By Mark Wachtler
July 31, 2015. Oklahoma City, OK. (ONN) The three largest opposition political parties in America have joined forces in two different states to overcome the rigged ballot access requirements they collectively face. In Oklahoma, the Libertarian Party and Green Party have launched a joint petition drive. And in South Dakota, the Libertarian Party has joined the Constitution Party and the ACLU in a lawsuit to overturn the state’s new and more difficult ballot access deadline for opposition parties.
Ballot access laws by state. The darker the color, the more difficult for opposition parties to run for office. Image courtesy of Mother Jones.
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With Democrats or Republicans controlling every single Board of Elections office in America, it should be little surprise that the two establishment parties have rigged the country’s election system so that it’s nearly impossible for anyone other than a Democrat or Republican to run for elective office. As an example, in the state where Opposition News is located, Democrat and Republican candidates need only 500 petition signatures to run for Congress. Independents and opposition party candidates, however, need to submit 20,000 petition signatures to run against them. Welcome to America’s rigged election system.
In Oklahoma, the non-partisan grassroots organization Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform is spearheading a joint campaign with the state’s Greens and Libertarians to get both Parties qualified for the 2016 election ballot. ‘The Oklahoma Libertarian and Green parties will launch an unprecedented, joint petitioning campaign for the 2016 election ballot,’ the group’s press release announced, ‘Both parties now hope their newly formed alliance can take advantage of the state’s lowest petition signature requirement since 1974.’
It’s been 15 years since either Party had a Presidential candidate on the Oklahoma ballot under their actual ballot line. It was in that election that the Libertarian candidate Harry Browne topped the Party’s slate. In the same election, Ralph Nader was the Greens’ nominee. The result was the creation of the Green Party of Oklahoma out of a dozen independent local Green chapters.
‘We are proud to partner with the Green Party of Oklahoma in a campaign designed to boost the chances of both groups being recognized in 2016,’ the Oklahoma Libertarian Party statement touted, ‘By actively petitioning for both parties simultaneously we say to the world that while our two parties may differ in terms of political ideology, we are not afraid for those ideologies to compete in a fair and honest marketplace.’
A corresponding statement from the Oklahoma Green Party echoed a similar sentiment, ‘While Green and Libertarian positions on multiple issues vary widely, we also share valuable common ground. Our alliance with the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma in this ballot access petitioning effort sets the example of the kind of nonpartisan cooperation we would like to see more of in our local and national government. Getting both parties on the ballot in Oklahoma insures more views and voices are counted, and that all Oklahoma voters see their interests represented on the ballot.’
For more information, visit Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform.
In South Dakota, opposition parties are again teaming up to fight recent election law changes meant to make ballot access more difficult for third parties in the state. The ACLU has taken the lead and is suing South Dakota on behalf of the state’s Libertarian Party and Constitution Party affiliates. The new law reduces the amount of time the parties have to collect and submit petition signatures by a full month. Republicans and Democrats still have the full amount of time.
‘The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal lawsuit challenging a South Dakota law that moved the deadline for new political parties striving for a place on the 2016 ballot,’ an ACLU statement reads, ‘The lawsuit, filed on behalf of South Dakota's Libertarian Party and Constitution Party, challenges a section of the law that shifted the deadline for new parties to submit declarations to participate in primary elections backward by four weeks.’
Stephen Pevar, senior staff attorney for the ACLU explained, “South Dakota’s new deadline is anti-democratic. The new law makes it nearly impossible for anyone except the major parties to place party candidates on the ballot. The major parties have bent over backwards to unfairly squelch potential opponents.”
For more information, read the full ACLU announcement compliments of the Constitution Party.
Be sure to catch all the news and announcements from all three opposition parties streaming live 24/7 on the Opposition News home page. Also, view the Oklahoma Green Party and Constitution Party of South Dakota news streaming live on the Opposition News States pages. News feeds from the Libertarian Party’s affiliates in those two states aren’t currently available.
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