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Stateside: Two Wily Old Dogs Shaking Off Fleas

Stateside with Rosalea

Two Wily Old Dogs Shaking Off Fleas

While everyone else is oohing an aahing over Governor-elect ArSchwarz, your intrepid little scooper has delved beneath the surface and come up with these (paraphrased) gems from the California Secretary of State's website that have implications for which political parties will now be qualified to field candidates in the March 2, 2004 presidential primary in California:

A party is qualified to participate in any primary election under any of the following conditions:

(a) any one of its candidates got at least 2 percent of the entire vote of the state at the last preceding gubernatorial election (which you'll recall was on October 7),

(b) can show - as at 135 days before the primary - that voters equal in number to at least 1 percent of the entire vote of the state at the last preceding gubernatorial election declared their intention to affiliate with that party, or

(c) have filed with the Secretary of State - as at 135 days before the primary - a petition signed by the voters, equal in number to at least 10 percent of the entire vote of the state at the last preceding gubernatorial election, declaring that they represent a proposed party.

Also we learn from the SoS website that prior to yesterday's gubernatorial election the following parties met those criteria (i.e. using figures based on the November 2002 election): American Independent, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, Natural Law, Peace and Freedom, and Republican.

The Democrats, Republicans and (if they don't suffer from the counting of the absentee ballots) the Greens, currently still qualify. Curiously, nowhere on the Secretary of State's website is there a total figure for the number of people who voted on the second part of the ballot, which is the actual gubernatorial election.

However, at present the figure voting in the recall part of the ballot stands at around 8 million, so you can figure out the 1 percent and 10 percent for criteria (b) and (c) above for yourself. Final certification of the results of this election by the Secretary of State might not be for another 39 days.

Pardon my arithmetic but 135 and 39 make 174 days don't they? How many days from now until March 2nd? Same digits; different number: 147. In other words, if the Secretary of State takes his time about certifying the election there's a possibility only the Republicans and the Democrats qualify to have presidential primary elections in California, simply because there's not enought time for the other parties to requalify.

Right around here, my head aches from the complicated nature of US national and state politics. Does that also mean the non-qualified parties can't have a presidential candidate come November 2004?


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