One of the key areas that is getting a lot of good press this election cycle is the ridiculous ballot hurdles that third parties have to face. Major newspapers like North Carolina’s News & Observer are starting to pick up the groundswell of discontent among voters disillusioned by the two parties and the chokehold they’ve placed on the competition:
If you’re a political party, you’ll first have to gather 69,734 petition signatures and get them validated. Roughly one-third of all petition signatures are tossed out by the board of elections, so you’ll be shooting for about 105,000, or one for every 73 people in the state.
To get there, you’ll have to hire professional petitioners (no third party has ever done it without them), and you’ll probably have to get big funding from out of state. If you’re as efficient as the Libertarian Party of North Carolina, maybe you can do it in nine months at a cost of $100,000.
Good luck in the election! But remember, if your party doesn’t pull down 10 percent of the vote for governor or president, you’ll be starting all over in the next election cycle. Don’t you wish you had that $100,000 for advertising now?
[…] The legislature should let go its stranglehold on elections. The N.C. Open Elections Coalition, a group of third parties and electoral reform groups, is asking the Senate to pass House Bill 88 in the form it passed two House committees last year.
Our elected officials should make it easier, not harder, for the citizens to get involved in their government. Third parties believe their viewpoints are vital to the healthy functioning of our state and our democratic system. You don’t have to agree with them on that point to believe that fairness demands better ballot access laws.
It’s great to see we’re making inroads to ballot reform in the third worst state for third parties (sign their petition online if you agree). That says a lot about Libertarian and other third parties’ efforts to make electing someone other than the same-old blue or red guy more of a reality. Because it’s $100k thrown out the ballot access window instead of being spent on advertising. Third parties need all the dollars they have access to in order to run ads and mount a newsworthy campaign, and this kind of press critical of that barrier is very effective in dismantling those hurdles.,