A monopoly on the marketplace of ideas

June 23, 2010 20:08 pm

by Jason · 14 comments

I was writing a post about ballot access earlier today, but the title of Jim Galloway’s article on the troubles of Mary Norwood, Ray Boyd and Brad Bryant to get on the ballot in a state with such draconian ballot access laws (my friend Richard Winger of Ballot Access News calls them the worst in the nation) says it all: Competition is good for everything — except the Georgia ballot.

Red Phillips June 23, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Amen Jason. Georgia’s ballot access laws are a joke, and Richard Winger is to be commended for his tireless work on behalf of ballot access.

Daniel N. Adams June 23, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Since 1988, a small piece of ground has been given up to the Libertarian Party, which can place candidates on the ballot by votes of its state convention.

To be clear on this point. This is only for state wide office candidates; President, US Senate, Governor, Lt Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Agriculture Commissioner, Insurance Commissioner, Labor Commissioner, State School Superintendent, and the five Public Service Commission seats. All other partisan offices we still have to collect signatures. An every election we have a few potential candidates attempt but usually fall short.

As a matter of fact, it was this issue and this issue alone that first got me back off the couch after giving up on the other two parties to protect/defend our liberty.

Doug Deal June 23, 2010 at 9:12 pm

I agree Jason.

I have some ideas for breaking down the legislators on this issue and I would love to share it with you. Sadly, though, it would require two things most libertarians don’t have in abundence; the ability to accept a solution that is less than 100.00000% idealogically pure and requires action above and beyond crapping in a diaper and crying about it. So it might not work.

macho June 23, 2010 at 9:31 pm

As a Republican, I wish we had better ballot access. Georgia is a runoff state, so there is no way a 3rd party candidate could split the vote of another party, and allow a minority party to take office.

Doug Grammer June 23, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Is that sarcasm I detect? + 5%

BuckheadConservative June 24, 2010 at 9:29 am

I think allowing signatures electronically would help out a lot. However, I do not feel sorry for Mary Norwood in the least. She’s done this to herself. She has effectively pandered herself out of both political parties. This woman is capable of quite an anotomical feat: talking out of THREE sides of her mouth. Keeping her off the ballot isn’t a bad thing.

benevolus June 25, 2010 at 10:50 am

That’s actually a good example. I’m no Mary Norwood fan, but I’m sure there are a lot of people in this state who don’t identify with either major party. They might be attracted to an ” independent” but it’s nearly impossible to get on the ballot.

There are 5.7 million registered voters in this state, but less than 2 million voted in the presidential primaries in 2008.

Holly June 24, 2010 at 10:06 am

Jason, I know we don’t always agree, but this time we do. Completely. If someone (Roy Barnes) wants to run as a Whig, he should be allowed to call himself a Whig. And if someone really wants to cast a ballot for someone running on the Monarchist platform, they ought to be able to do so without writing in. Why wouldn’t we as people of this state want more options? If the Republican or the Democrat is the best choice, then that person will win. If citizens are suddenly drawn to a Libertarian or an Independent, perhaps the two major parties should question what they’re doing wrong rather than looking for ways to keep the cats herded.

Also, after working for Members in other states, I wonder if we really need to have a 50%+1 rule to win an election? Why not 45%, which is what it used to be? What was wrong with that? I suspect it created fewer needs for run-offs, which would cheaper for the state. Let’s face it, we need to be looking for ways to save money around here…

I’m interested in what others think about it. :-)

Jace Walden June 24, 2010 at 10:37 am


I like the 50% + 1 rule. And there is a way to keep it 50% + 1 without having to have expensive runoffs.

Have you ever heard of Instant Runoff Voting?

Here’s a link:



BuckheadConservative June 24, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Jace, I like that idea but I think there should definitely be an option to not make a second choice.

Jason June 24, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Just leave it blank?

Grand Ole Partier June 24, 2010 at 6:18 pm
BuckheadConservative June 25, 2010 at 9:47 am

I mean make one choice (say Otis Putman for Governor) and not select a second or third.

Grand Ole Partier June 24, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Hey, did Rep. Rusty Kidd (I-Milledgeville) get on the ballot again yet?

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