Finally, A Democrat Gets It on Ballot Access

Ed Packard, the Democrat that Alabama Libertarians have been endorsing like crazy, just wrote a pretty good piece on ballot access here. I’ll disagree on this point, but feel that it is an incremental change in the right direction:

I’m not saying the Legislature should abolish the signature requirements altogether. I do believe that smaller or newer political parties should meet some reasonable qualifications before being given access to the ballot.

The rest of the article is great, though. Here’s one example:

By comparison, in Texas, an independent candidate for governor has to submit a petition with approximately 45,000 signatures. Texas’ requirement is not much higher than Alabama’s, despite Texas having a substantially larger population and more voters!

He gets it. As long as no Libertarian runs against him, he has my vote. Even if one does, Packard still has my vote in the primary.

posted by Stephen Gordon
  • undercover_anarchist

    I think that signature requirements are acceptable–so long as they’re reasonable. In my state, you have to collect 30,000 signatures in order to become a ballot qualified party. In order to maintain that status, you have to get a ridiculously low number of votes for your top candidate (i.e. president, governor, or whoever is on top of the ballot–the required number of votes = 1% of the total votes cast for the winning candidate for secretary of state in the most recent election). My point is, that the 30,000 may be excessive–however, once it is achieved, the party then can fill all the slots it wants with nominal, lame candidates. I think a better system would require a fewer number of signatures (or none at all) to establish the party, but a nominal number of signatures for each candidate (Repubs and Dems alike–actually, they DO have to collect signatures to make on the primary ballot in my state) in order to establish a little more credibility for the third party candidate.

  • http://makemarijuanalegal.com Cris Ericson

    In Florida, if a candidate does not get the required number of signatures on time, her political party can just pay to have her name on the ballot, something like 6% of the annual pay for the office she’s running for.

    Has anyone made a list of states that allow candidates to pay to get on the ballot and how much?;
    and has anyone made a list of states
    to show the least number of signatures required to the states with the highest number of sigs required?

  • http://www.randomactofkindness.com Jeff Trigg

    It is harder for an independent candidate to run for the General Assembly in Illinois than it is in any other election jurisdiction IN THE WORLD.

    In Illinois, to run candidates for Statewide Constitution offices, US House, State Senate, and State House in 2006, a third party would need about 610,000 valid signatures. In 90 days. Throw in County partisan races and a third party would need about 4 million valid signatures in 90 days.

    Meanwhile, Rs and Ds can “slate” candidates without getting any signatures or paying any fees. And they just put about 25 General Assembly candidates on the ballot with that method without a single petition signature. And still more than 40% of those races are unopposed.

    Cris, check out ballot-access.org I don’t know if he has a list up but I do know he has all the info.
    The Reform Institute has some info also on Presidential ballot access.
    http://www.reforminstitute.org/