February 15, 2017

Why doesn't the Constitution Party try to get on the Texas ballot?

After blogging last week about how a few Texas Legiscritters would like to (unconstitutionally) make it even harder for third parties to get on the ballot, I started thinking further, based in party on my personal experience of signing Green Party ballot access petitions.

Why doesn't the Constitution Party try to do the same?

Yes, the Libertarian Party is already here, but, for people of the wingnut persuasion whose main problem with the Texas GOP is social/religious, not too many regulations, the Libertarians do you no good.

The Constitution Party, which really should rename itself the Religious Right Party, is who you want if you're such a person.

But, having lived for nearly a decade in or around the Metroplex, and again, having signed ballot access petitions, and even briefly having called on other people to sign them, one year, I never, ever, saw a Constitution Party drive at a mall, mini-mall, plaza, etc.


David Collins said...

Current law in Texas already prevents party members from signing ballot access petitions for other parties, or attending other parties' conventions. The law refers to those who voted in a party's primary or attended a party's convention as "members."

Changing the registration form to include a question about party affiliation alone won't really change anything. Since the Libertarian Party has ballot access for 2018, they wouldn't lose anything right away. Without some kind of safeguard built in for minor parties, however, the Green Party gets hate-screwed. Someone will have to take the case to court to overturn it on Constitutional grounds, of course--probably the Greens at ludicrous expense.

Gadfly said...

Right, on knowing that the Libertarians won't suffer. But, perhaps this was pre-emptive against the Constitution Party, or another third party?

Changing the registration form would, even with the note about current law, increase the "crackdown" possibility.

Oh, and that other portion of current law is ALSO unconstitutional. If one party wants to pass a resolution banning members of other parties from attending, it can do that. A government cannot do that on behalf of political parties; that's a violation of freedom of assembly.

Harry Hamid said...

I think David Collins is probably right. Any ballot access petition drive would be tough on a minor party. Planning one - let alone trying to carry one out - would have to become the overwhelming and possibly sole focus of the group.

And then the primary would come along and there'd be some religious right candidates running in the primaries, and their target audience would all run off and vote in it, thereby making themselves ineligible to sign the petition.

I can't believe Texas ballot access laws aren't unconstitutional. Hell, we don't even count write-in votes unless the person is registered as an "official" write-in candidate.

Gadfly said...

Harry ... yeah, as noted, before Greens had the ballot access they lost last year, I signed petitions a couple of times, and helped, once.

That said, I guess the Religious Right has that many people here that satisfied with the GOP, or else the Constitution Party has gotten kind of lazy.