Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Ron Paul's "Campaign for Liberty" is all over Minneapolis | Main | Hillary Clinton supporters angry about Biden and still not warming to Obama »

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Uhm... Bob Barr only presidential candidate on Texas ballot?

The Democrats and Republicans have missed the filing deadline for getting on the ballot in Texas. Here's a Bob Barr press release:

Bob Barr is slated to be the only presidential candidate on the ballot in Texas after Republicans and Democrats missed the Aug. 26 deadline to file in the state. 

"Unless the state of Texas violates their own election laws, Congressman Barr will be the only presidential candidate on the ballot," says Russell Verney, campaign manager for the Barr Campaign and the former campaign manager for Ross Perot.  "Texas law makes no exceptions for missing deadlines."

The Texas Secretary of State Web site shows only Bob Barr as the official candidate for president in Texas. 

"We know all about deadlines," says Verney. "We are up against them constantly in our fight to get on the ballot across the nation.  When we miss deadlines, we get no second chances.  This is a great example of how unreasonable deadlines chill democracy."

"Republicans and Democrats make certain that third party candidates are held to ballot access laws, no matter how absurd or unreasonable," says Verney. "Therefore, Republicans and Democrats should be held to the same standards."

UPDATE: According to Ballot Access News:

"Section 192.031 of the Texas election code says that political parties must certify their presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the November ballot no later than 70 days before the general election. It says, “A political party is entitled to have the names of its nominees for president and vice-president placed on the ballot if before 5 p.m. of the 70th day before presidential election day, the party’s state chair signs and delivers to the secretary of state a written certification of the name’s of the party’s nominees for president and vice-president.”

This year, that deadline is August 26. UPDATE: At 2:30 pm Texas time, August 27, Kim Kizer of the Texas Secretary of State’s elections division says neither major party’s certification has been received in the Elections Division. The Executive Office of the Secretary of State refers all questions back to the Elections Division.

This year, neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party obeyed this law."


"This year, the Texas Libertarian Party and Bob Barr are the only ballot-listed presidential candidates on the Texas ballot, so the Texas Libertarian Party could, if it wished, bring a lawsuit. However, the result of the lawsuit would probably be to get the deadline declared unconstitutional; no court would order that Obama and McCain be kept off the ballot."

: Welcome FARKers. To read comments on this story on FARK, go here (but do feel encouraged to double-post your comments both here and at FARK.)

UPDATE3: PoliTex, the political blog of the Texas-based Star-Telegram, reports:

"Texas Secretary of State spokesperson Ashley Burton said that upon further checking, "Both parties filed before the deadline. We expect their amended filings after both parties finish their nominating process at the conventions." Texas law, changed in 2005, requires that the parties submit their candidates names 70 days before the election. Problem is, neither party has gotten through their nominating process. The Texas Republican Party listed John McCain and "running mate" as their candidates, with an amended certification after the GOP convention in St. Paul. Obama and Biden will be certified after the Democratic Convention"

UPDATE4: Bob Barr campaign email about Texas SoS spokesperson's finding the paperwork "upon further checking" here.

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on August 27, 2008 in International Politics | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Uhm... Bob Barr only presidential candidate on Texas ballot?:


Ooops, somebody forgot Texas? Well that's just nuts isn't it? The people who want to run the country forgot a State? A whole State? Well they're certainly competent enough to get my vote.
Maybe the IRS will forget Texas to. lol

Posted by: JC | 2008-08-27 4:32:23 PM

Who the hell is this Bob asshole?

Posted by: epsilon | 2008-08-27 4:37:53 PM

Former Republican Congressman. Led the Bill Clinton impeachment proceedings. Go look him up, epsi. It's easy.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-08-27 4:39:43 PM

Always so well informed and eloquent eh?
How are things at the trailer park anyway? :)

Posted by: JC | 2008-08-27 4:42:53 PM


You may have noticed that we've talked about Bob Barr a couple times at The Shotgun Blog (OK...146, really: http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=site%3Awesternstandard.blogs.com+%22bob+barr ). He was a prominent conservative Republican Congressman from Georgia and the current Libertarian Party candidate for president.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-08-27 5:00:57 PM

Yes! 34 Electoral Votes closer to victory in November!!!

Posted by: JAL | 2008-08-27 5:04:43 PM

Well this is amazing. Bob Barr should focus much of his efforts in Texas now! He's sure to receive 8% national vote as a result of this!
God bless.

Posted by: JON | 2008-08-27 5:05:06 PM

Sweetness. This imcreases the chances of Barr carrying a huge state come November.

Posted by: Jim | 2008-08-27 5:47:02 PM

I really wish this was actually going to stand. It won't however, the judge will overrule it for reasons of public interest. They will then also pass a law at the state level to make sure Republicans and Democrats never have to deal with the hardship of such deadlines, and then likely make it harder for third parties to make the ballot.

Posted by: SeanT | 2008-08-27 5:55:19 PM

Probably has to do with the fact that they haven't been officially nominated at their conventions...

Posted by: anon | 2008-08-27 6:05:06 PM

Here you go: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/candidates/guide/demorrep.shtml

It tells Dems and Reps how to get on the Primary ballot and:

If you receive a majority of the votes cast in the primary election or receive the most votes in a primary runoff election, if applicable, your name will appear on the general election ballot in November.


Posted by: anon | 2008-08-27 6:08:24 PM

Looks like you guys have pre-mature chubbies.

See: Texas Election Code Section 181.005

Posted by: Ike | 2008-08-27 6:14:43 PM

Although my first choice is Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr is my second. I wish as well that it will stand.... but anon is probably right that the communist and nazi parties *ahem* democrats and republicans will see to it that nobody messes with their "poker game" (Aaron Russos - freedom to fascism on google video).

Posted by: Erin | 2008-08-27 6:17:32 PM

Thanks Ike! Appreciate the info.

Posted by: Erin | 2008-08-27 6:20:31 PM

I suggest, that in order to save face, you should remove this P.M. You should have done the research first.

Posted by: Ike | 2008-08-27 6:38:49 PM

I don't think 181 applies. It seems to set out rules for nominating candidates for county and statewide offices it has no provisions which it seems to require for national conventions needed for nominating presidential candidates.

Where as Chapter 11 is specifically about Presidential Elections

Texas election code


Posted by: Steve | 2008-08-27 6:45:05 PM

You misunderstand the post, Ike. For one, I include a question mark in the title, indicating my surprise. And surprise at what? That's point two: the press release by the Bob Barr camp that claimed he was the only Presidential candidate to file on time.

The point was to get clarification on this press release. And the post has, it appears, succeeded.

(To be clearer, I did not report that Barr was the only presidential candidate on the ballot in Texas, I reported on the Barr campaign's claim that he was. That's a big difference.)

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-08-27 6:48:06 PM

Fair enough, criticism withdrawn.

Posted by: Ike | 2008-08-27 6:54:45 PM

You're a reasonable man, Ike.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-08-27 6:58:08 PM

This is interesting even for an Aussie! :)

Steve and Ike


This seems to indicate that 181 is only 1 of 3 requirements. so the Democrats and Republicans have met the first and the third but not the second requirement.

Posted by: Jeff | 2008-08-27 7:22:59 PM


Are you refereing to the three conditions within 192.031? 181 is a different section.

Posted by: Jeff | 2008-08-27 7:54:05 PM

Normally, this wouldn't be a problem in Texas except in 2005 Texas changed the law from 60 days to file before the general election to 70 days. Someone forgot to check the manual - oh and um they could use place holders in the event a change at the convention, the only problem is those dingbats didn't file place holders either. Wouldn't matter for Obama as he would lose Texas anyway, but big for McCain.

More than likely SOS will put them on, but Texas is ultra tough on election laws and if I was Barr I would take them to court to force them to follow the law.

Throw the Bums out

Posted by: Joe Lawson | 2008-08-27 8:36:22 PM

"Here you go: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/candidates/guide/demorrep.shtml

It tells Dems and Reps how to get on the Primary ballot and:

If you receive a majority of the votes cast in the primary election or receive the most votes in a primary runoff election, if applicable, your name will appear on the general election ballot in November.


Annon, If you look they list offices from US Senet, Congress, rail road commision, judges, state senet... a very long list that noticibly leaves off one office.... President

Posted by: Steve | 2008-08-27 8:36:24 PM

Oh and by the way, as of today the Barr camp is correct he is the ONLY Presidential candidate on the ballot.

There are several write-in candidates like Nader, but Barr is the only one that would actually be printed on the ballot.

Posted by: Joe Lawson | 2008-08-27 8:39:00 PM

Hey, don't be so tough on the Rep and Dem parties, after George W. Bush, they're purposely pretending that Texas doesn't belong to the United States. No more Texas, no more Bush, and the nightmare is over.

Posted by: GeorgeMcCain | 2008-08-27 9:22:39 PM

As awesome as it would be if Barr were the only nominee on the ballot, I think the law is written in such a way to basically give the two main parties a free ride. Check out section b and see if I'm right here:

(b) A political party is entitled to have the names of its
nominees placed on the ballot, without qualifying under Subsection
(a), in each subsequent general election following a general
election in which the party had a nominee for a statewide office who
received a number of votes equal to at least five percent of the
total number of votes received by all candidates for that office.

Posted by: Cain | 2008-08-27 9:26:20 PM

"Are you refereing to the three conditions within 192.031? 181 is a different section."

Yes I am. The condition stipulated in Chapter 181.005 has been met by both major parties, but that condition is only one of three conditions stipulated in 192.031.

Posted by: Jeff | 2008-08-27 9:29:00 PM


Informed sources has it that given the stresses on the military and the constrained budget that Bush's next Imperial military war will be to Invade New Mexico and make it part of the US. He will need Texas as a staging point for our troops. McInsane is already calling for a surge. Osama is opposing all such military action even as he votes for complete funding of the war.

Posted by: Steve | 2008-08-27 9:30:12 PM

Joe Lawson, do you have any information on the "place holder" laws? Chapter 192.031 seems very clear that they need the names and addresses.

Here is the critical condition (2)
before 5 p.m. of the 70th day before presidential
election day, the party's state chair signs and delivers to the secretary of state a written certification of:
(A) the names of the party's nominees for president and vice-president; and
(B) the names and residence addresses of presidential elector candidates nominated by the party, in a number equal to the number of presidential electors that federal law allocates to this state;
Somehow I don't think place holder would meet those conditions.

Posted by: Jeff | 2008-08-27 9:35:03 PM

before 5 p.m. of the 70th day before presidential
election day, the party's state chair signs and delivers to the secretary of state a written certification of:
Posted by: Jeff | 27-Aug-08 9:35:03 PM

Who gives a shit.

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-08-27 9:39:49 PM


You have me confussed? Which of the three conditions of 192.031 does 181.005 meet?

My reading os section 181 is that it lays out conditions for candidates to get onto the Texas ballot by means of party convention.

I understand you are from Australia so please don't take a short review of the US political structure as an insult.

The US consists of 50 states, each state has a lot of leway in determining how they organize their governments. Not complete freedom though. Much like the English system has the Magna carta which establishes certain levels of freedom or protection from Government we have the constituition which includes a number of amendements. The first 10 being called the bill of rights.

So a state can set its own laws with limitations on how it runs its elections but for certain federal positions the federal government also has restrictions.

The problem I see with 181 is that it seems to be ment for elected postions for the state of texas from the county level (a division of a state) to the state wide level such as Governor, treasurer, secretary of state.

Section 181 seems to be about the concept of an established political party and how that party has certain methods such as a primary or other method such as as small regiional to statewide conventions for selecting candidates to these offices. Section 181 defines when where and how such conventions shall be held.

The office of President of the US is different from all other offices in that it is conducted in all states. And the candidates are selected usually by some means of a National Convention that no one state has the authority to set the regulations for. So 181 which sets specific regulations for state wide elections seems to preety much ignore the Presidential Election which has its own specific chapter in Texas election code. Chapter 11 in which section 192 is found.

So what I am contesting is that I think that 181 is irelevent for the office of President of the United States. I believe that 192.031 sets the rules for the candidate for the President of the United States being on the ballott and I also believe that Section 192,062 set the terms of how a party can remove a candidate for the President of the.... from the texas Ballott and replace him/her with another individual.

In both cases this action must be completed 70 Days before the Presidential Election. The only real question is did the Republican Party of Texas State Chairmen file for Mccain and did the Democratic Party Chairman of Texas file in time for Obama?

Let us suppose they both did then this is pretty much a mute issue.

Let us suppose both of them missed the deadline. Then the Texas state legislatures can quickly call a special session and rewrite the law which the Governor of Texas would sign and poof both parties are on.

Let us suppose that one or the other didn't then you will have som rangling between the two main parties. Is a special session called? Who is on? Who is off?

Will the party left off have a lawsuite to get on.

All I can say is stay tuned. This could get to be more fun.

Posted by: Steve | 2008-08-27 9:53:30 PM

You forgot Pol ...er ...Texas

Posted by: Jim | 2008-08-27 9:58:29 PM


Thanks for the summary, but we get enough (some would say too much) US news to be able to follow your elections. :D

My reference to Section 181 is that in part (3) of Section 192.031. Ike said that 181 was enough, but obviously it isn't. The 181 is just there to make it easier for the larger parties and near impossible for the smaller ones. You referred him to Chapter 11 and I just wrote to give you a more specific reference to 192.031.

I'm sure you are right and the state government will quickly re-write the laws. It would be a gross injustice in my opinion, and it would also be interesting to try to back date it.

Posted by: Jeff | 2008-08-27 10:13:42 PM

Of course the Repubs and Dems don't have candidates listed. The Dems did not determine their candidate until today, and the Repubs won't determine theirs until next week. I find it impossible to believe they won't get their candidates on the ballot. If necessary, they will simply change the law.

Posted by: Alan | 2008-08-27 10:55:05 PM

Jeff and Andy,

Ofcourse they will simply change the law but in doing so it will get us national if not international expossure.

Hopefully it will expose the other ballott access isues in Oklahoma, Maine, West Virgina etc

Hopefully it will make them include Barr and Nedar in the telivised debates.

Posted by: Steve | 2008-08-27 11:14:13 PM

Steve: You're already getting international exposure. The Western Standard is a Canadian site.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-08-27 11:34:18 PM

@Jeff Re: changing the law..unfortunately, Texas legislature only meets in odd numbered years unless called into a special session by the Governor. Chaos would likely ensue if that occurred.

Posted by: ch | 2008-08-28 4:48:49 AM

This will be interesting if they can keep the laws upheld. As well as Fark you can also discuss the topic at www.bannination.com.

Posted by: Drew Curtis | 2008-08-28 6:56:25 AM

I found a site that listed all the people running and read through all the things these people believe and wouldn't you know, Bob Barr was the only one worth voting for. He even had a political career that proved him to be a good candidate. Schweitzer calls Bob Bar someone single issue folk would vote for except I agree with Bob Barr on every issue. Dems and Republicans can all take a flying leap with their bigger gov schemes. Bobs all about smaller govt, and bigger guns. :)

Posted by: mogwai | 2008-08-28 7:06:48 AM

Section 181 has no relevance to presidential nominees. No state's presidential primary determines that national party's nominee. After all, Hillary Clinton won the Texas Democratic presidential primary by a vote of 1,459,814 to 1,358,785 (although Obama won the Texas caucus).

The Republican National Committee worked hard lobbying various states to ease these certification deadlines, in 2003, and again in 2007, when the party realized its very late conventions in 2004 and even later in 2008 bumped up against certain state laws. The Republican National Committee would not have done all this work if these deadlines don't matter. But the Texas legislature slipped up and did the reverse!

Posted by: Richard Winger | 2008-08-28 7:35:24 AM

I love the latest update, about how the secretary of state 'found' the missing applications for the Dems and the Reps. Even if there had been an iron-clad law to keep them off the ballot, they would have just brushed it aside anyway. The one good thing that is coming from all this though is the answer to the question 'Who the hell is Bob?'. I think I will make that into a bumpersticker. :)

Posted by: Sean | 2008-08-28 10:13:16 AM

I think taking the line from the movie...

What about Bob?

Posted by: Brad F | 2008-08-28 11:31:52 AM

So is Politex or Ballot Access News correct? One says the haven't done it, the other claims they just happened to conveniently find it. Two sources are giving different answers.

Posted by: Andrew P | 2008-08-28 2:28:28 PM

The Ballot Access News piece came out prior to the PoliTex piece.

Maybe that's what the SoS lady meant by "upon further checking." (They probably told BAN that they didn't get it, then they told PoliTex that they did get it, after they looked for it again).

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-08-28 2:37:44 PM

For those offering the Chapter 181 as the savior argument for this fiasco (which is incorrect, but lets play along) ...

The Republicans would have a difficult time demonstrating they had 43,992 (at least one percent of the total number of votes received by all candidates for governor in the most recent gubernatorial general election) people participate in their precinct conventions... For Tarrant County (Fort Worth) to have done its part, it would have had to of had 3,263 participate...it had less than 2,100. oops.

Posted by: ch | 2008-08-29 1:46:05 AM

I am a Libertarian and I detest uneven electoral playing fields and major party manipulation of the process to keep third parties off the ballot. That having been said, I live in Maine, and frankly, our ballot requirements are getting a bad rap. 4,000 signatures is NOT tough to get in this state - people here are generally of the "everyone deserves to have their shot" mindset - and our ballot deadline is not, in my opinion, ridiculously early. If you are halfway organized and have any type of grass roots support, you shouldn't have any trouble getting on the ballot in this state. The problem the Libertarian Party has is this ridiculous fantasy we have that we're established enough that we should be able to nominate our candidate in "real time" (i.e., less than six months before the general election) The fact is that we enter every election with serious handicaps, financial and organizational. We need to go back to nominating our general election candidate in the fallof the year preceding the general election. This gives us more time to organize ballot drives, gives big donors TWO calender years to make maximum donations and allows us more time to get our candidate known in a media paradigm that is geared to ignoring them.

Posted by: Charles Jacques | 2008-09-01 12:18:36 AM

"Given that neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party nominated a candidate before Aug. 26, it would be impossible for either party to file under Texas law."

Except for the fact that it wasn't technically "impossible". Both the DNC and the GOP have intelligent people working for them, people that are aware of individual state's filing requirements.

Both the DNC and the GOP CHOSE when they would hold their conventions- they could have chosen to have nominated their respective candidates before the Texas cutoff date.

They both made decisions that exclude them from Texas, BY LAW. As such, they should be legally forced to live with that decision and accept the consequences of it.

Posted by: jonathan | 2008-09-17 8:52:08 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.