January 08, 2006
How many petitions can you sign?
I wanted to put this bit from the Chron story on the Governor's race in a separate post:
Dean Barkley: Friedman's campaign manager
Valid signatures come from registered voters who cast no ballots in either party's primary or runoffs. They also cannot sign both the Strayhorn and Friedman petition.
"A lot of people are going to be bugged to put their signature on a petition. Make sure it's the Kinky petition you sign, not the Strayhorn," Barkley said.
I'm not a lawyer, so take this with an entire shaker of salt, but my reading
of the state's elections code does not suggest to me that you can sign only one petition. There may be a rule somewhere, but I did not find a law that expressly limited a person to one petition for an independent candidacy. As such, though I did predict that the Friedman and Strayhorn teams would suggest that this is so, I'm not ready to accept this statement. Any lawyers in the house want to help out here? Thanks.
UPDATE: OK, § 141.066 covers it, and the answer is one petition per customer. My problem was that I only checked the section on independent candidates, and not the general section. Hey, I said I wasn't a lawyer. Would have been nice if § 142.009 had referenced the prohibitions from the more general law, but that's the way they're written. So now I know.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 08, 2006 to Election 2006
Last time around (for President) they said you could only sign one 3rd Party petition (i.e. not the Green AND the Libertarian) and one Independent.
There was only one Independent that time - Nader - trying to get on the Texas ballot. So, it's possible that you could only sign one 3rd Party and as many Independents as possible.
All this, of course, is just ballot-blocking from the RedBlue Monstor.
I'm not a lawyer, so take this with an entire shaker of salt, but my reading of the state's elections code does not suggest to me that you can sign only one petition. There may be a rule somewhere, but I did not find a law that expressly limited a person to one petition for an independent candidacy.
I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me given existing election law. I do know that current election law in Texas guarantees that I'll NEVER vote in a primary again unless and until the ridiculous law making primary voters ineligible to sign petitions for ballot access is stricken from the books.
I don't know about legally, but if you signed both (and people are stupid and can't be help responsible for knowing or now knowing it), it is very unlikely that it would be noticed, since they usually do those signature counts by pulling out a certain number of sheets to see what the validity rate is, and thus, you could get away with signing both more than likely.
" my reading of the state's elections code does not suggest to me that you can sign only one petition"
Your reading sucks.
§ 141.066. SIGNING MORE THAN ONE PETITION
PROHIBITED. (a) A person may not sign the petition of more than
one candidate for the same office in the same election.
(b) The following statement must appear at the top of each
page of a petition: "Signing the petition of more than one
candidate for the same office in the same election is prohibited."
(c) A signature on a candidate's petition is invalid if the
signer signed the petition subsequent to signing a petition of
another candidate for the same office in the same election.
Joe Nixon knocked on doors in our neighborhood last week. If I'd known he was coming, I would have prepared my comment about how stupid the petition and primary stuff here is and wouldn't have sounded like the babbling idiot I undoubtedtly came off as. I explained that I didn't like that I couldn't sign a petition if I had voted in a primary and that I vaguely remembered some bill last session that would have allowed you to sign a petition even if you'd voted in a primary. He seemed to disagree, but I don't think quickly enough on my feet to point out that it means extra difficulty for independent candidates.
Anyway. I'm with Tim. I'm not voting in another primary here unless I really like a candidate. It bugs me to no end to not vote, but I want to be able to sign a petition this year (whether it's for Strayhorn or Friedman, I haven't decided).
Well, that settles it. Since my most important electoral goal this year is defeating Perry, I'm skipping the primary and signing the Strayhorn petition. (As I've said before, I think she'll hurt Perry more than Kinky will.)
Then in Nov., I'm voting for Bell/Gammage, whichever.
BTW, enforcement of this provision is gonna be a bitch. Someone's going to have to enter everyone's name (and address - how many "John Smith's" reside in Texas?), along with the date they signed, into a database to look for duplicates; then invalidate the later signature! There'll be plenty of errors, which will end up hurting the candidate with fewer signatures to begin with (since each candidate will end up having about the same number of signatures erroneously invalidated).
Want to really muck up the works? Sign Strayhorn's petition, then Kinky's, then sign Strayhorn's petition again. Or vice versa. Preferably all on the same day. Oh, and on the first signature, transpose the last two digits of your address. Let them go crazy trying to figure out which signature is the valid one. If enough people do that, maybe our Lege will take another look at these silly laws.