Rep. LaRoque to introduce ballot access reform bill

Rep. Stephen LaRoque (R-10) has agreed to sponsor an election law reform bill supported by Free the Vote North Carolina. The Electoral Freedom Act of 2011 would dramatically reduce the number of signatures required to a fixed figure for a new political party or an unaffiliated candidate to qualify for the ballot.

“I am proud to sponsor the Electoral Freedom Act of 2011,” said LaRoque. “North Carolina’s current ballot access laws make it very difficult for new political parties and unaffiliated candidates to get on the ballot. That’s not consistent with a representative form of government.”

“Our state’s election laws impose excessive and unreasonable requirements on new political parties and unaffiliated candidates that are far and above the standard prevalent in a majority of the other states,” LaRoque said. “I believe it’s time for North Carolina to follow their example and reduce those burdens.”

“We’re pleased to have Rep. LaRoque sponsor this bill,” said Jordon Greene, president and founder of Free the Vote NC. “North Carolina has some of the most restrictive ballot access laws in the United States. Our election laws deny citizens their right to vote for candidates of their choice, their right to run for office, and their right to freedom of association to form alternative political parties to place candidates on the ballot.”

“Together, these regulations fundamentally degrade the purpose of government, of our representative democracy, effectively denying citizens real representation, something the founders were adamant about,” Greene said.

Key provisions of the Electoral Freedom Act of 2011 are to:

  • Reduce the number of signatures a new political party needs to obtain for ballot access to the fixed figure of 10,000.
  • Reduce the number of votes a new political party must receive in order to remain on the ballot to 1,000 for that party’s candidate for president, governor or any other council of state office.
  • Reduce the number of signatures an unaffiliated candidate for statewide offices needs to obtain to the fixed figure of 5,000.
  • Set a fixed number of signatures for unaffiliated candidates to run for U.S. House, General Assembly and local offices in line with neighboring states.

For the text of the bill go here.

Free the Vote North Carolina press release