independent candidate

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France: Civic Tech Platform La Primaire Wants To Help French Voters Bypass Traditional Parties | Forbes

French people, like the citizens of many other countries, have little confidence in their government or in their members of parliament. A recent study by the Center for Political Research of the University of Science-Po (CEVIPOF) in Paris, shows that while residents still trust, in part, their local officials, only 37% of them on average feel the same for those belonging to the National Assembly, the Senate or the executive. Three years before, when asked in another poll about of what sprung to mind first when thinking of politics, their first answer was “disgust”. With this sort of background, it is perhaps unsurprising that a number of activists have decided to try and find new ways to boost political participation, using crowdsourcing, smartphone applications and online platforms to look for candidates outside of the usual circles.

Full Article: French Civic Tech Platform La Primaire Wants To Help French Voters Bypass Traditional Parties - Forbes.

National: RNC asks candidates to sign loyalty pledge, boxing in Trump | The Washington Post

The Republican National Committee, in a move designed to box in Donald Trump and prevent him from a third-party run, on Wednesday asked the party’s presidential candidates to sign a loyalty statement vowing not to run as an independent or third-party candidate in the general election. Trump and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus plan to meet Thursday in New York, according to a Trump campaign spokeswoman. Trump has scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference where he could make an announcement about the RNC pledge. All summer, Republican leaders have been trying to prevent Trump, the billionaire businessman who has rocketed to the top of GOP polls, from running as an independent candidate if he does not win the Republican nomination.

Full Article: RNC asks candidates to sign loyalty pledge, boxing in Trump - The Washington Post.

Canada: Why B.C. candidate’s campaign video is bursting with dragons, robots, lasers: ‘People don’t have attention spans’ | National Post

It’s easily the 2015 campaign’s most computer graphics-filled video: Dragons, a giant Canada goose and a towering space robot. And according to independent candidate Wyatt Scott, it all started with a solemn vow to defy the alleged “shenanigans” of the local Liberal Party. “Obviously, people don’t have attention spans nowadays, so we figured what can we do to draw attention?” said Scott, who put together the video for less than $1,000 after recruiting student filmmakers through Craigslist. The one-minute video entitled “I’m running for Parliament!” features the B.C. candidate riding a Canada goose and stabbing a dragon in the head with a broadsword. “University is too damn expensive!” he says, while catching a man in drag falling from the sky.

Full Article: Why B.C. candidate’s campaign video is bursting with dragons, robots, lasers: ‘People don’t have attention spans’ | National Post.

Pennsylvania: Minor parties get court win in Pa. ballot-access lawsuit | Associated Press

A federal judge threw out provisions in Pennsylvania law on Friday that he said make it unconstitutionally difficult for independent or minor political party candidates to get onto ballots because of the threat of costly court challenges. The decision was cheered by ballot-access advocates who regard Pennsylvania as harboring the nation’s toughest barriers to candidates who are not Republicans or Democrats. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Lawrence Stengel in Philadelphia targets the financial penalties that judges can impose on candidates who lose a court challenge to the validity of the signatures of registered voters on their nomination petitions.

Full Article: Minor parties get court win in Pa. ballot-access lawsuit - York Dispatch.

Voting Blogs: Mexico’s 2015 Elections – A citizen triumph? | openDemocracy

Independent candidates were the great surprise of the 7 June elections in Mexico. For the first time they succeeded in breaking the bipartite stranglehold, and their successes and impressive showing have led to a redrawing of the electoral map and have administered an important lesson to the political parties. Mexicans who voted for independent candidates have demonstrated that they are tired of corporatist politics, and of parties exhausted and undermined by the corruption and impunity that characterise elected politicians. In Mexico, it is almost impossible to prosecute and convict a corrupt governor. The independent candidates who won elections for governor, mayor, and federal and local deputies, have shown that it is possible to win with few resources. And they have also highlighted the excessive and burdensome cost of the political parties which, for the 2015 elections, took in 5,200 million pesos (US$350 million) of which 1,173 million (US$75 million) were spent on the campaign.

Full Article: Mexico's 2015 Elections - A citizen triumph? | openDemocracy.

Mexico: Independent Wins Mexican Governorship | Wall Street Journal

A maverick former mayor became Mexico’s first independent candidate to win a governor’s seat, riding a wave of voter anger against the country’s traditional political parties. The news from Sunday’s midterm elections wasn’t all bad for President Enrique Peña Nieto, however: His ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and its allies appeared likely to keep a slim majority in the lower house of Congress, according to early official results. The runaway victory of Jaime “El Bronco” Rodriguez in Nuevo León state, an industrial powerhouse and home to some of Mexico’s biggest corporations, could spark a wave of independent candidacies nationwide for the 2018 presidential vote, a development analysts said might threaten traditional political parties’ grip on power.

Full Article: Independent Wins Mexican Governorship - WSJ.

Mexico: Will ‘El Bronco’ factor drive weary voters to the polls? | Christian Science Monitor

Independents are eligible to run in all states for the first time in June 7 elections. In the border state of Nuevo León, a candidate known as ‘El Bronco’ is energizing voters fed up with scandal-ridden parties. Standing next to a sign that counts down to June 7, Mexico’s election day, campaign worker Pablo Livas says he has been “wishing for another option” in politics for more than a decade. “We haven’t had the government we deserve,” he says. But today, a quick glance at Mr. Livas’s baseball cap reveals his new sense of hope. It reads simply: “I am El Bronco.” Mr. Livas is one of dozens of volunteers bustling around a former car dealership off a tree-lined square in Monterrey this week, intent on hawking Mexico’s newest model in political candidates: the independent.

Full Article: Mexico elections: Will 'El Bronco' factor drive weary voters to the polls? (+video) -

Voting Blogs: All in the Family: New Jersey Closed Primaries Challenged | State of Elections

This past August the United States District Court in New Jersey dismissed a complaint brought by voters and independent interest groups to open state primaries and prevent the state from funding closed primaries. The coalition, formed by, is appealing to the Third Circuit to end state funded primaries for the two major parties. Their complaint alleges that the New Jersey statute impermissibly funds closed primaries to the detriment of unaffiliated candidates and voters generally. is a coalition of various groups that believe the two party system has been unfairly supported by the states and that the taxpayer funds supporting the parties creates an unfair advantage to the detriment of independent candidates. This is their first lawsuit as a coalition and it seems that they may have hit a major roadblock.

Full Article: All in the Family: New Jersey Closed Primaries Challenged : State of Elections.

Sudan: Electoral body rejects complaints over NCP’s use of state resources for presidential campaign | Sudan Tribune

The National Election Commission (NEC) in Sudan has brushed aside complaints by independent presidential candidates on the use of aircraft and cars by senior officials from the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in the electoral campaign of president Omer Hassan al-Bashir. The electoral body explained to representatives of those disgruntled candidates that these activities are in line with NCP resources at their disposal and vehemently denied being biased in favor of certain candidates.

Full Article: Sudan’s electoral body rejects complaints over NCP's use of state resources for presidential campaign - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan.

Kansas: Kobach pushing bills to limit ballot withdrawals and to allow straight-party voting | Lawrence Journal-World

Candidates would have a much harder time withdrawing from a race after a primary election, but voters would have an easier time casting straight-party ballots under bills that Secretary of State Kris Kobach is urging lawmakers to pass. Kobach appeared before the House Ethics and Elections Committee Wednesday to testify in favor of two bills, including one that he said is a direct response to last year’s controversy over Democrat Chad Taylor’s withdrawal from the U.S. Senate race. “This bill is a direct response to two, what I believe to be erroneous, decisions by Kansas courts interpreting Kansas election law,” Kobach said. Taylor, the Shawnee County district attorney, dropped out of the U.S. Senate race on Sept. 3, a month after winning the Democratic primary. That cleared the way for independent candidate Greg Orman to be the sole challenger to incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican.

Full Article: Kobach pushing bills to limit ballot withdrawals and to allow straight-party voting /

South Dakota: Amendment Would Make Ballot Access More Difficult for Independent Candidates | Ballot Access News

On January 28, the South Dakota Senate State Affairs Committee amended SB 69 to make ballot access more difficult for independent candidates. Furthermore, the committee defeated an amendment that would have eased the deadline for a newly-qualifying party to submit its petitions, and approved the original part of the bill that moves the new party deadline from March to February. The votes on these amendments were all party-line, with all Republicans voting in favor of making ballot access more restrictive, and all Democrats voting in favor of easing ballot access. As amended, SB 69 says that no one can sign an independent candidate’s petition except voters who are registered “independent.” The bill also lowers the number of signatures needed for an independent, from 1% of the last gubernatorial vote, to 1% of the number of registered independents. The number of signatures for a statewide independent for 2016 would fall from 2,775 to 862. However, the net effect of the change would be to make ballot access worse for independents. Only 16% of South Dakota voters are registered “independent.” Going out on the street with a petition in which only 16% of the registered voters are eligible to sign would be difficult: effective petitioning depends on speed, and having to ask every person encountered if he or she is a registered independent would be perceived as nosy, and would be time-consuming. Also, not everyone knows whether or not he or she is registered “independent”. It’s especially likely that even well-informed voters wouldn’t know if they are “Nonpartisan” or “independent.”

Full Article: Ballot Access News - South Dakota Amends SB 69 to Make Ballot Access More Difficult for Independent Candidates.

Solomon Islands: Independents win two-thirds of parliamentary seats | ABC

Officials from the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission have declared the final results of last week’s landmark polls. The November 19 election was the country’s first since an Australian-led peacekeeping operation transitioned to a police-focused mission last year. Philothea Ruaeho, a spokeswoman for the electoral commission, said the final results for all the constituencies had been declared by the governor-general. Independent candidates were the biggest winners, securing 32 seats in the 50-seat parliament. With no dominant political party emerging, the members were expected to travel to the capital, Honiara, to begin negotiations on a coalition government. The newly-elected MPs will also choose the country’s next prime minister.

Full Article: Solomon Islands election: Independents win two-thirds of parliamentary seats - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

National: Election Day chaos: Control of the Senate may hang on recounts, runoffs, and independent candidates. | Slate

Election Day is coming and it’s likely to stick around. The question of which party will control the Senate may very well not be decided on Nov. 4. Republicans look like they will have a good night, but there are so many close races—at least 10—and so many unpredictable factors in at least four of those races, that with recounts, independent candidates, and runoffs, the process could drag into next year. Here, in rough order of delay, are the possible outcomes and how long they could keep us all bollixed up.  Let’s say the GOP wins five of the six seats it needs to regain control of the Senate and then one of the independent candidates in South Dakota or Kansas wins. Whether Democrats or Republicans control the upper chamber would then be determined by which party that independent decided to pick. Greg Orman of Kansas has said he would caucus with the clear majority, but in this case there wouldn’t be one. Given that he ran as a Democrat and Republicans are pounding him pretty hard in his race, he’d probably stick with the Democrats. South Dakota independent Larry Pressler has said he will be “a friend of Obama,” which suggests he’d probably stick with the Democrats too, though he’s the bigger long shot to win at the moment. Still, the leaders of both parties should probably have emergency gift baskets at the ready. The president would no doubt be called in to lobby, or perhaps Democrats would have one of their Hollywood backers make the pitch. On the Republican side, the Koch Center for Cowboy Poetry seems like a natural to round out South Dakota’s tourist offerings. Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell might put together a short list of choice committee assignments to offer.

Full Article: Election Day chaos: Control of the Senate may hang on recounts, runoffs, and independent candidates..

Alaska: State, plaintiffs prepare ballot-lawsuit arguments | Associated Press

The Alaska gubernatorial election could be derailed and thousands of voters disenfranchised if a lawsuit challenging the merged campaigns of two candidates is successful, state lawyers argue in court documents ahead of oral arguments Friday. “This court should not lightly order a remedy that will interfere with an ongoing election and disenfranchise Alaska’s voters,” Assistant Attorney General Margaret Paton-Walsh, representing the defendants, wrote in documents filed in the lawsuit against Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and elections director Gail Fenumiai. The filing says more than 2,400 overseas ballots have already been mailed out. The lawsuit filed last week by an Alaska Republican Party district chair, Steve Strait, challenges an emergency ruling that allowed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Byron Mallott to join his campaign with now-independent candidate Bill Walker and run as Walker’s lieutenant governor.

Full Article: State, plaintiffs prepare ballot-lawsuit arguments - Houston Chronicle.

Tennessee: Third parties still fighting for ballot access | Associated Press

Four years after the Libertarian Party of Tennessee filed its first lawsuit to get on the ballot, the group is still fighting for access in a state that has some of the most restrictive rules in the country for smaller political parties. Since 2010, the Libertarians, the Green Party of Tennessee and the Constitution Party of Tennessee have been in near-constant litigation with the state. They have won several victories, and the legislature has changed the law slightly. But the parties say the hurdles for them to get their names on the ballot are still unreasonably high. A 2010 federal court ruling in one of the cases stated that Tennessee was one of only two states where no third parties had qualified for the ballot over the previous decade. Individual candidates can appear on Tennessee’s ballot simply by submitting a petition with 25 signatures, but they will appear as independents unless their parties have qualified to appear on the ballot as well. For a party to appear on the ballot, it must collect more than 40,000 signatures. If the party wants to stay on the ballot, one of its candidates must garner more than 80,000 votes.

Full Article: Third parties still fighting for ballot access - WSMV Channel 4.

Alaska: Democrat and independent challengers to Gov. Sean Parnell negotiate merging campaigns | Associated Press

The two challengers to Gov. Sean Parnell are discussing uniting their campaigns, representatives of the candidates said Monday. Democrat Byron Mallott and independent candidate Bill Walker were in their second day of discussions Monday about whether they would run as a bipartisan or non-partisan ticket, Mallott spokeswoman Laury Scandling said in an email to The Associated Press. A formal statement was expected by noon Tuesday, said Scandling, who added that she plans to leave the campaign at the same time. Any changes to the ballot have to be made by Tuesday.

Full Article: Democrat and independent challengers to Gov. Sean Parnell negotiate merging campaigns.

Maine: Federal judge hears arguments on Maine campaign finance donation limits for independents | Sun Journal

A federal judge Tuesday heard arguments from the state and from an attorney representing supporters of independent candidate for governor Eliot Cutler over a complaint Maine’s campaign finance laws are unconstitutional in the way they limit the amount of money supporters of independent candidates can donate to campaigns. Cutler is in a race against Republican Gov. Paul LePage and 2nd District Congressman Mike Michaud, D-Maine. In Maine, Republican and Democratic candidates for governor are allowed to collect $1,500 from individuals for their primary contests and $1,500 for their general election contests for a total individual donation limit of $3,000.

Full Article: Federal judge hears arguments on Maine campaign finance donation limits for independents | Sun Journal.

South Dakota: Independent Myers sues Gant to replace running mate | Argus Leader

Independent gubernatorial candidate Mike Myers on Monday sued Secretary of State Jason Gant for not letting him replace his running mate on the November ballot. Myers’ lawsuit asks Judge Lawrence Piersol to order Gant to certify Lora Hubbel as his new lieutenant governor pick. Myers originally ran with Caitlin Collier as his lieutenant governor. But when Collier faced family health issues, she attempted to withdraw, leading Myers to pick Hubbel as his new running mate. But while South Dakota law has provisions for nominees of political parties to be replaced on the ballot, there’s no such provision for independent candidates. As near as anyone can tell, no independent lieutenant governor candidate has ever tried to withdraw from the ballot in South Dakota history.

Full Article: Independent Myers sues Gant to replace running mate.

New Mexico: Independent challenges ballot access rules | Associated Press

A Public Education Commission member is asking a federal court to invalidate New Mexico’s requirements for independent candidates to secure a place on the ballot. Tyson Parker of Corrales brought a lawsuit in federal district court last week, contending state election laws discriminate against candidates unaffiliated with a political party by requiring them to submit an unfairly high number of voter signatures on nominating petitions. To get on the ballot, Parker needed nearly eight times more signatures than a Democratic candidate, almost five times more than a Republican and three times more than a minor party candidate.

Full Article: New Mexico independent challenges ballot access - Washington Times.

South Dakota: A new lieutenant for Myers, but law doesn’t allow switch | Argus Leader

On Tuesday, independent gubernatorial candidate Mike Myers will announce a new running mate after his previous pick for lieutenant governor backed out due to a family health problem. Whoever Myers unveils next week, however, it will be Caitlin Collier’s name who appears on the ballot in November. In a possible oversight, South Dakota law doesn’t provide for an independent candidate to replace his or her running mate. “Her name cannot be removed from the ballot,” said Secretary of State Jason Gant. “There is not a law that states how an independent candidate can be replaced.” Lieutenant governor candidates nominated by a political party might be able to be replaced, though Gant said needed to review the law before speaking definitively.

Full Article: A new lieutenant for Myers, but law doesn't allow switch.