Difference between revisions of "Ballot access for major and minor party candidates"

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::''See also: [[Signature requirements and deadlines for 2014 state government elections]]''
 
::''See also: [[Signature requirements and deadlines for 2014 state government elections]]''
 
The November general election will take place on November 4, 2014.
 
The November general election will take place on November 4, 2014.
====U.S. House====
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====U.S. House independent requirements====
 
::''See also: [[Signatures needed for independent candidates to qualify for United States House of Representatives elections, 2014]]
 
::''See also: [[Signatures needed for independent candidates to qualify for United States House of Representatives elections, 2014]]
 
All 435 seats of the U.S. House will be elected in 2014. The requirements for independent candidates to gain ballot access varies across the 50 states. For a detailed table comparing the 50 states, see this [[Signatures needed for independent candidates to qualify for United States House of Representatives elections, 2014|page]]
 
All 435 seats of the U.S. House will be elected in 2014. The requirements for independent candidates to gain ballot access varies across the 50 states. For a detailed table comparing the 50 states, see this [[Signatures needed for independent candidates to qualify for United States House of Representatives elections, 2014|page]]

Revision as of 09:30, 30 January 2014

Ballot access policy in the United States
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Ballot access for major and minor party candidates
List of political parties in the United States
Ballot access information by state
AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming
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This page will compile information about ballot access in the 50 states for major and minor party candidates.

For specific information about each state, click your state on our map or find your state in the navigation box on the right.

Note:If you have any questions or comments about the research on this page, email us.

Political parties

See also: List of political parties in the United States

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.[1]

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.[1]

Three minor parties are recognized in more than 10 states:[1]

In addition, 24 political parties had achieved ballot access in only one state as of April 2015. At that time, Florida had granted ballot access to 15 political parties, more than any other state.[1]

The table below lists the distinct ballot-qualified political parties in the United States as of April 2015.[1]

Total state affiliates for each political party, April 2015
Political party Number of states
America First Party 1
America's Party 1
American Constitutional Party 1
American Independent Party 1
American Party 1
Americans Elect Party 3
Conservative Party 1
Constitution Party 12
D.C. Statehood Green Party 1
Democratic Party 51
Ecology Party 1
Grassroots Party 1
Green Independent Party 1
Green Party 18
Independence Party 5
Independent American Party 3
Independent Party 5
Justice Party 2
Labor Party 1
Legal Marijuana Now Party 1
Libertarian Party 34
Liberty Union Party 1
Moderate Party 1
Mountain Party 1
Natural Law Party 2
Pacific Green Party 1
Party for Socialism and Liberation 1
Peace and Freedom Party 2
Progressive Party 2
Reform Party 3
Republican Party 51
Socialist Party 1
Socialist Workers Party 1
Tea Party 1
U.S. Taxpayers Party 1
United Citizens Party 1
United Independent Party 1
Veterans Party 1
Working Families Party 4
TOTAL 221

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.[1]

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.[1]

The table below lists the ballot-qualified political parties in each state as of April 2015.[1]

State election agencies

See also: State election agencies

From getting on the ballot to campaigning to election day procedures, election agencies are responsible for monitoring all aspects of an election. The majority of election monitoring occurs at the state level, but all candidates running for federal office must interact with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). However, state agencies can also be involved in the federal election process, and they are authorities over all state elections. The agencies involved in the election process vary by state, though a majority of states, 41 out of 50, use their Secretary of State Office in some capacity. One to three state agencies per state are involved in elections across the United States, totaling over 90 agencies other than the FEC. Twenty-four of the states also involve county or municipal level offices, including county clerks, town auditors and others. These offices most often register independent candidates or certify petitions for state offices. As of December 2013, Ballotpedia counts 1,880 municipal offices involved in the election process.[1]

For specific information about election-related agencies in your state, click on our map or find your state in the navigation box at the top right on this page.

Voter preference for a third party

According to an October 2013 Gallup poll conducted during the first week of the federal government shutdown, 60 percent of Americans felt "the Democratic and Republican parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed."[3] Voter preference for a third major party has increased 20 percent in the past 10 years, from a low of 40 percent in 2003 (the first year Gallup conducted this poll).

Perceived Need for a Third Party[3]
Poll Do adequate job Third party neededNo opinion
Gallup
October 3-6, 2013
26%60%14%
Gallup
September 6-9, 2012
45%46%9%
Gallup
September 8-11, 2011
38%55%8%
Gallup
April 20-23, 2011
40%52%8%
Gallup
August 27-30, 2010
35%58%7%
Gallup
September 8-11, 2008
47%47%6%
Gallup
September 14-16, 2007
39%57%4%
Gallup
July 6-8, 2007
33%58%10%
Gallup
September 7-10, 2006
45%48%7%
Gallup
October 10-12, 2003
56%40%4%
AVERAGES 40.4% 52.1% 7.7%
Note: Exact question asked in the survey: "In your view, do the Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job of representing the American people, or do they do such a poor job that a third major party is needed?"

Minor parties in gubernatorial races

The following table includes state-by-state information on when a minor party's candidate for governor last won at least 5 percent of the vote. In four states (Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming), a minor party candidate for governor has not won 5 percent or more of the vote since the 19th century. Only 17 states saw minor party candidates win at least 5 percent of the vote for governor between 1982 and 2012. The information was compiled by Richard Winger of Ballot Access News.[4]

When did a minor party last poll 5% for governor?[4]
State Candidate Party Year Percent
Alabama John Logan Cashin National Democratic 1970 14.70%
Alaska Walter J. Hickel Alaskan Independence 1990 38.90%
Arizona Sam Steiger Libertarian 1982 5.10%
Arkansas Walter Carruth American 1970 5.90%
California Peter Camejo Green 2002 5.30%
Colorado Tom Tancredo Constitution 2010 36.40%
Connecticut Lowell Weicker A Connecticut Party 1990 40.40%
Delaware Isaac Dolphus Short Independent Republican Party 1936 6.60%
Florida Sidney J. Catts Prohibition 1916 47.70%
Georgia James K. Hines People's 1902 5.50%
Hawaii Frank F. Fasi Best 1994 30.70%
Idaho W. Scott Hall Progressive 1926 28.40%
Illinois Richard Whitney Green 2006 10.40%
Indiana Albert J. Beveridge Progressive 1912 26.00%
Iowa John L. Stevens Progressive 1912 15.60%
Kansas Henry J. Allen Progressive 1914 15.90%
Kentucky Gatewood Galbraith Reform 1999 15.40%
Louisiana John M. Parker Progressive 1916 37.20%
Maine Patricia LaMarche Green 2006 9.60%
Maryland Thomas Holiday Hicks American 1857 54.90%
Massachusetts Frank A. Goodwin Equal Tax 1934 6.40%
Michigan Henry R. Pattengill Progressive 1914 8.30%
Minnesota Tom Horner Independence 2010 11.90%
Mississippi J. T. Lester Socialist 1915 7.40%
Missouri Albert D. Nortoni Progressive 1912 15.60%
Montana Frank J. Edwards Farmer-Labor 1924 6.10%
Nebraska Dan Butler Progressive 1924 7.90%
Nevada James Ray Houston Independent American 1974 15.50%
New Hampshire Meldrim Thomson American 1970 9.90%
New Jersey Everett Colby Progressive 1913 11.00%
New Mexico David E. Bacon Green 2002 5.50%
New York Carl Paladino Conservative[5] 2010 5.00%
North Carolina Iredell Meares Progressive 1912 20.40%
North Dakota Alvin C. Strutz Independent Republican Party 1944 18.80%
Ohio James R. Garfield Progressive 1914 5.40%
Oklahoma Fred W. Holt Socialist 1914 20.80%
Oregon W. J. Smith Socialist 1914 5.80%
Pennsylvania Peg Luksik Constitution 1998 10.40%
Rhode Island Ken Block Moderate 2010 6.50%
South Carolina Sampson Pope People's 1894 30.40%
South Dakota Tom Ayres Farmer-Labor 1926 6.50%
Tennessee A. L. Mims People's 1894 9.90%
Texas Ramsey Muniz La Raza Unida 1974 5.60%
Utah Merrill Cook Independent Party 1992 33.50%
Vermont Anthony Pollina Progressive 2008 21.90%
Virginia Rob Sarvis Libertarian 2013 6.50%
Washington Vick Gould Taxpayer's 1972 5.90%
West Virginia Walter B. Hilton Socialist 1912 5.60%
Wisconsin Ed Thompson Libertarian 2002 10.50%
Wyoming Lewis C. Tidball People's 1894 11.30%

Yearly deadlines

2014

See also: Signature requirements and deadlines for 2014 state government elections

The November general election will take place on November 4, 2014.

U.S. House independent requirements

See also: Signatures needed for independent candidates to qualify for United States House of Representatives elections, 2014

All 435 seats of the U.S. House will be elected in 2014. The requirements for independent candidates to gain ballot access varies across the 50 states. For a detailed table comparing the 50 states, see this page

Three states do not require independent candidates to file a petition to gain ballot access -- only a filing fee is required. Those states are:[6]

  • Florida
  • Louisiana
  • Oklahoma

In seven states, independent candidates would require more than 10,000 valid signatures. Those states are:[6]

  • South Carolina (10,000 signatures)
  • Montana (12,774 signatures)
  • Illinois (14,050 signatures)
  • Georgia (17,620 signatures)
  • North Carolina (19,969 signatures)
  • California (23,542 votes in the primary)
  • Washington (35,201 votes in the primary)

2013

See also: Signature requirements and deadlines for 2013 state government elections

The November general election took place on November 5, 2013.

2012

See also: Signature requirements and deadlines for 2012 state government elections

The November general election took place on November 6, 2012.

Court cases

Below are a selection of court cases relating to ballot access lawsuits.

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.[7]

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."[8][9]

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.[10]

Illinois v. Socialist Workers Party

See also: Illinois State Board of Elections 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.[11]

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.[12][13]

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.[14]

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.[15]

Find your state information

Click the state below to find specific detailed information about candidate ballot access information.

Ballot access requirements for political candidates in NevadaBallot access requirements for political candidates in AlaskaBallot access requirements for political candidates in HawaiiBallot access requirements for political candidates in ArizonaBallot access requirements for political candidates in UtahBallot access requirements for political candidates in New MexicoBallot access requirements for political candidates in ColoradoBallot access requirements for political candidates in WyomingBallot access requirements for political candidates in CaliforniaBallot access requirements for political candidates in OregonBallot access requirements for political candidates in WashingtonBallot access requirements for political candidates in IdahoBallot access requirements for political candidates in MontanaBallot access requirements for political candidates in North DakotaBallot access requirements for political candidates in South DakotaBallot access requirements for political candidates in NebraskaBallot access requirements for political candidates in KansasBallot access requirements for political candidates in OklahomaBallot access requirements for political candidates in TexasBallot access requirements for political candidates in MinnesotaBallot access requirements for political candidates in IowaBallot access requirements for political candidates in MissouriBallot access requirements for political candidates in ArkansasBallot access requirements for political candidates in LouisianaBallot access requirements for political candidates in MississippiBallot access requirements for political candidates in AlabamaBallot access requirements for political candidates in WisconsinBallot access requirements for political candidates in IllinoisBallot access requirements for political candidates in TennesseeBallot access requirements for political candidates in KentuckyBallot access requirements for political candidates in IndianaBallot access requirements for political candidates in MichiganBallot access requirements for political candidates in OhioBallot access requirements for political candidates in GeorgiaBallot access requirements for political candidates in FloridaBallot access requirements for political candidates in South CarolinaBallot access requirements for political candidates in North CarolinaBallot access requirements for political candidates in VirginiaBallot access requirements for political candidates in West VirginiaBallot access requirements for political candidates in PennsylvaniaBallot access requirements for political candidates in New YorkBallot access requirements for political candidates in VermontBallot access requirements for political candidates in New HampshireBallot access requirements for political candidates in MassachusettsBallot access requirements for political candidates in Rhode IslandBallot access requirements for political candidates in ConnecticutBallot access requirements for political candidates in New JerseyBallot access requirements for political candidates in DelawareBallot access requirements for political candidates in MarylandBallot access requirements for political candidates in District of ColumbiaBallot access requirements for political candidates in MaineUS map.png

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 This information is based on research conducted by Ballotpedia staff in February and March 2015.
  2. This figure includes the D.C. Statehood Green Party, Maine's Green Independent Party, and Oregon's Pacific Green Party.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gallup "In U.S., Perceived Need for Third Party Reaches New High," October 11, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ballot Access News, "December 2013 Ballot Access News Print Edition," December 31, 2013
  5. Paladino also appeared on the Republican and T.E.A. (Tax Enough Already) party lines. New York's fusion voting laws allow candidates to qualify for the ballot on multiple party tickets.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Richard Winger, Ballot Access News January 2014 Print Edition, Volume 29, Number 9
  7. Justia.com "Williams v. Rhodes - 393 U.S. 23 (1968)," accessed December 26, 2013
  8. Justia.com "Bullock v. Carter - 405 U.S. 134 (1972)," accessed December 26, 2013
  9. Frontline "The Constitution and Campaign Finance: A Legal Movement for Change," accessed December 26, 2013
  10. Justia.com "Lubin v. Panish - 415 U.S. 709 (1974)," accessed December 26, 2013
  11. Justia.com "Illinois State Bd. of Elections v. Socialist Workers Party - 440 U.S. 173 (1979)," accessed December 26, 2013
  12. Justia.com "Anderson v. Celebrezze - 460 U.S. 780 (1983)," accessed December 26, 2013
  13. Oyez Project - U.S. Supreme Court Media - IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law "Anderson v. Celebrezze," accessed December 26, 2013
  14. Justia.com "Norman v. Reed - 502 U.S. 279 (1992)," accessed December 27, 2013
  15. Justia.com "U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton - 514 U.S. 779 (1994)," accessed December 27, 2013