If Americans Elect Has No Candidates for Any Offices in 2012, Will its Qualified Status Still Exist in 2014?

Even if Americans Elect has no nominees for any partisan office anywhere in the United States in 2012, it will still be a qualified party in 2014 in eleven states if it takes certain minimal steps to remain organized. Furthermore, if the organization will run candidates for office other than President in certain other states, it may remain ballot-qualified in additional states.

In these states, a group that successfully completes a party petition automatically is on the ballot for the next two general elections: Arizona, Maryland, and New Mexico. Americans Elect will therefore be on the ballot in those three states in 2014.

In Mississippi, a party that demonstrated that it has an organization continues to be ballot-qualified until the officers resign or otherwise cease to hold party office. In Florida, a party that continues to update its list of officers, and file certain financial reports, and to have at least $500 worth of financial activity, remains qualified. In South Carolina, a party remains qualified as long as it runs at least one candidate within a four year period. Therefore, Americans Elect can easily remain qualified for 2014 in those states if it wishes.

In California, under precedents set in 1948 and 1950 by the Independent Progressive Party, a party that uses the petition to become qualified in a presidential year remains qualified for the following midterm year, even if it doesn’t have registration of 1% of the last gubernatorial vote. However, it must have registration of at least one-fifteenth of 1% of the state total by January of the midterm year, in order to remain qualified for that midterm year. Americans Elect will need approximately 11,000 registered members by January 2014 to meet that test. It already has over 2,000 registered voters. California voter registration forms will list Americans Elect as a choice, starting in July 2012, so registration in Americans Elect is likely to rise to the needed 11,000 by January 2014.

In Kansas, qualified parties do not need to meet the vote test in presidential election years that happen to have no U.S. Senate race up. No U.S. Senate race is up in Kansas in 2012. In Wisconsin, parties that qualify in a presidential year are automatically on the ballot in the following midterm year. In South Dakota, parties that qualify in a presidential year are automatically on in the following midterm year. Therefore, Americans Elect will be on the ballot in 2014 in those three states.

In Vermont, a party that continues to be organized in at least ten towns remains on the ballot. Americans Elect already has this level of organization, although it would need to hold new meetings in each of those ten towns in late 2013 to keep that status in 2014.

Americans Elect can also be on the 2014 ballot in Idaho if it runs candidates for any three state or federal offices in 2012. Americans Elect could easily keep its status after 2012 if it would run three candidates for the state legislature this year. It still has time to nominate them, and could do so by convention. Americans Elect could keep its Michigan ballot status for 2014 if it ran a candidate for one of the seven non-presidential statewide partisan offices that are up this year, and Americans Elect still has time to nominate for Michigan offices. The vote test is very easy.
Other states with a fairly easy vote test (either 1% or 2%) in which Americans Elect still has time to nominate candidates for lesser statewide office include Missouri, Nebraska, Georgia, and Oregon.


  1. bolarm · · Reply

    I think they can keep ballot access in 11 states but there are steps that have to be taken to insure this.

  2. […] be supported by voter-registration figures and polling data that document the rise of independents.If Americans Elect Has No Candidates for Any Offices in 2012, Will its …Ballot Accessall 14 news […]

  3. raymond · · Reply

    For those who live in West Virginia and were hoping to vote third party may I suggest supporting Mountain Party candidates or other third party candidates who are running. If you live in WV House of Delegates 5th District(Wetzel and part of Monongahela countiees)and want change then vote Raymond V Davis III on November 6th. Time to send new blood to Charleston. Vote for Davis and donate to help him win. http://davisforwvhouse.webs.com/

  4. It seems they would fall behind the libertarian, green and constitution parties in ballot line retention, plus they would lose some difficult (or expensive) to achieve ballot lines. More importantly they would lose credibility and what little momentum they have invested millions to reach.

    I am expecting they will revamp their criteria and run to get 5% and to retain ballot lines.

  5. Jed Siple · · Reply

    Do they care?

  6. Richard Winger · · Reply

    #4, the median vote test of the 50 states is 2%. There is nothing special about getting 5% of the vote for President. People know that a party needs 5% of the vote to get general election public funding, so they sometimes think 5% is special for ballot access as well, but it isn’t.

  7. An Alabama Independent · · Reply

    If Americans Elect decides not to have a presidential ticket in 2012, will the leaders of this group abandon the ballot positions in those states where such has been obtained? This is especially interesting in those states where the obained ballot access is good only for 2012. Seems like a waste of alot of money and time and then not utilize it.

  8. #7, in states like Arizona, the “leaders of this group” have no say in what happens to our state party. At least here, they cannot “abandon” the ballot position because it is mandated by state law. You are right that it is a waste of a lot of time and money not to utilize these ballot lines. I am happy to report that the Arizona Americans Elect party is now being helped by at least one former state legislator to help us recruit candidates for office in 2012.

  9. Jim Riley · · Reply

    Florida requires that:

    “Each elector registered to vote in the minor political party in which he or she has so designated has a fundamental right to fully and meaningfully participate in the business and affairs of the minor political party without any monetary encumbrance.”

    I am dubious that Americans Elect with its centralized corporate-like structure can maintain its qualified status.

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