Here we go again!
In typical anti-competitive fashion, the Republicans are attempting to make it more difficult for third-party and independent candidates to compete in elections. The latest tactic is House Bill 2608 which modifies Arizona statutes relating to elections and was introduced by Representative J.D. Mesnard.
Don’t be fooled by the language of this bill. On the surface, it appears easier for candidates by reducing the number of qualified signers from one-half of one percent to one-fourth of one percent. But when you read this bill closer, it also redefines what qualified signers are. The current percentage of qualified signers is based on a candidate’s party affiliation. However, in the proposed revisions, qualified signers would be defined as ALL registered voters, regardless of party affiliation. To put this into perspective, an Arizona Constitution Party candidate running for U.S. Senate or a state office would need 5,835 qualified signers under the current structure. With the proposed changes, that number soars to 8,118. That’s an additional 2,283 signatures, or a 39% increase!
Flash back to January 2013. Republicans introduced House Bill 2305 which sought to make it more difficult to gain ballot access. However, thanks to voter opposition, it was repealed in February 2014 with House Bill 2196. This latest bill is just another pathetic attempt to make it more difficult for voters to have more choices and helps to ensure that members of the two major parties maintain their positions longer.
Ironically, numerous Gallup polls have shown that Americans strongly desire third parties which clearly have Democrats and Republicans running scared. The majority has been calling for a third party since 2007! In January 2014, 58% of those polled said “a third U.S. political party is needed because the Republican and Democratic parties ‘do such a poor job’ representing the American people.”
Call to Action:
We need your help! Please contact your House member(s) today and tell them to vote ‘No’ on HB2608. You can find the full list of representatives and their contact information here: http://www.azleg.gov/MemberRoster.asp?Body=H. Let your voice be heard!
- HB2608 Document: http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/52leg/1r/bills/hb2608p.pdf
- Voter Registration Data: http://azsos.gov/elections/voter-registration-historical-election-data
- Summary of HB2305/HB2196: http://ballotpedia.org/Arizona_House_Bill_2305_(2013)
- Americans Want a Third Party Gallop Poll: http://www.gallup.com/poll/177284/americans-continue-say-third-political-party-needed.aspx