The Pittsburgh Tribune Review examines Pennsylvania’s draconian ballot access laws and the hoops and hurdles that block the path of allowing trans-partisan politics to become reality in America:
Making ballot access extremely difficult for their competitors ensures that the duopoly seldom is challenged. The race for governor between Gov. Ed Rendell and Lynn Swann, his Republican opponent — two miserable choices for governor — probably will not include independent candidate Russ Diamond.
To be on this year’s ballot Mr. Diamond needs more than 100,000 signatures on his petitions to ensure that there will be roughly 67,000 valid ones mandated by the state law.
Rendell and Swann each need to collect 2,000 signatures to be on the ballot. Diamond believes he can get the 100,000 by the Aug. 1 deadline even though he now has only about 5,000.
“It is draconian,” Diamond says. “It’s really high.”
Two miserable choices… that about sums it up. What’s awesome is that more libertarians are focusing on the biggest roadblock to election reforms: these stupid ballot discrimination practices. Lawsuits like this one are a major step towards that goal. If we can at the very least level the playing-field with the entrenched duopoly, we might have a better fighting chance at using our resources for advertising and actual campaigning, not just on getting on the ballot and then burning out our volunteers.
Oddly enough, I’ve been getting near daily emails from the Diamond campaign with loads of activity and have failed in my own duty to cover him (he’s running as an Independent, but from glossing over his surprisingly good-looking website, he’s a good choice for anyone looking for a real alternative in Pennsylvania). If he can get past this incredible hurdle of 100,000 signatures, his leadership in PACleanSweep should make him quite a formidable candidate.