Alabama Ballot Access Bill Has Hearing Today

Ballot Access News:

The Alabama Senate Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics & Elections Committee will hear SB 17 on March 8, Tuesday. This is the bill by Senator Cam Ward to lower the number of signatures for independent candidates (for office other than President) from 3% of the last gubernatorial vote, to 1.5%. Senator Ward is working on amending the bill so it makes the same change for minor party candidates, at least for statewide offices and U.S. House.

Currently, Alabama is the only state in which the easier petition method (either independent, or new party) for getting onto the November ballot, for non-presidential statewide office, is harder than 2% of the last vote cast. The existing 3% requirement was passed in 1995. Before then, it had been 1% of the last gubernatorial vote. The legislature tripled the requirement because it was angry that a Patriot Party candidate for partisan county office had been elected, even though he was a “sore loser.” Of course, if the legislature had been angry about a sore loser, the more rational response would have been to outlaw sore losers, instead of punishing all independent and minor party candidates. The Patriot Party candidate who was elected in 1994, even though he had lost the Democratic primary, was William Roberson, elected to the Greene County Commission.

8 thoughts on “Alabama Ballot Access Bill Has Hearing Today

  1. paulie Post author

    If you want to discuss a specific project, I’m in Alabama now. 415-690-6352, call in the next half hour or so or tomorrow during the day.

  2. paulie Post author


    There’s no set price. I’m giving you an honest answer, not a runaround.

    A lot of it depends on what is going on at the same time, because you are bidding for petitioners against whatever else they may be doing.

    How many signatures are needed? Is it a gerrymandered district? Is it geographically spread out? Are there any good sized towns? Are they entirely in the district or split? Are you or whoever needs signatures ready to start right now?

    Lots of factors involved.

    It can be $1. It can be $5 or even more sometimes. I’ve seen over $20 a signature in some circumstances. That is not the norm, and those signatures are ones which are very hard to get – for example, against a “living wage” ordinance in a very “progressive” area with organized opposition following you around asking people not to sign, a high signature requirement in relation to the population after it is already “burned out”, gerrymandered district, few public locations with good foot traffic, etc.

    When the price goes higher there’s usually a good reason for it.

    Same for when it goes lower.

    $1 is too low for most campaigns nowadays, I usually don’t even bother with that.

    To give you an example, the last few statewides I have done for the LP paid either 1.50 plus all expenses or 2.25 and no expenses per signature.

    Local petitions limited to a district usually have to pay more.

    If there’s a lot of work going on at the same time you have to pay more. ETC.

    When I say there is no set price, I mean there is no set price.

    When I say it varies widely, I mean it varies widely.

    When I say there are a lot of different factors that go into determining the price, I mean exactly that.

    I’m not trying to bullshit you one little bit.

    If you or someone want(s) to get on the ballot, give me a call and let’s talk specifics.

    If you are looking for a job, I don’t have one at the moment, but we can talk about that again later.

  3. paulie Post author

    If it is five Milnes and I need a job !

    Milnes doesn’t want a job. He’s too depressed.

    It can be five, but not very often, and when it goes that high there’s usually a good reason. It probably means you will not be able to get as many signatures due to a variety of factors.

  4. Pingback: Birmingham News Editorializes in Favor of Alabama Ballot Access Bill | Independent Political Report

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