The liberty to choose from many options is one of the greatest assets of a free society. Not only does a range of competitors give the consumer more choices, it also creates an environment where those choices must adapt to the needs of the consumer to stay relevant.
Limiting or attempting to eliminate choice is suppression.
This is rather clear to Libertarians. If a television provider only offered you two channels, or your local store only sold two kinds of cereal, the suppression of choice would be felt — and rejected.
This is exactly how Republicans and Democrats work together to suppress your vote every year.
They do this by passing ballot access laws that make it more difficult for alternative party and independent candidates to gain ballot access.
For example, the Libertarian Party of New York secured automatic ballot access in 2018. The state of New York then passed stricter ballot access laws, which were snuck into their 2021 state budget. Now, LPNY must spend significantly more resources than ever before to either have these laws struck down in court or fight to meet their requirements.
Both old parties also benefit from heavily restricted debate stages. The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was co-founded in 1987 by both the Republican and Democratic National Committee chairmen to oversee the Presidential debate process. To this day, they use the power of the CPD to arbitrarily select criteria for debate access. This keeps third party and independent candidates off the stage and out of conversation surrounding the debates.
By eliminating options from your ballot and from the national conversation every year, both Republicans and Democrats engage in direct voter suppression.
Even if you don’t plan on voting for a third party or independent candidate, all voters should be able to see and choose from the full list of candidates seeking a particular office, not just those who are able to jump through arbitrary political and financial hoops.
The Libertarian Party is committed to combating voter suppression and fighting for free and fair elections in the United States. If you share the same beliefs and want to help us in this fight, please give today.