The Philadelphia Inquirer reports US District Court Judge Lawrence Stengel ruled Friday “that Pennsylvania unfairly treats its third-party political candidates, likely clearing the way for their return to the ballot after nearly disappearing during the last few election cycles.”
In his opinion, Stengel “wrote that the ‘ability of minor parties to organize and voice their views has been decimated’ by portions of the state’s election code,” specifically taking issue with the rule “that third-party candidates often must gather 10 times the number of signatures required of Republicans or Democrats — and then pay costly legal fees if their petitions are challenged — as they almost always are.”
However, the ruling “did not go as far” as the plaintiffs — “the left-leaning Green Party, the Libertarian Party and the conservative-leaning Constitution Party” — wanted, since Stengel ruled that the election law “is constitutional, just not in the way it’s been applied to the minor parties.”
KUAR in Arkansas reports on its website that the Libertarian Party of Arkansas has been “been officially recognized by Arkansas as a ‘new’ political party” for “the third consecutive cycle.”
Late last month, Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin said the party submitted 11,918 valid ballot access signatures; 10,000 were required for all Libertarian nominees for statewide office to obtain automatic ballot access in 2016.… Read more ...
The Tennesseean reports the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Tennessee’s ballot access standards violate the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.
Chief Judge R. Guy Cole Jr. wrote, “Tennessee’s ballot-retention statute clearly imposes a heavier burden on minor parties than major parties by giving minor parties less time to obtain the same level of electoral success as established parties.” The Tennessee Constitution and Green parties had filed the suit.… Read more ...
Whether or not somebody is a member of a party, or affiliated with a party, is not always a straightforward question. In his FEC Form 2 filing for his presidential candidacy, Bernie Sanders listed his “affiliation” as “Democratic Party.” However he continues to hold himself out as an Independent, and also still lists himself in the Congressional directory as an Independent.… Read more ...
On June 3, Independentvoting.org and its attorney, Harry Kresky, asked the Federal Election Commission to issue a new rule about general election presidential debates. Like the earlier request by Level the Playing Field, the request for a new rule seeks to expand entry into those debates.
Ballot laws mean only half of Assembly races are contested, Libertarian says
By Dave Umhoefer on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015 at 5:00 a.m.
When state Assembly seats are on the ballot, Wisconsin voters have far fewer candidates to choose from than residents of neighboring Minnesota and Michigan, a group called Competitive Elections Wisconsin claims.
Competitive Elections Wisconsin has compiled the following list of forty-seven state representatives who were elected without an opponent on Nov. 4, 2014, out of the ninety-nine members of the Assembly elected every two years. The group’s motto says it all about their motive: only one name on the ballot isn’t an election at all.… Read more ...
North Carolina progressives, and the News & Observer (Raleigh), are up in arms again over another alleged attempt at voter suppression. This time they claim the Republicans have deliberately prevented people from registering to vote. The basis for the charge is that the number of people registering to vote while applying for public benefits or a driver’s license has decreased.… Read more ...
Competitive Elections Wisconsin, a coalition of groups, parties, and former candidates seeking ballot access reform, has issued the following open letter and draft proposal to the members of the State Legislature.
To the Representatives to the Assembly and State Senators of Wisconsin,
Last November, as happens every two years, ninety-nine Representatives to the Assembly were elected.
Which state ran a candidate for governor in 2010, set a record high percentage in that race for a Libertarian, but fell a heart-breaking 1,614 votes short of the 50,000 votes needed to achieve ballot access?