Minor party activists are working very hard to influence state legislators in at least four states, to either support bills for easier ballot access, or to oppose bills that make it worse.
In Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Committee recently e-mailed every state legislator. Also Constitution Party activists recently met with the Senator who chairs the Senate State Government Committee. These are all attempts to persuade the legislature to pass SB 195, which eases ballot access for minor parties and independent candidates. The bill has been introduced in three sessions of the legislature, including the current one, but so far it has not made any progress. This year, the bill has co-sponsors from both major parties. Recently State Senator John Blake (D-Archbald) became a co-sponsor.
In Montana, Libertarian Mike Fellows is spending the day at the capitol on April 17, lobbying against SB 408, the bill that would put a referendum on a top-two open primary on the November 2014 ballot. The bill may receive a third reading vote in the House on April 17 or April 18. It has already passed on second reading in the House, but it was amended, so even if it passes third reading, it must go back to the Senate. The amendment says that when only two candidates file for the June primary, no primary for that office is held, and the two candidates appear on the November ballot.
In North Carolina, activists have scheduled meetings with all members of the House Elections Committee who have not already said that they support HB 794, the ballot access reform bill.
In California, activism is helping to delay or defeat the bills to restrict write-in candidates’ ability to move on to the November election; and also to help defeat the bill to make it a crime for a party to pay registration drive workers on the basis of how many registrations in any particular party they obtain. The association of California election officials does not support the bill, nor does the Secretary of State, and the ACLU is opposed to it.