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Richard Winger
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I wish Justice Alito would show a similar concern for the First Amendment rights of voters who wish to vote for minor party or independent candidates. The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected all 52 cert petitions filed by independent and minor party candidates and voters over the last 20 years (of course, Justice Alito hasn't been on the Court that long, I realize). But during the same 20 years, seven times states have asked the Court to hear their election law cases that were lost in the lower court, and in 4 instances, the court accepted the case and reversed all 4 times. Now we have a system in which Oklahoma voters, for example, were forbidden from voting for any presidential candidate earlier this month except for Obama and Romney (write-ins are banned and no other candidates were on the ballot). We have a system in which independent voters in Connecticut can't get public funding without a petition signed by 20% of the voters, whereas Republican and Democratic candidates need no petition.
U.S. Code, Title 3, section 6, tells jurisdictions that elect presidential electors to report how many votes each candidate for presidential elector received, after any presidential election. The report must be made to the U.S. archivist. Bob Barr's candidates for presidential elector were legally qualified candidates, recognized by the D.C. Board of Elections itself. The write-in procedure was forced on the Board in Kamins v D.C. Board of Elections back in 1974.
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May 23, 2010