Utah Won’t Appeal Court Decision on Early Deadline for New Parties in Special Elections

Ballot Access News

As already noted, on August 2, a U.S. District Court struck down Utah procedures that didn’t permit a new party to get on the ballot in a special U.S. House election, unless the party had already been ballot-qualified when the election was called. According to this story, the state won’t appeal.

The decision will be somewhat helpful in other cases against early petition deadlines for new parties, both in special elections and also regular elections. It may also help persuade the Utah legislature that the petition deadline for new parties in regular elections (November 30 of the year before the election) is flawed and ought to be eased. The 2017 legislature moved that deadline from February of an election year, back to the year before the election. That Utah change was one of only two restrictive ballot access bills that passed in any state in 2017. The other bill that passed was a North Carolina bill that moved the independent petition deadline from June to April. Other restrictive bills that were introduced in 2017, but which failed to pass, were in Alaska, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico, and New York.

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