This editorial makes the legal and the poliltical case to keep the minor party voices in New York State alive. Please read and share.
Of the millions of votes cast by New Yorkers for president, the Serve America Movement Party’s candidate didn’t get a single one. That’s because the SAM spot on the ballot was left empty, as SAM is a party only in New York; it doesn’t operate in other states or field or back White House contenders. As should be its right.
But New York wants to now declare SAM dead and buried because it failed to notch 130,000 votes or 2% of the state’s total presidential vote (whichever is higher). The only way for SAM to have survived was to have run its own presidential candidate or cross-endorsed Joe Biden or Donald Trump.
In other words, it would have been forced by law to support someone it didn’t want to.
It will be up to Manhattan Federal Judge John Koeltl to save the First Amendment rights of this party and others, knocking out an unfair requirement that Gov. Cuomo pushed though the Legislature in the spring.
Cuomo and his pals had it out for the Working Families Party, which backed his primary opponent last time out, and concocted the offensive standard. The WFP survived, as did the Conservative Party, but only by cross-endorsing Democrats and Republicans. That’s fusion voting, which we don’t mind, but many others do.
The free-standing Greens and Libertarians, which actually stand for something and put up their own candidates, fell far short. As did the Independence Party, roughly 85% of whose enrolled registered voters are dupes thinking that they are members of no party, or what we normally call independent voters.
While its demise would be welcome, Koeltl should still kibosh the new rules.