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  Ballot Access News is edited and published by Richard Winger, the nation's leading expert on ballot access legal issues.

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Pennsylvania Statewide Petition Requirement in 2016 Likely to be Approximately 25,000, Unless Law is Eased

Published on October 31, 2014,

The number of signatures required for Pennsylvania statewide minor party and independent candidates in 2016 will be determined by how many votes are cast in the November 2015 statewide partisan judicial elections. According to this story, there will be three vacancies on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court filled in November 2015.

The existence of the 2015 judicial vacancies is good news for minor party and independent candidates for statewide office in 2016. If there were no vacancies, then the 2016 petition requirement would be based on turnout in the 2014 election, which will be far higher. In 2005, there were no statewide judicial vacancies, so the number of signatures in 2006 was based on the 2004 turnout. That is why, in 2006, the requirement was 67,070. If there had been statewide judicial vacancies in 2005, the 2006 requirement would probably have been 20,000 or so.

A reasonable guess for the 2016 requirement is 25,000 signatures. However, if the legislature eases the requirement in 2015, it may be less. It seems probable that one of the two pending ballot access cases in Pennsylvania, or both of them, will win, in time to improve ballot access for 2016.

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Green Party Nominee for U.S. House in Tennessee Dies

Published on October 30, 2014,

On October 30, Norris Dryer, Green Party nominee for U.S. House, 2nd district, in Knoxville, Tennessee, died. See this obituary.

As reported earlier, the Libertarian Party nominee for U.S. Senate in Iowa, Douglas Butzier, also died this month.

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Salem, Oregon’s Daily Newspaper Recommends Voting “No” on Top-Two Measure

Published on October 30, 2014,

The Statesman-Journal, Salem’s daily newspaper, here recommends that voters defeat Measure 90, the top-two proposal.

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Substantial Majority of Small Business Owners Favor a Multi-Party System for the U.S.

Published on October 30, 2014,

On October 30, a poll of small business owners was released, concerning election reform. See the report here. The poll shows that 78% prefer a multi-party system for the U.S. It also shows that 85% favor public funding for election campaigns, and 83% favor non-partisan commissions for drawing U.S. House and legislative district boundaries.

The respondents were: 48% Republican, 32% Democratic, 11% independent, 9% other or did not answer that question. Thanks to Rob Richie for the link.

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South Carolina Election Commission Cancels Election for State House, District 114, and will Set a Special Election Instead

Published on October 30, 2014,

On October 30, the South Carolina Election Commission voted to cancel the election for State House, district 114 in Charleston, and instead hold a special election for that seat later. See this story. The Democratic nominee plans to sue to overturn this decision. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.

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Kari Chisholm Column on How Republicans Might Have Been Disenfranchised in 2010 Gubernatorial Race if Top-Two Had Existed Then

Published on October 30, 2014,

Kari Chisholm, founder of BlueOregon, a leading politics blog in Oregon, has this column on how, if Oregon had had a top-two system in 2010, the general election might easily have had no one on the ballot for Governor except for two Democrats.