Ballot access laws are the main barrier to many potential candidates and Ohio is seeking to make the process more cumbersome. From Ballot Access News by Richard Winger:
On April 4, a subcommittee of the Iowa Senate amended a bill that had already passed the House, to add a provision making ballot access more difficult for independent candidates and the nominees of unqualified parties. Senator Roby Smith (R-Davenport) is responsible. The original bill, HF 692, had nothing to do with ballot access.
The amendment not only increases the number of signatures, but adds an unconstitutional county distribution requirement to petitions for statewide office and US House. Statewide petitions would need 4,000 (the existing law requires 1,500), with 200 signatures from each of ten counties. U.S. House petitions would need 2,000 signatures (the existing law requires 375 signatures), with 77 signatures from each of half the counties in the district.
State Senate petitions would rise from 100 to 200 signatures; State House petitions would rise from 50 to 100. Thanks to Joseph Howe for this news.
Democracy Chronicles has put together a brief review of the majority of America’s third parties in a handy overview where the parties are separated into categories. Links to their websites and party platforms are included too. See the overview of all American political parties at Democracy Chronicles Third Party Central.