At the Examiner, Brian Irving reports on the SEIU’s petition drive to get the North Carolina First Party on the ballot this November, comparing it with previous efforts by the state’s Libertarian Party:
The State Employees Association of North Carolina is expressing its ire by trying to form a new political party. SEANC, and is parent group the Service Employees International Union, have hired 100 canvassers to collect the nearly 90,000 signatures needed to put the North Carolina First Party on the ballot in November. . . . The spark that ignited the campaign was the vote by Democratic U.S. Reps. Larry Kissell, Heath Shuler and Mike McIntyre against the health care bill . . .
Libertarians know just how difficult and expensive it is to get on the ballot. Barbara Howe, N.C. Libertarian Party chair said that she supports any group that wants to participate in the electoral process. “I will be interested to see if they can pull it off,” she said. “They may have the necessary financial resources to get the approximately 120,000 raw signatures they will need to meet North Carolina’s signature requirement.” . . .
While the Libertarians have gained ballot access in every election since 1996, it has come at an enormous financial and resource cost. The last ballot access drive Libertarians completed in 2008 take nearly three years and cost the party more than $130,000 and nearly 3,000 hours in volunteer time.