arrowSection 2.2 - Getting on the Ballot

This topic is monitored by Moritz Law Professor Edward B. Foley

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Nader on the Ballot in New Mexico

The New Mexico Supreme Court has overturned a lower court ruling that had excluded Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo from the November ballot as independent candidates. Using a line of reasoning that had gone against Ralph Nader in several states, a New Mexico state district court judge had earlier ruled that the candidate did not qualify as an independent in that state due to his affiliation with the Reform Party in other states. New Mexico election law defines someone who is independent as not being affiliated with a political party.

But the supreme court saw that New Mexico’s election law states explicitly that all independent candidates except those who are running for president and vice president must declare themselves as registered independents. For instance, under the same New Mexico law presidential candidate John Anderson, a registered Republican, was on the ballot as an independent in the 1980 election. The New Mexico Supreme Court made the distinction and allowed Nader on the ballot.

Also on Tuesday, in a separate federal case in New Mexico, a federal district court judge ordered the secretary of state to place the names of Nader and Camejo on the ballot and not to send out any ballots without their names. The judge ruled that keeping Nader off of the ballot would rob New Mexico voters of their right to cast their vote for the candidate of their choice.