No Labels Group Secures Ballot Access in Maine for ‘Unity’ Presidential Ticket

No Labels Group Secures Ballot Access in Maine for ‘Unity’ Presidential Ticket

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The centrists aim to provide voters with a third-party alternative to President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

No Labels has secured a spot for its “unity” presidential ticket on Maine’s general election ballot, the group announced on Jan. 5.

The centrist group’s chosen candidates for president and vice president—yet to be announced—will now appear on the ballot in 13 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota and Utah.

Efforts are currently underway to secure ballot access in 14 others.

Qualification for the ballot in Maine legally requires a political party to meet the threshold of 5,000 registered party members by Jan. 2. As of Jan. 5, No Labels had registered 9,423 members.

“This milestone validates what has been clear for a long time, which is that the No Labels message and movement resonates with people across this great state,” said Justin Schair, No Labels Maine co-chair, in a statement.

No Labels, founded in 2009, started as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit dedicated to promoting centrist candidates that aligned with its focus on bipartisanship and “common sense.”

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Now, the group aims to establish itself as a political party to put forward an alternative to President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, the leading Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.

“The majority of us in the middle are hungry for a better choice in this next election and for unifying leadership in the White House that can heal our country’s divisions,” Mr. Schair said.

“Getting No Labels on the ballot in Maine brings us a big step closer to making this happen.”

No Labels’ efforts to get on the ballot in Maine sparked controversy last spring amid allegations the group had misled voters into enrolling in the new party.

In May, Maine’s Democrat Secretary of State Shenna Bellows reported that the state’s Division of Elections had received “numerous complaints” from voters who thought they were signing a petition to support the new party’s creation and later learned they were enrolled as members.

“Voters have the freedom to associate with the political party of their choice or no party at all,” Ms. Bellows said at the time.

“We were concerned after hearing reports of dozens of voters alleging they were unaware they had been enrolled in the No Labels Party and are working to ensure every voter understands their rights.”

No Labels, however, stressed that its petition circulators were instructed to make it clear to signers that they would be changing their party affiliation.

“I have been involved in voter access and registration drives for decades, and suggesting that a majority of Maine voters who signed up with No Labels did not know what they were doing is not true,” No Labels national co-chair Benjamin Franklin Chavis Jr. said.

News of No Labels’ approval in Maine coincided with a Jan. 5 court hearing for a legal dispute the party is fighting in Arizona.

Despite the No Labels’ declination to participate in any political races other than this year’s presidential contest, several candidates in the Grand Canyon State have filed to run for other offices under the No Labels Party.

Among them is a long-time Democrat, Richard Grayson, who openly admits that his bid to join the Arizona Corporation Commission is a stunt to force No Labels to disclose its donors.

Mr. Grayson, who supports President Biden, has likened his campaign to a “performance art piece.”

In a lawsuit filed on Oct. 19 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, attorneys for No Labels allege that Democrat Secretary of State Adrian Fontes has “taken actions to force No Labels Arizona to participate” in elections other than the presidential race by allowing candidates like Mr. Grayson to run under the party’s banner in primaries where the winner would be declared the No Labels nominee.

“No Labels Arizona may not be compelled under the Constitution and Arizona law to support, oppose, disavow, or otherwise participate in the election of candidates for offices it wants nothing to do with,” the party’s attorneys held, asking the court to block Mr. Fontes from forcing its participation in elections.

But at the hearing before U.S. District Judge John Tuchi, Kara Karlson, attorney for Mr. Fontes, argued that in becoming an official political party in Arizona, No Labels had opened the door for candidates to claim it as their affiliation.

“No Labels does not suffer harm if their own members vote in their own primaries for their own candidates,” Ms. Karlson said, per Courthouse News.

No Labels has yet to make a final decision on whether it will nominate a presidential ticket. It is expected to do so after the Super Tuesday primaries in March.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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