NH lawsuit filed to overturn ballot access burden on new political parties

The New Hampshire affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (NHCLU) has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Libertarian Party to stop a bill that would change ballot access in the state from arduous to near impossible for competitors of the Democratic and Republican parties.

The press in the Live Free or Die state is picking up the story in the state’s top news outlets: the Union Leader, the Concord Monitor, Nashua Telegraph,  Associated Press, and NHPR.

If allowed to stand, the law would cut in half the time period allowed to gather signatures.  Democrats and Republicans passed the bill on a voice vote, justifying it as a “housekeeping” measure.

New Hampshire petitioning laws are already some of the most difficult in the country. This makes collecting the over 20,000 signatures that would be needed to get on the 2014 ballot extremely burdensome in any time frame.

This is the fourth major law in 35 years that New Hampshire Democrats and Republicans have passed to make ballot access more difficult for their competitors.