Thursday, December 24, 2020

Maine Green Party Showing for U.S. Senate Was the Best in Maine History for Any Third Party

Ballot Access News

Last month, the Maine Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate, Lisa Savage, polled 4.95%.  That was the highest showing for U.S. Senate in Maine for any party, other than the Republican and Democratic Parties, in history.  U.S. Senate elections have only existed in the U.S. starting in 1914.

The showing for Lisa Savage shows the power of having ranked choice voting, for boosting minor party vote showings.

Kanye West Spent $14,400,000 on Presidential Campaign

Ballot Access News

This story says that Kanye West spent $14,400,000 on his 2020 presidential campaign.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Georgia Legislator Changes Affiliation from Democratic to Independent

Ballot Access News

On December 7, Georgia State Representative Valencia Stovall changed her partisan affiliation from Democratic to independent. She has been in the legislature since 2012. However, she did not run for re-election, so she won’t be a member of the legislature in 2021. She lives in Morrow and represents the 74th district.

Socialist Workers Party Came Fairly Close to Polling Enough Votes in District of Columbia to Be Ballot-Qualified

Ballot Access News

The Socialist Workers Party candidate for Delegate to U.S. House from the District of Columbia, Omari Musa, polled 6,702 votes last month. If he had polled as much as 7,500 votes, the SWP would now be ballot-qualified in D.C.

Only once has the SWP been a qualified party in D.C., That was immediately after the 1976 election, when the SWP polled 11,237 votes for Dorothy Hawkinson, its nominee for City-Council-at-Large.

Musa polled almost as many votes as the party’s presidential nominee, Alyson Kennedy, received in the entire nation..  She polled 6,791 votes. She was on the ballot in Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington. She did not file for write-in status in any state.

Musa was listed first on the D.C. ballot last month. He outpolled the Green Party nominee for Delegate to the U.S. House.

The Socialist Workers Party began running candidates for federal office in 1940, and ran its first presidential nominee in 1948. At one time or another it was a ballot-qualified party in Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina,Texas, and Vermont. Bernie Sanders was one of its presidential elector candidates in Vermont in 1980. It has never won a partisan office.

Presidential Vote Tallies for Candidates Who Got at Least 20,000 Votes

Ballot Access News

The election returns are almost final. The main gap are the Pennsylvania totals, and the write-in totals in several states. So far, among the presidential candidates who polled at least 20,000 votes, the totals are:

Joseph Biden, Democratic and Working Families, 81,268,867

Donald Trump, Republican and Conservative, 74,216,747

Jo Jorgensen, Libertarian, 1,865,720

Howie Hawkins, Green, 404,952

Rocky De La Fuente, Alliance, 88,234

Gloria La Riva, Socialism & Liberation, 85,616

Kanye West, independent, 70,298

Don Blankenship, Constitution, 60,148

Brock Pierce, independent, 49,700

Brian Carroll, American Solidarity, 39,188

The Wikipedia article on the election lists the vote by state for the top four candidates, but as of December 18 it does not include the Hawkins write-in vote total from Georgia.

States are Very Inconsistent in Tallying Write-in Votes for President

Ballot Access News

Every state except Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and South Dakota prints write-in space on November ballots for president. But the 42 states (plus D.C.) that include write-in space have very different policies on whether any write-ins are tallied.

States that have already tallied some presidential write-ins (generally only for candidates who filed for write-in status) are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

States that usually do tally some presidential write-ins, but which have not released any write-in returns so far this year, are Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Pennsylvania hasn’t even released its final totals for candidates who were on the ballot.

Jurisdictions that allow declared write-in presidential candidates to file, and yet refuse to tally the write-ins, are Alaska, D.C., Nebraska, North Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.

States that allow write-ins, but have no write-in filing procedure, and never release any write-in results for president, are Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Oregon.

The Eighth Circuit ruled in McLain v Meier, 851 F.2d 1045 (1988) that “The State has an obligation to count all votes properly cast.” See page 1051.  However, it also says that to the extent North Dakota is violating the U.S. Constitution on this point, the remedy ought to be in state court. North Dakota did count presidential write-ins for declared candidates in the past, but stopped doing so in 2008. The law didn’t change; the Secretary of State simply made that decision on his own. Nebraska is also in the Eighth Circuit. It seems plausible that any presidential candidate who filed for write-in status in either of those two states could sue. Howie Hawkins is the most prominent presidential candidate in those two states who was not on the ballot in 2020.

In 2010 the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, ruled that the District of Columbia Board of Elections need not count write-ins for declared presidential write-in candidates, because it would cost too much.  The decision says that if anyone wants to know how many votes were cast, they are free to file a Freedom of Information request to look at all the ballots. Of course, if anyone did this, their findings would not be “official” and no reference book that tallies the votes for president would accept their findings. Both Merrick Garland and Brett Kavanaugh signed this opinion, Barr v D.C. Board of Elections. Bob Barr, the Libertarian nominee, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse this decision, but the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

The Virginia Constitution guarantees voters the right to cast a write-in vote in general elections, and the Virginia State Board of Elections formerly tallied write-ins for declared presidential candidates, but stopped doing so in 2012. A lawsuit under the State Constitution might succeed if anyone were to file it. Howie Hawkins was the most prominent presidential candidate who wasn’t on the Virginia ballot in 2020.

Georgia Secretary of State Releases Write-in Totals for Presidential Candidates

Ballot Access News

The Georgia Secretary of State has released vote totals for the declared write-in presidential candidates. See the state total here. Thanks to Bryce Wargin for the link.

National Totals for Governor for Each Party, 2020 Election

Ballot Access News

At the November 2020 election, eleven states held gubernatorial elections.  Here are the national totals for each party:

Republican 10,698,657

Democratic 8,901,867

Libertarian 581,634

Progressive of Vermont 99,214

Green 28,543

Independent American of Utah 25,810

Constitution 20,934

Independent of Delaware 6,150

Four years ago, in the same states, the national totals were:  Republican 8,842,543; Democratic 8,303,331; Libertarian 347,699; Green 69,107; Independent of Oregon 47,481; Independent American of Utah 15,912; Liberty Union 8,912; Constitution 4,041.


S. Marshall Wilson, Independent Write-in for West Virginia Governor, Polled 1.93% of Total Vote

Ballot Access News

S. Marshall Wilson, a write-in candidate for Governor of West Virginia last month, polled 15,120 write-ins.  He is West Virginia’s only independent legislator, although he did not run for re-election and will not be in the legislature in 2021.

National Totals for Each Party for U.S. Senate, 2020

Ballot Access News

The national vote for each party, for the regularly-scheduled U.S. Senate elections of 2020, appears to be:

Republican 40,068,431

Democratic 38,103,518

Libertarian 1,454,128

Green 298,927

Willie Wilson Party 237,699

Legal Marijuana Now 190,154

Constitution 161,448

Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis 57,174

Alaskan Independence 16,806

Natural Law 13,093

Approval Voting 9,820

Unity 8,971

Independent of Delaware 7,833

Independent of Louisiana 7,811

When the same seats were up in 2014, the totals were:  Republican 22,587,303; Democratic 19,607,152; Libertarian 885,400; Green 152,703; Constitution 100,596; Independence of Minnesota 47,530; Working Families 24,207; Reform 13,938; Unity 6,427; Dem-Rep 3,890.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Tentative National Totals for Each Party for U.S. House

Ballot Access News

Here are the national totals for each party, for U.S. House in 2020. These figures are not entirely final. There are no results yet for the New York 22nd district, and the Pennsylvania figures are not complete. Also there may well be errors, which will be double-checked soon.  These totals do not include Delegate to the U.S. House from D.C.

Democratic:  76,972,291

Republican 72,469,158

Libertarian 1,093,908

Working Families 379,056

Conservative of NY 288,586

Green 90,110

Constitution 82,567

Legal Marijuana Now 80,440

Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis 79,674

Independence of NY 43,944

Working Class 36,115

Unity 23,401

Independent of Louisiana 18,522

Independent of Connecticut 16,738

United Utah 15,077

SAM 8,841

Independent of Delaware 6,682

Aloha Aina 6,444

Communist 3,432

Populist 2,431

Approval Voting 1,441

American Shopping 661

American Solidarity 75

Minnesota’s Marijuana Parties Easily Had the Strongest Showing of Any Third Parties in 2020 U.S. House Races

Ballot Access News

Minnesota has four ballot-qualified parties: the two major parties, the Legal Marijuana Now Party, and the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party. Minnesota has eight U.S. House seats.  In six districts, one or the other of the marijuana parties had a nominee. Treating the two parties as a single party, their nominees polled 6.86% of the vote in the districts in which they had candidates.

This is easily the best showing by any party, other than the Democratic and Republican Parties, in U.S. House races around the country. All of the Minnesota districts had a Republican and a Democratic running as well. There were U.S. House districts around the nation in which a Libertarian Party nominee polled above 15%, but those were all districts with only one major party nominee.

Minnesota did not have any independent candidates on the ballot for U.S. House, nor any minor party nominees for U.S. House other than from the two marijuana parties. Minnesota has very stringent ballot access for office other than president. Also Minnesota doesn’t have the initiative process, so marijuana legalization advocates can’t work toward their goal using the initiative process.

Tim Alberta Talks to Twenty Voters About Their Presidential Vote, Including a Don Blankenship Voter and a Kanye West Voter

Ballot Access News

Tim Alberta, chief correspondent for Politico, talked at length to twenty voters about who they voted for and why. Included in the twenty was a voter who voted for Don Blankenship, and one who voted for Kanye West. The Blankenship voter wanted to cast a vote for someone who wants to ban abortion but who is not a womanizer. The Kanye West voted that way because “he hates both parties.” See the entire piece here. Thanks to electoral-vote for the link.

Outgoing Michigan Republican Congressmember Becomes an Independent

Ballot Access News

On December 14, Congressmember Paul Mitchell of Michigan’s 10th district told the Clerk of the U.S. House to switch his partisan affiliation in the Congressional Directory from Republican to independent. Michigan doesn’t have registration by party, so there is no other method for anyone to announce party membership or independent status than to say so publicly.

Mitchell was elected for the first time in 2016, and was re-elected in 2018, but did not run in 2020, so he has less than a month in office.  He represents the “thumb” of the Michigan “hand”, the area north of Detroit that extends into Lake Huron. Thanks to Political Wire for this news.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Maine Legislator John Andrews Joins Libertarian Party

Ballot Access News

On January 14, Maine state representative John Andrews changed his voter registration from Republican to Libertarian.  He represents part of Oxford County and lives in the county seat, Paris.  He was first elected to the legislature in 2018, and was re-elected last month.

The Maine Libertarian Party is not now ballot-qualified, but Maine residents are permitted to register into the Libertarian Party because it has filed paperwork showing that it is intending to qualify.  Also the party has a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to regain its qualified status, which for a newly-qualifying party, requires 5,000 registered members by January 2022.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Connecticut Working Families Party Percentage of the Vote in 2020 was the Lowest in History

Ballot Access News

The Connecticut Working Families Party always runs nominees for Congress and state legislature in at least half the districts. In 2020, for an unexplained reason, the percentage of the vote for the WFP, in the districts in which it had nominees, was the lowest in history.

Its 2020 State Senate nominees, in the districts in which they ran, polled 2.44% of the vote.  In previous years, the State Senate percentages had been:  2002 3.02%; 2004 2.94%; 2006 4.24%; 2008 5.88%; 2010 3.83%; 2012 3.29%; 2014 5.67%; 2016 3.69%; 2018 2.58%.

Its 2020 State Representative nominees, in the districts in which they ran, polled 2.95%.  Previous years were:  2002 3.81%; 2004 3.46%; 2006 4.97%; 2008 6.29%; 2010 3.58%; 2012 4.31%; 2014 4.58%; 2016 5.00%; 2018 3.05%..

For U.S. House, the 2020 percentage was 2.70%. That was the lowest percentage ever, except that it had been lower in 2004 and 2006.  2004 was 1.14%; 2006 2.66%; 2008 5.24%; 2010 2.90%; 2012 4.38%; 2014 3.96%; 2016 5.81%; 2018 3.69%.

North Carolina State Board of Elections Still Tracks Green and Constitution Party Registration, Despite Their Losing Qualified Party Status

Ballot Access News

The North Carolina State Board of Elections posts registration data every week. The latest tally, December 12, still shows the Green Party and Constitution Party registrants, even though those parties went off the ballot last month. Members of those parties are asking the State Board of Elections to let them keep their registered members. In the past, North Carolina has been one of a handful of states that forcibly converts members of parties to “independent” status when the party goes off the ballot.

California Secretary of State Releases Write-in Totals for President

Ballot Access News

California’s Secretary of State has determined the number of write-in votes for the declared presidential write-in candidates:

Brian Carroll (American Solidarity) 2,598
Jesse Ventura (independent) 610
Mark Charles (independent) 557
Brock Pierce (independent) 185
Joseph Kishore (Socialist Equality) 121

Thanks to Jim Riley for this information.

Libertarian Percentage for U.S. Senate from Kentucky Was the Highest for Anyone Running Outside the Major Parties Since 1914

Ballot Access News

Last month, Brad Barron, Libertarian nominee for U.S. Senate from Kentucky, polled 4.00% of the vote. That was the highest percentage for anyone running for U.S. Senate from Kentucky outside of the two major parties since 1914, when the Progressive Party nominee, Burton Vance, polled 4.15%. 'Jo Jorgensen's 1% Triumpth'

With no name recognition, no money, and no media, the Jorgensen campaign helped cement the L.P.'s decade-long transformation into the third party in the United States.

by Matt Welch,

"If it holds," former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) tweeted out the morning after Election Day, "@LPNational candidate got 38,000 votes in Wisconsin and margin between @JoeBiden and @realDonaldTrump is less than 21,000 votes." Then, because this was the modern Republican Party, Walker illustrated his exasperation with a beer commercial GIF.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Ron Paul speech at Anarchapulco 2020

 Ron Paul was the Libertarian Party's candidate for President in 1988,  and he retains at Life Membership in the Libertarian Party.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Life & Liberty Party 2020 In Review

    Despite minimal resources, in the midst of a global pandemic, and accompanied by unprecedented financial, social and political upheavals; our initial foray into electoral politics has yielded some encouraging results for the Life & Liberty Party and affiliated candidates in 2020.  This year, we had L&LP affiliated candidates on the ballot in Arkansas, Idaho and Colorado.  We submit the following evidence of our achievements in 2020.
Our Myers/Lusk presidential ticket appeared on the Arkansas ballot under the Life and Liberty Party label and received 1,372 votes or .11%.  Despite daunting obstacles, the ticket performed well.  Out of 1,212 presidential candidates who filed with the FEC in 2020, the Myers/Lusk ticket ranked 22nd overall nationally.

Our affiliated U.S. Senate candidate in Idaho (IDCP), Ray Writz, received 10,188 votes or 1.19%.  

Our affiliated U.S. House candidate in Idaho District #2 (IDCP), Pro-Life (formerly known as Marvin Richardson), received 8,573 votes or 2.19%.  

In Colorado, our affiliated candidate, James K. Treibert (COUP) received 57,387 votes or 29.09% for Adams County Board of Commissioners, District 2. 

Also in Arkansas, our affiliated candidate, "Thorium" Glen Schwartz received 1,653 votes in his nonpartisan race for Little Rock City Director position #9.

Our total affiliated candidates votes in these three states were at least 79,173.  We have made our political presence known.  We have thousands of new supporters across the country.  We are now moving forward to build up our state affiliates in preparation for 2021 and beyond. 

Our Alaska affiliate, the Alaska Constitution Party, continues to gain ground, and as of 12/03/20, now has 636 registered Alaskan voters.

Several of our signature issues have gained more awareness, with some now catapulted to the forefront of American consciousness:  Universal Debt Jubilee, Vote Integrity, and Ending Cannabis Prohibition, the War on Drugs, the Educational/Criminal Justice/Military/Industrial Complex pipeline, militarization of the police and the criminalization of our populace are all now being seriously considered.  

Moving forward, we will continue to insist upon accountable servant leadership in government; free, equal and fair elections; constitutionally based civil governance, due process and the rule of law.  We will continue to insist that power is decentralized to the people, localities and states.      

We will continue to insist upon election integrity!  Healthy elections begin and end with healthy campaigns.  Proper voter registration, ballot access liberalization, balloting, vote counting, permanent records, ethical campaign finance reform, unbiased coverage and debate inclusion of all ballot qualified candidates are essential. 

2020 saw the emergence of the Life & Liberty Party as a new political alternative.  Congratulations to all who helped!  Together, we will continue to promote the ideals of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for All!  

Friday, December 4, 2020

New York Independence Party Affiliates with the Alliance Party

Ballot Access News

The New York Independence Party very recently became the New York state affiliate of the Alliance Party.

If it weren’t for the New York law that passed in April 2020, making it far more difficult for parties to remain ballot-qualified, the Independence Party would now be ballot-qualified, and therefore the Alliance Party would now be ballot-qualified in New York. But under the new law, the Independence Party is not ballot-qualified. It is possible that the new New York law will be declared unconstitutional in federal court in the coming months.

The Alliance Party is now ballot-qualified in Connecticut, Florida, Mississippi, and South Carolina, and it will be ballot-qualified in Delaware (under the name American Delta) if it increases its registration by about 100 more members.

American Solidarity Party Joins Board of Coalition for Free & Open Elections (COFOE)

Ballot Access News

The American Solidarity Party is now on the board of the Coalition for Free & Open Elections (COFOE), which was founded in 1985 and which is a very loose coalition of most of the nation’s nationally-organized minor parties, along with other organizations that care about ballot access for new and minor parties and independent candidates.

COFOE raises some funds, which are generally used to help pay for ballot access lawsuits. COFOE is expecting to pay for the printing costs soon for the North Carolina challenge to the March 3 independent presidential petition deadline. The Fourth Circuit had upheld that deadline, even as applied to presidential candidates, despite the U.S. Supreme Court having ruled in 1983 in Anderson v Celebrezze that Ohio’s March 20 is too early.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Errors Found in Texas Certification of Votes for President, but Secretary of State Says it is Too Late to Fix Them

Ballot Access News

Texas has already certified its November 2020 election returns. Although Harris County says that Brian Carroll, American Solidarity presidential nominee, received 422 write-ins, the Texas Secretary of State official tally shows zero.

Also, the Texas Secretary of State’s tally shows 1,866 write-ins for President R. Boddie, another declared write-in presidential candidate. But the County says Boddie did not receive any write-ins in Bexar County.

The Texas Secretary of State says it is too late to fix these obvious errors, unless someone files a lawsuit. Thanks to the American Solidarity Party for this news.

Connecticut Independent Party Showed Greater Independence from Republican Party Than It had in 2018

Ballot Access News

In 2020, the Independent Party of Connecticut had 122 nominees for state and federal office. Sixteen of them were not nominees of the Democratic or Republican Parties. Among the 106 nominees who were nominees of one of the major parties, 87 were Republicans and 19 were Democrats.

Although that shows a strong preference for Republicans, it was still quite different from 2018 and earlier years, when almost all the Independent Party nominees were also Republican nominees. In 2018, the party only had five nominees who were not also major party nominees. Among the 121 nominees who were also major party nominees, 116 were Republicans and only five were Democrats.

The Independent Party is ballot-qualified for all the statewide offices except President, and is ballot-qualified for most of the district offices. If it had been ballot-qualified for president in 2020, it would have placed Rocky De La Fuente on the ballot, because the Independent Party is affiliated with the Alliance Party, and the Alliance Party had nominated De La Fuente.

People’s Party Files Intent to Qualify for Party Status in Maine

Ballot Access News

The People’s Party, which is a national party in formation, has filed the notice in Maine that is required for new parties, before they can start their voter registration drive. Maine requires new and previously unqualified parties to obtain 4,000 registered members. The deadline is January 2022. It makes sense that the People’s Party would start in Maine, because Maine has ranked choice voting for congress, although still doesn’t have it in the general election for state office. See the People’s Party’s press release.

New York Newspaper Story on Lawsuit over Definition of a Qualified Political Party

Ballot Access News

The Olean, New York Times Herald has this story about the pending lawsuit filed by the Libertarian and Green Parties over the new definition of a qualified party.

Alaskan Independence Party Activity Was Much Higher in 2020 than in Previous Decade

Ballot Access News

The Alaskan Independence Party is one of the nation’s oldest one-state parties. It first appeared on Alaska ballots in 1974. Until 2020, it had seemed dormant. It had no nominees in 2018, only one in 2016, and none on the ballot in 2014 and 2012.

But in 2020, it polled its highest percentage ever for U.S. Senate (4.73%, for John Wayne Howe), and it had three legislative candidates on the ballot, the most since 2004. Its nominee for State Senate, district P on the Kenai Peninsula, polled 35.06% in a two-person race against a Republican.

Here is the party’s website, showing that it still believes in a new relationship between Alaska and the remainder of the United States.

Libertarian Gubernatorial Nominees Set Record Highs in Four States

The nation’s third largest party continues to make bigger footprints in multiple statewide races

by Eric Ostermeier, Smart Politics

Smart Politics recently profiled the record-setting performances Libertarians and other third party candidates had this cycle across nine states in elections for the U.S. Senate.

This report’s focus is on gubernatorial elections – for which Libertarians set new party records in four of the nine states in which they fielded a nominee earlier this month.

Nearly setting the all-time bar was U.S Navy veteran and 2016 U.S. Senate nominee Donald Rainwater in Indiana (pictured).

Rainwater clocked in with 11.44 percent – nearly tripling the previous best for the party in the state (Robert Boneham’s 3.95 percent in 2012).