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Due to technicalities in Washington State law, American’s most famous Mormon, Mitt Romney, may not be on the ballot in the state come November because the Republican Party doesn’t currently qualify as a “major party” any more. The Stranger laid out the details earlier this month:
RCW 29A.04.086 tells us that “”Major political party” means a political party of which at least one nominee for president, vice president, United States senator, or a statewide office received at least five percent of the total vote cast at the last preceding state general election in an even-numbered year.”
In 2010, the only state-wide race was a race for U.S. Senate.
The Republican Party did not nominate any candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010 because neither the Rossi contingent nor the Didier contingent wanted to risk losing a nomination vote at the 2010 state convention of the Republican Party.
Because the “Top-2″ primary is only a winnowing primary – not a nominating primary – Mr. Rossi, who proceeded through the Top-2, was not the Republican Party nominee.
Because the two Republicans running for the US Senate seat in 2010 weren’t officially nominated by the Republican Party, that means the Republican Party didn’t get at least 5% of the vote in a statewide election. And that, in turn, means Romney would have had to file as a minor party candidate (requiring his campaign to collect at least a thousand voter signatures at a nominating convention taking place after the first Saturday of June and the last Saturday of July.) And, it seems, Romney’s campaign did not do that.
Back when The Stranger first reported on this, no one expected that Washington’s Secretary of State would actually leave Romney’s name off of the ballot because of this technicality. But now it seems the Libertarian Party is suing (PDF) to keep Romney’s name off[.]
State election officials, led by Republican Sam Reed, said that law was essentially repealed by a voter-approved initiative in 2004 that scrapped the party primaries in favor of the top-two system. Since then, the state has adopted an administrative code allowing parties to qualify as major political parties if their presidential tickets get more than 5 percent of the vote in the last White House vote.
Looking at the results of the last presidential election in 2008, the state believes both Republicans and Democrats automatically qualify to have their candidates on the November ballot.
State GOP chairman Kirby Wilbur called the lawsuit a "silly matter."
"Dino Rossi was nominated by this party in August 2010," he said, noting that at a state board meeting after the 2010 state Republican convention and primary, Rossi was officially endorsed by the party.
"We have legal documents that show that" and Republicans will seek to have the case dismissed, Wilbur said.
Originally posted by schuyler
In other words, the state changed the rules, therefore the old rules no longer apply. My prediction: The lawsuit will be dismissed. The real question is, why are the libertarians doing this? What purpose does it serve?
edit on 8/18/2012 by schuyler because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by RELDDIR
Campaign money is a limited resource that the major parties will spend on battleground states. I just don't see Romney, a Republican, wasting time, money, and energy to hire attorneys to fight this.