Magazine article Politics Magazine

Still Time to Get on the Ballot ... If You Can

Magazine article Politics Magazine

Still Time to Get on the Ballot ... If You Can

Article excerpt

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has said he'll make a final decision this month about a presidential run. But even if he opts out, there are plenty of other independents likely to run. Ralph Nader may yet hop in. The Constitution Party, with ballot access in 16 states, plans to nominate someone. And the Libertarian Party has fielded a candidate every cycle since 1980.

Anybody running outside the two-party system, however, "faces a daunting task in navigating the varied and sometimes Byzantine procedures required by each state," according to a report by the Reform Institute, an independent-leaning think tank.

Here's the deal. Take 50 states, 50 deadlines, and 50 sets of requirements for getting voters' signatures. (You'll need 158,372 John Hancock's in California but just 1,000 in Arkansas.) Double the signatures the law says you need; about half will probably be ruled ineligible because the signer wasn't a registered voter or in-state resident.

And if you're a third-party candidate? Better hope your party did well last cycle; some states raise the signature bar for low-performing parties or for third-party candidates in general. In Ohio, for example, an independent needs 5,000 signatures compared to 20,114 for a third-party candidate.

"It's not an impossible process, but it is more expensive the later you wait because you have to pay more to people who gather signatures," says Richard Winger, editor of the newsletter Ballot Access News. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.