The legislation, if passed, would lower the number of signatures required by newly-qualifying parties and independent candidates from 3% of the last gubernatorial vote to 1.5%.
Under current law, to become a political party, a group would need to collect 35,413 signatures by next March 8, the date of the primary. If the new legislation is passed, the amount necessary would be 17,707 signatures. A party which has qualified must have a statewide candidate get 20% of the vote in the general election to maintain it’s party status.
The bill also moves back the petition deadline for congressional and state office candidates of newly-qualifying parties from primary day, which is currently the second Tuesday in March in a presidential election year (March 8), to the third Wednesday after the runoff primary, which is held six weeks after the primary.
A non-recognized party can place it’s presidential candidate on the ballot by collecting 5,000 signatures, which are due September 6 of the election year. The candidate is listed as Independent on the ballot.
Thanks to Richard Winger of Ballot Access News for this information.
Update: There will be a hearing on the ballot access relief bill in the Alabama Senate tomorrow, March 18. Click on the link below for details.