Full and fair access to the electoral process is a right central to democracy  

Coalition for Free and Open Elections


The meeting was held at 1 p.m., on Sunday, June 29, in the meeting room on the Third Floor of 339 Lafayette Street, New York. The room was obtained for COFOE by the Socialist Party, which has its national office on the same floor of the same building. Attendees were:

1. Tom McLaughlin, Reform Party
2. Charles Sherrouse, Green Party
3. David Belmont, IndependentVoting (also known as CUIP)
4. Richard Winger, Libertarian Party
5. Alice Kelsey, Socialist Party
6. Greg Pason, Socialist Party
7. Elliot Traiman, Socialist Party

These officers were re-elected to one-year terms: Chair Tom McLaughlin, Vice-Chair Harry Kresky, Secretary Richard Winger, Treasurer Alice Kelsey.

The Treasurer reported that we have $2,272.77 in the bank. The bank is Flushing Savings Bank, 33 Irving Place, New York NY 10003, #68431325. EIN 13 415 9421.

Since the last meeting in July 2013, COFOE has funded two legal projects. We spent $850 to help pay the printing costs of an amicus curiae brief filed by former independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson and seven political science professors, in Libertarian Party of Michigan v Ruth Johnson. Unfortunately the U.S. Supreme Court did not hear the case. The issue was whether Michigan should have kept Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party presidential nominee, off the November 2012 ballot on the grounds that his name had appeared on the Republican presidential primary ballot in February 2012 in Michigan. The lower courts had upheld his exclusion.

The other lawsuit COFOE funded was $1,000 for the Nevada Green Party challenge to the April 11 petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties. That case is proceeding in U.S. District Court.

Charles Sherrouse talked about Green Party ballot access projects and problems, including Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada. He also talked about hopes for a successful lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates. He mentioned the party’s upcoming national convention, July 24-27, in St. Paul.

David Belmont mentioned that CUIP (also known as Independent Voting) is having a national meeting on March 14, 2015, and also that the organization might become interested in exploring whether to work for Instant Runoff Voting.

Greg Pason talked about Socialist Party election law projects, including the recently concluded successful lawsuit to let New Jersey voters see the Socialist Party as a choice on voter registration forms, and the party’s recent national meeting in Memphis, Tennessee, held June 6-8, 2014.

Richard Winger mentioned the web page Ballotpedia, which now has detailed information on the ballot access laws of each state. He also talked about pending ballot access lawsuits in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

There was a general discussion of the COFOE web page. It was suggested that Facebook be used to draw more attention to the COFOE page. The COFOE webmaster is Kevin Murphy, of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania,

The meeting ended at 2:30 p.m.