Tag Archives: ballot access

Federal judge: Pennsylvania ballot access law unfair to alternative parties

o-PENNSYLVANIA-VOTING-MACHINEThe 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.”

Libertarians certified as “new political party” in Arkansas

LPARKUAR 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 ...

Sixth Circuit: Tennessee ballot access standards unconstitutional

Sixth_CircuitThe 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 ...

Sanders: Independent or Democrat? Either way he’ll be on Democratic primary ballots

Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders (?-VT)

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 ...

Arkansas Libertarians back on the ballot, LP up to 31 states for 2016

via the Libertarian Party:

The Arkansas Secretary of State declared this week that the state Libertarian Party’s petition drive was a success, enabling the LP to run partisan candidates in the 2016 elections.

The LPAR had to collect at least 10,000 signatures from registered voters within a 90-day window.

This is the third straight general election cycle that the LPAR has successfully petitioned statewide to get candidates on the ballot.… Read more ...

New FEC rule request on presidential debates, noting flaws in Level the Playing Field proposal

via Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:

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.

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Politifact WI: “Half-true” to make 100% true statements about ballot access, unless gerrymandering also mentioned


Andy Craig at the 2015 Wisconsin Libertarian Convention

Via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Politifact Wisconsin: 

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.

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Arkansas Libertarians submit 15,709 signatures for party status, Greens forgo non-Presidential races

From talkbusiness.net via KATV:

The Libertarian Party of Arkansas submitted 15,709 signatures to the secretary of state’s office Tuesday – far more than the 10,000 needed to qualify for the ballot.

Dr. Michael Pakko, newly elected LPA chair, said the party began collecting signatures March 20 using volunteers and paid petitioners funded with a grant from the Libertarian National Committee.

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Wisconsin Libertarians name and shame unopposed legislators to reform ballot access

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 ...

NC progressives charge voter suppression, but is it really voter apathy?

Brian_Irving7North 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 seeks bill reducing ballot access hurdles


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.

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LP Monday Message: 6 Ballot Access Questions

LP.org blog:
Dear Friend of Liberty,

You can find answers to the following six questions on our Ballot Access Fund page.

  1. 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?
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