Elections are about to get easier for major party candidates — especially those who have access to big-dollar donors. And voters who want to craft their own laws will find new hurdles, as Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday signed three measures approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature, including:
– Sharply boosting the number of signatures minor-party candidates would need to qualify for the ballot;
– Allowing candidates to accept up to $5,000 from any one source, a 25 percent increase since the last election;
– Requiring judges to throw out citizen-sponsored initiative, referendum and recall petitions if there are technical flaws in the paperwork.
It is the measure on petition signatures, though, that could have the biggest impact.
Existing law says the number of signers needed is based on the number of people registered for the party. Now, it will be based on all those who are eligible to sign the petition.
That is significant because independents can sign nominating petitions of any candidate. And there are far more independents than either Republicans or Democrats.
But lawmakers first changed the formula to ensure that there is no major change for candidates of either of the two major parties. For example, a Republican seeking statewide office would need 5,707 signatures, up from 5,570.
Full Article: Election laws to favor major parties.