3863 Union Deposit Road #223
Harrisburg, PA 17109
For Immediate Release:
For more information contact:
Ken Krawchuk (Past Chair) at 267-496-3332
David Jahn (Chair) at 610-461-7755
BALLOT ACCESS COALITION LAUDS RECOMMENDATIONS OF ELECTION TASK FORCE
The Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition praised the Governor's Election Reform Task Force for their final report which was released today. Among the recommendations made by the 13-member Task Force was the proposal that the election laws "should be amended to provide greater access to the ballot for minor political parties and political bodies." The final vote on the recommendation was twelve in favor and none against, with one abstention.
"The members of the Governor's Election Reform Task Force are to be commended for their fine work", said Ken Krawchuk, a Libertarian member of the Coalition. "Their recommendations validate a sad fact that we Libertarians have known for many years: that our current ballot access laws are horrendous. But with their final report now in hand, we can immediately begin to focus on the next phase of our historic Coalition's mission, which is to line up sponsors in the Legislature and follow
through to finally enact fair and honest ballot access laws in Pennsylvania which are equitable to all citizens."
"The Green Party applauds the Governor's Election Reform Task Force for voting 12-0 to recommend making it easier for independent and minor party candidates to get on the ballot in Pennsylvania", said Kevin Murphy, a Green Party member of the Coalition. "The Green Party agrees with this balanced panel of experts from across the political spectrum that the current ballot access laws do injury to the voters by depriving them of choice on Election Day and reducing the electoral competition
that is crucial to a healthy democracy. When the Pennsylvania Legislature puts this recommendation into action, it will benefit all voters by giving independent and minor party candidates the same fair and equal access to the ballot that only major party candidates currently enjoy."
"Governor Rendell's Task Force on Election Reform is to be congratulated for its swift and decisive action in voting overwhelmingly to amend the ballot access laws in Pennsylvania", said John Murphy, a Coalition member representing the Ralph Nader campaign. "Their recommendation will make running for office more equitable for independent and minor party candidates and expand the democratic process for the citizens of the commonwealth."
The members of the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition believe that the right of citizens to run for political office is supreme in a free society, as is their right to support and vote for the candidates of their choice. Toward that end, the mission of the PBAC is fourfold:
1) To define a minor political party based upon statewide voter registrations (0.05%) rather than based upon the current district-by-district electoral formula (2% of the winner's vote total);
2) To allow minor political parties to nominate candidates for all offices directly according to their party rules, and at their own expense, rather than by the existing nomination papers process;
3) To allow independents and political bodies to nominate candidates for all offices via the current nomination papers process, but using the signature requirements outlined in 25 C.S. 2872.1 rather than the current district-by-district electoral formula (2% of the winner's vote total); and;
4) To otherwise reform Pennsylvania's laws to make the ballot more equitable and accessible to all citizens.
The goal of the PBAC is to implement these changes effective with the 2006 gubernatorial election. More information about the PBAC can be found on the Web at www.PaBallotAccess.org.