Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Who is Dr. Jo Jorgensen? This third-party candidate’s website crashed during the 2020 debates

by Herb Scribner, Deseret News

Dr. Jo Jorgensen watched her website crash on Tuesday night — at least that’s what social media said happened — all because of the 2020 presidential debate.

What’s going on?

Jorgensen — who is running in the 2020 election as the Libertarian candidate — made headlines Wednesday morning after the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Interest in Jorgensen popped up Tuesday night during the debate, which reportedly led to her website crashing. 'As 'Dumpster Fire' Debate Rages, Jorgensen Quietly Presents an Alternative'

by Elizabeth Nolan Brown, 

"That was a shitshow," CNN's Dana Bash told viewers last night after Joe Biden and Donald Trump finished the first 2020 presidential debate. Her unusual on-camera candor was topped by co-host Jake Tapper, who summed it up thusly: "That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck. That was the worst debate I have ever seen."

Congrats, 2020—you've gone and outdone yourself again!

The Libertarian Who Could Win the Indiana Governor’s Race

by Margaret Menge,

The Libertarian candidate for governor of Indiana had 24 percent support in an early September poll of likely voters and is about to give the sitting Republican governor, Eric Holcomb, a run for his money.

But who is he?

Donald Rainwater, age 56, is a software engineer and IT project manager from Hamilton County, north of Indianapolis. He served eight years in the U.S. Navy and has a wife and grown children. That’s his basic biography.

As with most Libertarians, things get a bit more interesting when they begin to talk.

Fox News: 'Libertarian nominee Jo Jorgensen on voting third party and why America should be more like Switzerland'

by Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News

Jo Jorgensen would like America to be "one giant Switzerland," the Libertarian Party's nominee for president told the "Fox News Rundown" podcast Tuesday.

"Switzerland is armed and neutral," Jorgensen explained to host Dave Anthony. "They're not pacifists. They're not isolationists. They are a banking center. They accept tourism. People go in and out freely and they trade with other people. That's what I want the United States to look like.

Libertarian presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen campaigns in Madison

by Tyler Katzenberger, The Daily Cardinal

Libertarian presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen visited Madison on Saturday as part of her “Real Change for Real People” campaign tour to promote her platform as a third party candidate. 

In a one-on-one interview with The Daily Cardinal before her visit, Jorgensen stressed how important Wisconsin is in the 2020 election, drawing upon lessons learned from 2016. 

“[Wisconsin] played an important role in the last election, and in the last election, the Democrats didn’t think Wisconsin was worth visiting,” Jorgensen said.

After traveling the country, Jorgensen believes her small government approach will appeal to both Wisconsinites and the rest of America. Jorgensen said a major lesson she learned on the campaign trail was that Americans “are fed up with the government making every single decision in their lives.”

To read article in full, click here.

Green Party presidential nominee Howie Hawkins calls Cleveland debate a ‘fraud,’ opposes abolishing the police

band and 

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Green Party presidential nominee Howie Hawkins was in Cleveland for Tuesday’s presidential debate – not to participate, but to criticize the event as a “fraud” and draw attention to his stances on police reform and other issues.

Speaking with outside the Cleveland Museum of Art, Hawkins noted that the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has organized major-party presidential debates since 1988, was organized by Republicans and Democrats.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Libertarian candidate for governor wants to eliminate state income tax

by Ken De La Bastide, The Herald Bulletin

WESTFIELD — Donald Rainwater, the Libertarian Party candidate for governor of Indiana, told party members gathered Sunday at Grand Park what they wanted to hear.

“In the present crisis, government is not the solution,” he said at a rally for presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen. “Government is the problem.”

Rainwater said there are multiple crises in Indiana including health care, the economy and education.

“The people’s voice should be heard. It isn’t happening in Indiana,” he said. “We had one man decide what is an essential business.”

Libertarian candidates Jo Jorgensen, Donald Rainwater rally in Westfield

by Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star

The novel coronavirus pandemic has altered everyday life in Indiana, including election campaigning. Most candidates have opted for small fundraising events, rather than massive rallies.

Sunday night, though, there was a small sense of normalcy as a lesser-known presidential candidate, Libertarian Jo Jorgensen, stopped at Grand Park in Westfield to rally support for her candidacy.

Neither President Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden have visited the state during the general election campaign so far. 

Four years ago, Trump campaigned in the same spot. Back then, thousands of people crowded close together inside the massive Grand Park Events Center.

Sunday evening's rally looked much different. A few hundred people were in lawn chairs scattered outside the event center, directly in front of Jorgensen's bus. Maybe a quarter of those attending wore masks. Cheers from nearby sporting events occasionally interrupted the speakers...

To read article in full, click here. 

Legal Marijuana Now Party Submits Nebraska Petition for Party Status

Ballot Access News

The Legal Marijuana Now Party has submitted its petition for party status in Nebraska. Assuming the petition has enough valid signatures, it will be on the ballot for 2022. It will remain on the ballot after November 2022 if it polls at least 5% for one of the statewide offices, or if its registration reaches 10,000. The offices on the 2022 ballot that the party could plausibly poll 5% for are Secretary of State, Treasurer, Attorney General, and Auditor. Then, if it gets 5% for any of those, it will be on the ballot in both 2024 and 2026.

Currently the only qualified parties in Nebraska are Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian. The Libertarian Party has well over 10,000 registrations, so it is not particularly motivated to run for the lesser state statewide offices that are up in 2022. That enhances the chances that the Legal Marijuana Party will poll enough votes in 2022 to remain on.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Rep. Justin Amash, the ex-Republican who tussled with Trump and the GOP, reflects on what's next

Rep. Justin Amash (L) Michigan
by Megan Sauer, USA Today

There are few members of Congress as critical about Washington politics as Rep. Justin Amash, the Libertarian from Michigan.

In fact, he thinks both sides of Congress place more emphasis on theatrical “performance” than the quality of their legislation.

In the last year, he left the Republican Party, considered a run for president as the Libertarian candidate and on July 16 announced he would not seek reelection.

Alaska Elections Office Agrees to List Party Affiliations for Nominees of Unqualified Parties

Ballot Access News

On September 25, the Alaska Division of Elections changed its mind, and will print the party affiliations on the ballot for nominees of unqualified parties. The affected candidates are all Libertarians running for state legislative seats. See this story. One of the Libertarian nominees, Scott Kohlhaas, had filed a lawsuit on September 25, Kohlhaas v State, 3AN-20-08141.

The state’s change of mind means that some ballots will be reprinted, although the number of such ballots is small.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Marquette Law School Poll for President Includes Jorgensen, Hawkins

Ballot Access News

On September 24, Marquette Law School released its presidential poll. See here. Biden 50%, Trump 40%, Jorgensen 3%, Hawkins 2%, someone else 3%, no preference 2%.

Legal Marijuana Now Party Nominee for U.S. House Dies, so Minnesota Can’t Fill That Seat Until February 9, 2021

Ballot Access News

Adam Charles Weeks, the Legal Marijuana Now Party nominee for U.S. House in Minnesota’s 2nd district, died recently. Under a unique Minnesota law passed in 2013, the death of the nominee of a qualified party in a partisan race closer than 79 days before an election means the seat can’t be filled until the following February. See this story. Although voters will see the race on their November ballots, the votes in that race will not be counted. The election will be February 9.

The U.S. House 2nd District of Minnesota is one of the most competitive districts in the nation. The Republican nominee won the seat in 2016 by about 7,000 votes, but the Democratic nominee won the seat in 2018 by about 17,000 votes. Thanks to Tony Roza for the link.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

New York Times Article on Green Party

Ballot Access News

The New York Times has published a long article about the Green Party. The theme is that the Republican Party in the past and currently has helped in a few states to get the Green Party on the ballot.

The story is myopic. The authors take it for granted that it is difficult for a party like the Green Party to get on the ballot. The authors should ask the big question: why should it be difficult for a party with some measure of support to need the support of a more powerful organization to get on the ballot? The Green Party has elected state legislators in three states, and it polled 1,457,217 votes for president in 2016, even though it was not on the ballot in six states.

In Great Britain and Canada, two countries that are very similar to the United States, ballot access is so easy that the Green Party regularly qualifies for the ballot in virtually every district, for Parliament. If it is true that the U.S. Green Party’s presence in the campaign injures the Democratic Party, then it is probably also true that the Green Party’s existence in Canada injures the Liberal Party, and that the Green Party in Great Britain injures the Labour Party. But no one in either Canada or Great Britain ever even imagines having an election law that would keep the Green Party off the ballot.

The Times also ignores the evidence that left parties and candidates in the U.S. do not injure the Democratic Party. The Times makes no mention of Political Science/Pollster Sam Lubell’s findings that the Progressive Party of 1948, which ran former vice-president Henry Wallace for president, helped Harry Truman to defeat Thomas Dewey. The Times makes no mention of the findings of four major pollsters in 2004 that a slight majority of Nader voters said, if Nader were removed from the ballot, they would vote for George W. Bush, not John Kerry. See the Washington Post of October 22, 2004, front page.

The Times also says that 2020 Green Party presidential nominee Howie Hawkins is on the ballot in 28 states. Actually he is on in 29 states, plus the District of Columbia, and also he is on the Guam advisory ballot.

Maine State Supreme Court Rules Ranked Choice Voting for President Will be Used in November 2020

Ballot Access News

On September 22, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the Republican-backed referendum petition on ranked choice voting for president did not have enough valid signatures. Therefore, the voters will not vote again on whether to use ranked choice voting, and the existing law, requiring the presidential portion of the November ballot to use ranked choice voting, will be in effect in November 2020. See this story.

The case is Jones v Dunlap, CUM-20-227. The vote is unanimous. Here is the 24-page opinion. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.

The only reason the petition failed is that two of the circulators, who each collected a great many signatures, were not registered in their town of residence when they started to work on the petition. The Maine Supreme Court admits that in 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a Colorado law that required initiative petitioners to be registered voters. But it says in that case, 17% of the adult citizen-residents of Colorado were not registered to vote, whereas in Maine, only 4% are not registered. It says that in order to hold the Maine registration requirement unconstitutional, a great deal of evidence would be needed, and that such evidence does not exist in this case.

Georgia Poll Breaks Down Support for Three Presidential Candidates by Seven Demographic Categories

Ballot Access News

This Atlanta Journal Constitution poll, conducted by the Survey Center at the University of Georgia, shows the breakdown for President Trump, Joe Biden, and Jo Jorgensen, by age, race, education, income, sex, ideology, and party affiliation. Scroll down to the second page.

Montana Green Party Ballot Access Case Developments

Ballot Access News

As previously reported, the Montana Green Party has been kept off the ballot in both 2018 and 2020, even though both years, the Secretary of State said the party petition had enough valid signatures and conducted a primary for the party. The party was removed both times after activism by Democrats. In 2018 the Democrats persuaded a state court that the party petition lacked enough valid signatures, contrary to the Secretary of State’s finding. In 2020, the party petition was not challenged, but Democrats got a list of the signers and persuaded about 600 of them to retract their signatures. Thus the petition was nullified, six months after it had been validated.

The Green Party filed a federal lawsuit in 2018 against the unequal distribution requirement. The law requires signatures from 34 of the 100 state house districts. Instead of requiring an equal number of signatures in these equal-population districts, the law irrationally requires as few as 55 signatures in some districts, but up to 150 in others. This violates a U.S. Supreme Court precedent, Moore v Ogilvie. Nevertheless, on March 20, 2020, a U.S. District Court upheld the unequal distribution requirement. That case is Montana Green Party v Stapleton, now pending in the Ninth Circuit, 20-35340. The briefs in that case will all be submitted by November 13, 2020, and a decision is likely in 2021.

There was also a federal case involving the 2020 events, Davis v Stapleton. That was filed by some Green Party nominees for congress and state office in August 2020, charging that it violates the rights of the party’s nominees, and also the rights of the 13,000 voters who signed the petition and who did not retract their signatures, to remove a party because some of the signers recanted. That case failed to get injunctive relief from all three levels of federal court, and the Green Party nominees voluntarily dismissed that case on September 15, 2020. In the U.S. Supreme Court, the party had requested relief from Justice Elena Kagan on September 11, but she had denied it on September 14 without asking for a response from the other side and without asking the other justices.

If the 2020 Green Party nominees had not dismissed their case, the Ninth Circuit would have eventually ruled on the constitutional due process issue. This had been a case of first impression. In all history, in all states, there had never before been an incident in which people who signed a petition to get a party on the ballot were permitted to remove their names months later, thus cancelling the party’s legal existence. We will get a decision on this point from the Montana Supreme Court, however. That court denied injunctive relief on August 19, 2020, and said it would explain its reasoning “in due course.” That opinion still hasn’t emerged.

There are Fewer Independent Candidates for U.S. House on Ballot This Year Than at Any Year Since 2004

Ballot Access News

There are fewer independent candidates on the November 2020 ballot for U.S. House than at any time since 2004. This is probably mostly due to the health crisis.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Clemson psychology lecturer Jo Jorgensen running for president as Libertarian

by Jamie Lovegrove, The Post and Courier

COLUMBIA — Jo Jorgensen is pursuing a number of unlikely firsts: The first woman president, the first Libertarian president and, not to be overlooked, the first president to have spent much of her adult life living in South Carolina.

A Clemson psychology lecturer by day, Jorgensen won the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president earlier this year, crossing the 50 percent threshold on the fourth ballot at the party’s virtual convention in May.

Jorgensen, 63, is no newcomer to Libertarian politics. She was the party’s nominee in South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District in 1992, garnering just over 2 percent of the vote, and was the party’s vice presidential nominee in 1996 as Harry Browne’s running mate. 

Born in Illinois, Jorgensen moved to Greenville in 1983 and launched a software sales business. After raising two children, Jorgensen was involved in several other business ventures, got a PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from Clemson in 2002 and began teaching there full-time in 2006...

To read article in full, click here.

Libertarian nominee for President Dr. Jo Jorgensen stopped by the Black Hills Sunday

by Connor Matheson, KOTA TV

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Libertarian nominee for President Dr. Jo Jorgensen stopped in the Black Hills and a big crowd of supporters joined her at Memorial Park.

People from all across the state and even Wyoming made it out to the event just to get a chance to hear her speak.

Presidential candidate campaigns in the Magic City

by Riley Nagel, KULR8

BILLINGS, Mont. - There is still time to decide who you want vote for, to be the next President of the United States. One of those candidates stopped in the Magic City Saturday to explain why you should consider her. 

Jo Jorgensen is the libertarian party's nominee for the 2020 election.

"Government is too big, too bossy, too nosy, too intrusive," said Jorgensen.

Vice President Mike Pence missing from Michigan ballots, state printed Libertarian VP candidate by mistake

Published by Fox 2 Detroit

President Donald Trump ... and "Spike?"

Local election clerks in Michigan downloading absentee ballots for residents overseas were given ballots that listed Trump's Republican running mate as Jeremy Cohen, who is the Libertarian Party candidate for vice president, the Michigan Secretary of State's office said.

Libertarian congressional candidate gets spot on 2nd District debate stage

by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE - The Utah Debate Commission recently released its schedule for state and federal-level candidate debates, and this time one of them won’t be sporting a D or an R after their name, but an L instead.

Attorney Robert Latham is hoping to represent Utah’s 2nd Congressional District and is running against Republican incumbent Chris Stewart as a Libertarian candidate, location and time of photo unspecified | Photo courtesy of, St. George News

The upcoming debates – set between Sept. 24 and Oct. 21 – will feature the traditional pairing of Republican and Democratic candidates vying to either retain seats or replace incumbents in the gubernatorial, congressional and state attorney general races.

All except the debate to be held for candidates seeking to represent the 2nd Congressional District, which includes Southwest Utah.

Libertarian candidate for president makes stop in Meridian


MERIDIAN, Idaho — The Libertarian Party's nominee for U.S. president spoke to voters in the Treasure Valley on Wednesday.

Dr. Jo Jorgensen is one of seven candidates who will appear on Idaho ballots Nov. 3.

Jorgensen, who teaches psychology at Clemson University in South Carolina, says she is looking to shake up the race by winning voters who don't want to vote for Joe Biden or Donald Trump...

To read more, click here.

Libertarian nominee Jorgensen calls for less government in Idaho Falls speech

by Nathan Brown, Post Register

The Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee was in Idaho Falls Thursday evening, saying she wants to dramatically reduce the federal government’s imprint on American life.

“Our current government is too big, too busy, too nosy and too intrusive,” Jo Jorgensen told a crowd of about 200 supporters at Russ Freeman Park.

Green Party nominee enters Ward 2 D.C. Council race

by Jarrod Wardwell, The GW Hatchet

The Green Party nominee for Ward 2 launched his campaign for D.C. Council Monday to offer a progressive alternative to the Democratic nominee and independent candidates.

Peter Bolton, a journalist and American dual citizen from the United Kingdom, said he stepped into the race to challenge Democratic nominee and short-term incumbent Brooke Pinto and independent candidates Randy Downs and Martin Miguel Fernandez, who both joined the race this summer. He said the District has become a “one-party state,” and the Democratic Party has moved too far right to offer a progressive candidate in Ward 2.

Lengthy Daily Beast Interview with Brock Pierce

Ballot Access News

The Daily Beast has this very lengthy interview with Brock Pierce. The most interesting part may be his assertion that he intends to help build a new political party next year. He does not say what the name of the party would be.

Alternative Presidential Debate Set for Candidates Who are on Ballot in at Least Ten States

Ballot Access News

Free & Equal, and Open the Debates, are hosting a presidential debate in Denver on Thursday, October 8. The debate will be live-streamed. The candidates will be in the same room with each other. In order to qualify, candidates must be on the ballot in at least ten states.

Rocky De La Fuente, Howie Hawkins, Gloria La Riva, and Brock Pierce have already confirmed. President Trump and Joe Biden are invited, but they are forbidden by their contracts with the Commission on Presidential Debates to participate in any debates other than the Commission debates. Don Blankenship, Jo Jorgensen, and Kanye West have not said yet whether they will attend.

Alaska Supreme Court Won’t Order Ballots Reprinted, Despite Their Omission of Party Labels for Certain Candidates

Ballot Access News

On September 18, the Alaska Supreme Court verbally announced a decision after the hearing in Galvin v State. The Alaska ballots have already been printed without the partisan labels for the nominees of unqualified parties, and without the partisan affiliation of major party nominees who are not members of the party that nominated them. The 2020 ballot does not follow state law, and injures certain candidates. But those ballots will be used anyway. See this story.

Howie Hawkins’ Name Will be on Ballot Used by 72.8% of Voters

Ballot Access News

No one knows how many votes will be cast for president in any state in November 2020. But if one uses the November 2016 vote as a substitute, one can calculate that 72.8% of the voters will use a ballot that has Howie Hawkins’ name. Without the three Democratic Party challenges to him in Montana, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, his percentage would have been 79.8%.

The 2020 percentage for him is better than it was for the Green presidential nominee in 1996, 2004, and 2008.

The Atlantic: 'Howie Hawkins Is No Kanye West'

GP 2020 presidential candidate Howie Hawkins
The Green Party’s 2020 nominee tells The Ticket he’s not running as a spoiler candidate. But he insists that Kanye West’s candidacy is a “Republican dirty trick.”

by Edward-Isaac Dovere, The Atlantic 

Howie Hawkins may be the Green Party’s presidential nominee, but he isn’t Jill Stein—or at least, he can’t be, because he’s not on the ballot in as many swing states as Stein was in 2016. Courts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania decided this week to keep his party’s ticket off of the 2020 ballots. But Hawkins told me he’s not Kanye West either, even though Republican operatives have been helping both the Green Party and West’s “Birthday Party.” People who believe that West’s effort and his are the same, Hawkins said, “are gullible.”

Friday, September 18, 2020

NPR/PBS/Marist Presidential Poll Includes Jo Jorgensen and Howie Hawkins

Ballot Access News

On September 18, the results of an NPR/PBS/Marist presidential poll were released. This is one of the national polls recognized by the Presidential Debates Commission, and is the first such poll to ask about four candidates. See it here. -scroll down to page 74.

The results: Joe Biden 49%; Donald Trump 41%; Jo Jorgensen 5%; Howie Hawkins 2%; other 1%; undecided 2%. Thanks to Dalton for the link.

Oregon Republican U.S. Senate Nominee Tries to Persuade State Court to Remove Almost All Libertarians from Ballot, but Fails to Gain Injunctive Relief

Ballot Access News

On September 10, Joe Rae Perkins, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Oregon, filed a lawsuit in state court to remove almost all the Libertarian Party nominees from the ballot, including Jo Jorgensen. However, on September 15, a Marion County Circuit Judge declined to issue an injunction. Perkins v Clarno, Circuit Court, Marion County, 20CV-31103.

Perkins argues that the Libertarian Party of Oregon is operating under its 2011 bylaws, and she argues those bylaws are not in force. She wants the 2009 bylaws recognized.

This year, the Oregon Libertarian Party held a private primary at its own expense, postally mailing all 19,000 registered Libertarians a ballot, and using the results to determine the identity of the party’s nominees for Congress, partisan state office, and partisan local office. See this story.

Finally, a Daily Newspaper Mentions that Jo Jorgensen is on Ballot in All 51 Jurisdictions

Ballot Access News

The Williamsport, Pennsylvania Sun-Gazette has this story, mentioning that Jo Jorgensen is on the ballot in all 51 jurisdictions. This is in response to a Libertarian Party press release sent five days ago. This is the first instance at which a daily newspaper has reported this news.

Texas Supreme Court Explains Why it Ordered Green Party Candidates Restored to Ballot

Ballot Access News

On September 18, the Texas Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in In re The Green Party of Texas, 20-0708. The 7-page opinion explains why it ordered three Green Party candidates back on the ballot, even though they had not paid a filing fee. The State Court of Appeals had removed them.

The Texas Supreme Court opinion points out that there is no deadline in the law for minor party candidates nominated at a state convention to pay the filing fee. This appears to be a flaw in the law, which was passed in great haste in 2019. So when the State Court of Appeals removed the Greens, there was no legal basis to do so, because theoretically they might still have paid the fee. The Texas Supreme Court says the Secretary of State’s regulation, saying the fee should have been paid when the candidates first indicated an interest in being nominated, is not supported by the law. That deadline is in December of the year before the election.

The Texas Supreme Court also says that if some jurisdictions have already printed ballots with the names of the Green Party nominees, then those ballots must be reprinted. The Opinion says, “We recognize that changes to the ballot at this late point in the process will require extra time and resources to be expended by our local election officials. But a candidate’s access to the ballot is an important value to our democracy. And an added expense is not a sufficient justification to deny these candidates that access.” Thanks to Art DiBianca for the link.

Virginia Supreme Court Declines to Hear Kanye West Ballot Access Appeal

Ballot Access News

On September 17, the Virginia Supreme Court issued a two-page order in West v Wilson, 201104. It declines to hear the Kanye West ballot access appeal. West had been removed from the ballot because some of his candidates for presidential elector had charged that they had been tricked into signing up as electors.

North Carolina Poll Shows Minor Party Presidential Candidates Above 5%

Ballot Access News

On September 17, a Suffolk University/USA Today Poll was released for North Carolina. In the presidential race it shows: Biden 46.2%; Trump 42.8%; Jorgensen 4.8%; other .6%. The other candidates on the ballot are Howie Hawkins and Don Blankenship. See this story.

The minor party for for U.S. Senate is even higher. The Constitution and Libertarian Parties have nominees in that race.

Alaska State Trial Court Enjoins Printing Alaska Ballots Until Party Label Controversy is Settled

Ballot Access News

On September 17, Alaska Superior Court judge Jennifer Henderson enjoined Alaska from printing its ballots until the controversy over party labels is settled. There will be a hearing on September 18, at 10:30 a.m., to settle the label issue. Here is the 5-page order in Galvin v Fenumiai, 3AN-20-7991.

There are two types of candidates who were hurt when the Alaska Director of Elections arbitrarily ruled recenty that party affiliations of candidates should not be on the ballot. The lawsuit was brought by a Democratic Party nominee who wants her independent affiliation noted on ballots, as it was in 2018 when she was running for the same office, U.S. House. But the Director did even more damage to the nominees of unqualified parties, by removing their party labels and instead printing “petition candidate.”

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Removes Howie Hawkins from Pennsylvania Ballot

Ballot Access News

On September 17, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court removed Howie Hawkins from the ballot, by a vote of 5-2. Here is the majority opinion in In re Nomination Paper of Scroggin, 55 MAP 2020. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.

UPDATE: here is the dissent.

Guam Presidential Ballot Has Seven Candidates

Ballot Access News

Guam has no electoral votes, but it still holds a public election for president. There will be six parties on the Guam presidential ballot: Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green, American Solidarity, and Prohibition. There is also one independent, Dario Hunter, who has the ballot label “Progressive.”

Kanye West Wins Idaho Ballot Access Lawsuit

Ballot Access News

On September 16, an Idaho state court ruled that Kanye West should remain on the ballot as an independent candidate for president. The judge said that the law only requires candidates who use the independent procedure to “state that such persons are offering themselves as independent candidates.” The decision says that because West signed that statement, he fulfilled the law. The decision says that whether he is registered as a party member is irrelevant. Idaho Democratic Party v Denney, cv-01-20-14470Here is the 15-page decision.

This decision is a case of first impression. Never before had any presidential candidate been kept off any ballot, primary or general, on the basis of how he or she is registered. Many presidential candidates who have used the independent procedure in Idaho were registered party members in their home state. For example, Jill Stein used the Idaho independent procedure in both 2012 and 2016, yet she was a registered Green in her home state of Massachusetts. So the September 16 decision does conform to Idaho precedent.

National Media Ignores Jo Jorgensen Press Release, That Shows She is on Ballot in All 51 Jurisdictions

Ballot Access News

On September 14, the Libertarian Party sent out a press release stating that Jo Jorgensen is on the ballot in all 51 jurisdictions that have electoral votes, but no large newspaper has yet carried the news.

Texas Supreme Court Puts Three Green Party Candidates on the Ballot

Ballot Access News

On September 15, the Texas Supreme Court issued an order putting three Green Party nominees back on the ballot. They had not paid the filing fee and a State Court of Appeals had removed them on August 19. In re the Green Party of Texas, 20-0708Here is the order. It says a full opinion will be issued later.

The Texas Supreme Court had put the Libertarians back on the ballot last week, but on the basis that the Republican Party challenge to them had been filed too late. The fact that the Court has now put the Greens back on the ballot, even though the challenge to them was not too late, suggests that the Texas Supreme Court likely thinks the filing fee is unconstitutional.

The Hill TV Show “Rising” Lambasts Democrats for Removing Green Candidates in Four States

Ballot Access News

The Hill TV has a regular show called “The Hill’s Rising with Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti.” This ten-minute segment discusses Democratic Party efforts to remove Green Party candidates in Texas, Montana, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Generally Ball represents progressive views and Enjeti presents conservative views, but they agree with each other in this piece.

Bill Redpath Wins Ballot Access Lawsuit for Himself as a Libertarian Nominee for U.S. House in Illinois

Ballot Access News

On September 11, Bill Redpath, Libertarian Party nominee for U.S. House, Illinois Sixth District, won his ballot access lawsuit in state trial court. Bixler v Illinois State Board of Elections, Sangamon Co., 20 MR 775.

The Illinois Board of Elections had determined that Redpath had enough valid signatures. Persons associated with the Republican Party then sued the State Board, arguing that he should be removed from the ballot. The basis for the challenge was that the some of his signers had already voted in the March 2020 primary. The challengers showed that if the primary voters were excluded, then Redpath didn’t have enough valid signatures.

There is no Illinois law saying that primary voters can’t sign for an independent candidate, or the nominee of an unqualified party. There was once a law barring primary voters from signing for an independent candidate, but it had been repealed in 1975. Nevertheless, the objectors claimed that it is intrinsically true that a primary voter can’t sign a general election petition, because that is equivalent to “voting twice.”

Here is the 3-page court order. It does not discuss the theory set forth by the objectors. It just says the decision to put Redpath on the ballot is in accord with the law.

Howie Hawkins’ Rhode Island Petition Lacks Enough Valid Signatures

Ballot Access News

The Rhode Island to place Howie Hawkins on the ballot failed to gather the needed 1,000 signatures. For a while the campaign hoped to be able to re-validate enough signatures, but in the end it seems only 897 signatures were valid.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Brock Pierce, Independent Presidential Candidate, Intends to Form a New Party Next Year

Ballot Access News

This ten-minute You Tube video interview with Brock Pierce, independent presidential candidates, contains a portion in which Pierce says he intends to start a new party next year. He has not yet chosen the name. The issues the party would stand for are revealed in the interview.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Keeps Howie Hawkins Off Ballot Because He Filed His Lawsuit Too Late

Ballot Access News

On September 14, the Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Wisconsin Elections Commission that Howie Hawkins should not be on the ballot. The decision does not decide whether he was removed properly or not, but merely says he waited too long to sue, and it would cause too much disruption to put him on the ballot now. Hawkins v Wisconsin Elections Commission, 2020AP-1488-OAHere is the 50-page decision. The vote was 4-3.

Liberty Union Party Has No Candidates for Vermont State Office, for First Time Since 1970

Ballot Access News

The Liberty Union Party, organized only in Vermont, has been running nominees for Vermont state office for 50 continuous years, starting in 1970. But in 2020, it has no nominees, other than Gloria La Riva for President.

The only minor parties in any state in the U.S. which have been on the ballot continuously for a longer period are the Conservative Party of New York (which had its first nominees in 1962), and the American Independent Party of California (1968).

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Tells Election Officials Not to Print Ballots Until Green Party Ballot Access Case is Resolved

Ballot Access News

On September 14, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order in the Green Party ballot access case, which is called In Re Nomination Paper of Elizabeth Faye Scroggin, 55 MAP 2020. It says, “The Secretary of the Commonwealth is directed not to certify the final general election ballot pending further order of this Court.”

The Green Party statewide Pennsylvania statewide petition had enough valid signatures, and the party’s non-presidential nominees for statewide state office are on the ballot. The lawsuit is over whether Howie Hawkins should be on the ballot as a presidential candidate. The state had put him on, but the challengers say the paperwork concerning the stand-in is not acceptable. The Commonwealth Court had put Hawkins on the ballot.

Andy Jacobs interview with Roger Roots at the 2020 Libertarian National Convention, 7/12/20, Part 3


Andy Jacobs interviews Roger Roots at the 2020 Libertarian National Convention, 7/12/20, Part 2


Andy Jacobs interviews Roger Roots at the 2020 Libertarian National Convention, 7/12/20, Part 1


Sunday, September 13, 2020

New York Working Families Party Nominates Joe Biden

Ballot Access News

On August 11, the New York Working Families Party nominated Joe Biden for president. This means he will be on the New York ballot twice, and voters can vote for him either as a Democrat or as a Working Families Party candidate.

In 2016, when the WFP nominated Hillary Clinton in New York, the party polled 139,840 votes for her, which was 1.83%.

The April 2020 new law on party status requires the greater of 130,000 votes, or 2%. So unless the new law is eventually declared unconstitutional, it is tough to predict whether the WFP can meet the new standard later this year.

New York Conservative Party Nominates President Trump

Ballot Access News

On August 29, the New York Conservative Party chose President Donald J. Trump as its presidential nominee. This means he will be listed twice on the New York, and voters who want to vote for him can do so under the Republican label or the Conservative label. The convention was virtual.

In 2016, Trump was also the Conservative Party nominee. As a Conservative nominee got 291,947 votes, 3.81%.

New York Libertarians Have Thirteen U.S. House Nominees on Ballot

Ballot Access News

The New York Libertarian Party has thirteen nominees on the ballot for U.S. House. In the past, the party had never had more than three nominees for U.S. House on the ballot in New York. Of course, 2020 is the first time ever that the New York Libertarian Party has been a ballot-qualified party, so it is far easier for it to run candidates than in the past.

Of the thirteen, eleven are Libertarian Party members who are not also the nominees of any other party. Two of them are also Republican nominees. New York has 27 U.S. House districts.