Hearing Set in New York Libertarian/Anti Prohibition Lawsuit on Listing Candidates Twice on Ballot

Credico v New York State Board of Elections will be argued in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on November 1 at 2 pm. This is the case filed almost two years ago, over whether a candidate nominated by two unqualified parties can be listed twice on the ballot, or whether the candidate can only be listed once.

The case began when both the Libertarian Party, and the Anti-Prohibition Party, nominated Randy Credico for U.S. Senate in 2010. Even though New York state election law lets a candidate be listed on the general election ballot when he or she was nominated by two qualified parties, and also lets a candidate be listed twice on the ballot when nominated by one qualified party and one nonqualified party, the state won’t permit a candidate to be listed twice if he was nominated by two unqualified parties.

4 comments

  1. Casual Bystander · · Reply

    I sure hope this lawsuit doesn’t cost anything. With all the truly important suits that really need to be fought this one seems pretty unimportant.

  2. Richard Winger · · Reply

    One wonders why the state even bothers to fight it.

  3. GreenGenes · · Reply

    Maybe a simpler explanation of the law might help.

    Basically a candidate can appear on any number of qualified ballot lines plus one non-qualified party. There have been real world situations where a single candidate is on Republican, Conservative, Independence, and then maybe a non qualified line such as “Lower Taxes”

    Thus a single candidate can be on the ballot FOUR times. This puts a candidate who is on two non-qualified lines but appears only once on a combined line, at an extreme disadvantage 4 to 1. It makes the name harder to find in the clutter created by the other candidate. Given another candidate might have Democrat, Working Families, “Save our Schools” you now have a 7 to 1 gang up on the one candidate with two non-qualified lines.

    In Randy’s case both parties each collected 15,000 valid signatures to place him on their line. Some might see one of the signature efforts as meaningless since the candidate still only appears once despite the double work. Also each party loses the ability to analyze their own party’s ability to draw votes.

    So with a possible 7 to 1 burying of a candidate, the lose of strategic party identity and post election analysis, the double petition effort with no material gain on the ballot, I can see the motivation for the lawsuit.

  4. GreenGenes @ #3 – I am not a lawyer and I don’t live in New York, but I have a slightly different understanding of New York’s law on multiple nominations.

    As I understand it, a candidate can be nominated by two or more qualified parties and he will appear on each of their ballot lines. Or a candidate can be nominated by one qualified party, and petition for a second line as a candidate of an unqualified party – or “nominating body” as I believe they call it.

    But if a candidate is nominated by two qualified parties, and then petitions for a third line, he does not get his name listed three times.Instead, a second label is put next to his name on one of the qualified ballot lines.

    In 2005 Mayor Bloomberg ran for re-election as candidate of the Republican Party and the Independence Party. He accepted the Liberal Party nomination, and paid for the Liberal petition drive. He then listed himself on the Republican line as “Republican-Liberal”

    I don’t know how the voting machine works to indicate votes for the unqualified party label in such a case, but I have seen vote totals broken down to all party labels.

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