Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed has written a bill (introduced as SB 5604 and HB 1534) that requires minor party and independent candidates to show popular support three ways before they can qualify for the general election.
First, each candidate needs a petition. Statewide candidates would need 1,000 signatures; US House candidates 500; legislative and county candidates would need 100.
Second, each candidate must pay a filing fee of 1% of the annual salary of the office.
Third, and most strangely, each candidate then goes on the primary ballot (except for presidential candidates) and must poll a minimum number of votes in the primary, in order to be placed on the general election. The minimum number of primary votes equals the number of signatures each had to get.
What is peculiar is that Washington now has separate primary ballots for each major party. It isn’t clear what primary ballot the minor party and independent candidates would appear on, and who would vote on such ballots.
The bill has an obvious drafting error. Whereas on page 14 it says the minor party and independent candidates need a certain minimum number of primary votes, on page 2 it says they don’t appear on the primary ballot.