Should the Indiana Republican Party Lose Ballot Access?

Jim Shella of WISH-TV is reporting that Secretary of State Charlie White’s votes could be thrown out if convicted of his felony charges. In Indiana, automatic ballot access is gained by hitting the 2% mark in the Secretary of State race ONLY.

According to some legal experts the validity of White’s votes could be challenged, and if thrown out, the IN GOP had no candidate. That means for the next four years, their candidates would have to petition for EVERY race unless the law is changed.

There would only be TWO political parties under the law: The Libertarians and the Democrats.

That sounds pretty good for us, right? So should the Indiana Republican Party lose automatic ballot access? No.

You’d probably find that answer from the LPIN Executive Director a little surprising. In politics, aren’t we supposed to crush our opponents? This would potentially wound our political rival for many years to come. Maybe that’s how the other guys look at it, but I think Libertarians ought to look at politics differently.

Just as economic competition is good, electoral competition is good! It will make our republic stronger if more competing ideas are presented.

Our message on electoral reform has been consistent for decades, and was highlighted in last year’s SOS campaign with Mike Wherry:

  • Lowering the threshold for ballot access from 2% to .5% to allow more Hoosiers to exercise their 1st Amendment Rights. This would take the number of votes needed from roughly 35,000 to a little less than 10,000.
  • Maintaining logical district boundaries at every level. Redistricting should be completely independent.
  • Affording voters electoral recall as an option
  • Providing voters fair and multi-partisan input on interpretation of election law, expanding the Indiana Election Commission to include any political party that has successfully maintained ballot access for one complete election cycle
  • Ensuring that our votes are counted and counted properly. We must move away from the paperless electronic voting systems across the state and insist on a paper trail that can be physically audited.
  • Moving the 2% automatic ballot access requirement to ANY statewide election instead of just the SOS race.

After Mike Wherry raised this last point in his Indianapolis Star editorial interview, the state’s largest newspaper agreed, and argued for Mike’s point in a Sunday editorial stating that ballot access requirements should be expanded to any statewide race.

Ballot access for a political party IS a first amendment right in my point of view. I am not a Republican or a Democrat. I am not even an Independent. I am a proud Libertarian, and a growing number of Hoosiers are as well. We have the right to freely associate with each other to present our ideas to voters as a bona fide organization.

So while I rarely agree with Republicans, their voters should have the opportunity to vote for their ideas. Their voters should not be disenfranchised because of one candidate’s actions.

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