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.'"