Maryland Bans Fusion in Federal Elections

In a decision that seems at least partly aimed at the “fusion” Green/Libertarian/Populist campaign of Kevin Zeese for U.S. Senate, the Maryland legsilature passed a bill to outlaw fusion in Federal elections.

From Ballot Access News...

On March 31, the Maryland legislature passed Senate Bill 129 on an emergency basis. Since it is an emergency bill, it takes effect immediately and does not need approval by the Governor. It outlaws fusion in federal elections. It also codifies the court decision Maryland Green Party v Bd. of Elections. That decision, issued in 2003, struck down the need for qualified minor parties to submit petitions for their nominees, and was a great ballot access victory.

Although Maryland has outlawed fusion in state elections for decades, a loophole in the law seemed to permit fusion for congressional and presidential elections. That loophole is now closed.

Although it is disappointing that federal fusion no longer exists in Maryland, the other part of the bill is beneficial. When a court strikes down a ballot access restriction, it is always useful to have the legislature then amend the law to reflect the court decision, to avoid confusion. In Pennsylvania, during the last 21 years, six different ballot access restrictions have been struck down by federal courts, and yet the Pennsylvania legislature has not amended the election code to reflect any of these decisions.

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