Outrage as state withholds information of qualifying independent candidates
By the Green Party of Michigan
John Anthony La Pietra was nominated as the 2010 Secretary of State candidate for the Green Party of Michigan (GPMI) at the party’s 2010 state convention July 31-August 1. But almost a month later, the Michigan Bureau of Elections has not published or posted his name on its authoritative list of candidates for the November 2 general election.
And he’s not alone. The Greens nominated two dozen more candidates for state-level offices the weekend before the deadline date of Primary Election Day, August 3. Independent candidates, those with “no party affiliation,” had to file their petitions by July 15, and reportedly almost two-dozen of them did. Many candidates have been waiting even longer.
The US Taxpayers’ Party of Michigan nominated 29 state-level candidates at its convention two months ago on June 26. The Libertarian Party of Michigan’s convention was May 24, so their 71 state-level candidates have been denied recognition for over three months.
“The voters should already know about all these candidates,” La Pietra said. “Once candidates started qualifying for the general election, the Secretary of State’s office should have started posting each candidate’s name, address, party or independent status, the office they’re running for, and when and how they earned their place on the November 2 ballot.”
“The list couldn’t be final and official until after this weekend’s Democratic and Republican conventions at the earliest. But so what? The Bureau of Elections posts unofficial primary-election candidate lists weeks or months before the mid-May filing deadline. Why? So people considering voting, or running for office themselves, can make informed decisions.”
The delay is unfair to candidates nominated by convention and caucus meeting state requirements, but also, said La Pietra, it is unfair to the voters. “We deserve all the information our government has about all of our voting choices. Those in power now shouldn’t get to pick and choose which candidates aren’t important for us to hear about.”
Also, media outlets and civic organizations that hold public debates and forums, or interview or survey candidates on key issues, tend to rely on the Bureau’s information to tell them which candidates should be invited to participate. “Even a short delay by the Department can wind up denying candidates a fair chance to reach a lot of voters,” La Pietra said.
La Pietra has contacted the Michigan Third Parties Coalition about possibly acting as a clearinghouse to help voters and civic groups connect with convention-nominated candidates in case the Secretary of State’s office continues its silent treatment. He has invited all independent/NPA candidates to work together to inform the public. One of his rivals, Libertarian Scotty Boman, has welcomed the suggestion.
For a list of 2010 Green Party of Michigan candidates, please visit
or contact GPMI at 548 S Main St; Ann Arbor, MI 48104; 734-663-3555.