July 2021 Ballot Access News Print Edition

Ballot Access News
July 2021 – Volume 37, Number 2

This issue was printed on white paper.


Table of Contents

  1. CONGRESSMAN DONALD BEYER INTRODUCES PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION BILL
  2. MAINE MAKES IT EASIER FOR A PARTY TO REMAIN QUALIFIED
  3. ILLINOIS EASES PETITION DEADLINE FOR 2022
  4. CALIFORNIA BALLOT ACCESS IMPROVEMENT BILL MOVES AHEAD
  5. NEVADA GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL MAKING BALLOT ACCESS WORSE
  6. ARIZONA SUPREME COURT ISSUES KANYE WEST OPINION
  7. CALIFORNIA BILL ON PAYING CIRCULATORS MOVES AHEAD
  8. NEW HAMPSHIRE BILL FOR EARLIER DEADLINES
  9. LEGISLATIVE NEWS
  10. BOOK REVIEW: RUN FOR SOMETHING
  11. U.S. HOUSE JUNE ACTIONS SHOWS THAT PRIMARY SYSTEMS DON’T MATTER
  12. 2024 PRESIDENTIAL PETITION REQUIREMENTS
  13. BALLOT FOR NEW YORK CITY JUNE 22 DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY
  14. NEW JERSEY 2021 ELECTION
  15. VIRGINIA 2021 ELECTION
  16. RUSSIA BARS REFORMERS FROM SEPTEMBER 2021 BALLOT
  17. PENNSYLVANIA RELEASES HOWIE HAWKINS WRITE-IN TOTAL
  18. NEW MEXICO U.S. HOUSE ELECTION
  19. BILL KING, PROMINENT HOUSTON FIGURE, JOINS SAM PARTY
  20. DSA MEMBER WINS DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION FOR BUFFALO MAYOR
  21. FORMER REFORM PARTY LEADER WINS REPUBLICAN PRIMARY FOR NEW YORK CITY MAYOR
  22. TWO MEN WHO SOUGHT A LIBERTARIAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION DIED IN JUNE
  23. SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL

CONGRESSMAN DONALD BEYER INTRODUCES PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION BILL

On June 11, Congressman Donald Beyer (D-Virginia) introduced HR 3863, a bill to convert U.S. House elections to the type of proportional representation called the Single Transferable Vote system.

Single Transferable Vote is used in Australia, Ireland, Malta, Northern Ireland, and the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was used in New York city 1937-1946. It is probably the only form of proportional representation that would ever gain acceptance in the United States, because it is more oriented toward voting for candidates than for political parties.

The bill creates much larger U.S. House districts. Most districts would elect five members of the U.S. House, although there would also be districts that elect four members or three members. States with five or fewer members would not have districts; the entire state would be the district.

Every voter only has one vote, although each voter would rank his or her choices, much as is done with ranked choice voting in elections with a single winner. Parties would have a full slate of nominees if they wished.

In a five-member district, a candidate who receives close to 20% of the vote would be elected. This is why the system is proportional. The ranked-choice characteristic of the system means that no votes would be wasted. Excess votes for popular candidates that are not needed for his or her victory would be transferred to other candidates who still need more votes. Also votes for candidates who have no hope of winning would also be transferred to candidates on the list of the voter’s less-preferred choices, to help them win.

This system would make it possible for minor parties to elect members. For example, Congressman Justin Amash, who was the first and only Libertarian member of Congress, never ran for re-election as a Libertarian probably because he felt he could not win. But under the HR 3863 system, it is extremely likely that he could have been re-elected in 2020 as a Libertarian. The system would make it much easier for independents to be elected.

The typical district, especially the districts with at least three members, would have members of both major parties elected. This would revive the vitality of Republicans in inner-city areas, and the vitality of Democrats in rural areas.

The bill also provides that U.S. Senate elections would use ranked choice voting, and it mandates nonpartisan methods to draw district boundaries.

Congressman Beyer has introduced this type of bill twice before. In 2017 he introduced HR 3057 on June 26, and it had five co-sponsors: Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Ro Khanna of California, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, and Scott Peters of California.

In 2019 he introduced it again, on July 25. He had the same co-sponsors, and also Joe Neguse of Colorado and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon. The 2021 bill has the same seven co-sponsors.

Although the bill did not advance in previous years, it already has received more attention this year than in previous years. It is the only election reform that plausibly could ease polarization in Congress.


MAINE MAKES IT EASIER FOR A PARTY TO REMAIN QUALIFIED

On June 10, the Maine legislature passed LD 1061. Governor Janet Mills didn’t sign it, but she didn’t veto it either, so on June 24 it became law. It makes it somewhat easier for a party to remain qualified.

The old law said a party only remains qualified if it had at least 10,000 registered members who went to the polls in a statewide general election. The new law says a party needs 10,000 registered members on general election day, but it doesn’t matter how many of them cast a ballot or not. In practical terms, the old law really required approximately 14,000 or so members.

The new law also says that even if a party doesn’t have 10,000 registered members, it remains on the ballot for four more years if it polls 5% for either president or governor. Ironically, the law already said that if a nonqualified party polls 5% for President or Governor, that group became a qualified party; but if the party was already qualified, polling 5% didn’t help. If the new law had been in existence in 2016, the Libertarian Party would have been ballot-qualified in 2020, because in 2016 Gary Johnson polled 5.09% for president. But the party was ballot-qualified in 2016, so Johnson’s percentage was no help.

The Maine law on how a party remains on the ballot is still much more severe than in most states. The vote test for party retention in the median state is 2%, and in half the states, the vote for any statewide office counts, not just the vote for president or governor.


ILLINOIS EASES PETITION DEADLINE FOR 2022

On June 17, Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzger signed SB 825, which moves the 2022 primary from March to June. It also moves the petition deadline for independent candidates, and the nominees of unqualified parties, from June 27 to July 13. The bill passed because the state is afraid that there won’t be enough time to draw new U.S. House and legislative districts, given that the U.S. Census Bureau can’t furnish data until August 2021. But there is some thought that later, if the 2022 primary is satisfactory, the change might become permanent. Illinois has moved its primary dates many times in the past, and has held primaries in September, August, June, and April, during the last 113 years.


CALIFORNIA BALLOT ACCESS IMPROVEMENT BILL MOVES AHEAD

On June 2, the California Assembly passed AB 446. It lowers the number of signatures for a new party from 10% of the last gubernatorial vote, to 3%, which would be 373,928 signatures for 2022.

Generally new parties in California don’t use the petition method; instead they qualify by persuading .33% of the registered voters to join the party. The 10% petition has only been used in 1948 (by the Independent Progressive Party) and 2011 (by Americans Elect).


NEVADA GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL MAKING BALLOT ACCESS WORSE

On June 2, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, signed SB 292. It moves the petition deadline for a new party from May to April, even though Nevada has lost two lawsuits in the past over similar deadlines, in 1986 and 1992. It also imposes a severe distribution requirement on the petition.


ARIZONA SUPREME COURT ISSUES KANYE WEST OPINION

On June 24, the Arizona Supreme Court issued an opinion in Clayton v West, cv-20-429, over whether 2020 independent presidential candidate Kanye West should have been on the ballot. The Court ruled unanimously that independent presidential elector candidates must file a "Statement of Interest" form before their petition begins to circulate. A "Statement of Interest" is a form created in 2019 that applies to all candidates who expect to petition, although presidential candidates, and candidates for party office, are exempted. The issue was whether independent presidential elector candidates must file such a form. West’s elector candidates did not file the form, so the court had issued an order in September 2020 removing him from the ballot, and saying it would explain later.

The explanation does not mention that the Secretary of State’s website, which has detailed instructions for independent presidential candidates, did not say that the form is needed. Nor did the opinion say that independent presidential electors don’t actually have petitions. Instead, their names are listed on an independent presidential candideate’s petition, but the law already said that independent presidential candidates don’t need the form, so it seems absurd to say that the electors do need the form.

In the future, independent presidential candidates in Arizona must be careful to have their elector candidates file the form. It is conceivable that the legislature will amend the law to exempt presidential elector candidates.


CALIFORNIA BILL ON PAYING CIRCULATORS MOVES AHEAD

On June 22, the California Assembly Judiciary Committee passed SB 660, which outlaws paying petitioners on a per-signature basis.


NEW HAMPSHIRE BILL FOR EARLIER DEADLINES

On June 24, the New Hampshire legislature passed HB 98, which moves the non-presidential primary from September to August, effective 2024. It also moves the petition deadline for independent candidates, and the nominees of unqualified parties, from August to July. And it moves the deadline for such candidates to file a declaration of candidacy from June to May. Even independent presidential candidates must file such a declaration, so if this bill becomes law, such candidates will need to have declared by April. That violates the U.S. Supreme Court precedent Anderson v Celebrezze.

Fortunately, Governor Chris Sununu has said that he is almost certain to veto the bill.


LEGISLATIVE NEWS

Colorado: on June 8, the legislature passed HB 1071. It says that if a city wants to use ranked choice voting for its own officers, the county elections office must handle that election for the city.

Maine: on June 9, the legislature passed LD 231, which lets independents vote in partisan primaries without having to join that party. However, the bill was then sent to the Appropriations Table, which means it isn’t truly passed until the state budget finds room for any expenses caused by the change.

New York: on June 10, the legislature passed S7191. It requires that write-in candidates in partisan primaries must be members of the party in whose primary they are running. This will make it more difficult for major party organizations to capture minor party nominations against the will of that minor party.

Ohio: on June 25, the legislature passed SB 80, to permit party labels on general election ballots for elections for Supreme Court Justice and Appeals Court Judge.


BOOK REVIEW: RUN FOR SOMETHING

Run for Something, a Real-Talk Guide to Fixing the System Yourself by Amanda Litman. 221 pages, paperback. Atria, 2017.

This is a book to help individuals know how to run for public office. There have been many such books for the last few decades, but this is noteworthy because it is fairly new, and thus is able to include current information on how to use social media. It is also useful because it explains that running is useful even if one doesn’t win the election. And it lays great stress on the shocking number of elections in the U.S. that have only one candidate, especially for state legislature.

The book is targeted at Democrats, and the author makes it very clear that she is a highly partisan Democrat. She acknowledges that Republicans will read the book also, but unfortunately she seems to have given no thought to readers who might be minor party members or independent voters. But, that doesn’t curtail the usefulness of the book.

The book, page 80, has a section titled, "Figure out how to actually get your name on the ballot."

The book also contains a large section for people who don’t want to run for office, but who want to participate in campaigns.

The author uses lots of four-letter words, probably because she feels the book is aimed at young people and that swear words convey sincerity and passion for young readers. But, in my opinion, there are different and better writing techniques that can do that.

The overarching message of the book is that running for office effectively takes a huge amount of energy, dedication, and time, and requires help from lots of other people. The author wants to encourage people to run for office, but she does not shield them from the knowledge that it is not easy.


U.S. HOUSE JUNE ACTIONS SHOWS THAT PRIMARY SYSTEMS DON’T MATTER

The June 1, 2021 B.A.N. had a story about the May 19 vote in the U.S. House on whether to study the Capitol incident of January 6. It showed that the 35 Republicans who voted "yes", and who are therefore seen as less partisan, were just as likely to come from states with closed primaries as from states with open primaries.

During June, there were two instances of votes, or other actions, that delineate which Republican members of the House are most partisan and "extreme". Once again, they showed that closed primaries do not produce such members of Congress.

On June 19, a letter signed by fourteen Republican members of the House was released to the public. It was ostensibly addressed to President Biden, and urged him to take a cognition test. It quoted him speaking in February with awkward word usage. The letter also praised former President Trump for having taken and passed a cognition test. It was signed by ten members from open primary states, one member from a state with a semi-closed primary, and three members from a closed primary state.

The letter was signed by these members from open primary states: Jerry Carl (Alabama); Jody Hice (Georgia); Bob Gibbs (Ohio); Jeff Duncan (South Carolina); Diane Harshbarger (Tennessee); four Texans, Ronny Jackson, Brian Babin, Pat Fallon, and Beth Van Duyne; and Tom Tiffany (Wisconsin).

It was signed by one member from a semi-closed primary state, Andy Harris of Maryland. And it was signed by three members from closed primary states: Florida members Kat Cammack and Gregory Steube; and Claudia Tenney from New York.

Juneteenth Holiday

On June 16, the House passed SB 475, for a Juneteenth holiday. Although the bill had passed the Senate unanimously, fourteen House Republicans voted "no." They included nine members from open primary states, two from a top-two state, two from a semi-closed primary states, and only one from a closed primary state.

The members from open primary states were two Alabamans, Mo Brooks and Mike Rogers; Andrew Clyde of Georgia; Matt Rosendale of Montana; Ralph Norman of South Carolina; Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee; two Texans, Chip Roy and Ronny Jackson; and Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin.

The members from a top-two state were two Californians, Doug LaMalfa and Tom McClintock.

The members from a semi-closed state were Arizonans Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs. The member from a closed primary state was Thomas Massie of Kentucky.


2024 PRESIDENTIAL PETITION REQUIREMENTS

This chart shows the number of signatures in each state to place a presidential candidate running outside the two major parties on the ballot in 2024. It shows that New York’s new requirement of 45,000 signatures is far from "average". The Working Families, Libertarian, Green, and SAM Parties are all in court fighting the new law. The state defends its law by claiming that 45,000 is "in the mainstream". Actually New York has the third highest number of signatures, when the easier method in each state is compared. In states with an asterisk, the 2024 requirement can’t be known exactly at this time, so the 2020 requirement is used as a substitute.

State Number of Sigs. Code Reference Formula

Colo

0

1-4-801

just pay filing fee

La.

0

Title 18, sec. 465C

just pay filing fee

Miss.

0

23-15-785(2)

submit list of party officers

Fla.

0

97.021, 103.021

submit list of party officers, get FEC recognition

Okla.

0

Title 26, 10-101

just pay filing fee

Vt.

20

Title 17, sec. 2313, 2318

submit list of town committees from 10 towns

Tenn.

275

2-505

25 signatures multiplied by eleven elector candidates

Del.*

(registrations) 750

Title 15, sec. 3002

one-tenth of 1% of 2023 statewide registration

Hi.*

757

Title 2, 12-6

one-tenth of 1% of 2022 statewide registration

N.J.

800

19:13-5

number stated in law

Idaho

1,000

34-708A

number stated in law

R.I.

1,000

17-14-7

number stated in law

Utah

1,000

20A-8-103

number stated in law

Wash.

1,000

29A.20.121(2)

number stated in law

Minn.

2,000

204B.08

number stated in law

Wis..

2,000

Title 2, sec. 8.20(4)

number stated in law

Neb.

2,500

32-620

number stated in law

N.H.

3,000

Title 4, sec. 655:42

number stated in law

S.D.*

3,393

12-5-1

1% of 2022 gubernatorial vote

Iowa

3,500

Title 4, sec. 45.1

number stated in law

Alas.

3,614

15.30.025

1% of 2020 vote cast

N.M.*

3,843

1-8-51

one-half of 1% of 2022 gubernatorial vote

Me.

4,000

Title 21-A, sec. 354

number stated in law

N.D.

4,000

16.1-12-02

number stated in law

Wy.*

4,018

22-4-402(d)

2% of 2022 U.S. House vote

Ala.

5,000

17-14-31

number stated in law

Ark.

5,000

7-8-302

number stated in law

Kan.

5,000

25-303

number stated in law

Ky.

5,000

Title 10, sec. 118.315(2)

number stated in law

Mt.

5,000

13-10-601

number stated in law

Ohio

5,000

3513.257

number stated in law

Pa.

5,000

Consti. Pty of Pa v Cortes

number in court settlement

Va.

5,000

24.2-532

number stated in law

D.C.*

5,100

1-1308(f)

1% of 2024 registered voters

Ct..

7,500

9-453(d)

number stated in law

Ga.

7,500

Green Party of Ga. v Kemp

number stated in court ruling

W.Va.

7,814

3-5-23

1% of 2020 pres. vote

Md.

10,000

Elec. law, sec. 5-703(e)

number stated in law

Mass.

10,000

Ch. 53, sec. 6

number stated in law

Mo.

10,000

Title 9, sec. 115.321

number stated in law

S.C.

10,000

7-11-70

number stated in law

Mich.

12,000

168.590b(2)

number stated in court ruling

Nev.*

13,557

Title 24, sec. 293.1715

1% of 2022 U.S. House vote

N.C.

13,757

163A-950

one-fourth of 1% of 2020 gub. vote

Ore.

23,757

249.735

1% of 2020 pres. vote

Ill.

25,000

10 ILCS 5/10-2

number stated in law

Az.*

31,686

16-801(A)

1 and one-third% of 2022 gub. vote

Ind.*

44,935

3-8-6-3

2% of 2022 Sec. of State vote

N.Y.

45,000

Chap. 17, sec. 6-142

number stated in law

Tex.*

83,435

Elec. code 181.006

1% of 2022 gub. vote

Cal.*

196,964

Elec. code 8400

1% of 2022 registration

This chart shows that New York requires the third highest number of signatures for presidential candidates running outside the major parties.
* means estimate based on 2020, because exact 2024 number can’t be known until 2022 or later.


BALLOT FOR NEW YORK CITY JUNE 22 DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY

New York city ranked choice ballot from the June 22 Democratic primary (pdf). View here.


NEW JERSEY 2021 ELECTION

New Jersey elects its state officers on November 2, 2021. Five candidates are on the ballot for Governor: nominees of the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green, and Socialist Workers Parties. For the 80 seats in the Assembly, there are six independents, four Libertarians, and one Green.


VIRGINIA 2021 ELECTION

Virginia elects its state officers on November 2, 2021. Three candidates are on the ballot for Governor: nominees of the Democratic, Republican, and Liberation Parties. For the 100 seats in the House, there are five independents, four Libertarians, and one nominee of the Independent Green. Party.


RUSSIA BARS REFORMERS FROM SEPTEMBER 2021 BALLOT

During June, a Russian court barred all supporters of Alexei Navalny from running for parliament in the upcoming September 2021 election.


PENNSYLVANIA RELEASES HOWIE HAWKINS WRITE-IN TOTAL

In response to a Freedom of Information request, Pennsylvania elections officials have released the write-in total for Howie Hawkins, the November 2020 Green Party presidential nominee. He is credited with 1,282 votes. However, not all counties tallied any write-in votes, so the true total is a higher number that will never be known.


NEW MEXICO U.S. HOUSE ELECTION

New Mexico held a special election on June 1, to fill the vacancy in the First District. The results: Democratic 60.38%; Republican 35.63%; independent 2.67%; Libertarian 1.31%. Last time this seat was up, in November 2020, the percentages were: Democratic 58.19%; Republican 40.81%.


BILL KING, PROMINENT HOUSTON FIGURE, JOINS SAM PARTY

On June 21, Bill King revealed that he has joined the SAM Party and is the state chair for Texas. He was previously an independent. In 2015 he was a candidate for Mayor of Houston, and polled 49.04% of the vote in the runoff. "SAM" stands for "Service America Movement".


DSA MEMBER WINS DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION FOR BUFFALO MAYOR

On June 22, New York held primaries for local partisan office. In Buffalo, India Walton, a member of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) defeated the incumbent Mayor, Byron Brown.


FORMER REFORM PARTY LEADER WINS REPUBLICAN PRIMARY FOR NEW YORK CITY MAYOR

On June 22, Curtis Sliwa won the Republican nomination for Mayor of New York city. He was the chair of the state Reform Party from September 2016 until it went off the ballot in November 2018. In November 2020, Sliwa had endorsed independent presidential candidate Brock Pierce for president.

Sliwa did not receive public funding, but he defeated another Republican who had received $2,000,000 in public funding.


TWO MEN WHO SOUGHT A LIBERTARIAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION DIED IN JUNE

Former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel died at the age of 91 on June 26. He had sought the Libertarian presidential nomination in 2008, and had placed fourth. John McAfee died at the age of 75 on June 23. He had sought the Libertarian presidential nomination in 2016, placing third.


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