The Green Party and Constitution Party may appear on the November ballot. But Libertarians are likely to be left out. The Senate State & Local Government Committee rejected a bill Tuesday that would have vastly reduced the number of signatures minor parties must collect to appear on the ballot in Tennessee. The legislation follows a series of lawsuits brought by minor parties challenging the state’s current requirement that they get about 40,000 signatures (2.5 percent of the total number of ballots cast in the most recent gubernatorial election) to be recognized. Senate Bill 1091 would have cut that number to 2,500. Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle — whose party is in no danger of falling off the ballot, despite its recent performance — filed the bill and argued it was time to settle the matter.
But Republican members of the committee balked, raising objections that were philosophical (Would more parties on the ballot further coarsen political discourse?), pragmatic (Should the state get involved in an issue that’s still being litigated?) or a combination of both.
“I don’t want to turn our elections into a mockery where we walk into the voting both and we’ve got 15 different parties because all we have to do is stand in front of Kroger in each of the 95 counties and get 26 signatures,” said state Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin.
Full Article: TN lawmakers refuse to put more parties on ballot.