The Maryland Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs will hear SB 1032 on March 13 at 1 p.m. This is the bill that lowers the number of registered voters a party must have to retain its place on the ballot, from 1% of the state total, to exactly 10,000. The existing 1% registration test for keeping a party on the ballot has never been used by any party other than the two major parties, and requires approximately 40,000 members. If the bill passes, the Libertarian Party would immediately benefit, and the Greens would like to benefit soon, because there are over 8,400 registered Greens.
The Libertarian and Green Parties are on the ballot now, but only because they submitted a petition during 2011, and when a party successfully petitions, it gets the next two elections, so the 2011 petition covers 2012 and 2014. Thanks to Brian Bittner for this news.