Home Uncategorized Candidate for Indiana Secretary of State Will Emphasize State’s Bad Ballot Access Laws
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Candidate for Indiana Secretary of State Will Emphasize State’s Bad Ballot Access Laws

According to this article, Karl Tatgenhorst, the Libertarian Party nominee for Secretary of State of Indiana, will campaign partly on a platform of easing Indiana ballot access laws.

Indiana has the nation’s most severe law in the nation for candidates who want to get on a presidential primary ballot. Years after the 2008 Indiana presidential primary was over, Democratic Party officials in Indiana were convicted of forging names on the petitions of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but their motivation was that without the forgery, the petitions for each of them would have failed.

Worse yet are the Indiana laws for minor party and independent candidates. Indiana is one of only two states in which no petition to get a presidential candidate on the November ballot has succeeded in any of the last three presidential elections; the other such state is Georgia. While there is considerable agitation to improve the Georgia ballot access laws, there has been little commentary or activism about this problem in Indiana in the recent past.

The Libertarian Party has safely been on the ballot in Indiana starting in 1994, because it always meets the vote test to stay on, polling 2% for Secretary of State every four years. But the Constitution Party, the Green Party, the Natural Law, and Ralph Nader, never appeared on any Indiana statewide ballot. Indiana, Oklahoma and Georgia are the only three states about which that statement is true.

8 Responses

  1. Michael

    In the 1978 and 1982, the American Party got on the ballot for the next four years when the vote requirement was 1/2 of one percent. After 1982, the D and R in the Indiana legislature changed it to the current 2 percent to prevent the AP from making it a third time and to stop the LP from joining them. Had it stayed at the 1/2 of one percent requirement, both parties would have made it.

    • Richard Winger

      Actually, the bad bill in Indiana that quadrupled both the petition, and the vote test for a party to stay on, passed in 1980. But it didn’t take effect until the future. The higher petition went into effect in 1983, but the higher vote test didn’t really take effect until 1986. Both the American Party and the Libertarian Party did make the old one-half of 1% vote test in 1982, so they were both automatically on the ballot in 1984 and 1986 as well. In 1988, Indiana was one of only 4 states in which Ron Paul wasn’t on the ballot as the Libertarian nominee. But Ron Paul sued Indiana to get write-in space, and he won that lawsuit in 1990, which is why Indiana at least permits write-ins.

      • Thank you so much for covering my campaign on this site, what an unexpected treat.

        What you state above about the write ins is true, but I am also looking into “write in preregistration requirements” which I have been told are used to determine which write ins even get counted.

        It is thrilling as a Libertarian in Indiana to think that we have beaten the requirements for twenty years to maintain ballot access, but it is also disheartening to think of the resources expended to do that as opposed to expending those resources in the way that we chose. Further, to advocate for liberty for all and know that some can not even get their message to the voters is downright irksome.

        Thank you for seeing the synergies in our messages and giving me this exposure.

        In Liberty,

        Karl

  2. Andy

    “Indiana has the nation’s most severe law in the nation for candidates who want to get on a presidential primary ballot. Years after the 2008 Indiana presidential primary was over, Democratic Party officials in Indiana were convicted of forging names on the petitions of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but their motivation was that without the forgery, the petitions for each of them would have failed.”

    I was involved with the petition drives to place Ron Paul on the Indiana primary ballot for both 2008 and 2012. We went out in the cold and collected our signatures the right way. The Indiana election officials checked Ron Paul’s signatures, and he had more than enough to make the ballot both times.

    The people who worked on the petition drives for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were too lazy to collect the signatures the proper way, so they took the easy way out and forged signatures, and they were arrogant enough to believe that they’d get away with it, which they did for a while. I’m glad that justice caught up with them and that they got prosecuted, the only bad thing is that since their campaigns cheated to get on the ballot, Obama and Hillary should not have been on the Indiana ballot. All of their votes should be thrown out. You’d best believe that that is what would have happened if the Ron Paul campaign had tried to cheat their way on the ballot.

  3. Andy

    I recall hearing in 2008 that there was something wrong with John McCain’s petition in Indiana, where he should not have been on the ballot either. I don’t think that it was forgery, I think that it was just bad validity in one or two districts. The petition requirement for major party candidates for President is 500 valid signatures out of each of Indiana’s 9 congressional districts. I think that McCain fell short of having 500 valid signatures in one district in Indiana, which, under Indiana ballot access law, means that he should have not been on the ballot in the entire states, because if you miss one district in Indiana, that is enough to not make the ballot in that state.

    I also recall that Bush should not have been on the ballot in Illinois in either 2004 or 2008, and that neither Bush or Kerry should have been on the ballot in Texas in 2008.

    The bottom line here is that the rules apply more to some people than to others, as in if you are not one of the political establishment’s choices, you’d damn well dot every “i” and cross every “t” or you will be kept off the ballot, but if you are one of the political establishment’s choices then you can not comply with the rules and the election officials will just look the other way and put you on the ballot anyway.

    • Michael

      McCain wasn’t the only one with problems getting on the ballot via each district. In 1972, GOP Rep. John Ashbrook failed to get on the statewide ballot because he was short 175 signatures in two districts. In 1976, Dem. Rep. Morris Udall failed to get on the statewide ballot because he was short 35 signatures in one district.

  4. Andy

    “Michael

    May 26, 2014 at 11:36 am

    McCain wasn’t the only one with problems getting on the ballot via each district. In 1972, GOP Rep. John Ashbrook failed to get on the statewide ballot because he was short 175 signatures in two districts. In 1976, Dem. Rep. Morris Udall failed to get on the statewide ballot because he was short 35 signatures in one district.”

    Yes, but the point was that John McCain was put on the ballot in spite of not having enough valid signatures in one district. The rules were ignored for him because he was the choice of the political establishment to be the Republican Party nominee for President. This is an example of the rules applying more to some people than to others.

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