Entries in Ballot (10)


Federal Judge in Virginia Rules Against Perry and Gingrich

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(RICHMOND, Va.) -- A federal judge said Friday that he could not rule to add Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and other presidential candidates on the Virginia primary ballot because they waited too long to challenge Virginia’s strict ballot law.

“In essence," Judge John A. Gibney Jr. ruled, “they played the game, lost, and then complained the rules were unfair.”

Only after failing to get 10,000 signatures in time, the candidates sued arguing Virginia’s strict ballot law was unconstitutional. The law requires that only people eligible to register to vote in Virginia may circulate petitions for signatures to place a candidate on the ballot. The candidates argued that the law restricts their rights of free speech and association because fewer people can advocate for them as candidates.

While the ruling was a loss for the candidates, especially Gingrich, who won’t appear on the primary ballot in his state of residence, it could affect future candidates trying to get on the ballot. Gibney said that had the candidates brought suit earlier in the process they may have prevailed on the merits of their case challenging Virginia’s law.

“Had the plaintiffs filed a timely suit, the Court would likely have granted preliminary relief. They are likely to prevail on the constitutionality of the residency requirement, and, had they filed earlier, they would have been able to obtain the requisite 10,000 signatures,” he decided.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ballot Rules: Easiest, Toughest States for Candidates

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- On Friday U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. is expected to issue a ruling on the Virginia ballot challenge brought by Texas Gov. Rick Perry.  Perry, joined by his GOP opponents Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Santorum, filed a court order in late December requesting access to the ballot in Virginia’s March 6 primary, after failing to qualify in the commonwealth earlier that month.

The four GOP presidential candidates assert that Virginia’s ballot rules impose a “severe burden” and are unconstitutional. Indeed, Virginia’s requirements to get on their ballot are numerous and specific; the state requires each candidate to submit 10,000 signatures to the state board of elections, including 400 from each of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts, and signatures can only be collected by registered or eligible-to-register Virginian voters.

With the decision from Judge Gibney on the way, ABC News took a look at other states, besides Virginia, that have a difficult set of requirements to gain access to their ballot, as well as the states with simplest ballot requirements.


Arizona has one of the simplest rules for ballot qualification. There is one ballot requirement: candidates must submit a nomination paper, complete with a notarized, original (photocopied sheets not allowed) signature from the candidate. Jon Huntsman failed to qualify in this state because the paper turned in on his behalf was not notarized.


Illinois is a difficult state, with requirements similar to (though not as stringent as) Virginia. To qualify for the presidential preference ballot, a candidate must submit no fewer than 3,000 and no more than 5,000 signatures. On top of that, to qualify for ballot access in a specific congressional district, a candidate must submit 600 signatures per district, for each of the state’s 19 congressional districts.


Louisiana falls into the category of states with the easiest requirements. The state gives candidates two possible ways to qualify for the ballot in their presidential primary. Candidates can either turn in a total of 1,000 signatures from members of their respective party throughout the state. These signatures must include residents of each of the state’s eight congressional districts. Or, if a candidate prefers, they can submit a filing fee of $1,125.

New Hampshire

The first-in-the-nation primary ballot is easy to qualify for: Candidates must submit a declaration of candidacy along with a $1,000 filing fee to the New Hampshire secretary of state. This low qualifying threshold tends to result in a long list of names on the ballot.

South Carolina

South Carolina is a wild card -- for a well-financed candidate the state’s qualifications are easy; for a candidate whose campaign is low on cash, the state is difficult. That’s because South Carolina, while they have no signature requirements, has a lofty filing fee. Candidates who pay the Palmetto State’s filing fee before May 5 save a bit of a money -- they are only required to pay $25,000. For candidates who submit their payment afterwards, the price jumps up $10,000 to $35,000.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Looking Ahead: Who's on New Hampshire’s Primary Ballot

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(CONCORD, N.H.) -- With Iowa behind them, candidates and political enthusiasts alike are turning their eyes eastward to New Hampshire, where voters are gearing up for next week’s Jan. 10 primary.

The Granite State hosts the first voting contest that will award delegates to the GOP presidential candidates, as well as the first in the nation voting contest that will use a ballot.

And that ballot is not short on names.  The New Hampshire Secretary of State released sample ballots for next week’s primary for both the Republican and Democratic parties, and they total 30 Republicans -- a record high for the state’s Republican ballot -- and 14 Democrats, according to Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

The Republican ballot includes seven leading GOP contenders as well as seven others challenging for attention. Some of the additional names may look familiar.  For example, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who is now seeking the libertarian party’s nomination, former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, and Fred Karger, a political consultant and gay rights activist, are some of the individuals listed.

Herman Cain, the one time front-runner for the GOP nomination who dropped his bid in early December amid allegations of sexual harassment, also appears on the ballot.  He filed his candidacy with the New Hampshire Secretary of State before dropping out of the race.

Other names on the Republican ballot are more of a question mark to voters.  And despite the record high number, there is only one female candidate listed on it, Rep. Michele Bachmann.

The Democratic ballot is considerably shorter than the Republican ballot, but Democratic voters in New Hampshire wishing to take part in Tuesday’s primary do have a list of 13 names to check off aside from Barack Obama.  The listed individuals span the ideological spectrum.

Some are to the left of Obama, such as Darcy G. Richardson of Jacksonville, Fla., who bills himself as a “progressive Democrat” on his webpage and is running because he’s been, “disappointed by President Obama’s abandonment of many of the progressive values that he articulated so eloquently.”

Others are to the president’s right, like Robert B. Jordan of Garden Grove, Calif., who is running on an “oil platform” which proposes lifting all restrictions on drilling in U.S. oil reserves, including the ANWAR and Prudhoe Bay regions in Alaska.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney to Gingrich: ‘Get It Organized’

ABC News(PORTSMOUTH, N.H.) -- Asked about Newt Gingrich’s failure to get on the Virginia ballot, Mitt Romney on Tuesday didn’t hold back judgment.

“I think he compared it to Pearl Harbor. It’s more like Lucille Ball and the chocolate factory,” said Romney at a campaign event in Portsmouth, N.H. “You got to get it organized.”

Gingrich failed to meet the 10,000 signature threshold to get his name on the Virginia ballot over the weekend and his campaign manager later took to Facebook, comparing it to the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

“Newt and I agreed that the analogy is December 1941: We have experienced and unexpected set-back, but we will re-group and re-focus with increased determination, commitment and positive action,” wrote Gingrich’s National Campaign Director Michael Krull.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gingrich Files for Virginia Primary, Other GOP Candidates Do Not

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(RICHMOND, Va.) -- After a great deal of speculation, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich filed his paperwork for the Virginia presidential primary with the state’s board of elections in time for Thursday’s 5 p.m. deadline, although several of his opponents did not.

As of the commonwealth’s filing deadline, only four of the seven leading GOP candidates for president filed their paperwork -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and Gingrich.  Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman did not submit materials to the Virginia State Board of Elections, meaning that the three candidates will not appear on the ballot in Virginia’s March 6 primary.

Virginia’s qualifying threshold for ballot access in their presidential primary is rigorous.  The commonwealth requires that each candidate for president submit at least 10,000 signatures -- including 400 from each congressional district -- to the state board of elections.

From there, the signatures are turned over to the states’ Republican party, which is responsible for tallying and certifying the materials.  The state party recommends that candidates submit over 10,000 signatures, as some are likely to be thrown out.

The party must certify all of the submitted signatures by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 27.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gringrich Campaign 'Scrambles' as Virginia Ballot Deadline Approaches

Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- Newt Gingrich said on Wednesday that his campaign has been “scrambling” to get his name on the ballot in Virginia and that he was prepared to “turn in vastly more signatures” than required by state law.

The filing deadline to get a candidate’s name on the Virginia ballot is Thursday at 5 p.m.  A candidate must submit 10,000 signatures of registered Virginia voters, including at least 400 from each of the state’s 11 congressional districts.

Gingrich campaign aides said they have met all the necessary requirements to get their candidate’s name on the ballot for the state’s March 6 primary.

“Once again, Virginia is going to disappoint the Republican establishment ’cause we’re going to turn in vastly more signatures than they need,” Gingrich said at a rally in Arlington, Va.

Gingrich told reporters earlier this week in Iowa that his campaign had been “scrambling” to get on the ballot and told reporters he “hoped” to make it.

“Some candidates have been running for five or six years; they’ve raised millions and millions and they’re better organized than I am,” Gingrich said.  “We’ve got a lot of popular support.  The challenge is, can we get that popular support organized fast enough?”

In an attempt to help the signature-gathering effort along, Gingrich made a last-minute change to his schedule to be on hand at a signature drive and rally in northern Virginia Wednesday night, and he plans to hold two other events in the state on Thursday.

The signatures must be delivered to the state board of elections by Thursday night’s deadline.  From there they will be transferred in sealed boxes to the Virginia Republican Party, which is responsible for verifying their authenticity and tallying them.  That process won’t begin until Friday morning.

The state board of elections recommends that candidates gather more than the required number of signatures.  The Gingrich campaign did not have a count on the total so far.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Romney Boasts of VA Ballot Qualification as Gingrich Reportedly Scrambles

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Just a few hours after Politico reported that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is scrambling to get enough signatures to get his name on Virginia’s primary ballot, Mitt Romney posted an informal Web video of him and his wife Ann at their kitchen counter, flipping through his own election paperwork.

“Just signed the paperwork to get on the ballot in Virginia,” Romney says to what appears to be a cellphone camera, waving the stack of documents in the air.  “Lots of volunteers put in lots of hours.”

“Some 16,000 signatures,” says Romney, who is filmed as he stands at his kitchen counter with Ann, remnants of dinner preparations spotted off to the side.  “That’s just fabulous.”

It was not immediately clear whether Romney’s timing was just coincidental, or if the video had been filmed to poke fun at Gingrich.

When asked about the report that Gingrich is still trying to get enough signatures for the ballot, Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond told ABC News: “We are mobilizing volunteers across the country, some are hard at work organizing precincts, others collecting signatures.  They’re doing a great job.”

Virginia is a state with one of the toughest thresholds for candidates looking to get on the ballot, requiring signatures from 10,000 qualified voters in the state, including at least 400 qualified voters from each of the state’s 11 congressional districts.  According to Virginia’s Board of Elections it is recommended that a candidate get 15,000 to 20,000 signatures with at least 700 from each congressional district “because many people who are not registered will sign a petition.”

The primary filing deadline is Dec. 22, and Virginia’s primary is scheduled for March 6 -- Super Tuesday.

“Thanks so much you guys, looking forward to seeing you and winning in Virginia,” Romney says at the close of his Web video.

“Thank you!” Ann chimes in at the end.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Connecticut Voters Elect Incumbent's Son After Ballot Typo

Getty Images(DERBY, Conn.) -- James J. Butler just won his first election, but he wasn’t even running for office.

Because of a typo on the Derby, Conn., ballot, Butler was unwittingly elected to the city’s Board of Apportionment and Taxation, knocking out the incumbent, his father James R. Butler, who was actually campaigning for the seat.

“I understand that mistakes are made but this one is especially unfortunate,” Derby Republican Town Committee Chairman Tony Szewczy said in a letter to the county clerk pointing out the error. “We will be in violation of State Election law if we allow a person who wasn’t on the ballot and received no votes to be sworn in. This would also be a huge disservice to our voters.”

The town is now trying to find a legal way to allow the elder Butler to take the seat, which the Democratic Town Committee had nominated him for. The Democratic Party in Derby is meeting Friday to consider swearing in the younger Butler at the mandatory Dec. 3 ceremony, then having him immediately resign so his father can fill the vacant seat.

“I was the one they nominated,” Butler Sr. told the Connecticut Post. “My son wants nothing to do with this.”

Av Harris, the spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, told the Post that no one working in the state office had ever heard of a misprint like this happening before.

“This is extremely rare,” he said.

A similar mistake happened last year in the Chicago mayoral race when Green Party candidate Rich Whitney’s name appeared as “R. Whitey” on voter’s selection review page of the electronic voting systems. The error was caught before Election Day, but it cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Newt Gingrich a ‘No Show’ on Missouri February Ballot

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich will be a ‘no show’ on the February primary ballot in the ‘Show Me State’ of Missouri.

When the Gingrich campaign showed up missing on the ballot, reports surfaced that the unorganized campaign made a terrible oversight.

The Gingrich campaign told ABC News after the CNN national security debate, that the missing name among the other top contenders is intentional and not an oversight by the campaign.

“We do elections where you can actually win delegates, we don’t participate in beauty contests,” a spokesman for the campaign said.

The ballot election in February does not count for delegates, however it does usually project who will win the state the following month or gives momentum to a candidate needing an extra push.  In March, the state holds a separate caucus which actually decides who wins Missouri’s Republican delegates for the nominating convention.

Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond said they look at it as saving $1,000 to register Gingrich’s name on the ballot.

When questioned why the other candidates chose to participate in the election, Hammond defended the campaign’s decision to not put the current leader in the polls for the nomination on the ballot.

“Well that’s what happens when you pay lawyers by the hour, they’ll get you on the ballot anywhere, even the ones you’re not supposed to be,” Hammond said.

The campaign also did not give any information on the handful of Iowa campaign offices set to open across the state, which the campaign has told the media for several weeks would be ‘opening soon.’  The Gingrich campaign has already opened offices in Greenville, S.C. and Manchester, N.H.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


UFOs on the Ballot: Denver to Vote on Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(DENVER) -- When Denver voters head to the polls Tuesday, they won't just have a chance to vote for a new senator or representatives. They'll have a chance to cast their ballots for E.T.

On the ballot this year is an initiative that would charge the city with creating a seven-person panel to study unidentified flying objects and extraterrestrial life.

Jeff Peckman, the Denver entrepreneur spearheading the campaign, said Denver's Initiative 300 would establish an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission responsible for collecting and sharing evidence that extraterrestrials are visiting Earth and for assessing the risks and benefits of making contact with those aliens.

"The reason it's important is that this needs to start somewhere. It's not starting anywhere, at the federal level or state level or any other level of government," Peckman said. "In this country we believe this could very well be a citizen's task."

The commission would be privately funded with grants and gifts, but would have the support of the mayor and the city of Denver, he said, adding that the panel's findings and progress would be posted on the city's website.

Though the panel won't need taxpayer's dollars, Peckman said it's still important that the public vote to approve it.

"The process of this ballot initiative engages the public in this discussion that they've been left out of," he said. "[And the commission] gives it a kind of official status."

Peckman was able to collect 10,000 signatures to get the initiative on the ballot, but said he "can't even think about" whether it's going to pass. He said they've already been victorious in raising local awareness on the issue.

He's also been successful in raising local doubt, however.

In an "Editorial Shorttake" on the initiative, the Denver Post said "Should E.T. phone here, we say: Hang up." Other reports suggest that while the initiative has attracted interest, it's not necessarily the kind of interest needed to elevate E.T. to city hall.

Still, UFO researchers in other parts of the country are taking note.

Michael Luckman, author of Alien Rock: The Rock 'N' Roll Extraterrestrial Connection and director of the New York Center for Extraterrestrial Research, said he's been in touch with Peckman and hopes that, in the future, he'll be able to introduce a similar proposal in New York City.

"More than anything else this is a way of focusing worldwide attention, particularly in New York, which is the media capital of the world, on the issue of extraterrestrials and their visitation to Earth," he said, "[We're] moving in a direction of disclosure, meaning mass disclosure to the public on the part of the government."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio