Ballot Access News


Ballot Access News

Ballot Access News is a monthly newsletter edited and published by Richard Winger of San Francisco, California. Mr. Winger is a leading expert on ballot access law in the United States. Published since 1985 [http://www.votenader.org/issues/index.php?cid=112] , the newsletter advocates "fair and equitable ballot access laws." It reports on state and federal court decisions, compares American ballot access laws to those of other democratic nations, and documents the number of votes independent and minor party candidates receive. The newsletter also records the activities of the Coalition on Free and Open Elections [http://cofoe.org] , an interest group of minor party members and others working together on ballot access law reform issues. Further, the newsletter occasionally notes developments on the usage of instant-runoff voting in the United States.

American ballot access laws typically require independent and minor political party candidates to collect a certain number of petition signatures, often within a very limited time frame, in order to earn a place on the general election ballot. The exact burden of these regulations varies greatly from state to state, and depends on the office sought.

When ballot access restrictions are challenged in court, it is often argued that such regulations are necessary in order to prevent "frivolous" candidates from cluttering the ballot and confusing voters. Winger, however, has assembled evidence that unfair ballot access laws place an undue burden on citizens who wish to participate in the political process outside the two dominant political parties.

Various state election law reform organizations lobby for fair and equitable ballot access laws, including Friends of Democracy (Minnesota and the Dakotas) and the Voter Choice group (Georgia). Many of these organizations use Ballot Access News research to address state reforms.

External links

* [http://www.ballot-access.org/ Ballot Access News]
* [http://cofoe.org Coalition on Free and Open Elections]
* [http://rangevoting.org/BallAccess.html The Center for Range Voting]


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