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Exclusion from Primary Election Ballots for Not Being Members of the Party

Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone
September 29, 2015
Available Online Only

Rider v. Mohr (John T. Elfvin, W.D.N.Y. 1:01-cv-610), Sementilli v. Commissioners of Elections (Richard Conway Casey, S.D.N.Y. 1:04-cv-6936), and Soleil v. Board of Election (Brian M. Cogan, E.D.N.Y. 1:10-cv-3565)
In 2001, a candidate for town board filed a federal complaint in the Western District of New York challenging his exclusion from the primary election ballot for the Conservative Party, of which he was not a member. The district judge concluded that the party was entitled to scrutinize non-members for adherence to party philosophy before accepting them as candidates. Three years later, a district judge in in the Southern District of New York determined that a prospective candidate for a state assembly primary election ballot who was excluded for not being a member of the party was not entitled to name a replacement candidate. In 2010, a district judge in the Eastern District of New York denied relief to a pro se attorney who refused to file a certificate accepting the Independence Party’s permission to run in the party’s assembly primary election.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; primary election; party procedures; pro se party; recusal; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.