Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) has introduced SB 17. It lowers the number of signatures for statewide independent candidates from 3% of the last gubernatorial vote, to 1.5% of the last gubernatorial vote. It makes no change to the procedures for new or previously unqualified parties. Also, it has no effect on the independent presidential candidate petition, which is already substantially easier than the procedures for independent candidates for other office. And it has no effect on independent candidates for district or county office.
Alabama and New Mexico are tied for having the most severe petition requirements for statewide non-presidential independent candidates. Those two states are the only two states in which the statewide independent non-presidential petition is greater than 2% of the last vote cast. Since Alabama set this requirement at 3% in 1995, no independent candidate for statewide office has ever used the requirement. Thanks to Joshua Cassity for the news.
In the BAN comments, Josh Cassity says
I have exchanged several emails with Sen. Ward. He has assured me that the bill will be amended to include minor/third parties and legislator races. There is some reluctance to include county races at this time. Sen. Ward is not opposed to county access but states the bill would lose some support doing so.
This is my first post on ballot access but I urge you all to work with Sen. Ward. With expected opposition from both duopolies, Sen. Ward has asked for support in lobbying the committee members. I will post this list shortly with phone numbers and emails.
Constitution party of Alabama
If anyone is interested in helping us lobby for this bill:
The 2011 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature shall commence at Noon, on the first Tuesday of March, 2011. A Regular Session may consist of no more than 30 Legislative Days within the framework of a 105-calendar day period.
Independent Alabama is planning on having a meeting soon, although no definite date has been set.