North Carolina Ballot Access Bill Introduced

On April 10, several North Carolina legislators from both major parties introduced HB 794, to improve ballot access. The bill lowers the number of signatures for newly-qualifying parties, and statewide independent candidates, from 2% of the last gubernatorial vote cast, to one-fourth of 1% of that same base. For 2014, this would reduce the petition from 89,340 signatures to 11,168 signatures.

The bill also moves the petition deadline from mid-May to early July, and lowers the vote test for a party to remain on the ballot from 2% for President or Governor, to one-fourth of 1% for President or Governor. Parties with less than 10% of the voter registration would be permitted to nominate by convention instead of by primary.

Independent candidate petitions for district office would be lowered from 4% of the number of registered voters, to 1%.

If the bill passes as written, the only states that would require more than 50,000 signatures in 2014 for a newly-qualifying party would be California, Georgia, and Oklahoma. Thanks to Brian Irving for the news about the bill.

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