ok, gather around….i’ve a tale of victory to tell…
on saturday i wrote suzy, my vice-president, this:
“btw, i hope you are ready to move to another state if we win california’s popular vote…as chaney did! as if we have to worry about that happening. apparently we can’t have the same electors if we live in the same state…but only if we win in that state!
we only found out that absurdity today! it came up because yesterday we got an official letter from mn informing us they had rejected our forms in july to be write-in candidates [oh, btw,, the deadline to appeal is this week!] because the president and the vice president can’t be from the same state. this was the first time i heard that requirement…and obviously the other 24 states that qualified us haven’t either! so we asked our ballot expert. he was outraged. it’s bogus. we are challenging it! but then he told us about the elector rule! but never fear…if we win california, just move to d.c. early!”
this was the letter from the Elections Division of the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, dated OCTOBER 17:
“Dear Mr. Moore,
Thank you for submitting the document, Written Request By Write-In Candidates for Federal and State Office. Your document was received on July 1, 2008.
Your document has been rejected because, for the office of President and Vice President, the candidates must be residents of different states.
Office of the MN Secretary of State”
(The deadline for filing for write-in candidates is OCTOBER 29)
Included in the envelope were three other things:
1) a blank “Written Request By Write-In Candidates For Federal And State Office” form. This is the form that we filled out and sent in to them. It has a space for the name of the Vice-Presidential candidate, and says to print name and state of residence. It does not say anything about the vice-presidential candidate needing to be from a different state.
2) a print-out from the Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State website —
It is titled: “Presidential Ballot Access and Election Process”
We have read through this description of the qualifications and process for a candidate for President, and it makes no mention of the candidates for president and vice-president needing to be from different states. In fact, there are other links on this page, including one that says: “2008 Presidential Ballot Access Q&A”. http://www.sos.state.mn.us/docs/presidential_ballot_access_qa_2008gp.pdf
This also does not make any mention of this requirement.
The “Presidential Ballot Access and Election Process” page lists the qualifications for President, and cites the Constitution: “A person must be a natural born citizen of the United States, be at least 35 years of age, and have been a resident of the United States for at least 14 years to be qualified to be President of the United States. (The Constitution of the United States of America, Article II, Section 1)”
3) a glossy printed brochure from the Office of the Secretary of State, State of Minnesota.
Inside, there is a section outlined in pen, under “Qualifications for Partisan Offices Elected in 2008:”
“President and Vice President: Candidate must be a natural born citizen, at least 35-years-old and a resident of the United States for 14 years. Candidates for president and vice president must be residents of different states.”
It does not cite the Constitution here.
so we asked richard winger, the nation’s leading expert on ballot access, who has been helping us, what gives!
“This is outrageous. Many people mistakenly think the US Constitution requires the president and vice-president to be from different states. They are wrong. The Constitution only says that electors from one state cannot vote for both president and vice-president for people who are from THAT STATE. Furthermore, the 12th Amendment says “The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves. Furthermore, in 2004, a Democratic elector from Minnesota did vote for someone for both president and vice-president from the same state. One elector voted for John Edwards for both president and for vice-president. Please get me a copy of the Minnesota letter. I will denounce it!”
he and corey talked throughout the weekend. Richard advised us to call first thing Monday morning and talk to the woman who wrote the rejection letter from the MN Elections Division. over the weekend richard posted this on his site, http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/10/:
Minnesota Secretary of State Rejects Presidential Write-in Filing for Frank Moore
October 25th, 2008
Frank Moore is a write-in presidential candidate, who has been diligently attempting to file for declared write-in status in as many states as possible. He is likely to succeed in 25 states, which will probably be a record. However, on October 17, the Minnesota Elections Division rejected his write-in filing on 12th Amendment Grounds. The Minnesota Elections Division seems to not understand the 12th Amendment.
The letter says, “Dear Mr. Moore, thank you for submitting the document, Written Request by Write-in Candidates for Federal and State Office. Your document has been rejected because, for the Office of President and Vice President, the candidates must be residents of different states.”
This letter is mistaken for two completely separate reasons: (1) The 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not require presidential and vice-presidential candidates to reside in different states. The only restriction is that if a presidential and vice-presidential candidate do both live in the same state, they can’t both receive electoral votes from THAT state; (2) Even setting that point aside, the residence of the candidate for president and vice-president is only material in December of the election year, when the electors meet and vote. To illustrate, in 2000, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush both lived in Texas when they were nominated. After being nominated, Cheney changed his voter registration from Texas to Wyoming, so that both he and Bush would be able to receive the Texas electoral votes.
Ironically, in 2004 a Minnesota elector did vote for someone for president, and someone for vice-president, who lived in the same state, the state of North Carolina. One Democratic elector, for reasons unknown, voted for John Edwards for both president and for vice-president. Congress counted that electoral vote.
Another point is that Minnesota in the past has placed teams of presidential and vice-presidential candidates on the November ballot, even though both individuals lived in the same state. The Socialist Workers Party ticket consisted of a New Yorker for president, and a New Yorker for vice-president, in 1968, and that team appeared on the Minnesota ballot. In 1968, a New York challenge was filed against the SWP ticket on the grounds that both lived in that state, but the challenge was defeated. The case was Application of Horowitz, 294 NYS 2d 69, affirmed, 294 NYS 2d 988.
this generated outraged calls other than corey’s to mn. so when corey called mn early monday morning, the groundwork had been laid. after consulting with their own legal staff, mn reversed itself, admitting it was a mistaken interpretation! suzy and i are now qualitified in mn! it is amazing that our campaign has forced a few states to change their election policies!