Have any of you ever realized that in many states, likely your own, that voters are only presented or allowed to choose from two or three candidates instead of the six, eight or ten that are out their vying for support and advocating issues that often times the two major parties avoid?
Ballot Access law in many states unduly and unconstitutionally restrict access to the election ballot to those candidates (typically only minor party or independent candidates) who cannot obtain the hugely unreasonable signature counts that the state requires. Often times to obtain the needed signatures parties or candidates have to pay professional petitioners $1 to $2 per signatures costing thousands of dollars, when the campaigns are low on funds as it is since they are minor parties, preventing them from gaining access or having the impact they otherwise could have had.
For example in my home state of North Carolina, new political parties are required to obtain signatures equal to 2% of the number of votes cast for Governor in the last Gubernatorial Election, so for a new political party to get on the ballot in either 2010 or 2012, they have to obtain 85,379 signatures within about a 3.5 year time span. This is equal to approximately 67 signatures per day, every day, counting weekdays and holidays, no exception, for approximately 1,233 days straight non-stop. In 2008, the Libertarian Party of NC gained access to the ballot, by meeting the previous signatures requirement of over 65,000 signatures, but it cost them over $100,000 in petitioner fees, not to count the in excess of $100,000 additional fees in legal challenges all just to present the voters with another choice.
This is about the right to vote. When the state artificially limits the choices a voter has, they are essentially taking away their right to vote by forcing them to choose from one of two (or three) candidates when their are other candidates running. In my case, I wished to vote for the 2008 Constitution Party nominee for President Dr. Chuck Baldwin, but due to NC's restrictive ballots laws, he was not on the ballot, therefore I was unable to exercise my right to vote because the state denied me that right. And, North Carolina doesn't even have the most restrictive laws in the nation, when you compare them to the likes of Texas, Georgia and Oklahoma.
So what do you all think about this problem?
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