PA State Rep. Eugene Depasquale on why he introduced ballot access reform bill

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DePasquale’s proposal would make the number of signatures independent and third-party candidates need to get their names on the November ballot the same as what is required of the Republican and Democratic parties.

Currently, a third-party candidate for governor must get the number of signatures equal to 2 percent of the turnout of the previous gubernatorial election. That number can change with each election — in 2006 it was 26,000 signatures and in 2010 it was 20,000. But it’s always much higher than the 2,000 signatures a Republican or

Democrat running for statewide office needs, said Stephen Baker, chairman of the Green Party of York County.

Similarly, DePasquale wants to see more voters have access to the primary elections where the slate of candidates for the general election is decided. His plan would allow independents to vote in the Republican or Democratic primaries, but not both…

And DePasquale’s proposal to reduce the number of signatures needed by third-party candidates is identical to the Voter’s Choice Act introduced in January by Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon. The Green Party has long sought the reforms contained in the Voter’s Choice Act, but party leaders have never let such a bill get out of committee.

However, Baker said this legislative session could be different.

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