Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lack of Ballot Access Criticized

Advocates say major changes are needed to the Commonwealth's election code to level the playing field for third party and independent candidates. The call comes after all five third-party candidates for statewide office withdrew from the
November ballot.
Each faced petition challenges and cited fears that losing in court could saddle them with tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. Among them was Marakay Rogers, who was a Libertarian candidate for governor until the G-O-P disputed her petitions.
Rogers was part of a group who gathered in the state Capitol Rotunda to push for passage of the so-called "Voter's Choice Act" from State Senator Mike Folmer.
It would eliminate a formula that often requires third-party
candidates to secure thousands more petition signatures than major party
candidates. Folmer's measure would also lower the bar for what constitutes a "minor party." The bill has been sitting in the Senate State Government Committee for a year and a-half.
Bonita Hoke, executive director of the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters, says her group wants to see more even and fair ballot access in Pennsylvania.

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