Monday, October 15, 2018

Ballot Access

     Indiana is unusual in having three political parties with non-petition ballot access.  The third party is the Libertarian Party of Indiana.

     It's not a sure thing.  The last I knew, a party needed to get two percent of the votes for their candidate for Secretary of State in order to get and keep non-petition access to ballots.  That means they don't have to go out and collect signatures for each of their candidates; instead, the smaller parties have normal nominating conventions.  (Reaching the ten percent threshold would require them to run in the primaries, but only the Republicans and Democrats have that -- so far.)

     What this means is if you want to see the LP remain on your ballots, if you want that third choice, it's important to vote for their candidate for Secretary of State.   If you don't want them on the ballot, vote for someone else for that office.  This year, there are only three choices, but if you favor some other minor party, and they run someone for that office, vote for that person.

     It's not especially obvious and Secretary of State is one of those obscure offices that most of us don't think about much, other than hoping whoever has the job is honest and competent.  But it's an office where your vote does more than just determine who will get the job.


Archer said...

The position of Secretary of State is off the radar of most voters, but (at least here in Oregon - I can't speak for Indiana) it's a VERY big deal.

Among the SoS's duties (via his/her agency, and this is not an exhaustive list):
- Maintaining the state's administrative rule books
- Maintaining voter rolls
- Administering elections
- Keeping elections fair and secure from tampering
- Tallying and qualifying petitions and initiatives
- Auditing and investigating other state agencies

Also, our SoS serves as the state's "ambassador", representing the state's interests in negotiations with out-of-state entities and businesses. This includes foreign businesses looking to purchase our exports or expand into the state.

So if you're worried about election tampering and dead people voting for "the other guy", keep an eye on your SoS election, and for the love of all that is holy, PARTICIPATE.

Just my $0.02. :)

markm said...

In Michigan the SoS administers elections, etc., but is also in charge of issuing drivers' and automobile licenses, and the local SoS office is equivalent to the DMV. That makes the SoS very visible to the voters - 95% of us need to deal with the SoS office every few years - and the customer service is far better than in any of the other states I've lived in.