Pennsylvania Libertarians Applaud U.S. District Court’s Ruling on Ballot Access
Federal court agrees that Pennsylvania’s system is unconstitutional — Libetarian Party of PA calls for immediate passage of the Voters’ Choice Act
In response to the July 24, 2015, ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Stengel in Constitution Party of Pennsylvania v Cortes, e.d., 12-cv-2726, which found that Pennsylvania’s laws place an unconstitutionally high bar on third-party political candidates seeking public office, LPPA Chair Shawn Felty issued the following statement:
We’re pleased that the Court agreed with what the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania has been saying for years: PA’s ballot access laws unconstitutionally restrict voter choice by compelling third-party candidates to submit thousands — if not tens of thousands — more signatures than Democratic or Republican candidates, and to defend those signatures at great cost in the court system.
Citizens of the Commonwealth deserve choice at the ballot box, but it seems that the old parties will stop at nothing to prevent that from happening. During the 2012 election cycle, the LPPA, in conjunction with the national Libertarian Party, fought off a nine-week challenge to its slate of candidates — all designed to reduce voter choice and keep smaller government off the ballot.
However, there is a clear path to restoring fundamental fairness to the election process in Pennsylvania: the Voters’ Choice Act (Senate Bill 495). The Voters’ Choice Act will reduce the outrageous ballot access requirements, now ruled unconstitutional, that make it exceptionally difficult for third-party candidates to appear on the state-wide ballot each Election Day. It will level the playing field for all political parties in the Commonwealth. And it will allow voters to choose their elected officials from a field of more than two choices.
We call upon the state legislature to immediate adopt this bill and for Governor Wolf to sign it into law.
Click on the thumbnail above or here to read Judge Stengel’s decision.
The national Libertarian Party Platform contains the following plank on representative government:
We support election systems that are more representative of the electorate at the federal, state and local levels. As private voluntary groups, political parties should be allowed to establish their own rules for nomination procedures, primaries and conventions. We call for an end to any tax-financed subsidies to candidates or parties and the repeal of all laws which restrict voluntary financing of election campaigns. We oppose laws that effectively exclude alternative candidates and parties, deny ballot access, gerrymander districts, or deny the voters their right to consider all legitimate alternatives. We advocate initiative, referendum, recall and repeal when used as popular checks on government.
The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania is a member of the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition and believes that all citizens of the Commonwealth deserve choice at the ballot box.