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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Free & Equal Elections West Virginia Ballot Access Bill Signed into Law

Bill Reduces Signature Requirements for Independent and Third Party Candidates Read More at

Almost a month since the West Virginia Legislature passed an improved ballot access bill, Governor Joe Manchin signed HB 2981 into law on May 8th, lowering the signature requirements to place Independent and Third Party candidates on the ballot.The new law lowers the petition signature requirement from 2% of the last vote cast, to 1%. In addition, the law moves the non-presidential petition deadline from May to August, so that it now matches the presidential petition deadline.Free & Equal applauds the West Virginia Legislator and Governor Manchin for putting aside partisan struggles and passing a law that significantly reduces the hurdles that Independent and Third Party candidates must jump through to place their names on the ballot.This law is the most significant ballot access improvement that has been enacted so far this year. Now that the law has been signed by the Governor, the only states that will have no procedure for a minor party or independent presidential candidate to get on the ballot -that is at or below 2% of the last vote cast in a midterm year- will be North Carolina and Oklahoma.OK HB 1072 is currently in a conference committee in Oklahoma, and Free & Equal will continue to monitor its progress. Free & Equal also plans to help introduce an appropriations-related ballot access bill in North Carolina for the 2010 legislative session.

Free & Equal Elections is a non partisan organization dedicated to eliminating restrictive ballot access laws that target Independent and Third-Party Candidates.Free & Equal will challenge these laws, through lobbying of state legislators, court challenges, and initiatives.

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