Libertarians Appear to be Only Party to Successfully Petition for President in Connecticut this Year

The Connecticut petition deadline for independent candidates, and the nominees of unqualified parties, is August 8. It appears that the only presidential petition likely to succeed in Connecticut is the Libertarian Party petition. The state requires 7,500 valid signatures. The Green Party made a valiant attempt, but seems to only have 7,000 signatures in hand.

The FEC has still not approved the Jill Stein matching funds application, although that approval is expected soon. The Independent Party of Connecticut is ballot-qualified for president, and has the freedom to nominate a presidential candidate. There is some indication that the Independent Party of Connecticut is leaning toward nominating Rocky Anderson.

The Constitution Party did not attempt a Connecticut petition. Petitioning in all the New England states is intrinsically more burdensome than it is in the remainder of the country. The New England states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut are the only states that require petitions to be transported to various town clerks, then collected, then taken to the Secretary of State’s office. Because federal law requires all state election offices to have their own statewide voter registration list, there is no rational reason for these cumbersome procedures to survive.

Although the South has the nation’s worst ballot access laws, New England is the second-worst region for ballot access. Massachusetts and Maine have the nation’s most restrictive laws on how a candidate gets on the primary ballot of a small ballot-qualified party. Maine has the nation’s most burdensome procedure for a new party to qualify by petition (the requirement is 5% of the last vote cast, and no one who is a registered member of a qualified party may sign). Vermont is tied for having the nation’s earliest petition deadline for independent presidential candidates. New Hampshire is the only state that requires an unqualified party to notify the state of its presidential nominee in June. Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire don’t permit presidential stand-ins on petitions. Many of these laws should have long ago been held unconstitutional, but the federal judges in the First Circuit seem markedly biased against minor parties.

17 comments

  1. So Gary Johnson must be around 35 states and counting?

  2. Will Fenwick · · Reply

    Its really not worth the Constitution Parties time to spend resources and personnel on ballot access drives in New England. Its strongest support is in the mountain states and in the south, those are the areas it should focus the majority of its efforts on. Petitioning drives in New England should be encouraged amongst volunteers, but not by paid agents of the constitution party unless it somehow gets a boost in funding in the future.

  3. Although I like to complain about it from time to time, the requirement in New York is not that bad. Especially because, knock on wood, they keep the raw signature number and vote requirements the same as the population rises.

    I’ve never collected signatures before. I would be interested to see how typical it is for parties to meet the congressional district distribution requirement by collecting signatures from people from upstate who are in the city on vacation.

    Still, keep scratching my head over the Green Party’s struggles in CT, NH, and VT. Why can’t they amass and army of Brooklynites to go on a road trip get this done?

  4. Reed Ebarb · · Reply

    We have very easy ballot access here in Louisiana. Not sure why the CP is having so much trouble getting recognized as a party here. It only requires 1,000 registered voters and the LP didn’t have much of a problem getting that. The LP in Louisiana has 5,700 registered, but the CP only a few hundred. Mystery it seems.

  5. Why is Howie Hawkins the VP on the Connecticut petition?

  6. Maybe Connecticut for Lieberman will nominate her.

  7. Mike Koch · · Reply

    The New England states of New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut are the only states that require petitions to be transported to various town clerks, then collected, then taken to the Secretary of State’s office.

    Massachusetts does also.

    Rhode Island does on the full party petition. ‘

    Haven’t worked the independent candidate petition in RI so I can’t say.

    It’s not as big a deal in RI because it’s a lot less towns and a lot closer together than in the other NE states.

  8. Mike Koch · · Reply

    @1 See

  9. “The New England states of New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut are the only states that require petitions to be transported to various town clerks, then collected, then taken to the Secretary of State’s office.”

    Richard, you forgot to mention Massachusetts, it’s a New England state and it has the same stupid requirement that petitions have to be turned in to the city/town clerks for validation, and then picked up from each city/town and then turned in to the Secratary of the Commonwealth’s office.

  10. w00t w00t go Gary go!!! Let’s get 50-state ballot access!

  11. #3- The higher up on the ballot the easier it is in NY. Not so bad for things like president and governor. The requirements for more local offices are a b*tch though, plus there is a ‘culture’ of challenging from the 2 main parties.

  12. The town by town thing is just plain nuts in this day and age.

  13. Richard Winger · · Reply

    #6, the Connecticut for Lieberman Party is not ballot-qualified any longer except for a few state legislative districts. It was never a qualified party for president.

    Everyone who reminded me about Massachusetts also requiring turn-ins to each town clerk, thank you very much. I am fixing the post.

  14. […] Ballot access: “It appears that the only presidential petition likely to succeed in CT is the Libertarian Party petition. The state requires 7,500 valid signatures. The Green Party made a valiant attempt, but seems to […]

  15. citizen1 · · Reply

    There is an internal power struggle in the Independent Party of CT. There has been some discussion of Virgil Goode being on their line, but it will dependent somewhat on which group wins this battle.

  16. Guess what, PR tends to *reduce* ethnic polarization in the electorate:
    http://blogs.wsj.com/ideas-market/2012/07/26/proportional-representation-and-ethnic-voting/
    (…)
    But a new study of the voting patterns in 43 nations finds “the opposite of what is widely assumed”: By various measures, in countries with “P.R.,” the association between political party and ethnicity is looser than in winner-take-all systems.
    (…)

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