Thursday, March 01, 2012

Redistricting settlements change ballot access for minor parties, indy candidates

With the maps settled, there are numerous developments regarding the timing of Texas primary elections, who is eligible to run, and what requirements and stipulations are changing. But to me, this is the most remarkable development, if these interpretations are clear (and yes, legal translations are still to come).

On February 29, the Texas Republican Party and Texas Democratic Party submitted a joint proposal to the 3-judge U.S. District Court that is hearing the redistricting case. The two parties advocate these policies for minor party and independent candidate ballot access for 2012:

1. Petitions for newly-qualifying parties, and for independent candidates for President, and independent candidates for all other office, will be due June 29.

2. No primary screen-out will exist in 2012 for these petitions.

These ideas represent a huge improvement for ballot access compared to the statutory law.

Michael Li with more:

The order also addressed independent candidates by changing the deadline for such candidates to file applications for a spot on the ballot to June 29, 2012 and waiving provisions of the Texas Election Code that invalidated signatures collected for independent candidates if they were collected before the date of the Texas primary.

Here is a copy of the order. Jim Riley's comment has elaboration.

This opens a new world of possibility for third parties, their candidates, and independents (which, if you have been following me lately, is my new cause). More parties, more choices, more democracy. Anything that threatens the old way of doing things is something I am all in favor of.

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