This proposed law would allow candidates for public office to be nominated by more than one political party or political designation, to have their names appear on the ballot once for each nomination, and to have their votes counted separately for each nomination but then added together to determine the winner of the election.
The proposed law would repeal an existing requirement that in order to appear on the state primary ballot as a candidate for a political party’s nomination for certain offices, a person cannot have been enrolled in any other party during the preceding year. The requirement applies to candidates for nomination for statewide office, representative in Congress, governor’s councillor, member of the state Legislature, district attorney, clerk of court, register of probate, register of deeds, county commissioner, sheriff, and county treasurer. The proposed law would also allow any person to appear on the primary ballot as a candidate for a party’s nomination for those offices if the party’s state committee gave its written consent. The proposed law would also repeal the existing requirement that in order to be nominated to appear as an unenrolled candidate on the state election ballot, or on any city or town ballot following a primary, a person cannot have been enrolled in any political party during the 90 days before the deadline for filing nomination papers.
The proposed law would provide that if a candidate were nominated by more than one party or political designation, instead of the candidate’s name being printed on the ballot once, with the candidate allowed to choose the order in which the party or political designation names appear after the candidate’s name, the candidate’s name would appear multiple times, once for each nomination received. The candidate would decide the order in which the party or political designation nominations would appear, except that all parties would be listed before all political designations. The ballot would allow voters who vote for a candidate nominated by multiple parties or political designations to vote for that candidate under the party or political designation line of their choice.
If a voter voted for the same candidate for the same office on multiple party or political designation lines, the ballot would remain valid but would be counted as a single vote for the candidate on a line without a party or political designation. If voting technology allowed, voting machines would be required to prevent a voter from voting more than the number of times permitted for any one office.
The proposed law would provide that if a candidate received votes under more than one party or political designation, the votes would be combined for purposes of determining whether the candidate had won the election. The total number of votes each candidate received under each party or political designation would be recorded. Election officials would announce and record both the aggregate totals and the total by party or political designation.
The proposed law would allow a political party to obtain official recognition if its candidate had obtained at least 3% of the vote for any statewide office at either of the two most recent state elections, instead of at only the most recent state election as under current law.
The proposed law would allow a person nominated as a candidate for any state, city ortown office to withdraw his name from nomination within six days after any party’s primary election for that office, whether or not the person sought nomination or was nominated in that primary. Any candidate who withdrew from an election could not be listed on the ballot for that election, regardless of whether the candidate received multiple nominations.
The proposed law states that if any of its parts were declared invalid, the other parts would stay in effect.