Difference between revisions of "Ballot access"
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====Anderson v. Celebrezze====
====Anderson v. Celebrezze====
::''See also: [[Anderson v. Celebrezze]]''
::''See also: [[Anderson v. Celebrezze]]''
Anderson v. Celebrezze, a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1983, held that Ohio's early filing deadline for independent presidential candidates violated the [[Bill_of_Rights,_United_States_Constitution#Amendment_I|First]] and [[Amendment XIV, United States Constitution|Fourteenth]] Amendments of the [[U.S. Constitution]], placing an unconstitutional burden on the voting and associational rights of supporters of independent presidential candidates.<ref name=anderson>[http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/460/780/case.html ''Justia.com'' "Anderson v. Celebrezze - 460 U.S. 780 (1983)," accessed December 26, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1982/1982_81_1635/ ''Oyez Project - U.S. Supreme Court Media - IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law'' "Anderson v. Celebrezze," accessed December 26, 2013]</ref>
Anderson v. Celebrezze, a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1983, held that Ohio's early filing deadline for independent presidential candidates violated the [[Bill_of_Rights,_United_States_Constitution#Amendment_I|First]] and [[Amendment XIV, United States Constitution|Fourteenth]] Amendments of the [[U.S. Constitution]], placing an unconstitutional burden on the voting and associational rights of supporters of independent presidential candidates.<ref name=anderson>[http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/460/780/case.html ''Justia.com'' "Anderson v. Celebrezze - 460 U.S. 780 (1983)," accessed December 26, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1982/1982_81_1635/ ''Oyez Project - U.S. Supreme Court Media - IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law''"Anderson v. Celebrezze," accessed December 26, 2013]</ref>
====Norman v. Reed====
====Norman v. Reed====
Revision as of 06:44, 2 May 2014
- 1 Overview of ballot access in the U.S.
- 2 Ballot measures
- 3 Candidates
- 4 Political parties
- 5 Court cases
- 6 See also
- 7 External links
- 8 References
Ballot access rules regulate the conditions under which a ballot measure, candidate or political party is entitled to appear on voters' ballots. Ballot access laws are governed by the states, except when the United States Congress changes laws at the federal level. The process for ballot access varies greatly depending on the state and type of access desired.
Overview of ballot access in the U.S.
The first restrictions on ballot access in the United States had more to do with wealth, gender, race and religion than today's petitions, parties and fees. Voting in the early days of the U.S. government was for white, land-owning, protestant males. Early founding fathers like John Adams believed it would be dangerous to allow more people to participate in elections as it would dissolve distinctions and make voting a common activity rather than a privilege. Other founding fathers like Benjamin Franklin believed wealth, at least, should not have been a determining factor in the ability to vote or hold office. He was more concerned with a man's ability to reason than with his ability to maintain property.
Early elections were irregularly scheduled based on the whim of the leaders of the state. When it was time to hold one, notices were posted and eligible voters would flock to the nearest courthouse to vote. The process of voting depended on the state. Some, like Delaware, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, used a ballot. Others, like Virginia, used public voice voting, making voting a public process rather than a private one.
The first advocates of reforming ballot access restrictions wanted to broaden the field to veterans. Eventually ideas of reform broadened and the necessity to own property in order to vote was replaced by tax requirements. However, those, too, disappeared, and by the middle of the 19th century most economic barriers to voting and serving in a government position were withdrawn. These initial reforms led the way for more, including laws at the federal level, such as the 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments and the Voting Rights Act, which influenced state laws and gave women and African Americans the right to vote and hold office.
Reforms were also made in the way citizens voted. Public voice votes gave way to secret ballots. Secret ballots, also called Australian ballots as that is where the process originated, allowed citizens' choices to be confidential. Instead of announcing who they chose to vote for in front of friends and neighbors, voters could now write their choice down in secret, diminishing the influence of intimidation or bribery. This method was first deemed necessary after the Civil War, when African Americans were threatened with physical violence based on how they voted.
The use of secret ballots gave governments control over who could access ballots. States began limiting who could run for office based on how many signatures a candidate could collect or which party they were running with. As certain parties began to consistently win elections, states began allowing them easier access to ballots. Smaller parties and independent candidates, however, must still prove they have a certain amount of voter support before they are given access to the ballot.
- See also: States with initiative or referendum
The term ballot measure is defined as any question or issue of government that is placed before voters on a ballot to approve or reject. Ballot measures can be local or statewide and can embody anything from constitutional amendments and city charters to statutes and bond issues.
Depending on state laws, ballot measures can be placed on ballots in a number of ways. The ballot initiative process gives voters direct access to state issues by allowing them to initiate, or propose, ballot measures to be put to vote on the ballot by collecting signatures through a petition drive. The legislative referral process allows a state legislature to put a piece of legislation on a ballot for voter approval or rejection. In some states ballot measures can be placed on ballots by commission referral, constitutional convention or automatic ballot referral.
The most available process used in the states to place a ballot measure before citizens is the legislative referral process. Every state but Delaware allows citizens to vote on legislatively-referred constitutional amendments, and 23 states allow citizens to vote on legislatively-referred state statutes. The least available method to place a ballot measure on a ballot is by referral of a commission created by the state legislature or constitution. Only Arizona and Florida have such commissions. The ballot initiative process is used by 26 states, as well as Washington, D.C., and 18 of those states allow voters to initiate constitutional amendments. Constitutional conventions can also be used to put ballot measure before the people. Forty-four states have laws governing how these can be called. One way they can be called is by asking voters through an automatic ballot referral. This process asks voters every so often whether or not a constitutional convention should be held. Five states have automatic referrals every 10 years, Michigan has automatic referrals every 16 years, and eight states have automatic referrals every 20 years.
|Ballot access policy in the United States|
| Ballot access for major and minor party candidates |
| List of political parties in the United States |
|Ballot access information by state|
Candidates are defined as individuals seeking public office. Most states separate candidates into different categories, including political party candidate, independent or nonpartisan candidate and write-in candidate. Political party candidates must identify with one state-recognized political party. In order to get on a ballot, they may have to follow additional rules set by that political party, but they will then have the support of a recognized group, which often means greater publicity and greater access to funding. Independent or nonpartisan candidates do not identify with a political party. Instead, they run on their own accord, gaining ballot access and funding without the support of a recognized group. Write-in candidates can be independent or political party candidates, depending on the laws of the state in which they reside. Write-in candidates often file later than other candidates and are placed on the ballot only if voters physically write their name on their ballot on election day.
Candidates can be placed on the ballot in a number of ways depending on the type of candidate and the state in which the candidate resides. Political party candidates can often gain ballot access by nomination through a convention or primary election. Independent candidates most often have to use the petition method, collecting a specified number of signatures in order to be placed on the ballot. Some states also require political party candidates to use this method. Write-in candidates usually have to file with the state or county, announcing their intention to be a write-in candidate. Since their name does not appear on the ballot, they usually don't have to do much more than that.
As of April 2015, there were 39 distinct ballot-qualified political parties in the United States. There were 221 state-level parties. Some parties are recognized in multiple states. For example, both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are recognized in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These two parties account for 102 of the 221 total state-level parties.
Only parties that have qualified for ballot status in their respective states are included in this tally. In order to become ballot-qualified, a party must meet certain requirements. For example, in some states a party's candidate for a specific office must win a certain percentage of the vote in order for the party to be ballot-qualified in the state. In other states, a political party must register a certain number of voters in order to achieve ballot status.
Three minor parties are recognized in more than 10 states:
The table below lists the distinct ballot-qualified political parties in the United States as of April 2015.
|Total state affiliates for each political party, April 2015|
|Political party||Number of states|
|America First Party||1|
|American Constitutional Party||1|
|American Independent Party||1|
|Americans Elect Party||3|
|D.C. Statehood Green Party||1|
|Green Independent Party||1|
|Independent American Party||3|
|Legal Marijuana Now Party||1|
|Liberty Union Party||1|
|Natural Law Party||2|
|Pacific Green Party||1|
|Party for Socialism and Liberation||1|
|Peace and Freedom Party||2|
|Socialist Workers Party||1|
|U.S. Taxpayers Party||1|
|United Citizens Party||1|
|United Independent Party||1|
|Working Families Party||4|
The number of ballot-qualified political parties fluctuates regularly, as parties gain or lose qualified status. For example, Arkansas requires minor parties to win at least 3 percent of the vote in the most recent gubernatorial or presidential election in order to maintain ballot status. Minor parties have failed to achieve these requirements in recent elections. As a result, the parties have been required to reapply regularly for ballot status.
Some states distinguish between "major" parties and "minor" parties. Specific differences between major and minor parties differ from state to state. For example, in all states, major parties are granted access to primary elections. Some states, however, do not permit minor parties to participate in primary elections. Consequently, minor party candidates in these states can run only in general elections.
The table below lists the ballot-qualified political parties in each state as of April 2015.
|Ballot-qualified parties by state, April 2015|
|Arizona||Americans Elect Party|
|California||American Independent Party|
|California||Peace and Freedom Party|
|Colorado||American Constitutional Party|
|Connecticut||Working Families Party|
|Florida||Socialist Workers Party|
|Florida||Party for Socialism and Liberation|
|Florida||Peace and Freedom Party|
|Maine||Green Independent Party|
|Massachusetts||United Independent Party|
|Michigan||Natural Law Party|
|Michigan||U.S. Taxpayers Party|
|Minnesota||Legal Marijuana Now Party|
|Mississippi||Natural Law Party|
|Mississippi||America First Party|
|Nevada||Independent American Party|
|New Hampshire||Democratic Party|
|New Hampshire||Republican Party|
|New Jersey||Republican Party|
|New Jersey||Democratic Party|
|New Mexico||Republican Party|
|New Mexico||Libertarian Party|
|New Mexico||Democratic Party|
|New Mexico||Independent American Party|
|New Mexico||Constitution Party|
|New Mexico||Green Party|
|New York||Republican Party|
|New York||Conservative Party|
|New York||Democratic Party|
|New York||Working Families Party|
|New York||Green Party|
|New York||Independence Party|
|North Carolina||Republican Party|
|North Carolina||Libertarian Party|
|North Carolina||Democratic Party|
|North Dakota||Republican Party|
|North Dakota||Libertarian Party|
|North Dakota||Democratic Party|
|Oregon||Pacific Green Party|
|Oregon||Working Families Party|
|Oregon||Americans Elect Party|
|Rhode Island||Republican Party|
|Rhode Island||Democratic Party|
|Rhode Island||Moderate Party|
|South Carolina||Republican Party|
|South Carolina||American Party|
|South Carolina||Democratic Party|
|South Carolina||Green Party|
|South Carolina||Constitution Party|
|South Carolina||Independence Party|
|South Carolina||Labor Party|
|South Carolina||United Citizens Party|
|South Carolina||Working Families Party|
|South Carolina||Libertarian Party|
|South Dakota||Republican Party|
|South Dakota||Americans Elect Party|
|South Dakota||Democratic Party|
|South Dakota||Libertarian Party|
|South Dakota||Constitution Party|
|Utah||Independent American Party|
|Vermont||Liberty Union Party|
|West Virginia||Republican Party|
|West Virginia||Democratic Party|
|West Virginia||Libertarian Party|
|West Virginia||Mountain Party|
|Washington, D.C.||D.C. Statehood Green Party|
|Washington, D.C.||Democratic Party|
|Washington, D.C.||Libertarian Party|
|Washington, D.C.||Republican Party|
Below are a selection of court cases relating to candidate ballot access.
Williams v. Rhodes
- See also: Williams v. Rhodes
Decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1968, Williams v. Rhodes held that state laws regulating the selection of presidential electors must meet the requirements of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Bullock v. Carter
- See also: Bullock v. Carter
Decided by the by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972, Bullock v. Carter held that the Texas primary filing fee system, which required the payment of fees as high as $8,900, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Court found that, under this system, "many potential office seekers lacking both personal wealth and affluent backers are, in every practical sense, precluded from seeking the nomination of their chosen party, no matter how qualified they might be and no matter how broad or enthusiastic their popular support."
Lubin v. Panish
- See also: Lubin v. Panish
Lubin v. Panish, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1974, held that, absent alternative means of ballot access, states cannot require indigent candidates to pay filing fees they cannot afford. To do so violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as the rights of expression and association guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
Illinois v. Socialist Workers Party
Decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1979, the ruling in Illinois State Board of Elections v. Socialist Workers Party rendered unconstitutional an Illinois statutory requirement that new political parties and independent candidates for elections in political subdivisions (specifically, Chicago) gather more than the number of signatures required for elections for statewide office.
Anderson v. Celebrezze
- See also: Anderson v. Celebrezze
Anderson v. Celebrezze, a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1983, held that Ohio's early filing deadline for independent presidential candidates violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, placing an unconstitutional burden on the voting and associational rights of supporters of independent presidential candidates.
Norman v. Reed
- See also: Norman v. Reed
Decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1992, Norman v. Reed held that it was unconstitutional for the state of Illinois to require a new political party and its candidates to gather more than 25,000 signatures (the threshold for statewide office) to participate in elections for offices in political subdivisions. The ruling was, in part, a reaffirmation of the Court's earlier decision in Illinois State Board of Elections v. Socialist Workers Party.
U.S Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton
- See also: U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton
U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton was a 1995 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court decided against U.S. Term Limits, ruling that states cannot impose qualifications for prospective members of Congress stricter than those specified in the Constitution. The decision invalidated Congressional term limits provisions of 23 states.
- States with initiative or referendum
- Laws governing the initiative process
- Ballot access for major and minor party candidates
- List of political parties in the United States
- Ballot Access News
- Ballot Access article on Wikipedia
- United States Constitution from Cornell Law School
- U.S. Constitution, "Article I, Section 4," accessed December 16,2013
- CW Journal, "Voting in Early America," Spring 2007
- SOSBallot.org, "Secret Ballot History," accessed December 16, 2013
- Oliver Hall, Death by a Thousand Signatures: The Rise of Restrictive Ballot Access Laws and the Decline of Electoral Competition in the United States, 29 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 407 (2005)
- Based on research conducted by Ballotpedia staff in October-December 2013. This included phone calls to the 50 states and analysis of the state government websites.
- This information is based on research conducted by Ballotpedia staff in February and March 2015.
- This figure includes the D.C. Statehood Green Party, Maine's Green Independent Party, and Oregon's Pacific Green Party.
- Justia.com "Williams v. Rhodes - 393 U.S. 23 (1968)," accessed December 26, 2013
- Justia.com "Bullock v. Carter - 405 U.S. 134 (1972)," accessed December 26, 2013
- Frontline "The Constitution and Campaign Finance: A Legal Movement for Change," accessed December 26, 2013
- Justia.com "Lubin v. Panish - 415 U.S. 709 (1974)," accessed December 26, 2013
- Justia.com "Illinois State Bd. of Elections v. Socialist Workers Party - 440 U.S. 173 (1979)," accessed December 26, 2013
- Justia.com "Anderson v. Celebrezze - 460 U.S. 780 (1983)," accessed December 26, 2013
- Oyez Project - U.S. Supreme Court Media - IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, "Anderson v. Celebrezze," accessed December 26, 2013
- Justia.com "Norman v. Reed - 502 U.S. 279 (1992)," accessed December 27, 2013
- Justia.com "U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton - 514 U.S. 779 (1994)," accessed December 27, 2013