A federal judge ruled Monday that stiffer rules for minor parties to gain access to Ohio’s ballot are constitutional and do not impose an unfair burden on the parties. District Judge Michael Watson ruled that the changes to state law, approved in 2013, were not overly burdensome toward minority parties forming or electors casting votes for their candidates. And, Watson held, the state of Ohio has legitimate and important interests that the law addresses. “It is rational for the state of Ohio to limit minor parties’ participation in primary elections because minor party primaries are typically uncontested, voter turnout is low, and the additional costs of adding uncontested minor party candidates to a primary ballot is unwarranted,” Watson wrote.
By requiring minor parties to show “that they have a modicum of support” … “the state of Ohio reduces the risk of overcrowded ballots and frivolous candidates.”
The changes require the minor parties to collect and submit to the secretary of state nearly 30,000 signatures from registered voters in support of their party being recognized.