By Reid Wilson
Republican legislators and political activists in several red states are taking steps to make it harder for minor party candidates to make the ballot after a string of elections Democrats won with less than 50 percent of the vote.
The Ohio legislature voted earlier this week to require minor parties to collect signatures of 1 percent of the number of voters who cast ballots in the last gubernatorial or presidential election. Libertarians and Green Party members complain that the rule — which would require them to gather about 56,000 signatures to make the 2014 ballot — sets an impossibly high standard.
“The best way to analyze laws of this nature, and any campaign finance restrictions, they generally come from whichever side thinks they have the most to gain,” said David Keating, of the Center for Competitive Politics, a group that advocates against restrictions on money in politics. “A lot of the laws that we see pass in the states are reactions to political environments.”