Monday, June 12, 2006

Pending bill -- drop the state-wide signature requirement to more realistic levels

INSIDE THE CAPITOL: "Rep. Paul Clymer, R-Bucks, plans on introducing legislation that would lower the number of signatures required for third-party candidates to get on the November ballot. In a memo to lawmakers last week, Clymer said the law requires third-party candidates seeking a statewide office to obtain at least enough signatures to equal 2 percent of the most votes cast for any candidate in a statewide election. That sets the bar at 67,069 signatures. The number is based on 2 percent of the more than 3.3 million votes cast for state Treasurer Robert Casey Jr. in the 2004 election. Clymer proposed capping the signature requirement at 2 percent of the largest vote cast for any statewide candidate in the last election, or 45,000 signatures, whichever is less. He based the number 45,000 on the average statewide requirement for minor parties over the past 10 election cycles. Robert Small, founder of the Ballot Access Coalition, said the bar is still too high. 'While we appreciated Mr. Clymer working on it, the political reality is basically what we have right now are Cinderella candidates,' Small said. 'On Aug. 1, these candidates might be turning into pumpkins.'"


Anonymous said...

> refresh my memory many signatures must the Ds and Rs get?

To qualify for the general election: ZERO

To qualify for their own internal taxpayer funded party primary: 2,000

It's either "free & equal" or it's whatever they think they need to
protect their monopoly.

Thank you master Clymer for slightly fewer lashes.


Mark Rauterkus said...

>> Note from Russ: 45,000 is still way too many to be considered "free
> and equal" as required by the Constitution, but it's better than
> 67,000.

No it's not! No way!

Consider that usually the number of signatures required for statewide
offices is in the 20,000-25,000 range (except judges). That means 45,000
represents a DOUBLING of the requirement for those races! Even for
statewide judges' races, the number rarely exceeds 45,000.

The 67,000 number for 2006 is a fluke due to the combination of no
statewide judicial races in 2005 and Bob Casey's record-breaking vote
total in 2004. We can't let the legislature use this as an excuse to hold down third parties and independents more than they already do.

Russ: Please back off of your lukewarm support for this abomination of a
bill from a career hack! Doubling the signature requirement forever is
NOT better than 67,000, not by a longshot!

- Ken

P.S. Sorry for my protracted silence, but business and family matters
are taking up most all of my time these days.