Another election is about to come and go, but the results for smaller parties depend on the results in certain races.
Ballot access is not treated the same in every state. In Indiana, a small or new party must achieve 2% of the vote (nearly 50,000 votes) for Secretary of State to escape huge signature gathering burdens.
The ballot access barrier and the 2% work together to ensure that there are no small or new parties with statewide ballot access except the Libertarian Party. That means it is very rare for any other party to appear.
I am running for Secretary of State as a write-in so other disabled people can run under Disability Party easily and without the signature burdens. In many cases, having that 2% status allows Disability Party (like Libertarians) to simply appoint a candidate with a simple form to the Secretary of State’s Election Division.
My friend, David Wetterer, is running for Indiana Secretary of State as a write-in also, only he is doing it for the Green Party.
Essentially, there are 3 candidates who will appear on the ballot, representing the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and the Libertarian Party. David and I show that having a Green Party candidate and a Disability Party candidate can shift the conversation away from the usual, the same old.
We need better attention to the environment and government integrity and care for social justice. That is the main message of the Green Party. I know because I was the Indiana delegate to the Green Party National Convention in 2012.
We need better attention to the rights and opportunities of disabled persons. We need courts to stop discriminating against disability rights and their messengers. That’s what my Disability Party is all about.
When the Democrats and Republicans worry about losing because voters agree with the minor parties, that will cause an electoral policy shift much greater than one might expect from a small party existing on the ballot.
People like David and me are not running so we can have a fat public salary or pension benefits or act like election overlords, overturning elections. We run so other people have the chance to run on a different platform and policies than the major parties. We hold open the doors for others.
I hope that at some point someone will create a website that lists all of the ballot access candidates across the United States. These candidates are not doing it for themselves, but to help others participate. That ballot access goal for others is fundamental to expanding democracy and policy and all such candidates deserve national recognition for their efforts.
Instead of covering the bickering of the big parties when little will change whichever candidate wins, media should be covering those who run to open up the ballot to millions of other people whose voices are not heard today. The media does have a role in making sure voters know about these special “ballot access” candidates.
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