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.