An Independent that May Have a Shot at the Ballot

March 19, 2014 10:08 am

by Eric The Younger · 4 comments

From the Press Release:

Bill Bozarth, independent candidate for the State House District 54 seat (currently held by Edward Lindsey), announces that he has passed the 1,000 mark in his effort to gain the signatures needed to be on the ballot as an Independent in the November general election.

Georgia’s election laws require Independent candidates to petition registered voters of the district, to get ballot access. Signatures of five percent of the registered voters in the district are required to be gathered in a 180-day period from January to July. Based on voter data supplied by the Secretary of State, the number of valid signatures needed for House District 54 is 1776 – a propitious number for an Independent candidate. Bozarth’s campaign headquarters received its thousandth signature last week.

Over 50 volunteers have helped reach this milestone. The campaign collects signatures in three ways: the candidate and campaign staff personally going door-to-door; Bill’s in-district supporters contacting their neighbors; and scheduled weekend outings with volunteer teams canvassing across the district. Bozarth says:

This is the very essence of grassroots politics. It’s fun, and the almost-daily interaction with folks in the district keeps us in touch with what’s important to the voters. I am honored by the help I have received from my close friends and neighbors in reaching the thousand signature mark. We are on track to exceed our required number by a wide margin. While I have served in the community for years, this is the first time I have gone to my neighbors asking them to support me for elected office. The door-to-door experience has reaffirmed my belief that people are tired of petty partisanship. I think they are ready for something different.

The campaign will continue to gather signatures until the July deadline, when the focus will shift to the November election.

South Fulton Guy March 19, 2014 at 3:06 pm

At the end of party qualifying, far too many incumbent legislators celebrated thinking they’re not being opposed. Some absolutely deserve opposition. Best wishes to independent candidates with the gauntlet of ballot access in their quest to get enough petition signatures to keep incumbents from being complacent or cocky…

Doug Deal March 19, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Any independent capable of meeting the Draconian requirements should be automatically awarded the seat.

seenbetrdayz March 19, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Haha, now that’d be something.

Honestly though, I wish they’d test these signature requirements on Republican and Democratic party candidates. I’d love to try an experiment and see if ANY candidate could find enough people interested in politics/politicians during the ‘off season’ to find a few thousand people to support them enough to sign a petition, whether they’re part of a major party or not. I’d think it funny to see a candidate who’s getting a lot of media time, or a lot of support from the party big-wigs, but it turns out that the average Joe Voter wouldn’t sign his petition with a 10-foot pen. It’d make for a good weeding-out process as well, even before the primaries.

Doug Deal March 20, 2014 at 2:19 pm

I am all for it. Get someone to drop it in the hopper the next legislative session.

I think it would be totes appropotes. (Thanks Jessica S.)

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