On March 31, the Oregon Senate Elections Committee holds a hearing on two bills to improve independent candidate ballot access. They are SB 326 and SB 353. SB 326 repeals the law (passed in 2005) that says primary voters can’t sign for an independent petition. SB 353 reduces the number of signatures for independent candidates from 1% of the last presidential vote to one-half that amount. Thanks to Dan Meek for this news.
The 2005 bill, restricting who can sign an independent candidate petition, was passed in a fit of pique by certain legislators who didn’t like Ralph Nader. Nader had tried to petition as an independent candidate in Oregon in 2004, before the restriction had been passed. Even though his 2004 independent petition failed, people who didn’t like his 2004 run for president were so opposed to his candidacy, that in a fit of emotion, they made independent candidate access more difficult.