The Scandal of Ballot Access in Georgia

That is Will Hinton’s title for a post over at his site about the difficulty of getting on the ballot when not running under the mantle of a recognized party in Georgia. There is a serious burden when running as an independent in Georgia — the state has a clear preference for the two party system.

One comment

  1. schleyguy says:

    People may be surprised to know that ballot access for libertarians (a first step) was a priority for the Democrats a few years back when they ran the state. Interesting that Republicans have now picked up on this. The theory goes that third party voters are casting a protest vote against the party in power (Democrats at the time) and that vote would otherwise go to the main opposition party.

    Here’s the two steps of the process:
    1. Lower the “win” percentage to 45%, that way you don’t actually require a majority of votes to win an election.
    2. Give voters a third option to split the votes of the opposition. You can see how if a libertarian got 5% and most of it came from the Republican, now you’d only need 48% of the vote to win. Seems like you could dilute districts even more during redistricting and have more Democratic districts, doesn’t it?

    Of course, it never passed. Democrats in the legislature are just too stupid. They were against straight-ticket voting even though it has been proven that Democratic drop off (particularly in minority precincts) is much worse than Republican dropoff. And they were against this. They loved the status quo so much they feared change.

    I guess with the current events people won’t be surprised that Cathy Cox stood against a bill when Barnes was governor to give libertarians ballot access. 3rd party access means more work for the bureaucrats. Anyone who knows Cathy knows she’s always been a bureaucrat first.

    Third party candidates aren’t going to win in districts in this state, except for flukes. There just aren’t enough (fill in the blank) voters living together to outweigh the two parties. Our districts are too big. Yeah we have 180 house districts, but we are also the 9th largest state. If you really want to shake up Georgia politics, make the House proportionally elected and the Senate elected by district. Go ahead and give libs ballot access instead. But you’re fooling yourself if you think it will do anything but disenfranchise the #2 party. Used to be Republicans. The smart Dems were all for it. Now it’s us, some of the Reps have now picked up the battleflag. That’s life.

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