Ballot Access Discrimination: Some Candidates are More Equal than Others

An editorial in the Denver Post calls for uniformity in Colorado's ballot access law, which effectively discriminates against independent candidates for office:
Unaffiliated candidates running for public office in Colorado must declare their independence well in advance — more than a year — of an election. No other political party, whether major or minor, must follow the same stringent rule. It's an unfair situation.

Joelle Riddle, a La Plata County commissioner, switched her party registration from Democrat to independent in August 2009, intending to run for re-election in 2010. Late in December, state Rep. Kathleen Curry left the Democratic Party and registered as unaffiliated, also planning to run for re-election.

But under Colorado law, the only way the candidates could be placed on the Nov. 2, 2010, ballot was to declare their unaffiliated status by June 15, 2009, the last day the required petition could be filed with the Secretary of State. Now both will have to appear as write-in candidates in the general election. Riddle has filed a lawsuit and Curry plans to introduce legislation to overturn the current state law.

While we don't believe the rules should change specifically for Curry or Riddle, we do believe ballot access should be the same for all candidates regardless of party or non-affiliation.

No comments: