July 18, the Constitution Party of New Mexico (CPNM) received a letter from Secretary of State Dianna Duran (SOS) stating they are not qualified for ballot access. However, she did not follow state Elections Code that requires a notice of disqualification no later than March 15. The SOS did not notify county clerks of the removal and non-qualification of the party within the required time frame, and failed to notify registered members of the party within 45 days of the non-qualification of the party. Party members did not receive notice until Nov. 1, a full six months past the deadline. In addition, the SOS broke precedent: from 1997 through 2011, when a party submitted a successful ballot access petition, as CPNM did, it attained ballot status the next two elections, not just one. Nov. 25, Jon Barrie, chairman of the NMCP, filed an Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus with the New Mexico Supreme Court to reverse Dianna Duran’s ruling — Nov. 26, the court asked the SOS to respond by Dec. 14.
South Carolina voters may have another option on the ballot in 2014 as the American Party tries to grab hold in the state. A Democrat and Republican are backing the same party. “It’s not just another party,” says Dr. James Rex, co-founder of the American Party. “It’s a much different approach to politics, and I think it’s the approach that more and more Americans are saying they want to see. We want to be the problem-solving party,” says Dr. Oscar Lovelace, also a co-founder of the American Party. “We want to engage people in public policy.” Rex and Lovelace know public policy and politics well. Rex, a Democrat, was elected superintendent of education for the state in 2006 and Lovelace, a Republican, is a physician who sought his party’s nomination for governor in 2006 as well.