On September 30, U.S. District Court Judge Liam O’Grady, a Bush Jr. appointee, issued an eight-page order in De La Fuente v Alcorn, e.d., 1:16cv-1201, a Virginia lawsuit. The order refuses to put De La Fuente on the Virginia ballot because the ballots have already been printed. But it suggests that the lawsuit has merit, particularly on the issue that Virginia requires candidates for presidential elector to submit their complete Social Security numbers to the State Board of Election before an independent candidate petition may begin to circulate.
The decision says, “Defendants’ expansive use of social security numbers in the ballot qualification process gives cause for concern, and the Court looks forward to examining the issues going forward.” A hearing will be held on November 18 on the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. De La Fuente’s complaint charged that his petition effort in Virginia was damaged because he could not start petitioning until after all his candidates for presidential elector had filed paperwork, and his attempts to recruit presidential elector candidates was delayed because so many potential electors refused to reveal their Social Security numbers to the Board of Elections.
The order also says, “Democracy is diluted when the public’s choice of candidates is limited. Although the two-party system dominates our country’s political landscape, the diffusion of ideas through third-party and independent candidates has a meaningful influence on the political dialogue. This ideological check is important because it reminds the dominant parties that their position of strength is wholly dependent on the will of the people. Should they fail to maintain that support, it is critical that individual voters have someone else to whom they can turn. Without that check, the dominant parties will maintain that dominance without regard to their merit and without an ear to the needs of their constitutents.”
Posted on October 4, 2016 by Richard Winger