Ian Gilyeat (IND-AZ): Update on Bill to Change Signature Requirements

An e-mail from Ian Gilyeat:

As is always the case, your calling and email efforts are effective…

This past Saturday Representative Eddie Farnsworth called me.  We had a very productive call and spoke for nearly thirty minutes.  You will remember in my last note, sent on January 31st, I had been trying to obtain a response from Representative Farnsworth since January 10th on the issue of changing signature requirements and eliminating the cost barrier for access to voter registration rolls for Independent candidates…

It turns out, Representative Farnsworth had been responsive – there was simply no conversation between us to let me know that he had already made contact with the Secretary of State’s office to pursue the issue.

So what’s the status as of today?  No change yet and no bill – but Representative Farnsworth will continue to work on it with the Secretary of State and your County Supervisor of Elections.

Based on my conversation with Eddie, it is clear it will take some time to find language that will be supported by the Secretary of State, the major parties and the County Supervisors of Elections.  This means it’s unlikely that a bill will be sponsored in this session – unless of course your local representative is willing to do so.

In order to move this forward we will need to demonstrate broad support across the state – so please contact the Secretary of State (click here), your local County Supervisor of Elections (click here) and your local legislative representative (click here).

Changing the political climate in Arizona will only happen when we break the grip of the major parties and return more power to the people of this state.  This includes improving how Independents get on the ballot.  “Independents” – those voters not registered in a party – are now the second largest body of registered voters in Arizona (click here for actual counts) and may soon be the largest.  This means we must change existing laws that substantially block Independents from getting on the ballot.  A 3% signature requirement and a “pay for access” requirement vs. 1/2 of 1% and free access for party candidates effectively create barriers to entry and prevent Independents from being on the ballot.

If you haven’t already contacted Representative Farnsworth, please do so (602) 926-5735 or efarnsworth@azleg.gov.  If you have please contact the Secretary of State, your Country Supervisor of Elections and your local representative.

Many thanks again for your hard work and support.  Eliminating these two barriers will fundamentally improve the political experience in Arizona and align the candidate selection process with the voice of the people.

Ian Gilyeat
Gilbert, Arizona

2 thoughts on “Ian Gilyeat (IND-AZ): Update on Bill to Change Signature Requirements

  1. Richard Winger

    I agree with the thoughts expressed above, but the signature requirement for independent candidates in Arizona is approximately 1% of the number of registered voters. The formula is 3% of the number of registered independents, but any registered voter can sign, whether they are members of a party or independents.

    The signature requirement is still too high, but it isn’t as bad as the post makes it seem.

  2. Robert Winn

    It is worse than the post makes it seem. A political party is an organized faction of voters the way the National Socialists were an organized faction in Germany. It is easier for a group like Ernst Roehm and the Brownshirts to get signatures than it is for an individual independent voter.

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