A bill introduced in both elections committees in the Kansas Legislature would change the requirements to allow a party to have ballot access.
“Currently, the requirement is a number of signatures equal to 2 percent of the last gubernatorial vote, which is 21,112 signatures,” said Nick Blessing, co-chair of the Kansas Green Party. “This bill would reduce that number to 1 percent, which is 10,556 signatures. The time limit currently is 180 days. This bill would increase the time limit to one year.”
Blessing believes that the state is asking too much of minor parties right now.
“The current burden is just way too high,” said Blessing. “No one has completed this petition to recognize a new party since 1998.”
The only exception to this was the Americans Elect movement that was attempting to have a nationwide Presidential primary in 2012 and registered as a party in Kansas for that purpose but didn’t get any candidates with enough clicks to put on the ballot then and withdrew without nominating anyone in Kansas.
“If you have a party label, you can run candidates in more than just one office,” said Blessing. “We actually have a lot of races that basically are uncontested, especially in the state House of Representatives. In our last election, we had 60 House seats that just had one candidate on the general election ballot.”
A hearing is scheduled on the bill for next week.