The Senate gave initial approval to a bill on Tuesday that increases the number of signatures third-party candidates need to run for office. The proposal by J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, is one in a series of piecemeal legislation similar to a sweeping Arizona election law that the Legislature abandoned last year after opponents took steps to repeal it. House Bill 2608 allows candidates to gather signatures from their own party, independents and parties not represented on a ballot. It also expands the signature requirements to include a minimum number of these so-called “qualified voters.”
That leaves third-party candidates collecting more signatures relative to their size than Republican and Democratic candidates. Mesnard said any third party would still require far fewer signatures than either Democrats or Republicans.
On the floor, Sen. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler, defended the bill by saying people third party candidates have been able to get on the ballot with an incredibly small number of signatures.
“This simply says that you’re going to look at the people who are eligible to sign your petition, apply the percentage to that, then determine the number of signatures that you would need to have to sign your petition,” he said.
Full Article: News from The Associated Press.