On October 15, the Arkansas Libertarian Party plans to submit approximately 16,000 signatures to become a qualified party in Arkansas again. And on October 22, the Arkansas Green Party expects to submit approximately 15,000 signatures. The state requires 10,000 valid signatures.
This is the fifth election year in a row in which the Arkansas Green Party has completed this petition, and the second for the Libertarians. Arkansas irrationally removes parties from the ballot if they don’t poll 3% for the office at the top of the ticket, every two years. Generally, minor parties can’t poll as much as 3% for President. Both parties were removed after the November 2012 election. It would be more rational for Arkansas to change the 3% vote test to any statewide nominee. Repetitive petition drives are not only exhausting for the parties, but they are expensive and burdensome for election officials as well. On the average, the cost to election administrators to check petitions is $1 per signature.
The only parties, other than the Democratic and Republican Parties, that have polled 3% for President in the last 90 years are the Progressive Party of 1924, the American Independent Party of 1968, and the Reform Party of 1996. UPDATE: see this news story.