National Ballot Access

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National Ballot Access is a petition drive management company. Its minimal website says the Georgia-based company promotes "direct democracy through the initiative, referendum and recall process."[1] The company specifically promotes, but is not limited to, "libertarian and conservative ballot issues."[2]

Controversy

"Civil rights" initiatives

National Ballot Access has been accused of "signature fraud." In 2008, NBA managed Ward Connerly's misleading "civil rights" ballot initiatives, which were actually designed to ban affirmative action programs.[3]

Nebraska

As of August 2008, National Ballot Access had been paid "much of" the $609,000 raised by the Nebraska Civil Rights Initiative, to advance the Connerly initiative in that one state. [4] The Nebraska Civil Rights Initiative was voted in, in November 2008. Opponents of the NCRI petition lost their court case to have it thrown out. [5]

Arizona

The company worked to get signatures to get the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative, one of Connerly's initiatives, on the ballot in November 2008. However, Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer disqualified the initiative, after a review of a 5% random sample of initiative signatures found a 43.22 percent invalidity rate. State representative Kyrsten Sinema, who opposed the initiative, remarked, "We've highlighted time and again the illegal and deceptive signature-gathering tactics used by Connerly's organization and the Georgia National Ballot Access firm to force the initiative on Arizona and other states." [6]

In August 2008, the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative campaign announced that it "was abandoning its lawsuit to overturn the state's decertification. ... The campaign issued a statement saying it still believed it collected enough valid petition signatures to put the initiative on the ballot but said it couldn't review all the signatures rejected by election officials in time." [7] A February 2009 editorial in the Arizona Republic criticizing the state's initiative process said that, because of "tight time frames," there is "almost no time for judicial review. It's almost impossible to appeal a decision disqualifying petitions." [8]

Arizona law makers have decided to put the issue on the 2010 ballot anyhow.[citation needed]

The ACRI did not have enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. Ward Connerly said that this does not mean that the Arizona voters do not want this in the constituion. It instead exemplifies the difficulties of getting measures on the ballot in Arizona. [9]

Missouri

In Missouri in 2008, National Ballot Access was accused of giving people misleading information, to get them to sign in support of the Connerly "civil rights" and other initiatives.[10]

Michigan recall

Signatures gathered by National Ballot Access as part of a 2008 campaign to recall Michigan House Speaker Andy Dillon were also problematic. "A preliminary examination by the [Michigan] Secretary of State found so many questionable signatures ... that [recall backer Leon] Drolet appears to be 500 short of the necessary 8,724 to put the recall effort before voters on the Aug. 5 primary election ballot," reported the Detroit News. The signatures included the names of a deceased couple and the forged signature of a local fire chief.[11]

Two rulings led to Dillon's re-election and impeachment both appearing on the November 2008 ballot: U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell "ordered election officials to reconsider petitions," regardless of whether the petition circulators "lived outside the district or weren't registered to vote." Then state election officials found there were enough valid signatures -- 8,903, when 8,724 were required -- to put the recall option on the ballot. [12] However, voters decided to re-elect, and not recall, Dillon. [13]

Personnel

2009-2010 petition drives

  • Wet Up Petitions - Justice of the Peace District 4 Smith County, Texas [1]
    • The election will be held on May 9th, 2009.
  • Wet Up Petitions - Cleburne, Texas [2]
    • The election will be held on May 9th, 2009.
  • Wet Up Petitions - Lubbock County, Texas [3]
    • The election will be held on May 9th, 2009.
  • Citizens Against Taxpayer Owned Hotel - Dallas, Texas [4]
    • The election will be held on May 9th, 2009.

2007-2008 petition drives

  • South Dakota Open and Clean Government Act [5]
    • Red Ex.png This petition was voted down on the November 4th, 2008 ballot.
  • Andy Dillon Recall - Michigan Speaker of the House [6]
    • Red Ex.png This petition was voted down on the November 4th, 2008 ballot.
  • Colorado Civil Rights Initiative [7]
    • Red Ex.png This petition was voted down on the November 4th, 2008 ballot.
  • Nebraska Civil Rights Initiative [8]
    • Green Check Mark.png This petition was voted in on the November 4th, 2008 ballot.
  • Light Rail Train Repeal Petition - Kansas City, Missouri
    • Green Check Mark.png Enough valid signatures were submitted on August 7th, 2007. The automatic repeal was successful.

Independent Contractors hired by National Ballot Access also gathered signatures for an anti-union "right to work" measure in Colorado. [14]

Contact

Phone: 678-662-0566

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. "Homepage," NationalBallotAccess.net, accessed January 2009.
  2. Chris Christoff and Dawson Bell, "Dillon Recall Fight Is Nasty; Accusations of Harassment Fly," Detroit Free Press (Michigan), April 25, 2008.
  3. Christian Smith, "Ballot Initiative Reform: Reforming the Ballot Initiative Process: Making Direct Democracy Work," Progressive States Network, October 20, 2008.
  4. Anna Jo Bratton, "Neb. affirmative action fight raking in money," Associated Press, August 8, 2008.
  5. "Neb. judge rejects affirmative-action ban lawsuit," Associated Press via The Sioux City Journal, January 22, 2009.
  6. Christian Palmer, "AZ Civil Rights initiative rejected due to invalid signatures," Arizona Capitol Times, August 22, 2008.
  7. "Ariz. ballot campaign on affirmative action ends," Associated Press, August 29, 2008.
  8. Editorial, "Time to reform unwieldy process prone to fraud," Arizona Republic, February 13, 2009.
  9. Howard Fischer, East Valley Tribune "Affirmative action to go on 2010 ballot" June 22, 2009
  10. Christopher Leonard, "Group accused of deception in Missouri ballot drive," Associated Press, April 30, 2008.
  11. Gary Heinlein, "Probe urged in Dillon recall drive," The Detroit News, June 3, 2008.
  12. "Mich. finds signatures for House speaker recall," The Associated Press, September 5, 2008.
  13. Julianne Nowicki, "The Recall of House Speaker Andy Dillon," The Michigan Review, November 11, 2008.
  14. Joanne Kelley, "Right-to-work closer to ballot Proponents deliver their petitions to the secretary of state a day early," Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO), April 10, 2008.

External resources

External articles