Louisiana Election Code and the Green Party of Louisiana
- Louisiana Election Code and the Green Party of Louisiana
As the GPL Secretary, I've found that our Coordinating Committee has had to deal with a number of administrative issues to get our party organized. The GPLCC is starting tabula rasa, but not by choice. There was no transition from the last GPLCC to the members elected at our Convention in September 2007, and our hope is that the transition to the future GPLCC will be a productive one. Election Law is one of the issues we have been discussing. Assistance from membership is needed and we will be calling on volunteers for a number of tasks.
This document is to help clarify the new election laws (resulting from SB18 and Presidential Primaries) in the Louisiana Election Code which institute closed primaries in Louisiana. If you find any error in our interpretation or additional information, please let us know. (To read the law in its entirety visit this page: http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?folder=92 )
PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARIES
Only two parties will have state-run presidential preference primaries (Dem & Rep). Election Code (18:1280.21) specifies that these primaries are restricted to parties with 40,000 or more registered members (http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=81288). As of 8-7-07 the Green Party has 1,143 registered voters–a new list is forthcoming.
The Green Party of Louisiana will be able to send 8 delegates to the upcoming Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention in Chicago, Illinois, July 10-13. (The Press Release: http://www.gp.org/press/pr_2007_08_30.shtml).
The GPLCC plans to organize a statewide meeting to discuss candidates and to elect delegates for the nominating convention. Please submit suggestions on where/how/when our state meeting should be held, and please volunteer to help with organizing and carrying out this meeting.
SB18 AND CONGRESSIONAL PRIMARIES
SB18 is the Senate bill sponsored by Senator Fields and Representatives Gallot, Jefferson, Lafonta And Lancaster. It was signed into law by Governor Blanco on June 23 '06 and it takes effect in 2008. It enforces closed primaries for a person to be elected to Congress.
If you are registered Green, and it is a Congressional primary, then you can only vote for Green candidates. In general elections you can vote regardless of your party affiliation.
If you are non-affiliated, you can vote in ONE recognized party's election, unless that political party notifies the Secretary of State that you cannot vote in their primary. As of 2008, non-affiliated voters CAN vote in Green primaries. The GPLCC decided to not send a letter to the SoS to exclude independents from our primaries. The Republican party has decided to exclude independents, while the Democratic party will allow non-affiliated voters to cast ballots in their primaries.
QUALIFYING FEE OR PETITIONS?
Greens in Louisiana seeking Congressional office will have to pay the fee. You can either pay the filing fee or get signatures. Look at the numbers below and you will see getting the number of required signatures from people who are ALSO registered Green is impossible.
Concerned Louisiana citizens must:
1) diligently watch that the price of this fee does not exceed reasonable levels
2) seek to change the wording which requires that signees are within the same party
The law: http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=410242
Candidates qualifying by nominating petition (within same political party)
For US Senate: 5000 (at least 500 from each congressional district)
US House: 1000 (from within the congressional district)
Non-affiliated candidates can submit notice of candidacy and ballot access petition OR qualifying fee. No person affiliated with a party can sign their petition. Although there are a large number of independents in Louisiana, a petition is still inconceivable.
This is just a brief overview of new election laws, and we hope that it is helpful and informative. The Green Party of Louisiana has an opportunity to pursue electoral reform that gives more voices and choices to voters. It is up to you as a registered Green to build our party by running as a candidate, registering voters, participating in alternative institutions with green values, and working on policy changes/initiatives.
If you have any questions or more information please let us know. You may contact the GPL Coordinating Committee as follows:
Email: Sean Clark greenmotive@...