The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

19 September 2004

Third-party news

Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik will make it to the ballot in 48 states and the District of Columbia, assuming all the current petitions get through the appropriate state election boards. The two exceptions are New Hampshire and Oklahoma, where the party's petition efforts fell short; the party is challenging the Oklahoma board in court on the basis that the state's ballot-access laws are unnecessarily onerous, and Richard Winger reports in Ballot Access News that there may be a challenge in New Hampshire:

Since a major party candidate can win a statewide primary, without regard to whether he or she has substantial support in both of New Hampshire's U.S. House districts, the party may argue that the state has no interest in requiring a petitioning candidate for that same office to show substantial support in both of New Hampshire's US House districts.

New Hampshire law calls for 1500 petition signatures in each district, 3000 in all. (Oklahoma, with about three times the population, requires 51,781 statewide.) New Hampshire does allow write-ins, so if Badnarik can pull 4 percent of the vote, the party will automatically qualify for the ballot in 2008. Oklahoma does not permit write-ins.

As of this writing, Richard Winger reports that the Constitution Party, whose ticket is headed by Michael A. Paroutka, is on the ballot in 38 states and pending in three others; Ralph Nader's independent candidacy, also backed by the Reform Party, is on in 35 and pending in eight more; the Green Party's David Cobb is on in 28 states with one pending; and the Socialist Workers' Party, which has nominated Róger Calero, has qualified in fourteen states with one more under consideration. None of these candidates will appear on the Oklahoma ballot.

Posted at 4:13 PM to Political Science Fiction

It's looking more and more unlikely that Badnarik will get on the ballot here in Oklahoma. They've already printed the ballots. Unless the court quickly acts in our favor, OKLAHOMA WILL BE THE ONLY STATE IN THE NATION WHERE BUSH OR KERRY ARE YOUR ONLY CHOICES. As Chaz points out, Oklahoma is one of only five states that prohibits write-ins. I've heard democratic elections are really a great thing, perhaps Oklahoma should try it.

Posted by: Chris at 10:43 PM on 19 September 2004

The best thing to do in Oklahoma this year is to cast a blank ballot for President. I talked to the state election board's secretary yesterday and he said that there would be a release of the numbers for "undervotes" on the day following the election, so I say let's try to get that number as high as possible to be a loud signal to the powers that be.

Posted by: J. M. Branum at 11:50 AM on 21 September 2004

New Hampshire, eh?

Badnarik's an interesting guy - Brian and I met him earlier this year, I think it was. Interesting doesn't mean I'd vote for him to be Commander in Chief, but he was interesting to politely heckle.


Posted by: hln at 1:13 PM on 21 September 2004