On January 9, Alabama State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) reintroduced the same ballot access bill he had introduced in 2013. This year, the bill is SB 70. It lowers the number of signatures for newly-qualifying parties and non-presidential independent candidates from 3% of the last gubernatorial vote, to 1.5% of the last gubernatorial vote. It also eases the petition deadline for newly qualifying parties, from primary day, to three weeks after the run-off primary. In a presidential election year, when the first primary is in March, that would put the deadline in early May. In a midterm year, the deadline would be in early August.