Tag Archives: constitution party

Judge Opens the Door for Third Party Candidates in Georgia

On March 18, U.S. District judge Richard Story struck down part of Georgia’s stringent ballot access law requiring third party candidates to collect an enormous number of signatures to appear on the ballot, ruling it unconstitutional.

Under old law, parties not recognized by the state of Georgia were required to collect signatures from 1 percent of eligible registered voters to get on the statewide ballot, equating to over 50,000 signatures. Now candidates only need to collect 7,500 signatures.

Georgia’s previous ballot access requirement narrowed voters’ choices for their presidential candidate, but now the future for third parties is looking brighter in the Peach State.

In 1972, Congressman John G. Schmitz, the American Independent Party presidential candidate that year who got over 1,100,000 votes nationwide, did not qualify to be on the Georgia ballot. In 1976, former Georgia Governor Lester Maddox, who ran as the American Independent Party presidential candidate, couldn’t get on the ballot in his own state.

Ralph Nader, who was the Green Party nominee in 1996 and 2000 and an Independent nominee in 2004 and 2008, was never on the ballot in Georgia, even though he placed third in 2000, 2004, and 2008.

But now one hindrance to ballot access in Georgia has been lessened this election cycle.

“This is a huge victory for Georgia voters who wish to vote for minor party or independent candidates for president,” said Richard Winger from Ballot Access News. “The decision is important for the 2016 race, because when one compares the easier requirements to get on the ballot for president in each state (minor party or independent), Georgia required the 3rd highest number of signatures.  Only North Carolina and California required more. The Texas minor party petition was a slightly smaller number of signatures.”

The ruling may be an opportunity for those in the #NeverTrump movement who are flirting with the idea of running a third party candidate against GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

Georgia attorney and RNC rules committee member Randy Evans told Daily Report that the court’s ruling is “particularly noteworthy given that it comes at a time when institutional powerbrokers are meeting in Washington, D.C., to discuss the creation of another party should Donald Trump become the GOP nominee.”

Nicholas Sarwark, the chairman of the Libertarian National Committee which is the executive body of the Libertarian Party, told Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook, “While the Libertarian Party already has ballot access in Georgia, we applaud Judge Story’s ruling striking down Georgia’s unconstitutionally high ballot access requirements. For 45 years, we’ve been fighting to give Americans a real political choice, while Republicans and Democrats have put up these barriers to competition to try to stop us. The real winners in this ruling are the people of Georgia who will have more political choice on their ballot.”

A 2015 Consider This video from Truth In Media highlighted the fact that the Republican and Democrat parties no longer represent the majority in the U.S.

R's and D's No Longer Majority

Republicans and Democrats are no longer the majority.Learn more: http://bit.ly/1Kdbdqm

Posted by Truth In Media on Saturday, July 18, 2015

Federal Court: Tennessee Ballot Access Law Unfairly Burdens Third Parties

A July 2 decision by the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in a suit brought by Tennessee’s Green and Constitution parties has rendered a controversial ballot retention statute in the state unenforceable. According to The Tennessean, Chief Judge R. Guy Cole Jr. said in the decision, “Tennessee’s ballot-retention statute clearly imposes a heavier burden on minor parties than major parties by giving minor parties less time to obtain the same level of electoral success as established parties.

Under the law, Tennessee’s third parties are required to collect a number of signatures exceeding 2.5% of the number of Tennesseans who voted in the last gubernatorial election in order to gain ballot access and were also required to achieve at least 5% of the vote in a statewide race in the subsequent gubernatorial election in order to remain on the ballot. The combined burden of having to meet the high number of petition signatures while also being required to achieve the 5% electoral total within the same election cycle had the effect of forcing third parties to continue to repeatedly attempt to collect signatures to obtain and maintain ballot access while the Democratic and Republican parties remained on the ballot automatically. Major parties only have to meet that 5% threshold at some point during the previous four years in order to remain on the ballot, giving them more time to achieve the same electoral feat.

Green Party of Tennessee co-chair Kate Culver told The Tennessean, “This is huge for the potential for third parties to have a voice in the political arena. We know right now people are unhappy and disgruntled with the two major parties… There needs to be some way to get those voices heard.

Ballot Access News’ Richard Winger wrote, “The Sixth Circuit decision strikes down the vote test on Equal Protection grounds. Tennessee could easily repair this law if it said that newly-qualifying parties also don’t need to meet the vote test in their first election, but that they can meet the vote test in either of the party’s first two elections.

Though the federal appeals court’s decision does render the statute unenforceable, the court has no authority to dictate what the new process will be. Only the Tennessee General Assembly can implement a new ballot retention system. The state could also appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, but is not expected to do so.

A spokesperson for the lawsuit’s defendant, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, said that the state is reviewing the court’s decision to determine what action it should take in response.

Richard Winger of Ballot Access news noted, “The Sixth Circuit also struck down the old Tennessee law that newly-qualifying parties must file a document saying they don’t advocate the violent overthrow of the government. The state had not tried to defend this law, except to argue that it isn’t enforced. However, the decision says the state ‘has not explicitly disavowed enforcing the oath in the future.’ The U.S. Supreme Court had struck all loyalty oaths for parties in 1974, but some states continue to keep them on the books. These states include California, Illinois, Kansas, and Arizona.

Exclusive Interview: Alaska Constitution Party Candidate To Appear on Governor Ballot


Alaskan voters will have another option for governor this November. For the first-time ever, the Alaskan Constitution Party will have a gubernatorial candidate on the ballot, as well as a candidate for lieutenant governor.

“This is really groundbreaking,” explained J.R. Myers, founder, chairman and now gubernatorial candidate for the Alaskan Constitution Party. “This is actually the first time the Alaska Constitution Party will have a candidate for governor and lieutenant governor, which also, interestingly coincides with the fact that it’s the first time in history the Democrats will not now have candidates for governor or lieutenant governor.”

The group, which has just over 200 members, was first recognized by the state in 2011. And due to state law, it is categorized not as a political party but a “political group.” Due to this fact, Myers and his running mate, Maria Rensel, had to collect signatures to appear on the ballot.

While gathering signatures, Myers was able to canvas would-be voters.

“Most people were very happy and excited to have a new choice on the ballot,” he explained.

Though running on the same ticket, Rensel and Myers had to campaign and gather signatures separately. He said in total the pair brought in approximately 9,000 names, exceeding the state election board’s requirements.

The group hopes that after this election their status, according to the state, will be upgraded to a political party, so they can nominate a candidate at a convention like the Republicans and Democrats.

Myers believes that the Alaska Constitution Party’s views are the right direction for the state.

“We’re rapidly approaching a time of economic constraints that has not been known in this state,” he explained. “Our biggest challenge is how do we reign in the government in a way that is not going to damage the economy.”

The Alaska Constitution Party’s holds a strong belief in the Constitution, as the name of the party implies.

“We believe in the rule of law and the Constitution-based government,” he said.

There may be other parties out there that may also believe they’re Constitution-based, but Myers wouldn’t agree.

“The GOP has failed to live up to their promises,” he added. “People want a party that is true to their principles. I wouldn’t want people to get the wrong idea. We’re not a refugee camp for disgruntled Republicans, but we do have a lot of former Republicans in our midst.”

Myers champions limited government: “There are other ways to solve problems besides turning to the government over and over again,” he explained.

He is also a staunch believer in the Second Amendment: “I’m totally against federal encroachment of Second Amendment rights,” he added.

And for other hot-button issues like Common Core, Myers turns again to the Constitution: “Again it comes down to the Constitution. Where in the Constitution does it authorize the federal government to get involved in educational policy at the local and state level? Nowhere.

We need to get rid of the Department of Education, and we need to decentralize the educational structure so it is at the state and local control,” he said.

Myers described Common Core as a dumbing down program. “Common Core is more about creating a docile working class.”

Myers faces incumbent Governor Sean Parnell, a Republican, in November.

For more information on Myers and the Alaskan Constitution Party, visit his website at www.jr4gov.com.

To listen to the entire interview with J.R. Myers, click here.


Double Standard in Alabama: Both Major Parties Miss Ballot Deadlines But Will Be on Ballot Anyway


The ballots of two counties in Alabama could be missing both Republican and Democrat candidates after both parties missed the deadline to certify their candidates with the probate judge.

According to WAFF, the parties had until noon last Wednesday, and now the probate judge’s office is turning to Alabama’s secretary of state as to how to proceed with this election.

The Marshall County Democratic Party handed in their list two days late, and the Republican Party turned their list on Monday.

“We still have several days before we have to start ordering ballots,” Marshall County Probate Judge Tim Mitchell said. “I think we have to have ballots in the circuit clerk’s office by September 20, I think. So we still have a few days to figure out what is supposed to happen or what’s going to happen.”

The same thing happened in Jackson County where Jackson County Probate Judge Victor Manning told WAFF that both parties in that county missed the deadline as well. There were many Republican county parties that missed the deadline and the GOP had to request emergency meetings.

Despite missing the deadline, both the Republican and Democrat Party will be on the ballot in Novemeber according to Marshall county Constitution Party’s facebook page.

“Looks like the Probate Judge will allow the major parties on the ballot for 2014, although he does mention that his decision may be overturned. Regardless, we are looking forward to a great campaign and excited about the enthusiasm for our party and it’s principles. For the record, we are very confident in our candidates this year, and would rather have a chance to run head to head, just not at the expense of the rule of law.”


Last year the Alabama secretary of state denied ballot access to James Hall because he lacked the required petition signatures.

“Our job is to execute the laws as they are written,” said Will Sutton, elections attorney in the office of Alabama’s secretary of state. In order for any exception to be made, he said, the laws would have to be rewritten.“The laws are statutory so any change would require action by the legislature,” Packard explained. “There’s no authority for the secretary of state to unilaterally change the signature requirement or the deadline.”


Apparently Alabama’s law only applies to everyone except the two major parties.

Joshua Cassity, Chairman of the Constitution Party of Alabama told BenSwann.com’s Joshua Cook that there is definitely a double standard here.

“In our opinion, we are the only qualified Party on the ballot,” said Cassity.

“The Alabama code says they didn’t meet the qualification. How is the Secretary of State of Alabama granting the probate judge the right to break the law? If the Libertarian Party or Constitution Party were late one day they would have thrown us off the ballot,” said Cassidy.

Cassidy said that because the Constitution Party’s candidates are the only legally certified candidates they they should be declared the winners.