Tag Archives: Ballot Access

Presidential ballot access map for the Constitution Party

Thanks to J.R. Myers for a link to the following, from the Constitution Party’s website:

Open and equal access to the ballot is the political rights issue of 21st Century America.  Without all political ideologies having a place in the free marketplace of ideas, on an equal footing with the top two in power, life is like an ice cream shop that only serves two flavors – customers grow weary and no longer buy.  America flourishes when its citizens have real choices with which they identify philosophically.  America’s representative system of constitutional governance is doomed to fail if voters continue to be offered only vanilla and chocolate when they what they really want is mint chocolate chip or a hot fudge sundae.


Ballot Access Map - master1


WHAT IS BALLOT ACCESS?

Ballot access is the process by which candidates are allowed to place their name on the ballot, according to the rules of their state.

WHO IS IN CHARGE OF BALLOT ACCESS?

Ballot access is defined by each state legislature.  The rules and regulations are put into place by each state’s Secretary of State, then filtered down to the county, parish, or borough auditors, who run and monitor each election in their respective jurisdictions.

IS BALLOT ACCESS EQUAL FOR ALL POLITICAL PARTIES?

No. Ballot access is generally free and open to all candidates running as Republicans and Democrats.   Alternative parties and independents have other steps they must follow which vary from state to state.  These steps are often expensive, time-consuming, and convoluted.

HOW CAN I HELP THE CONSTITUTION PARTY GAIN BALLOT ACCESS IN MY STATE?

Contact your Secretary of State’s Office and ask the Elections Department how ballot access works in your state.  Most states have a signature petition requirement with very specific rules to follow.   You can also:

  • contact your state party leadership to find out how you can help the Constitution Party gain ballot access in your state.
  • sign a petition when asked and/or serve as a volunteer petition gatherer.
  • donate to your state or national party.  It costs money to pay signature gatherers and occasionally there are court costs associated with litigation regarding ballot access.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BALLOT ACCESS IN AMERICA

Richard Winger of Ballot Access News is the most highly respected expert on what is happening with ballot access in America today. Visit his website to find out more.

Open and Equal Elections:  Home Front with Cynthia Davis podcast featuring an engaging discussion on the topic with former national Constitution Party chairman Jim Clymer and Gary Odom, former national field director.  They discuss Ron Paul, George Washington, lawsuits, and why they continue to fight the battle against all odds.

February 2016 edition of Ballot Access News now online

Ballot Access News

Today, Richard Winger, the founder and editor of Ballot Access News and a member of the Libertarian Party, released the February 2016 edition of his print newsletter online. The contents of the newsletter:

Table of Contents

  1. U.S. DISTRICT COURT ENJOINS CONNECTICUT BAN ON OUT-OF-STATE CIRCULATORS
  2. MICHIGAN ENDS STRAIGHT-TICKET
  3. PROCEDURAL WIN IN SOUTH DAKOTA BALLOT ACCESS CASE
  4. BALLOT ACCESS BILLS
  5. 72% OF ARIZONA LEGISLATORS BACK POPULAR VOTE PLAN
  6. MAINE LIBERTARIAN PARTY SUES
  7. ARIZONA TOP-TWO INITIATIVE STARTS TO CIRCULATE, BUT HAS LEGAL FLAWS
  8. ALASKA DEMOCRATS WANT TO LET INDEPENDENTS BE THEIR NOMINEES
  9. AMERICA VOTES 2014 IS NOW IN PRINT
  10. ELECTION LAW BILLS OF INTEREST
  11. BOOK REVIEW: PRIMARY POLITICS
  12. U.S. SUPREME COURT DENIES THREE BALLOT ACCESS CASES
  13. U.S. DISTRICT COURT DENIES RELIEF IN PENNSYLVANIA PRIMARY BALLOT ACCESS CASE
  14. 1914 VOTE FOR U.S. HOUSE
  15. PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY CANDIDATES WHO GOT ON BALLOTS IN JANUARY
  16. MIKE BLOOMBERG PONDERS INDEPENDENT CANDIDACY
  17. GARY JOHNSON DECLARES FOR THE LIBERTARIAN NOMINATION
  18. LIBERTARIAN PARTY GAINS A NEVADA STATE LEGISLATOR
  19. REFORM PARTY CONVENTION
  20. CHART ON 2016 PETITIONING
  21. JILL STEIN LIKELY TO RECEIVE PRIMARY MATCHING FUNDS IN FEBRUARY
  22. SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL

Read the full edition here.

Constitution Party chairman Frank Fluckiger gives update on the CP’s ballot access

Frank Fluckiger

From J.R. Myers at IPR

February 18, 2016

Dear Fellow Constitution Party Members:

Thanks to the support of those states that have paid their $1,000.00 annual assessments, we have been able to make significant progress in achieving ballot access for the 2016 presidential election.

In 2014, we succeeded in getting on the ballot in West Virginia, Wisconsin, Alaska, and in two counties in Alabama. We then ran candidates for office in each of those states and garnered enough votes in Wisconsin and in one county in Alabama to retain ballot access there. We fell short in Alaska and West Virginia, but last year we succeeded in re-qualifying in Alaska and this year are very close to re-qualifying in West Virginia.

We currently have ballot access in the following states for 2016: Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Nevada, Alaska, and Utah.

Last year, in addition to regaining ballot access in Alaska, we also gained ballot access in Arkansas. We should complete our ballot access drive this week in Hawaii. None of these states were on the ballot in 2012. One of our party members opened his home up to provide lodging for the petitioner, thereby making it possible for the party to afford to send someone to that state.

We are also nearing completion of our ballot access drives in West Virginia and South Dakota. The latter state needs 6,936 valid signatures, and, at present, they have gathered just over 7,400. Our goal is to reach the 10,000 signature mark by the deadline of March 29th. Other states we hope to target as quickly as funds are available are New Jersey, Ohio, Iowa, North Dakota, Montana, Kansas, Louisiana, Alabama, and, hopefully, Nebraska and New York.

Being able to achieve these goals is largely dependent upon the states paying their annual assessments. In particular, we rely on support from those states that already have ballot access. Currently, five states have paid fully the $1,000.00 annual state assessment and three states have paid some portion of their assessment. We are grateful to the leadership of those states and readily acknowledge the sacrifice that is being made.

We encourage the leaders in states not ballot qualified to help with the preliminary work necessary to qualify their states. The Secretary of State’s office will guide you in the requirements and provide you with the necessary forms for attaining ballot access in your state. It is critical that all this be done in advance so that when funds do become available, we can begin the ballot petition process immediately. We simply do not have the manpower for the national party to lay the background work that is needed.

The purpose of this update is to encourage our state leaders to do all they can to remit to the national party their state assessments as quickly as possible. We ask that you forward this information on to your leaders and party members in your states. Have them earmark the donations for your state assessment and have them remit their donations to the national party at Constitution Party, P. O. Box 1782, Lancaster, PA 17608.

We ask that your members remit whatever amount they can now, but, even more critical is the need for regular monthly donations in the amount of $5.00, $10.00, $25.00, $50.00 or $100.00 where that is possible. Some are already doing this.

Donations have also been received that are earmarked solely for ballot access. Thus far this year, North Carolina leads in such monthly donations. Other states from which significant donations for ballot access have been received are Florida, Montana, Oregon, Missouri, Texas and Utah. We are grateful for such donations.

Time is of the essence. The sooner we are able to raise the funds to begin the ballot petitioning process, the more reasonable the cost will be.

Again, I ask that you do all you can to help get your state assessments paid as soon as possible

Sincerely,

Frank Fluckiger

National Chairman

Constitution Party

NPR Illinois: “Insurmountable Burden” Law For Third Parties Stricken, Paving The Way For Libertarian Candidates

(The following was originally published in NPR.)

The lawsuit dates back to 2012, when Libertarian Party candidates challenged a trio of state election requirements, including the full slate law.

“If the Libertarian party, or the Green Party, or the Constitution Party, or any other new party would want to run for governor, they would also have to find a qualified candidates for Attorney General, and a candidate for Secretary of State, Comptroller, etc.,” Libertarian Party Chair Lex Green explains.

The same requirement applies for county-wide offices — but only for non-qualified parties. Democrats and Republicans need not run a whole slate; they’re free to run candidates for single statewide or county offices and have no one run for others.

Continue reading

Ballot Access News: U.S. District Court Strikes Down Law Requiring New Parties to Run a Full Slate of Candidates

(The following was originally published by Richard Winger in Ballot Access News.)

On February 12, U.S. District Court Judge Andrea R. Wood issued a one-page order, granting the Illinois Libertarian Party’s motion for summary judgment that the Illinois full-slate law is unconstitutional. The decision will be issued later. The minute entry says, “For the reasons stated in the Memorandum Opinion and Order to follow, Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment is granted and Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is denied.”

The full-slate law was passed in 1931. It was probably passed to thwart the Communist Party, which had a very popular activist named Claude Lightfoot, a leader of Chicago’s African-American community. He received 33,337 votes for State Representative in 1932, not enough to win, but a strong showing. At the time Illinois used cumulative voting for State House elections. Each district elected three candidates. Each party was permitted to run either one, two, or three candidates. Voters each had three votes, and they could give one vote to each of three candidates, or they could accumulate their votes to give two votes to one person and one to another; or they could give all three votes to a single candidate. Illinois had been using this system since 1870.

The law passed in 1931 said a previously unqualified party (such as the Communist Party, which was never a qualified party in Illinois because it could never get 5% for any statewide race) had to run three candidates for State House, thus preventing such a party from taking advantage of cumulative voting to the fullest extent. The law barred the Communist Party from running just one candidate for State House in a district; it had to run three candidates in any district it contested. Of course voters were still free to give all three of their votes to the most popular Communist and ignore the other two. But the state had a straight-ticket device at the time, and voters who used the straight-ticket device for the Communist Party were splitting their three votes among all three Communist candidates, thus lessening the support for the one candidate that the party hoped might win.

Illinois stopped using cumulative voting in 1982, but the full-slate law remained on the books. It forced newly-qualifying parties to run a full slate of statewide candidates, whether they wanted to or not. For example, in midterm years, it forced such parties to run for Attorney General, if they wanted to run for Governor, even though the party might not have a qualified candidate for Attorney General (only attorneys can run for that position). In county partisan elections, it forced parties that wanted to run for any countywide executive positions to run for State’s Attorney.

The Constitution Party wants $53k for its lawsuit over SB54

File photo: Count My Vote volunteers work to collect signatures in October of 2013.by Ben Winslow

SALT LAKE CITY — In a new legal filing, the Constitution Party of Utah is asking taxpayers to shell out more than $53,000 for attorneys fees in fighting the state over a lawsuit over the so-called “Count My Vote compromise” law.

The Constitution Party said the costs were incurred joining the Utah Republican Party in its lawsuit against Senate Bill 54, which provides an alternative to candidates to get on the ballot by gathering signatures versus the caucus/convention system. The Utah GOP sued Governor Gary Herbert and the state, arguing it violated their First Amendment right to free association…

To read more, click here.