June 8th, 2007
The Pennsylvania constitutional ballot access case Rogers v Corbett will soon be presented to the U.S. Supreme Court. This is the case that challenges Pennsylvania law that says that even if a party meets the state’s definition of “party” (by having polled 2% of the vote in the last election), it can’t be on the ballot automatically unless it has registration of 15% of the state total.
The Center for Competitive Democracy plans to file an amicus curiae brief, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Rogers v Corbett. The Center for Competitive Democracy is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2005. Its mission is to strengthen American democracy by increasing electoral competition. The Center’s amicus brief will probably be filed not only on its own behalf, but on behalf of some individual Pennsylvania voters who cast write-in votes in November 2006 for the nominees of the various parties that were kept off the ballot, and then discovered that Pennsylvania elections officials had not counted those write-ins. Thus, Pennsylvania’s system of excluding all statewide minor party candidates in 2006 not only injured those parties and their candidates, but it also deprived some voters of their right to vote. Pennsylvania law requires that all write-ins be counted and canvassed, but the law is routinely ignored in many counties.