LENOIR, (Dec. 26) – Two of the major Republican presidential hopefuls are learning what third party and independent candidates have known for years, that ballot access laws in most states are rigged against offering voters any real choices in primaries and on election day, said Jordon Greene, president of Free the Vote North Carolina in a statement issued today.
“If Newt Gingrich thinks it’s difficult to get on the Republican primary ballot in Virginia, he ought to try getting a new party or unaffiliated candidate on the ballot in North Carolina. Then he’d understand how the major parties limit voter choice by imposing restrictive ballot access laws.
“Speaker Gingrich said that only a ‘failed system’ excludes four out of the six major candidates and that ‘voters deserve the right to vote for any top contender.’ He’s absolutely right. It is a failed system which limits voter choice in any way. But as a historian, he should also know that what he called a ‘cumbersome’ process is working exactly as his own Republican Party – operating with the full cooperation of the Democratic Party – have designed it.
“Texas Gov. Rick Perry also failed to qualify for the primary. That’s poetic justice, since he’s one of only two governors to veto a ballot access reform bill in the last 60 years. In May 2003, Perry vetoed a bill to abolish the need for petitioners to read a 93-word statement to every voter they approach, according to Ballot Access News. So it’s disingenuous for him to say he’d ‘review the facts’ and possibly ‘challenge’ the decision – by his own party.
“Now that they know first-hand how restrictive ballot access laws are, perhaps Speaker Gingrich and Governor Perry will join the effort to reform these laws and restore competition and true free choice to our elections.”