Did Bob Barr Already Win Texas?

Friday, August 29th, 2008

His campaign says both the Democrats and Republicans missed the filing deadline to put their presidential candidates on the ballot. It’s a near-certainty that they’ll be given a mulligan. And that, Barr’s campaign correctly explains, is the problem.

Over the past several decades, Libertarians have spent millions of dollars, filed countless numbers of lawsuits while being sued countless numbers of times over their right to be on the ballot. Thousands of people have put in their time, energy, earnings and passion in an effort that, in the end, simply allows a voter to see a candidate’s name printed on the ballot.

Throughout every battle that we engage in each election season, we must dot every “I” and cross every “T” or face the consequences of failure for our ballot drives.

Even when we follow the letter of the law, as we did in Pennsylvania, we still face challenges that drain our financial resources and strain our staff.

Should we give Barack Obama and John McCain a pass in Texas and look the other way? Would they do that for us?

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17 Responses to “Did Bob Barr Already Win Texas?”

  1. #1 |  Stephen | 

    “Would they do that for us?”


    Actually the resistance will get stronger from “the big boys” the closer any third party gets to actually competing.

  2. #2 |  John Harrold | 

    Exactly how can the filing deadline occur before the conventions? I mean technically, Obama wasn’t even the democratic candidate until Wednesday, and McCain is still the presumptive nominee.

  3. #3 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    If the filing deadline in Texas was indeed before either Convention, then both parties are guilty of serious hubris, and should lose all chance of wining Texas save by write in votes (assuming those are legal in Texas).

    Will this happen? Probably not. Nevertheless any and all Third Parties that crossed their t’s and dotted their i’s should take it to court, and fight HARD.

    Because the way to be taken seriously is to behave seriously.

  4. #4 |  Andy Craig | 

    The write-in deadline was on the same day.

    Has there been any official comment on this from the TX SoS’s office? I’ve seen conflicting quotes from SoS spokesmen on various blogs, but I haven’t seen anything official.

    The final ballot has to be certified Sept. 3, I believe, so we’ll know pretty quickly. Of course, I fully expect the already infamously litigious Barr ’08 campaign to sue. Which they should.

  5. #5 |  ThomasBlair | 

    The August 26 deadline is for independent and third party candidates. Texas Election Code – Section 192.031

    Since the D’s and the R’s have statewide organizations, nominate by convention, and have each 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,” Texas Election Code Section 181.005 applies.

    Don’t worry. John McCain and Barry Obama will both be on the ballot, and the state of Texas won’t have to break any rules to make it happen.

  6. #6 |  Brad F | 

    The filing deadline was changed in 2005. That’s plenty of time ahead of when the Dems and Repubs started planning their conventions. Do you schedule your dinner the week after thanksgiving? Do you think they would allow a third party to hold their convention after the deadline and still be placed on the ballot? By which law is this allowed?

    This is just blatant abuse of power.

    BTW, how is it when there are no laws allowing a substitution, and no laws allowing for late filings, that Palin’s name is listed now on the ballot? Was this on their filing on Tuesday or were the filings “amended/found/fabricated” Saturday after McCain announced Palin as a VP?

  7. #7 |  bk | 

    I’ve recently read that getting opposing candidate thrown off the ballot due to technicalities is how Obama got his start:



  8. #8 |  Brad F | 

    181 does not set the deadlines for placing the candidate for PRESIDENT on the ballot. That condition is set under 192

    BTW, who would know these laws and regulations to the letter better than any third party that is forced to abide by them.

    They missed the deadline. Suffer the consequences or throw out the deadlines for everyone. It’s twofaced, it’s a disgrace. They’re perpetrating a hoax. I’m voting for BARR.

  9. #9 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Looks like Thomas Blair has the right section of the code. Sorry, but the Republicans and Democrats have stacked the deck in their favor…again, and big shock.

  10. #10 |  Brad F | 

    No Steve, Thomas Blair does not have the right section of code.

    No where in code 181 is the office of president referred to, in fact there’s only 1 office not included in 181…. The office of the President.

    Candidates for president fall under 192.

  11. #11 |  Remfin | 

    I think something you guys are missing is that the law being quoted is vague about the specifics. The candidate officially accepting the nomination transitions the campaign from Primary to General, but it seems to me that there is nothing legally stopping the party chairman from placing a nominated person on the ballot before they’ve officially accepted. There would obviously be an issue if the party chairman entered the WRONG name and that person didn’t win the convention vote, but that isn’t a problem here.

    The real question is do state and federal party rules allow chairmen to take this kind of initiative (and obviously, did they ACTUALLY do this or is it just supposition)? Even if the rules don’t allow them to, that would be an internal matter and not a concern of the State except if there is a dispute. If so, Obama/Biden would easily fit under the deadline. Definately agree that McCain/Palin can’t if you believe their timeline however…

    This isn’t anything new. I think the 2004 RNC was held after the nomination deadlines in something like 11 different states.

  12. #12 |  The Other Jeff | 

    Didn’t something similar happen in SC in 2004?

  13. #13 |  BloodyMaryBreakfast | 

    Riddle me this. Since the SOS has to certify the ballot by Sep 3 and McCain/Palin isn’t official until Sep 4…

    Keep saying 192 doesn’t apply to Rs and Ds. I see your bluff and go all in.

  14. #14 |  b-psycho | 

    If by some shock this holds, and by default Bob Barr already won Texas (because honestly, who else are they gonna vote for?), then Obama pretty much already won the election. Those were going to be locked in GOP votes, and they’re 2nd in the EC only to California. With Texas gone, Obama would only have to flip 18 EC votes worth from ’04 to win. Basically, if Iowa & Indiana follow Illinois, or he flips Ohio, it’s over.

  15. #15 |  Against Stupidity | 

    Wouldn’t this be a violation of equal protection.

  16. #16 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Brad F.

    That section of the law doesn’t mention any particular office and instead references all candidates that are nominated via a convention process. Considering that the Presidential candidate for both the Democrats and Republicans are nominated via convetion that section of the law appears to hold.

  17. #17 |  bruce | 

    The Texas law is not vague. http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/el.toc.htm

    Chapter 181 lays out the requirements for a party and how a party nominates it candidate. Chapter 192 lays out the procedure to be placed on the ballot after qualifying under chapter 181.

    There are 3 requirements to be placed on the ballot. (http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/el.toc.htm)
    1. Meet the requirments for President. (from constitution)
    2. Ceritfy your candidate and electors by the deadline
    3. Qualify to nominate your candidate by chapter 181

    As others have pointed out. Both parties are qualifed under 181 to be on the ballot and the candidate is qualified to be president.

    Now that the candidate is qualified to be on the ballot (after their national party convention – part of chapter 181), the candidate must do the paperwork to be placed on the ballot. OOOPPSS! By the time the convention has ended, both candiates are too late to fill out the paperwork. They have not followed the law to be placed on the ballot.

    It’s like buying a car. The bank can prequalify you, but until you find the car and sign the paperwork, you are still without the car. Just because your bank says you are qualifed to buy the car, until you sign on the dotted line (in a timely fashion), you have not meet the requirements to get the car.

    So, don’t take my word for it, go to the webpage and look it up yourself.