A federal judge on Tuesday upheld stricter ballot standards for political parties, dealing a blow to the Working Families Party and the SAM Party's efforts to challenge the measure.
The new law, which had been paired with the creation of a system of publicly financed campaigns in the state, requires parties to receive at least 130,000 votes at the top of its ticket or 2% of all votes cast. The previous threshold was 50,000 votes for gubernatorial candidates.
The provision is expected to make it harder for smaller ballot lines like the WFP and SAM to maintain its ballot status in subsequent election cycles.
U.S. District Court Judge John Koeltl in the ruling found the WFP's challenge "failed to demonstrate the likelihood of success on the merits of their claims that the New York Election Law provisions at issue are unconstitutional as applied to them, the WFP plaintiffs have failed to make the much higher showing required to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of their facial challenge."
At the same time, Koeltl found the threshold "is not so disproportionate or unreasonable as to be unconstitutional."
The inclusion of the ballot status provision was seen by the WFP as a measure of payback after the party endorsed Cynthia Nixon in the 2018 Democratic primary.