Monday, September 22, 2008

Mike Folmer introduces Voters’ Choice Act (SB 1578) in Pennsylvania State Senate

Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania urges co-sponsorship of legislation
Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania
3915 Union Deposit Road #223
Harrisburg, PA 17109

For Immediate Release: September 22, 2008

Contact: Doug Leard (Media Relations) / or

Michael Robertson (Chair) at 1-800-R-RIGHTS /

Harrisburg, PA – The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPa) strongly endorses state senator Mike Folmer’s ( ) ballot access reform bill, Senate Bill (SB) 1578.

In a letter to his fellow state senators, Folmer wrote “No state makes it more difficult for minor party and independent candidates to run for public office than Pennsylvania. During the 2006 General Election, minor party and independent statewide candidates in Pennsylvania were required to gather more than 67,000 signatures to appear on the November ballot. Meanwhile, the major parties’ candidates had no such signature requirements for the General Election. Had similar ballot access been in force in Utah, the Democratic Party would not have qualified as a political party. If similar provisions existed in Massachusetts, the Republican Party would neither qualify as a party nor be able to hold primary elections.”

Sen. Folmer’s legislation provides for significantly fairer ballot access in Pennsylvania. Candidates would need to collect the same amount of signatures as required of major party candidates in order to appear on the November ballot. (Minor party or independent candidates do not participate in the Primary Election). A political party would need from 0.05 and 15 percent of the total number of registered Pennsylvania voters as of 21 days prior to the date of the Primary Election in order to qualify as a “minor political party.”

“This bill is a major step forward and a welcome change from the political monopoly-as-usual in Pennsylvania,” explained LPPa representative for Pennsylvania’s Ballot Access Coalition David Jahn. “Earlier this year we saw Bounsgate allegations of Democrats using taxpayers’ money to keep Green Party candidates off the ballot. Just days ago we saw the unsuccessful Republican challenge to Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr’s placement on the ballot. Given this openly hostile political environment, we are all the more elated and thankful that Senator Folmer sponsored this legislation.”

The LPPa urges voters to support ballot choice by asking their state senator to co-sponsor and support SB 1578, the Voters’ Choice Act.

The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in Pennsylvania and the United States. More than 200,000 people across the country are registered Libertarians, and Libertarians serve in hundreds of elected offices. Please visit or for more information.

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