Registration Mistake to Force Detroit Congressman Off Ballot

Detroit Congressman Off Ballot

An 1801 Map of Michigan Area

May 27, 2012

A mistake in a Detroit Congressman’s application for re-election has led to him being kicked off the ballot for his own elected position.  Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter is apparently out of the race for US Congress seat he now holds although he appears to be preparing to reverse the finding.

Third party and other independent candidates for everything from dog catcher to US President have had endless troubles with the same types of laws that make it difficult for even valid candidates to get onto the election ballot.  Many will remember Ralph Nader’s problems getting on the ballot in all 50 states during his Presidential run in 2000 despite being the primary third party option that year.

Coupled with exclusion from the debates and minimal coverage by the major media companies, candidates without the major party support that McCotter enjoys are very aware that there is an attempt by the two major parties to exclude competition from smaller parties.  Even in local elections, it is often amazing how dominant the two parties are.

Only election reform can fix our country’s election system.  Let us get together and act!  Please check out our Charities for Election Reform in the United States webpage and send us any suggestions you have that can help the election reform cause!

There were a couple of write ups about the McCotter fiasco starting with from Rick Hasen’s amazingly thorough Election Law Blog where I found this posted:

Roll Call: “Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) is at risk of losing his place on the Aug. 7 primary ballot due to problems with his petition signatures, wreaking havoc on the GOP’s once secure hold on his seat.”

If you check out the link here, it takes you to a story by Shira Toeplitz in the newspaper Roll Call about the issue where you can read that:

In a Friday statement, McCotter announced the Secretary of State had questioned whether he collected sufficient signatures to make the ballot.

“I have been apprised my campaign may have submitted insufficient petition signatures to appear on the August primary ballot as a candidate for the 11th Congressional District’s Republican nomination,” he said in the late-night statement.

If the five-term Congressman gets booted from the ballot, Republicans will be forced to nominate a perennial candidate or mount a challenging write-in campaign for McCotter or another candidate.

Finally, check out the very interesting analysis of Richard Winger at his Ballot Access News website.  He has a very interesting look at the story in his article, found here.  The article links to another interesting look at the issue from MLive, a Michigan newspaper that can be found here.  Also take a look at the YouTube video from that article with video of McCotter’s many appearances on Fox News:

Here below in its entirety, as it is only two paragraphs, is the Ballot Access News article:


Michigan Congressman May Not Have Enough Valid Signatures to Appear on Michigan Republican Primary Ballot

May 26th, 2012

by Richard Winger


Michigan holds its non-presidential primary on August 7. Candidates in major party primaries need 1,000 signatures to run for U.S. House. Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, who has been in Congress starting in 2002, appears not to have submitted enough valid signatures. See this story, which says he submitted approximately 2,000. The story does not explain why he would have had such a low validity rate. Michigan does not have registration by party, so any registered voter is eligible to sign.

Detroit Congressman Off Ballot McCotter is a Republican. The 11th district includes the western suburbs of Detroit. Michigan permits write-in votes in primaries, but no one can be nominated who does not have a number of write-ins equal to 15% of the number of people who vote in that primary. A lesser-known Republican did get on the primary ballot, but the story suggests the Michigan Republican Party may recruit a write-in candidate in the primary, which could be McCotter himself. Thanks to Jeff Becker for the link.

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