Alabama State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) has introduced two bills to improve ballot access for minor parties and independent candidates. SB 15 would reduce petitions for a previously unqualified party from 3% of the last gubernatorial vote to 5,000 signatures, for statewide status. A party that wished to qualify in only part of the state would need a petition of 1.5% of the last gubernatorial vote in that particular district. SB 15 also reduces the number of signatures for non-presidential independent candidates from 3% to 1.5% (the independent presidential petition is already 5,000 signatures, and the bill would not change that).
SB 55 would eliminate all mandatory ballot access petitions, if the previously unqualified party or independent candidate paid a filing fee. The fee would be 2% of the office’s annual salary. The fee for presidential candidates would be capped at $5,000. Thanks to Joshua Cassity for this news.