Friday, November 8, 2013

Third parties deserve access to ballot

06 November 2013

By Craig S. Swartz
Columbus Dispatch

"The Ohio legislature, with apparently nothing better to do, passed a bill this week making it extremely hard for minor parties to be placed on the general-election ballot. And Gov. John Kasich signed it into law.

The bill effectively forces minor parties, such as the Greens, Libertarians, Constitutionalists and Socialists, to gather thousands of signatures on petitions next year just for initial party formation and ballot access. After that, the restrictions become even more onerous. Nothing, of course, is asked of the Democrats and Republicans, who for decades have enjoyed automatic ballot access...."

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A six-member, Republican-controlled conference committee said Tuesday it will go beyond the one issue flagged last week that temporarily derailed the fast-tracked Senate Bill 193 to reinsert tougher signature thresholds, weakened last week in the House.

Lawmakers are taking advantage of a delay created by a bill-drafting error to toughen requirements for Libertarian, Green, and other minor parties to get on Ohio’s ballot.

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