Sec. Fontes Responds to Court Ruling on No Labels Candidate Selection Procedures

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PHOENIX – A U.S. District Court ruled today that the Secretary of State's office is prohibited from accepting No Labels Party candidate filings for those who wish to run in the primary or general elections.

This not only means the No Labels Party chooses the candidates that will appear on the ballot, rather than voters choosing, but this decision could potentially impact candidates of other officially recognized parties.

"The court is dead wrong," said Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes. "While we respect the judge's authority to weigh the law and facts, we will be working with the Attorney General's Office to request expedited review of the order in the Ninth Circuit." If this decision becomes precedent, then that would mean the existing statutory framework for candidates of recognized parties will no longer exist.

"This current decision will disenfranchise almost 19,000 registered Arizona voters," Fontes said, "and if it stands, it could potentially derail the entire candidate nomination process."

Traditionally, registered party members collect required signatures to qualify for their party's primary ballot. However, today's order ( could enable parties other than No Labels to seek similar deviations from decades of well-established legislative policies. The results would be that parties, rather than voters, select candidates for the ballot.

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