Thanks to Richard Winger at Ballot Access News for link to this great article from the Times Union, where according to Winger, “History Professor James Coll has this op-ed in the Albany Times-Union, criticizing his own state’s ballot access laws”. From the Coll article:
The “great source of free government, popular election,” Alexander Hamilton wrote in June of 1788, “should be perfectly pure, and the most unbounded liberty allowed.” The laws that govern elections in the adopted New Yorker’s own state today have strayed so far from this basic principle that he would find our contemporary reality unrecognizable to his vision.
Albany lawmakers, however, would tell us that help is on the way. Amidst a flurry of rhetoric about protecting the fairness of our electoral process, a series of election bills were passed in January by both houses of the New York Legislature and signed into law. Yet missing among the legislation was one glaring omission that didn’t engender a single syllable of attention beyond the current election cycle: Ballot access.
The problem with elections in New York is not that we have too many people seeking elective office — as evidenced in the lack of competing candidates in nearly one-third of our recent state elections — it is that we have too few. Yet, our state laws have been written with the transparent intention of discouraging would-be candidates and limiting choice.
Winger notes that the Coll op-ed “does not mention that earlier this year, the New York legislature moved the independent candidate petition deadline from August to May”. It is still a very valid point.