New Mexican Courts Offer Unofficial State Bird To Libertarians

This just in from the Free New Mexican: we’re not going to have any statewide candidates this year in New Mexico.

From the article:

A federal judge has rejected a constitutional challenge to New Mexico’s law governing whether minor party candidates can run for office.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Martha Vazquez means the Libertarian Party will have no candidates for statewide office on the Nov. 7 general election ballot.

Check out these ridiculous requirements:

To qualify to have candidates on the ballot, a political party in New Mexico must submit petitions with a certain number of signatures of registered votes. If successful _ such as the Libertarians and Green parties in New Mexico, a party initially earns “minor party” status under state law.

Candidates nominated by a minor party individually must submit nominating petitions _ with slightly more than 4,800 voter signatures for a statewide office this year _ to gain a place on the general election ballot.

Unlike “major” political parties in New Mexico _ Democrats and Republicans _ minor parties do not hold primary elections. Democratic and GOP candidates file nominating petitions to run in the primary, but party nominees automatically appear on the general election ballot.

The lawsuit contended that New Mexico is the only state to have a two-petition system for minor parties to get their candidates on the ballot.

That’s right, after all your hard work to get on the ballot in the first place, you… get to file even more petitions to get on the ballot. If that isn’t some Republicratic wet dream, I dunno what is.

So yeah, LPNM… I feel your pain.

26 Comments
  1. Here is the decision on the LPNM case:

    http://electionlawblog.org/archives/new-mexico.pdf

    According to the decision, the LPNM had already attained
    minor party status and then made no attempt to collect
    the signatures to place candidates on the ballot.

    While it appears NM law is rather restrictive on ballot access, it is certainly not the worst state in these regards. It seems to me that 4,800 signatures is not an impossible hurdle for a state-wide candidate.

    Apparently, the LPNM put all their eggs in one basket, that being the legal case, and lost. Why didn’t they try to get the 4,800 signatures?

  2. Because the whole point was to sue the state, so they would not have to do so again in the future. It’s been ruled illegal in other states. They are the only state to it that way. If they wanted to run a slate of candidates they would have to petition separately for each of them.

    They have been pulling dirty tricks against the LP for some time now. A while back they claimed that asking people to register Libertarian was a form of “trickery” – you would have to set up an all-purpose voter registration table and not ask people to check any party, until you had enough people register Libertarian (!!)

    More recently on this drive which led to the lawsuit, they were disqualifying signatures of people registered as Democrats and Republicans for no legal reason until they were caught doing it. They’ve also messed with other third parties before.

  3. Paulie – I understand what the point of going to court is and I’m very aware of the obstacles put in front of third parties by the elite Republicrat rulers.

    My point is that the LPNM could have gone to court AND collected the signatures. It is no secret that Republicrats try to keep third parties off the ballot and Republicrat political hack judges rule in favor of their masters, but if there is to ever be any change, you don’t just throw up your hands and say “no fair”.

    I was impressed by the libertarians who, dressed as chickens, took to the streets in Ohio. But, alas, most libertarians fear appearing radical more than they fear a totalitarian state, so they refuse to take to the streets and protest (and get publicity for their cause).

    LPNM members should head for the polls in November and urge people not to vote:

    WITHHOLD CONSENT – DON’T VOTE!

  4. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention – arresting and posthumously convicting people for wearing clothing which mentions the LP while voting.

    My point is that the LPNM could have gone to court AND collected the signatures.

    If I understand it correctly, that would have caused the lawsuit to be dismissed because we could not then demonstarte that the law creates an unreasonable burden. Sure, we could do it for one candidate or election – but then we would have to double petition again next time. The idea was to sacrifice one cycle for the possibility of making it easier in the future.

    LPNM members should head for the polls in November and urge people not to vote:

    WITHHOLD CONSENT – DON’T VOTE!

    Great idea!

  5. People don’t seem to understand, the Libertarian Party of NM DID get the signatures to qualify the party. It cost us $10,000. The state checked the signatures. After 4 months of checking, they said we had enough. The issue is the ADDITIONAL signatures the state wanted, each statewide candidate needing his or her own separate petition of 8,000 MORE signatures. Don’t worry, this case is not over. The worst is that the judge cancelled the hearing the Friday before the Monday that it was to occur, so we never got a chance to submit our evidence.

  6. If a new party in New Mexico wanted to run a full slate of statewide nominees this year, it would need 64,294 signatures. It’s almost 8,000 per statewide candidate this year, not 4,800 as said above.

  7. But, alas, most libertarians fear appearing radical more than they fear a totalitarian state, so they refuse to take to the streets and protest (and get publicity for their cause).

    Not this reformer. I thought it was great and I would have volunteered to wear a suit myself. More chickens.

  8. As Lysander Spooner argued convincingly, voting in self-defense (against the violation of your natural rights, the theft of your property, your money, and your children’s lives) in no way implies consent.

  9. Maybe so, Lex, but if you live in New Mexico who are you going to vote for?

    Is it self-defense to vote for the Republicrat that violates fewer of your natural rights and steals less of your money?

    In fact, if you vote for the Republicrat who isn’t quite as bad as the other Republicrat, you are consenting to having your rights violated and your money taken.

    This fall, in many jurisdictions besides New Mexico, you will have the opportunity to give your consent to ripped off by a new class of candidate – the fair taxing Republicratarian who thinks the Iraq War was a bad idea but thinks it’s a good idea to hang around another year or two.

    What if they held an election and nobody came?

  10. “Don’t Vote”, that will show them. Has to be one of the stupidiest idea I have heard. Half our population doesn’t vote right now anyway. Has that changed anything? No it just has allowed the current duopoly to increase their power and control over us. There is no one to stop them. Will you think that you not voting will change anything. It will be just one more non-vote in an already large crowd of millions of others. To effect change you have to do it with your vote, your voice, your feet, or your dollars. Being silent is not an effective voice and certainly not an effective vote.

  11. I think both parties will approve rules that will continue to perpetuate their status as not only the two major parties but also to be the only game in town. We basically have about the same situation in Illinois too. I’m not really a supporter of third parties but I think that the rules shouldn’t favor the two major parties.

  12. Just for the record, yes, our statewide candidates in NM ran this year for the specific purpose of challenging the law.

    And the opera’s not over ’til the fat lady sings. Stand by.

  13. More about NM’s third-world electoral system:

    We had a candidate for state legislature left off the ballot several years ago. We complained. The Bureau of Elections investigated. Yup, he was left off but it was only an innocent oversight.

    What are you going to do about it? Nothing. He was just a Libertarian.

  14. Yet more about NM’s third-world electoral system:

    NM election law holds that to earn “major” party status (1) a statewide candidate must get votes equal to 5% of the vosts cast for gov or prez and (2) have registered 1/3 of 1% of the voters. In ’98 we worked very hard to meet both requirements, which had earned the Greens major party status a few times with a non-gov, non-prez candidate.

    The state went to court to change interpretation of the law – votes had to be FOR gov or prez. We lost BUT THE GREENS GOT TO KEEP THEIR MAJOR PARTY STATUS for an entire election cycle. The ruling only applied to the LP!

  15. “Don’t Vote”, that will show them. Has to be one of the stupidiest idea I have heard.

    Not really. The state doesn’t like all the non-voting and there is a lot of agitation against it. It’s the only principled thing to do when you are not allowed to vote for what you believe in, only a false choice.

    Half our population doesn’t vote right now anyway. Has that changed anything?

    Can you say what things would be like if they did vote?

    Will you think that you not voting will change anything. It will be just one more non-vote in an already large crowd of millions of others.

    So what can you change when you are only allowed to vote for two versions of the same old thing? At least a protest calls attention to it.

    To effect change you have to do it with your vote, your voice, your feet, or your dollars. Being silent is not an effective voice and certainly not an effective vote.

    True, but noone is advocating being silent. A protest when you can’t vote truly.

  16. “Don’t Vote”, that will show them. Has to be one of the stupidest idea I have heard.

    Not really. The state doesn’t like all the non-voting and there is a lot of agitation against it. It’s the only principled thing to do when you are not allowed to vote for what you believe in, only a false choice.”

    Not voting as a private act isn’t going to accomplish much. However if we responded to being denied ballot access with a very public call for an election boycott it could accomplish a lot.

    #1 It would leave no doubt as to your intention.

    #2 It would expose the election sham for what it is.

    #3 It would embarrass the ruling parties.

    #4 It would allow us to harness the power of low voter turnout.

    We need to stop pretending that we can win by staying inside the box that our enemies built. If they won’t even play by their own rules then we need to hit them with something they don’t expect and can’t defend against.

  17. “I believe that’s exactly what Mr. Blanton proposed, leading to the discussion in the first place.”

    Yes, but what I’m suggesting is that we do this in a much bigger way. Of course as a practical matter it may be too late to do much more then an election day blitz in this case.

    Imagine the impact of a well planed boycott with time to make it work. I’m talking about a campaign with a website/blog, billboards in high traffic areas, freeway blogging, flyer’s, posters and press releases.

    For instance in 2004 we were kept off the ballot in OK. If the OKLP had responded with a well thought out boycott and it had been picked up by international media the impact could have been huge.

    Bush would have been running around saying we invaded Iraq to bring democracy to the Middle East and those Arab TV networks could have been reporting how in the US the elections were such a joke that the largest opposition party was calling for a boycott in 1 state. (continued)

  18. (continued)They might have picked up the story of how the Presidential candidate of the largest opposition party was arrested by “regime security forces”. It could have changed the whole dynamic of the race. Something like that has the potential to force the other side to reconsider the tactic of restrictive ballot access. It could force the international election observers to be honest and admit that US elections violate international law and US treaty obligations.

    If voter turnout falls below 50% it would allow us to spin it as a victory for our side. Instead of them fucking us, we could fuck them for a change.

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