The following is an excerpt of an Oct. 19, 2000 letter from Christopher M. Thomas, director of elections in the Michigan Department of State, explaining why a Reform Party nominee for president did not appear on the November 7 ballot.  The Buchanan campaign was very unhappy about being kept off the ballot in Michigan.  In addition to pursuing the matter in the courts, as outlined below, the campaign also ran a radio ad attacking Sec. of State Candice Miller in mid-September 2000. 

...the Secretary of State received two different documents which purport to certify the Reform Party's nominees for the office of President and Vice President.  The first document, signed by Mark Forton, Chairperson, and Tracey DeNise, Secretary, certifies Patrick J. Buchanan as the party's nominee for President and Ezola Foster as the party's nominee for Vice President; the second document, signed by Diane McKelvey, Chairperson, and Eleanor Renfrew, Secretary, nominates John Hagelin as the party's nominee for President and Nat Goldhaber as the party's nominee for vice President.  Both documents were executed on August 13, 2000; both documents were also accompanied by a list of 18 presidential electors which, when compared, appear to correspond with the exception of the two "at large" electors.

...the conflicting certifications stem from an intra-party disagreement over who serves as the rightful officers of the Reform Party of Michigan. As state officials, we are bound by the opinions of the Michigan Supreme Court.  In 1976, an identical split occurred in the American Independent Party.  The matter was resolved by the Michigan Supreme Court which held that the state should not determine the outcome of intra-party squabbles.  Those decisions should be left to the political parties to resolve.  Secretary of State Candice Miller believed that we had an opportunity to avoid the same outcome with Reform Party.  She directed the Bureau of Elections to make inquiry of the two factions to see if there was any clear indication of which faction had the proper claim as Chair and Secretary of the party.  Unfortunately, the responses received from the two factions placed us in the same position held by our predecessors in 1976.

Michigan Election Law requires that the candidates for President and Vice President by certified to the Secretary of State by the Reform Party's Chairperson and Secretary.  As indicated above, we received two such certifications.  After an unsuccessful attempt to find clarity within the Reform Party, we determined that we were unable to conclude which faction should prevail.

Our decision was thoroughly considered by the court systems of the State of Michigan and of the United States of America.  From the very first court, Ingham County Circuit Court, every single court upheld our determination.  The courts which upheld the Secretary of State were: Ingham County Circuit Court (twice), Michigan Court of Appeals (twice), Michigan Supreme Court, U.S. District Court, U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and finally, Justice John Paul Stevens on behalf of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In America no one is above the law.  This includes elected officials, election administrators, candidates and political parties.  We made our decision; Mr. Buchanan challenged that decision in every possible court and we prevailed.  That brings this matter to an end.