New Mexico Bill for a Top-Four System

New Mexico State Senator Bill Tallman (D-Albuquerque) has introduced SJR 1, a proposed constitutional amendment that would eliminate the ability of parties to have nominees for congress and state office. Like the similar bills in other states, if enacted, it would make it extremely difficult for minor parties to remain ballot-qualified. They would need to perform very well in the presidential race. Here is the text. It is unclear whether it would permit write-ins in the general election.

Senator Tallman is in his second term and is age 81 years.


New Mexico Bill for a Top-Four System — 9 Comments

  1. Whether a party is “qualified” is a matter of statute.

    Senator Tallman was city manager of Norwich, CT for nine years.

  2. Sometimes the definition of a qualified party is in a state constitution. For example, Florida.

  3. Florida Constitution, Article VI, section one…”the requirements for a candidate with no party affiliation or for a candidate of a minor party for placement of the candidate’s name on the ballot shall be no greater than the requirements for a candidate of the party having the largest number of registered voters.”

  4. The Florida Constitutional provision cited above, by any reasonable reading, bans Florida from requiring petitions for small parties. So although the constitutional provision may not be an explicit definition of a party, it certainly fences in the state legislature from defining a qualified party in a discriminatory manner. That is not true of the top-four or top-five initiatives, in the past or present, in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington.

  5. EQUAL still in 14-1 Amdt —

    about to get reviewed again by SCOTUS in the Harvard and UNC admission cases.

  6. My interpretation of the Constitution is that it applies to candidates and not the party per se.

    So Florida requires a filing fee for all candidates and all partisan candidates must win a party primary (if there are more than two candidates). They could require candidate petitions.

    It is statute that defines what a minor party is.

    Your interpretation of the situation in Alaska is based only on qualification for president.

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