common Sense Party of California, here explains why his party would improve California government if only it could get on the ballot. His op-ed is carried in the pages of the Orange County Register, one of the state’s leading newspapers.

As Campbell says, his party’s federal ballot access lawsuit lost in U.S. District Court, and is pending in the Ninth Circuit. The Common Sense Party v Padilla, 20-16335Here is the party’s opening brief.

Maine Only Has Five Presidential Candidates on November Ballot

Ballot Access News

Only five presidential candidates will be on the November ballot in Maine: the nominees of the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green, and Alliance Parties.

New Florida Registration Data

Ballot Access News

As of early August 2020, here are the numbers of registered voters in Florida: Democratic 5,167,930; Republican 4,927,507; Independent Party 126,557; Libertarian 35,405; Green 6,564; Constitution 2,136; Reform 1,371; Socialism & Liberation 894; Ecology 774; independent and miscellaneous 3,622,236.

Here are the percentages: Democratic 37.20%; Republican 35.47%; Independent Party .91%; Libertarian .254%; Green .05%; Constitution .02%; Reform .01%; Socialism & Liberation .006%; Ecology .006%; independent and miscellaneous 26.08%.

Percentages in March 2020 were: Democratic 37.26%; Republican 35.21%; Independent Party .78%; Libertarian .246%; Green .04%; Constitution .01%; Reform .01%; Socialism & Liberation .005%; Ecology .005%; independent and miscellaneous 26.42%. Thanks to Ernie Bach for this information.

Louisiana Will Have Fourteen Presidential Candidates on Ballot

Ballot Access News

Louisiana has five ballot-qualified parties: Republican, Democratic, Independent, Libertarian, and Green. Louisiana allows independent presidential candidates, and the nominees of unqualified parties, to be on the ballot by paying a fee of $500. Ten presidential candidates used the filing fee method: the nominees of the Constitution, Socialism & Liberation, Socialist Workers, American Solidarity, and Unity Parties; and independents Jade Simmons, R. Boddie, Kanye West, Brock Pierce, and Tom Hoefling.

The Secretary of State has posted a candidate list at his website, although it doesn’t yet have the presidential nominees of any qualified parties, except for the Libertarian Party. The Independent Party is not expected to have a presidential nominee. Use this link. For president, choose “presidential electors” and use the button at the top to get the results. Thanks to Joshua Fauver for the link.

By coincidence, the 2020 Louisiana Democratic presidential primary also had fourteen candidates on the ballot.

Maryland Says Green and Libertarian Party Petitions Have Enough Valid Signatures

Ballot Access News

The Maryland Board of Elections has determined that the Green Party and Libertarian Parties have enough valid signatures. Each needed 5,000. Maryland now has six ballot-qualified parties. The others are Democratic, Republican, Working Class, and Bread & Roses.

Dems get Green Party kicked off ballot after pressuring petition-signers; ‘voter suppression’ alleged

'The Green Party denounces any effort to harass,' spokesman says

by Maxim Lott, Fox News

State Democrats succeeded in kicking the Green Party off the ballot in Montana this week, with the Montana Supreme Court ruling that they must be dropped.

The decision could impact the tight U.S. Senate race between Republican Sen. Steve Daines and sitting Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock – one of several that could determine control of the U.S. Senate.

The ruling happened after massive pressure was put on people who had already given valid signatures for a petition for Green Party ballot access, according to Green Party representatives.

“The Green Party denounces any effort to harass, intimidate or shame private citizens who signed a ballot access petition for any party or candidate,” National Green Party communications manager Michael O'Neil said in a statement to Fox News. “Our candidates have faced that kind of political bigotry for decades but employing it against regular citizens on this scale marks a new, shameful low.”

The Democrats succeeded in getting some 500 petition signatories to recant their signatures after alleging the petition was backed by Republicans (the party reportedly helped finance the effort), although no law specifies a process for such removal. The withdrawals left the Green Party short of the signatures needed...

To read article in full, click here.

'A big victory would be 5%': Green party's Howie Hawkins eyes progress

Howie Hawkins is a former UPS worker and longtime political activist,
by Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian

More than 6 million Americans voted for someone other than Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in 2016’s presidential race, but from the media coverage of the election you would never know it.

In 2020, however, the candidates who are neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump are hoping to change that, and win more of the vote than ever.

Howie Hawkins, a former UPS worker and longtime political activist, is the Green party nominee for president, and is toiling to break through the media’s Republican and Democratic noise to persuade Americans there are other options than the dominant two parties.

He is not finding it easy.

An immediate difficulty has been coronavirus, which has prevented Hawkins, who lives in Syracuse, New York, from holding events and traveling the country. Instead he has relied on virtual events, although that hasn’t worked out too badly: “I’m actually probably talking to more people than I was before,” Hawkins told the Guardian...

To read article in full, click here.

Ohio Rejects Kanye West Petition Because Declaration of Candidacy Original Didn’t Match Declaration of Candidacy Used on Petition Forms

Ballot Access News

The Ohio Secretary of State has rejected the independent presidential petition of Kanye West, even though it had over 14,000 signatures and only 5,000 were required. The Secretary of State says the original declaration of candidacy doesn’t match the copy of the declaration of candidacy used on each petition sheet. Thus, the Secretary of State didn’t even bother to check the validity of the petition signatures.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Wisconsin Elections Commission Removes Howie Hawkins and Kanye West from Ballot

Ballot Access News

On August 20, the Wisconsin Election Commission removed Howie Hawkins and Kanye West from the November ballot. Hawkins’ petition was rejected because some of the signatures were collected on forms giving the old address of the vice-presidential nominee, and some on forms giving her new address. Kanye West was rejected because his petition was submitted past 5:00 pm on the filing deadline.

Hawkins will sue. In 2004 the Wisconsin Supreme Court put Ralph Nader on the ballot even though he did not have a presidential elector candidate in every U.S. House district. The Wisconsin Supreme Court said that requirement is “directory” in nature, meaning if the elector residency requirement is not met, that is not fatal to the petition. State ex rel Nader v Circuit Court for Dane County, decision of Sep. 30, 2004, 04-2559-W.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Kanye West’s Montana Presidential Petition Doesn’t Have Enough Valid Signatures

Ballot Access News

On August 20, the Montana Secretary of State said the independent presidential petition for Kanye West doesn’t have enough valid signatures. The law requires 5,000 signatures with no distribution requirement. He submitted approximately 8,000. See this story.

U.S. District Court Again Refuses Relief to Montana Green Party

Ballot Access News

On August 20, U.S. District Court Judge Dana Christensen refused to give the Montana Green Party any injunctive relief, while the party appeals yesterday’s order that removed it from the ballot.

Montana Secretary of State says the ballot must be certified on August 21, which is odd, because the Republican Party won’t nominate for president or vice-president until August 24. Some states haven’t even held their congressional primaries yet. The latest primary is Delaware’s September 15 primary.

Vermont Posts General Election Candidate List; Will Have 22 Presidential Candidates on Ballot

Ballot Access News

The Vermont Secretary of State has posted the November 2020 candidate list. See it here. Click on “preliminary draft candidate listing for November 3.” For president, there will be 22 candidates on the ballot. The parties with presidential nominees are Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Constitution, Alliance, American Solidarity, Socialism & Liberation, Socialist Workers, Prohibition, Bread & Roses, and Approval Voting.

In addition, these independents qualified: Mark Charles, Richard Duncan, Gary Swing, Kyle Kopitke, Christopher LaFontaine, Keith McCormick, H. Brooke Paige, Brock Pierce, Zachary Scalf, and Kanye West.

Democrats Persuade Texas State Courts to Remove Most Green Party Nominees from the November Ballot

Ballot Access News

On August 17, Democrats sued the Texas Green Party and won a court order in state court, ordering party leaders to tell election officials that most of their 2020 nominees are “not qualified.” On Wednesday, the courts removed the candidates. The basis is that they didn’t pay the filing fees. But the law requiring candidates of convention parties to pay filing fees was enjoined a few months ago, although then the State Appeals Court stayed that ruling. See this story.

The ruling has no effect on the presidential race, but it removes all the Green Party’s other statewide nominees. At any time, the other panel of the State Court of Appeals could issue a ruling on the constitutionality of the filing fee.

Peoples Party Plans to Contest 2024 Presidential Election

Ballot Access News

Some individuals and groups that supported Bernie Sanders for president this year, and in 2016, are not satisfied with the Democratic Party. They plan to organize their own Peoples Party, and contest the 2024 presidential election. Marianne Williamson, who sought the Democratic nomination this year, has joined them. See this story. Thanks to Tim Phares for the link.

U.S. District Court Denies Relief for Montana Green Party

Ballot Access News

On August 19, U.S. District Court Judge Dana L. Christensen, an Obama appointee, refused to put the Montana Green Party back on the ballot. Davis v Stapleton, 6:20cv-62. The Green Party nominees who filed this lawsuit then filed an appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

Here is the 21-page order, which says on page 17-18 that if the Green Party were put back on the ballot, “the Democratic Party and its voters may see votes for Democratic candidates siphoned by seemingly progressive candidates who would not be on the ballot but for the efforts of the Montana GOP.”

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Montana Supreme Court Agrees With Lower State Court that Green Party Should be Removed from Ballot

Ballot Access News

On August 19, the Montana Supreme Court issued an order, affirming the decision of a lower state court that the Green Party should be removed from the Montana ballot. The Montana Supreme Court said it would explain later. The lower court had removed the Green Party because approximately 600 signers of the Green Party petition had signed a form asking that their signatures be removed from the party’s petition.

The Montana election code has no provision for signers of a party petition to remove their names. The lower state court said because there is such a provision for initiatives, the implication is that all types of petition are covered.

The only reason the subtraction of approximately 600 signatures mattered, is that the Montana party petition has an unconstitutional, unequal distribution requirement. Although the party petition had 13,000 signatures, and only 5,000 are required, the subtractions brought down the number in one of the legislative districts.

Whether the removal of the party from the ballot violates dues process is also pending in U.S. District Court. If the state precedent is allowed to stand, no new party in the future will ever be able to get on the Montana ballot with safety. The precedent will be that even after the party has been certified for the ballot, and given its own primary, several months later opponents of that party can erase its ballot status.

Montana Green Party activists are reporting that some of the party’s petitioners were browbeaten into removing their names, and some of them are willing to testify that they do not want their names removed. But it is already too late to get this evidence into the state court proceeding.

Wisconsin Elections Commission Staff Recommends that Howie Hawkins and Kanye West Be Omitted from Ballot

Ballot Access News

On August 19, the staff of the Wisconsin Elections Commission recommended to the Commission that both Howie Hawkins and Kanye West be omitted from the November ballot as presidential candidates. The Hawkins petition doesn’t have enough valid signatures when the sheets showing the out-of-date postal address for the vice-presidential nominee are omitted.

The West petition was deemed to have been submitted after 5 p.m.

This story has a link to the commission recommendations. The Hawkins petition discussion starts at page 34. On August 20, the Elections Commission will decide whether to omit one or both candidates.

Seven Presidential Candidates File Minnesota Petitions

Ballot Access News

According to this story, seven presidential candidates have submitted petitions to be on the ballot in Minnesota. The only ballot-qualified parties in Minnesota are Democratic-Farmer-Labor, Republican, Legal Marijuana Now, and Grassroots-Legalize Marijuana Parties. The latter two are not expected to nominate anyone for president. For other parties, 2,000 signatures were required to place a presidential nominee on the ballot.

The petitions are for Rocky De La Fuente (Alliance); Howie Hawkins (Green); Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian); Alyson Kennedy (Socialist Workers); Gloria La Riva (Socialism & Liberation); independent Brock Pierce; and independent Kanye West.

David Zuckerman Wins Vermont Progressive Party Gubernatorial Nomination by Write-in Votes

Ballot Access News

David Zuckerman will appear on the Vermont November ballot as a gubernatorial candidate. His ballot label will be “Progressive/Democratic.” Vermont permits fusion. The first-listed party on the ballot tells the voters that Zuckerman is a member of the Progressive Party. The Democratic Party label, which follows the word “Progressive”, tells voters that he also has the Democratic nomination. He is the current Lieutenant Governor.

Party membership in Vermont is nebulous, because Vermont does not have registration by party.

In order to win the Progressive Party nomination, Zuckerman had to depend on write-in votes. State law does not allow his name to be printed on the ballot of more than one party, and he chose to be listed in the Democratic primary. He won the Democratic nomination at the August 11 primary, polling slightly over 50% in a 4-candidate field.

The vote in the Progressive primary was: Zuckerman 273 write-ins; and these two ballot-listed candidates: Cris Ericson, 254 votes; and Boots Wardinski, 239 votes.

In order to win the general election, Zuckerman will need to defeat incumbent Phil Scott, a Republican.

Seven Iowa Presidential Candidates Qualify by Petition

Ballot Access News

In Iowa, only the Republican and Democratic Parties are qualified parties, so all other parties must place their presidential nominee on the ballot by petition. Seven such petitions succeeded. They required 1,500 signatures.

The seven are: Don Blankenship, Rocky De La Fuente, Howie Hawkins, Jo Jorgensen, Ricki Sue King, Brock Pierce, and Kanye West. Ricki Sue King lives in Windsor Heights, Iowa, and her ballot label is “Genealogy Know Your Family History.”

Here is a link to the Iowa Secretary of State’s web page, listing the candidates for all federal and state office.

Monday, August 17, 2020

New Mexico Libertarian Nominee for Statewide Partisan Race Placed on November Ballot

Ballot Access News

On August 17, a Libertarian Party ballot access case in New Mexico was settled. A final order from a U.S. District Court documents that the New Mexico Secretary of State now agrees that Stephen Curtis received enough write-in votes in the June Libertarian primary to qualify for a spot on the general election ballot. As a write-in candidate in a primary, the law required not only that he receive more votes than any other candidate for the nomination, but that he receive at least 230 write-ins.

The four-page order also says “The Secretary of State will in the future ensure that all county clerks properly account for all write-in votes on the proper tally sheet in subsequent elections.” Here is the order in Curtis v Toulouse Oliver, 1:20cv-748.

The Libertarian Party’s chances of polling at least 5% of the total vote cast in November 2020 for one of its nominees is now enhanced. It isn’t likely that the party will poll 5% for president or U.S. Senate, but it has a good chance of polling 5% for State Court of Appeals. Minor party nominees receive higher percentages of the vote when they are running for an office in which the typical voter doesn’t care too much about who wins. In 2018 the New Mexico Libertarian Party received 5.77% for Land Commissioner.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

American Independent Party Nominates Rocky De La Fuente for President and Kanye West for Vice-President

Ballot Access News

On August 15, the American Independent Party, which exists only in California, held its state convention. It nominated presidential electors pledged to Rocky De La Fuente for president, and Kanye West for vice-president. The meeting was electronic with approximately 20 participants. The vote was unanimous, except for one abstention.

There is no law in California requiring general election presidential and vice-presidential candidates to assent to their nomination by a ballot-qualified party. The party had reached out to Kanye West in the past week, but could not reach him. De La Fuente, of course, had sought the party’s nomination and had placed second in the party’s March 2020 presidential primary.

New California Registration Tally

Ballot Access News

On August 13, the California Secretary of State released a new registration tally, the first since February 2020. Here is a link.

The percentages are: Democratic 46.32%; Republican 23.99%; American Independent 2.86%; Libertarian .847%; Peace & Freedom .463%; Green .38%; independent and other 24.61%; unknown .53%.

At the February 2020 tally, the percentages were: Democratic 45.31%; Republican 23.90%; American Independent 2.90%; Libertarian .849%; Peace & Freedom .461%; Green .40%; independent and other 25.66%; unknown .51%.

Common Sense Party registration in the new tally is 10,725; in February 2020 it had been 10,859. Constitution is 222; it had been 232.

Only now can the exact number of registrations to qualify a new party for the presidential election be known. It is 68,672.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Some Montana Green Party Nominees File Federal Lawsuit To Get Party Back on the Ballot

Ballot Access News

On August 11, some Montana Green Party nominees filed a federal lawsuit to get themselves and their party back on the Montana general election ballot. The party was removed last week by a state trial court. The plaintiff-candidates are Gary Marbut, running for State Senate; and Royal Davis, running for Attorney General. Davis v Stapleton, 6:20cv-62. The case is assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Dana L. Christensen, an Obama appointee. Here is the Complaint.

The party was removed because even though it had enough signatures statewide, it lacked enough signatures in one legislative district. The new federal lawsuit does not complain about the unequal distribution requirement. The Montana Green Party has a separate lawsuit pending in the Ninth Circuit against the distribution requirement.

The Montana Green Party had its own primary this year before it had been removed from the ballot. The new lawsuit depends on due process, and on concern for the voting rights of the voters who voted in the Green Party primary this year. Thanks to Rick Hasen for this news.

Alaska Elections Division Determines that Constitution Party Presidential Petition is Valid

Ballot Access News

On August 11, the Alaska Elections Division determined that the Constitution Party’s presidential petition has enough valid signatures.

Monday, August 10, 2020

From Lake County to the Libertarian ticket: Presidential candidate says both sides want change

Grayslake native Jo Jorgensen will represent the Libertarian Party on the November presidential ballot.

by Marni Pike, Chicago Daily Herald

Legalize all recreational drugs, let individuals decide about wearing face masks and end all foreign military entanglements, Libertarian presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen says.

That's the "issues" side of the candidate, who recalls some of her views taking shape as she was growing up in Grayslake, participating in 4H and marching in her high school band in the 1970s.

Jorgensen, 63, now lives in South Carolina and has a doctorate in industrial psychology, was a tech entrepreneur and teaches college students.

She dove into the 2020 race with Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden because "government's too big, too noisy, too intrusive. It hurts those it tries to help," she told the Daily Herald.

'Let her speak': Libertarians drive around NW Florida to bring awareness of third party

by Rebecka Castor, WEARTV

If you saw cars with purple and gold decorations driving through Northwest Florida Saturday, you may have seen members of the Libertarian party.

A convoy of supporters drove through Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties hoping to bring more awareness to third party candidate, Dr. Jo Jorgensen, ready to take the debate stage.

Jorgensen is running on the Libertarian values – less government, more freedom...

"We're out here today to let people know there is another candidate they can vote for that they might actually like and want to vote for,” said Libertarian party chairman in Santa Rosa County Spenser Gerber...

To read more, click here.

Pennsylvania Democrats Challenge Statewide Green Party Petition

Ballot Access News

Shortly before the deadline for Pennsylvania petition challenges, some Pennsylvania Democratic leaders filed a challenge to the statewide Green Party petition.

No one challenged the statewide Libertarian petition, but a challenge was filed to the party’s candidate for U.S. House, 12th district.

Petitioning groups in Pennsylvania no longer need to fear that if the challenges to their petitions are successful, that the petitioning groups will need to pay court costs.

Maine Says Rocky De La Fuente Has Enough Valid Signatures

Ballot Access News

The Maine Secretary of State has determined that Rocky De La Fuente’s presidential petition is valid. His ballot label is “Alliance.”

Alaska Green Party Presidential Petition is Valid

Ballot Access News

The Alaska Division of Elections has determined that the Green Party presidential petition is valid.

Jo Jorgensen Maine Petition is Valid

Ballot Access News

The Maine petition to get Jo Jorgensen on the ballot as the Libertarian nominee for president has enough signatures, according to the Secretary of State. This makes it moderately likely that she will be on the ballot in all 51 jurisdictions that have electoral votes. Thanks to Bill Redpath for this news.

Thirteen Presidential Candidates Qualify for Colorado Ballot by Paying $1,000

Ballot Access News

The Colorado Secretary of State website now lists candidates for the general election, including presidential candidates. The deadline for candidates of unqualified parties to get on the ballot has passed, and thirteen candidates qualified by paying $1,000.

In addition, Colorado has seven qualified parties, and their presidential nominees will be on the ballot with no filing fee. Not all of them are on the website yet.

The seven qualified parties are: Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Constitution, Unity, and Approval Voting.

The candidates who qualified by paying the fee, in alphabetical order, are: Brian Carroll (American Solidarity), Mark Charles (independent), Phil Collins (Prohibition), Rocky De La Fuente (Alliance), Dario Hunter (Progressive), Princess Jacob-Fambro (independent), Alyson Kennedy (Socialist Workers), Joseph Kishore (Socialist Equality), Kyle Kopitke (Independent American), Gloria La Riva (Socialism & Liberation), Joe McHugh (independent), Brock Pierce (independent), and Kanye West (independent).

The website also lists declared write-in candidates.

Socialist Equality Party Presidential Candidate Dismisses California Ballot Access Case

Ballot Access News

On August 7, Joseph Kishore, Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate, voluntarily dismissed his federal lawsuit against the California independent presidential candidate petition requirement, as applied during the health crisis. Kishore v Newsom. Two days earlier, the Ninth Circuit had refused to expedite his appeal. Also, on July 27, the Ninth Circuit had also voted not to expedite the appeal. The U.S. District Court had denied injunctive relief earlier in July.