Republican legislators and political activists in several red states are taking steps to make it harder for minor party candidates to make the ballot after a string of elections Democrats won with less than 50 percent of the vote. The Ohio legislature voted earlier this week to require minor parties to collect signatures of 1 percent of the number of voters who cast ballots in the last gubernatorial or presidential election. Libertarians and Green Party members complain that the rule — which would require them to gather about 56,000 signatures to make the 2014 ballot — sets an impossibly high standard. In Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed legislation earlier this year to require candidates running for Congress to collect enough signatures to represent one-third of 1 percent of registered voters in their respective districts. That’s a 40-fold increase in the number of signatures Libertarian Party candidates would have to collect.
And in Montana, an initiative to implement a top-two election system, under which only the two top candidates in a primary will advance to the general election, regardless of party, will be on the 2014 ballot. Similar measures have been adopted in Washington and California, but opponents of the Montana law say it would leave out Libertarians, who have captured a significant percentage of the vote in recent statewide races.
Republican-controlled states like Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Georgia all moved to raise thresholds for minor parties to qualify for the ballot this year, according to Richard Winger, who maintains the Web site Ballot Access News.
Full Article: Republicans target minor parties after election losses.