Spectrum News: Texas third parties continue fight for fair ballot access

Ted Brown

Ted Brown

From Spectrum News on January 21, 2020:

Third-party candidates in Texas allege a new state law makes it harder for them to get a spot on the general election ballot, so they sued.

Ted Brown is running for Congress as a Libertarian. He recently paid his filing fee of $3,125. This is the first cycle that third-party candidates have had to pay.

“I’d rather spend that money on campaign literature and advertising,” said Brown.

Under a new state law, third-party candidates must pay a filing fee and that money goes to the state and ultimately helps to pay for the primaries, something third parties don’t have.

“It’s really a violation of equal protection because we’re not paying for a primary and they’re just taking the money from us for that purpose,” said Brown.

Brown spoke his mind to a panel of state House lawmakers Tuesday.

“They want to keep us off the ballot, in reality,” said Brown.

But lawmakers remained tight-lipped on the issue because of a pending lawsuit filed by the Libertarian and Green parties. The suit was filed over the summer and plaintiffs are seeking to block Texas laws requiring petition signatures to be gathered in a relatively short amount of time.

The new state law says third parties can secure a spot on the general election ballot by collecting those signatures, or having at least one candidate who wins more than 2 percent of the vote in a statewide race in the past five election cycles. Brown doesn’t mind the latter.

“That is the good part of the law,” said Brown.

But he says the whole process is still unfair, given the major parties don’t face similar burdens to get on the ballot

“The federal, state and local levels are getting further and further away from liberty,” said Brown.

Click here to watch the video.

Click here to read more on the situation with Texas ballot access from the Dallas Morning News.