by Joe Guarino | The Greensboro Gaurdian
One piece of legislation in which I have acute interest is HB 794– the Voter Freedom Act. And there is some good news to report. The bill just passed its third reading in the North Carolina House of Representatives. That means it beat the “crossover deadline,” and is headed over to the North Carolina Senate for consideration.
The Voter Freedom Act would begin the process of fixing a longstanding inequity in the state of North Carolina. Currently, our state has enormous legal barriers erected that are designed to prevent participation by third parties in the political process.
by Jordon Greene & Brian Irving | Free the Vote NC
Yesterday, the House Election Committee took up HB794, Voter Freedom Act of 2013. During the meeting, the Committee decided to turn HB794 into a Study Bill due to some unanswered questions and concerns from some members. The altered bill, a Proposed Committee Substitute for HB794 which passed unanimously, now directs the Joint Elections Oversight Committee to study all issues covered by the original Voter Freedom Act of 2013, including ballot access requirements for political parties and unaffiliated candidates.
While this was not our hope and outlook for HB794 and ballot access reform at the time, upon the recommendation of HB794’s Primary Lead Sponsor Rep. Jason Saine, and faced with the political reality of the situation Free the Vote North Carolina agreed to the change.
by Richard Winger | Ballot Access News
On March 18, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed SB 690, which lowers the number of signatures for all presidential candidates (both presidential primary and general election) from 10,000 signatures to 5,000 signatures.
Indiana now has the most difficult mandatory presidential primary petition requirement in the nation. Indiana requires 4,500 signatures, with 500 signatures from each of the nine U.S. House districts. Although 4,500 is a lower number than 5,000, the Indiana requirement, as a percentage of the number of votes in the state, is higher than the equivalent percentage in Virginia. Also the Indiana distribution requirement is far more difficult than the Virginia distribution requirement. The Virginia distribution requirement is now 200 signatures from each of the eleven U.S. House districts.
by Jordon Greene | Free the Vote North Carolina
Just over a year ago, four major Republican presidential hopefuls learned how difficult ballot access laws could be during the 2012 Virginia Primary. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Texas Governor Rick Perry, former US Senator Rick Santorum and former Utah Governor Jon Hunstman all failed to gather the requisite number of signatures to appear on their own Party’s Presidential Primary ballot, a 10,000 signature requirement.