|Posted:||January 23, 2015 10:59 AM|
|From:||Senator Mike Folmer|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Reintroduction of the Voters' Choice Act|
|I plan to reintroduce my “Voters’ Choice Act” to eliminate unfair hurdles to ballot access for minor party and independent candidates. This measure was previously Senate Bill 195 cosponsored by Senators Folmer, Teplitz, Ferlo, Boscola, Baker, Williams, Yudichak, Blake, Dinniman, Ward, and Vance.
No state makes it more difficult for minor party and independent candidates to run for public office than Pennsylvania; current law can require them to collect as many as 34 times the number of signatures as the major party candidates.
To appear on the November ballot for any office in a given district, minor party and independent candidates must submit a minimum number of valid signatures equal to two percent (2%) of the largest vote cast for an elected candidate in the previous statewide election. Meanwhile, major party candidates automatically qualify for the November ballot with no signature threshold – they collect signatures only to appear in the Primary Election (minor party or independent candidates do not participate in Primary Elections).
During the 2014 gubernatorial election, Republican and Democratic candidates for Governor were required to collect 2,000 voter signatures to appear on the Primary Election ballot (1,000 signatures for Lieutenant Governor). Meanwhile, minor party and independent candidates were required to submit 16,639 signatures.
During that same election cycle, independent and third party candidates needed:
Introduced as SB495