A bill to ease ballot access in Alabama was introduced in the state Senate by four legislators last week.
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.