Mar 17, 2010

Richard Winger Makes Case Against California's Prop 14

Third party and independent activists are split over the issue of California's Proposition 14 ballot measure.  To simplify: independent activists support the measure because unaffiliated voters will be allowed vote in the primaries (among other things), while third party activists are opposed to the measure because it will reduce choice on the general election ballot to just two candidates (among other things).  At Poli-Tea I excerpted arguments on both sides of the issue and supplied some details on the proposition last month, if you have not been following the debate.  In response to Nancy's recent posts here at TPID in support of the proposition, Richard Winger of Ballot Access News writes, via email, in opposition to the measure:
Prop. 14 increases the ballot access requirements for parties to remain ballot-qualified.  By eliminating the easiest way that parties remain ballot-qualified (the 2% vote test for any statewide office in a midterm year), the measure kills the Peace & Freedom Party, and will force the Libertarian Party to engage in an expensive registration drive.  If Prop. 14 passes, the only way parties can remain on the ballot is to have registration of 1% of the last gubernatorial vote.  That will probably be 100,000 after 2010.  PFP only has 58,000 and Libertarian has 84,000.  It costs about $5 per registration to pay people to get new registrants.

And, Prop. 14 says write-ins can't ever be counted in November for Congress and state office.

And, Prop. 14 makes it very unlikely that any minor party candidates will appear on the November ballot.  We know this from the experience of Louisiana and Washington state.  No minor party person ever qualified for a second round in Louisiana in the 35 years the system has been used there.  In Washington state, in 2008, using "top-two" for the first time, there were no minor party or independent candidates on the November ballot for any congressional race or statewide state race for the first time since Washington became a state in 1889.
For more, see also Richard's guest posts on the measure at the Election Law Blog and at Nancy's The Hankster.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Independents can already vote in all Democratic and Republican primaries for Congress and state office in California. That has been true ever since 2001 and there is less than 1% probability that either major party would ever change that policy in California.

Also, I do not agree with the statement that independents are "split" on Prop. 14. The only independents who favor Prop. 14 are members of CUIP, and even they do not all agree. David Belmont, Linda Curtis, and Gary Sinawski, leaders of CUIP, oppose Prop. 14. This comment is from Richard Winger, and I only check "anonymous" because the system won't let me post any other way.