The two major party candidates for president, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, will not appear on the election ballot in Texas this year.
That is, of course, unless Texas ignores the clear violation of the law by both parties. The relevant section of the Texas code can be found here.
Texas, with 34 electoral college votes, is a dependable Republican state and is crucial to McCain's chances to be elected president. (This may be embarrassing for Obama but it is not nearly so consequential.)
Libertarian candidate Bob Barr is the only presidential candidate whose name will be on Texas ballot this year, according to the Texas secretary of state. His was the only campaign that fully complied with the law by submitting a sufficient number of petition signatures by the statutory filing deadline.
Richard Winger reports in Ballot Access News:
Since the major parties do not even obey their own rules (Democrats, for example, seated the Florida and Michigan delegations at this year's convention even though both states ostentatiously flouted the party's rules about holding early primaries), they will probably find some compliant judge to allow their candidates on the ballot.
Section 192.031 of the Texas election code says that political parties must certify their presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the November ballot no later than 70 days before the general election. It says, “A political party is entitled to have the names of its nominees for president and vice-president placed on the ballot if before 5 p.m. of the 70th day before presidential election day, the party’s state chair signs and delivers to the secretary of state a written certification of the name’s of the party’s nominees for president and vice-president.”
This year, that deadline is August 26. UPDATE: At 2:30 pm Texas time, August 27, Kim Kizer of the Texas Secretary of State’s elections division says neither major party’s certification has been received in the Elections Division. The Executive Office of the Secretary of State refers all questions back to the Elections Division.
This year, neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party obeyed this law. See this link to the Secretary of State’s web page showing a blank for the Republicans and Democrats for president. It does show Bob Barr on the ballot; scroll down a little bit. If the Republicans have indeed filed, one wonders who they listed for vice-president, and why their filing is missing from the state web page.
Of course, when a minor party misses a deadline like this, the Democrats and Republicans insist on strict adherence to the law. Republicans and Democrats write the laws, then maneuver themselves into exemption; all others must obey.