presidential election; election law; election process law


Both the U.S. Constitution and The Federalist Papers suggest that voters ought to have more freedom to vote for the candidate of their choice for the U.S. House of Representatives than they do for the President or the U.S. Senate. Yet, strangely, for the last thirty-three years, the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts have ruled that the Constitution gives voters more freedom to vote for the candidate of their choice in presidential elections than in congressional elections. Also, state legislatures, which have been writing ballot access laws since 1888, have passed laws that make it easier for minor-party and independent candidates to get on the ballot for President than for the U.S. House. As a result, voters in virtually every state invariably have far more choices on their general election ballots for the President than they do for the House. This Article argues that the right of a voter to vote for someone other than a Democrat or a Republican for the House is just as important as a voter’s right to do so for President, and that courts should grant more ballot access protection to minor-party and independent candidates for the House.