Category Archives: Third parties, general

Canada holds four party debate, UK seven, GOP ten candidates… CoPD still stuck on only two


As Ballot Access News reports,

This newspaper describes the Canadian four-party debate of August 6. The consensus seems to be that the leaders of all four parties did well. Also see this story.


The Republican presidential debate on the evening of August 6 had ten candidates. It lasted two hours.

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Ohio SOS threatens to not put Trump on the ballot if he runs independent

Ballot Access News:

Ohio has had a sore loser law since before 1958. It says, “3513.04: No person who seeks party nomination for an office or position at a primary election by declaration of candidacy shall be permitted to become a candidate at the following general election for any office by nominating petition, including a nomination petition filed under 3517.012.”

On August 7, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted told the press that this means Donald Trump cannot possibly get on the November 2016 ballot as a presidential candidate (unless he is the Republican nominee) because at the August 6 debate he “declared his candidacy” for the Republican nomination.

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Level the Playing Field on more inclusive Presidential Debates; duopolist warns of “dangerous” candidates being included


Ballot Access News:

Level the Playing Field, which supports opening up the general election presidential debates to more candidates, has issued this press release. It points out that if the 15% polling rule were applied to the August 6, 2015 Republican presidential debate, only one candidate, Donald Trump, would qualify.

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Darryl W. Perry: Debate on Debates Continues

From Darryl W. Perry at Free Press Publications:

The first presidential candidate debates are right around the corner, and the large number of GOP candidates has inadvertently helped supporters of minor party and independent candidates in the debate on debates. Because there are currently 17 candidates seeking the Republican Presidential nomination, Fox News will hold two debates on August 6.… Read more ...

Free & Equal Announces Speakers for 2nd Annual Electoral Reform Symposium

From a Free and Equal Elections Foundation email blast:

The second annual Electoral Reform Symposium will take place at Infinity Park in Glendale, CO on Saturday, November 14th, 2015 from 9AM-4PM MT and will be broadcast worldwide via The event is hosted by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation.… Read more ...

Richard Winger: 2 Ways California Could Expand Voter Choice in Elections

From Richard Winger at Independent Voter Network, reprinted here with permission from the author:

California’s existing election system for Congress and state office could be improved with the following ideas.

The problem with the status quo is that ever since it went into effect in 2011, there has been very limited choice on the November ballot.… Read more ...

Opposition News Article on Cooperative Ballot Access Efforts in Oklahoma and South Dakota

Ballot access laws by state. The darker the color, the more difficult for opposition parties to run for office. Image courtesy of Mother Jones.

Mark Wachtler has this article at Opposition News detailing two instances of the Libertarian Party teaming up with one of its fellow minor parties for the purposes of ballot access:

Libertarians, Greens, Constitutionals join forces in SD, OK

By Mark Wachtler

July 31, 2015.… Read more ...

Philadelphia Inquirer backs judge’s ruling on Pennsylvania ballot law

ballotaccessIn an editorial this morning The Philadelphia Inquirer writes that “fortunately, the federal courts have finally taken aim at one egregious aspect of the two-party stranglehold in Pennsylvania: the absurd procedural and monetary barriers preventing third-party candidates from even appearing on the ballot. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Stengel ruled last week that by requiring minor-party candidates to collect far more signatures than Democrats and Republicans, and to defend them in court at often prohibitive costs, Pennsylvania’s election laws violate the First Amendment right to free association.”

The Inquirer says Pennsylvania “is the only state where the signatures must be verified by judges,” which “has allowed the major parties to mount costly legal challenges to any candidate who dares challenge their duopoly.” In 2014, Pennsylvania “was one of only four states with no third-party candidates on the statewide ballot.” The newspaper says that rather than challenging the ruling, the administration of Democratic Gov.… Read more ...

Sanders rules out third-party presidential run

During an appearance before the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders ruled out a third-party or independent presidential run if he fails to win the Democratic nomination. He said, “I made the promise that I would not and I will keep that promise. And the reason for that is I do not want to be responsible for electing some right-wing Republican to be president of the United States.”

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Legislative Hearing Set for Pennsylvania Ballot Access Bill

Mike Folmer

From Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:

The Pennsylvania Senate State Government will hold a hearing on SB 495 on Tuesday, September 22, at 9 am. This is the bill that eases ballot access for minor parties and independent candidates. The author of the bill, Senator Mike Folmer, is also chair of the Committee.… Read more ...

Green Party Hails Federal Court Ruling Concerning Pennsylvania’s Restrictive Ballot Access

The Green Party of Pennsylvania applauds Friday’s Federal Court ruling which has declared Pennsylvania’s restrictive ballot access procedures as unconstitutional. The July 24, Order by US District Judge, Lawrence Stengel takes aim at the restrictive, two-tiered scheme of forcing a disproportionate number of voter signatures, compared to the requirement for major parties; and the threat or imposition of litigation costs and fees on candidates whose nominating petitions are challenged successfully.… Read more ...

Presidential Debate News Summarizes Recent TV Public Affairs Shows that Have had Segments on General Election Presidential Debates


Ballot Access News:

This article from Presidential Debate News summarizes what has been said on several important television public affairs programs recently, about the Commission on Presidential Debates and its exclusionary rule on who gets invited to debate.

See also: CPD wall starting to crack?, my summary of several indicators that the CPD’s exclusion of non-duopoly candidates is becoming a bigger issue in the public mind, which was picked up by LP national facebook and shared close to a thousand different places on facebook so far.… Read more ...