Third Party Ballot Access Gets Easier
Under the new guidelines, the number of petition signatures is capped at 5,000 signatures. This is a large decrease from the old requirement that was set at 2% of the vote total of the top vote getter in the last general election.
The settlement also ends the practice of having third parties pay for legal challenges to their petitions, which often cost in the thousands of dollars.
Both the Green Party of Pennsylvania and Libertarian Party Senate candidate Dale Kerns hailed the decision.
“This is a day that, not only our adversaries, but also our friends, never thought we’d see. It also shows that folks of varied political views can come together for the betterment of all,” 2006 Green Party Senate candidate Carl Romanelli told the Associated Press.
“If I’m not spending months on end trying to fight to get on the ballot, well then we can spend all of our time campaigning and talking about the ideas with voters and debating with each other, so that the election is actually what it’s supposed to be,” Kerns said.
The settlement does not apply to Congressional candidates though, meaning third party candidates would need to get enough signatures to match 2% of the districts winner in the last general election.