- Posted January 17, 2014 by
Palm City, Florida
This iReport is part of an assignment:
2 Party System Monopoly
Wait....didn't you know there are states that limit Political Parties to just Democrats and Republicans?!?!?
The biggest obstacle to new (AKA Third) parties are the very state election laws set in place by the Republican and Democrat legislators. Ohio recently passed a bill in their Senate that only allows Republicans and Democrats to appear on a ballot.
In Virginia, the law reads, "Virginia recognizes only two political parties: Democrats and Republicans. All other party organizations are required to register as Political Action Committees."
Oklahoma requires 57,000+ signatures on petitions (70,000 for margin of error) signed in the county of the voter's registration, that must be gathered within one year. BUT... (you knew that was coming) petitions cannot be signed on even numbered years between March 1st and November 15th. Not receiving a 10% popular state vote for a statewide candidate (Attorney General, Governor, President) removes the recognized party status. BUT (you knew that was coming, too), the candidate filings with a party nomination is done at the end of odd numbered years, meaning the petition must be signed in 6 months or less to allow review of the petition signatures and to file candidates.
New Mexico grants 30 days to gather 4,500 petition signatures, to be signed in the county of the voter's residence (meaning 5,500 for margin of error). Failure to meet this voids the Party filing.
These are just a few samples of the reasons Third Parties are not as strong as they should be/could be.
What the Republicans and Democrats did not count on was a party formed by the very people that live to remove any and all obstacles that stand in the way of their objective. Each and every State Chair, rather than feeling dejected, has come away from the legal review energized, already formulating a strategic outlook to develop a tactical plan.
We will not hold back. Once in office, these laws will start being repealed. It is unthinkable that elected officials and the parties that represent them would violate the public trust and basically remove viable options for American voters.