Minor parties blocked by gatekeeper

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE — Why do minor parties have so much trouble getting on the New Mexico ballot?

Secretary of State Mary Herrera has ruled that the Greens and the Libertarians are not qualified parties so she refuses to accept nominating petitions from their candidates.

The reason why it is difficult to be a qualified minor party is that they can affect election outcomes.

Democrats look at the elections of Republicans Bill Redmond to Congress and Gary Johnson to the governor’s office as having been caused by strong Green candidates who took votes from Democratic candidates.

The Greens very likely did take some votes from Democrats. Whether it was enough to affect the elections, we’ll never know. Greens said most of their support came not from Democrats but from new voters they attracted to the polls.

Regardless of the effect, it was a message to the two major parties that the presence of new kids on the block could be dangerous. The issues supported by Greens are mostly Democratic issues which Democrats weren’t supporting strongly enough.

Libertarians are more often in agreement with Republican stands. They aren’t as organizable as Greens but Republicans realized the possibility that they could be bitten at some point.

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