Free & Equal, Inc. CEO Christina Tobin was Ralph Nader’s 2008 national ballot access coordinator. We understand the ballot process in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and we’re ready to help with all your ballot access needs. The chart below provides an overview of the process for 2012.
Source: Ballot Access News
|State||Legal Requirement||Election code Reference||Number of signatures|
|Alas||caucus instead of primary||- – -||– -|
|Az||just request a place on the ballot||16-242C & AG Op. I95-14||0|
|Ark||just pay filing fee set by party||7-7-301(a)||0|
|Cal||media recognition, or 26,500 signatures||elec. code 6041 & 6061||26,500|
|Colo||caucus instead of primary||- – -||– -|
|Ct||media recognition, or 1% of registered party voters||9-465 & 9-469||depends on party|
|Del||get matching funds, or 500 signatures||Title 15, sec 3184||0|
|Fla||state party decides; no alternative||103.1||0|
|Ga||state party decides; no alternative||21-2-193||0|
|Hi||caucus instead of primary||- – -||– -|
|Id||media recognition, or signatures = 1% of 2008 presidential vote||34-732||6,362|
|Il||3,000 signatures||10 ILCS 5/7-11||3,000|
|Io||caucus instead of primary||- – -||– -|
|Kan||caucus instead of primary||- – -||– -|
|Ky||$$, or on in 20 states, or 5,000 signatures||Title 10, sec. 118.591||5,000|
|La||$750 or 8,000 signatures||Title 18, sec. 1280.22||8,000|
|Me||caucus instead of primary||- – -||0|
|Md||media recognition, or 3,200 signatures||Art. 33, §8-502(c)(2)||3,200|
|Ma||media recognition, or 2,500 signatures||Chap. 53, sec. 70E||2,500|
|Mi||caucus instead of primary||- – -||0|
|Mn||caucus instead of primary||- – -||– -|
|Ms||media recognition, or 500 signatures||23-15-1089||500|
|Mo||$1,000 or 5,000 signatures||115.76||5,000|
|Neb||media recognition, or 300 signatures||32-614||300|
|Nev||caucus instead of primary||- – -||– -|
|N H||$1,000||Title 53, sec. 655:48||0|
|N J||1,000 signatures||19:25-3||1,000|
|N M||probably no Democratic primary||- – -||0|
|N Y||not yet determined||Chap. 17, §2-122||???|
|N C||get matching funds or 10,000 signatures||163-213.4, 163-213.5||10,000|
|N D||caucus instead of primary||- – -||– -|
|Oh||get matching funds or 1,000 signatures||3513.12, 3513.121, 3513.05||1,000|
|Ok||$2,500 or 6,000 signatures||Title 26, §20-102||6,000|
|Ore||media recognition, or 5,000 signatures||Title 23, sec. 249.078||5,000|
|Pa||2,000 signatures||Title 25, sec. 2872.1||2,000|
|R I||1,000 signatures||17-12.1-4||1,000|
|S C||pay filing fee set by party||party rules||0|
|S D||support of party or 1% party gubernatorial vote||12/6/2007||approx. 1,000|
|Tn||media recognition, or 2,500 signatures||2-5-205(a)(1)||2,500|
|Tx||pay filing fee set by party||party rules||0|
|Ut||caucus instead of primary||- – -||– -|
|Vt||1,000 signatures + $2,000||Title 17, § 2702||1,000|
|Wa||media recognition, or 1,000 signatures||29.19.030||1,000|
|W V||pay fee of 1% of annual salary||3/5/2008||0|
|Wis||media recognition, or 8,000 signatures||Title 2, sec. 8.12(1)(c)||8,000|
|Wy||caucus instead of primary||- – -||– -|
Petitioning starts soon for Chicago’s Mayoral election, to be held February 22nd. Unlike his father, who held office for life, current Mayor Richard M. Daley has decided not to seek re-election this year. Political hatchetman Rahm Emanuel has announced his intention to run for the office. Free & Equal Inc. is ready to assist a number of challengers for the seat, in gaining access to the ballot. Please contact Christina Tobin at (312) 320-4101 for more information.
Nomination for Mayor of Chicago requires collecting at least 12,500 valid signatures from registered voters in the City of Chicago. The deadline for filing signatures is November 22nd.
Last year, Free & Equal Inc. collected signatures for 14 candidates running in the primary for various offices in the State of Illinois. Of those, nine survived the notoriously corrupt challenge process, four did not, and one withdrew to run as an independent.
Free & Equal Inc.’s sister organization, The Free and Equal Elections Foundation, is working to replace the outdated, confusing and arbitrary challenge process with a $500 filing fee in lieu of signatures. Filing fees are used successfully in many states, generating revenue rather than draining public coffers with labor-intensive petition reviews and challenges. At least one Illinois state legislator has expressed interest in sponsoring such a bill.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady has enlisted members of his family in his effort to knock the Libertarian Party of Illinois off the November ballot, thereby wasting taxpayer dollars and reducing voter choice. As reported at the ArchPundit website, Bill Brady’s niece Brittany is working for Andrew Heffernan, the person that signed the official objection to the petition signatures of the Libertarian Party slate of candidates along with many others. All of the work related to those petition challenges is being done on Heffernan’s behalf, according to Illinois election laws.
Bill Brady’s niece, Brittany, blogged about her experience working on the petition challenge of the Libertarian Party candidate’s filing. Brady’s niece Brittany locked her blog, but we have it saved in an effort to keep Illinois politicians honest. Apparently, Brittany didn’t like the petition challenge experience much.
“I did not know that I would be doing this. I did not wake up this morning and say to myself, “how I wish I could verify petitions later this afteroon.” And after an hour or two at this job, I am now very positive that thought will never run across my mind in my life. It is painful, torturous work.”
Thank you Brittany, for telling the truth there. The title of the blog post is “Is it normal to start talking to people in your head that you don’t even know?”
Where did Brady’s niece Brittany get the idea to go work on a petition challenge? Apparently its all in the family.
“My cousin is here too, he is the one who got me into this whole mess. He called me while I was waiting for a press conference to be done and told me to get over to this building right away and to bring anyone I could.”
On June 21, 2010, John Fogarty bought a copy of the Libertarian Party candidate’s petitions at the State Board of Elections. Who paid the hundreds of dollars for those copies? Is John Fogarty, a lawyer, working pro bono for Andrew Heffernan, or is Andrew Heffernan paying Fogarty for it? As they say, follow the money.
“We have Bill Brady’s niece Brittany, Brittany’s cousin, John Fogarty, and Andrew Heffernan all working together on a petition challenge that would remove the Libertarian Party candidates from the ballot,” said Christina Tobin CEO of Free and Equal, Inc., a ballot access company founded in Chicago. “I don’t see where Andrew Heffernan has started a political committee in Illinois to account for his efforts and work on behalf of Bill Brady. So I have to ask if Brady and his operatives are donating their efforts to Heffernan, or if Heffernan is donating his efforts to Brady”
“Either way that should show up on Bill Brady’s campaign finance reports or Andrew Heffernan’s tax returns,” said Tobin. “I hope the Illinois Attorney General, the US Attorney’s office, and the IRS are paying attention to this. This is obviously campaign work and it must be accounted for, especially in a state with Illinois’ history of political corruption. Bill Brady and his Republican operatives should withdraw their expensive petition challenges today.”
Jim Anderson News Director for the Illinois Radio Network interviewed Christina Tobin for his syndicated half hour “Eye on Illinois” about Illinois election laws recently. Tobin discussed the difficulties candidates face getting on the ballot and solutions like a filing fee system, instant run-off voting, and proportional representation.
“Illinois needs to get rid of these private petition challenges that invite funny business and needless costs to taxpayers”, said Tobin. “Instituting a filing fee system for candidates to be on the ballot makes much more sense for everyone in Illinois.”
NORWOOD FILES LAWSUIT REQUESTING BALLOT ACCESS; BELIEVES THAT THE 33,000+ SIGNATURES SUBMITTED WILL PRODUCE IN EXCESS OF THE REQUIRED 22,598 SIGNATURES NEEDED TO BE ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT
Atlanta, GA, July 21, 2010. Mary Norwood, Independent candidate for Fulton County Commission Chair, today filed a request for a declaratory judgment in Fulton County Superior Court to reverse the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections’ decision to ban Norwood, asking the judge to allow Norwood to be on the ballot.
In the filing, her lawyers argue that the Board of Registration and Elections had discretion to allow Norwood on the ballot under Georgia law, and should have exercised that discretion based upon the Board’s finding that there was no harm from Norwood’s filing her notice of candidacy later that same filing day. “Well over thirty thousand signatures gathered in 90 days speak volumes about what the people want,” commented Norwood. “Voters clearly want to see more choice on the ballot.”
“We believe we will have enough valid signatures to meet Fulton County’s requirements to add my name to the ballot for Fulton County Commission Chair, which is vastly more than was required of my opponents,” added Norwood. “We simply want a fair shot at getting on the ballot. Let the people decide who should run the Commission in November.”
Norwood’s volunteer team of database specialists as well as the national petition company Free and Equal, Inc. have analyzed the registered voters who signed the petition forms. Norwood has had one staff member working on validating registered voters since she began the petition campaign.
On July 13th, Norwood’s campaign filed more than 33,000 signatures on nearly 3,200 notarized pages with Fulton County’s Department of Registration and Elections in support of Norwood’s independent bid. “Mary’s perseverance and sacrifice to be an Independent candidate is something to be respected. In more than 12 years of work, we’ve collected over one million signatures for candidates all over the country, and we have never seen the sort of support we see behind Mary Norwood to get her on the ballot,” added Christina Tobin, president of Free and Equal, Inc. “With the required 22,598 valid signatures from Fulton County voters, those voters deserve to see this happen in November.”
ATLANTA – Free and Equal Inc. has been compelled to respond to Monica Rucker’s public attack on the Mary Norwood campaign. Christina Tobin, CEO of Free and Equal Inc., is making sure the truth is known so that any false reports can be rebutted.
Monica Rucker was not hired by Norwood’s campaign or by Free and Equal Inc. At no time did Free and Equal Inc. have a contract or any agreement to pay Monica Rucker for signatures related to the Mary Norwood campaign. Any reports contrary to this are incorrect.
Monica Rucker apparently communicated with a paid petitioner from Free and Equal Inc. to get signatures in coordination with that paid petitioner. Free and Equal Inc. had no knowledge of that situation until after Monica Rucker went public.
Monica Rucker’s petitions were presented to Free and Equal Inc. and inspected as part of our standard procedures to ensure integrity. Monica Rucker’s signatures were found to be fraught with problems and showed a potential pattern of fraud. Those petition sheets were rejected and were not used toward Mary Norwood’s campaign. Free and Equal Inc. does not accept, pay for or use petition signatures like Monica Rucker’s that have such obvious problems. Free and Equal Inc. is submitting her signatures to the appropriate elections authorities for investigation and will fully cooperate with any of their efforts.
Monica Rucker is crying to the media and making threats in an attempt to get paid for petition signatures that did not meet basic standards. That behavior is unacceptable and Free and Equal Inc. will always stand up to rogue individuals like this to ensure the integrity of the election process, Tobin said.
Free and Equal Inc. has established itself as an industry leader for being honest, ethical and transparent. People like Monica Rucker wishing to make money from bogus signatures always creep in to the petitioning industry. Free and Equal Inc. is wholeheartedly dedicated to the integrity of our business and cleaning up this industry from people like Monica Rucker who do not respect the ballot access process, Tobin said.
Free and Equal, Inc., always works as closely as possible with government authorities and other organizations seeking to improve the petitioning process wherever we work. Many states are badly in need of election reforms to help safeguard against situations exactly like this in the future. Free and Equal Inc. is committed to following all proper petitioning procedures. Free and Equal Inc. will continue to work tirelessly for reforms that protect the election process from these types of fraud.
Christina Tobin, CEO: 312.320.4101