The New York Times of January 31 has this story about the requirement that presidential candidates in France need 500 signatures of mayors or other local officials in order to get on the ballot. France has tens of thousands of places that have their own mayor. However, the requirement is proving difficult to meet ever since the law was changed, to make the petition signatures available to the public. In the past, many small-town mayors have taken the position that they would sign for any presidential candidate, whether they agree with the candidate or not, because they favor inclusive ballot access. But, with the petitions now public, some presidential candidates are having a tougher time gathering the signatures.
The petition is due March 16. Presidential elections in France commonly have between ten and fifteen candidates on the ballot. Thanks to Jerry Kunz for the link.