Day 9: Increase Election Freedom and Election Competitiveness

New Mexico’s Constitution contains no requirements for individuals who are running for Legislature to collect a particular number of signatures in order to get on the ballot.1 The advent of of new ballot-access legislation prior to the 2012 filing period threw the ballot access process into into chaos due to insufficient attention to detail among more than a dozen legislative candidates (including several incumbents).2 Notably, these undue burdens, while impacting Democrats and Republicans alike, disproportionately impact third-party candidates.

Ballot Access Expert Richard Winger has cited New Mexico’s signature requirements along with Illinois, Massachusetts and New York as being among the most onerous in the nation.3 These regulations have repeatedly resulted in lawsuits against the state being filed by candidates of both major parties and third parties. The current ballot access laws are unwarrented and should be repealed. As long as the candidaye meets that Constitutional requirements (age, resident of the district, etc.) they should be allowed to run.

Competition is beneficial in politics, not just economics.


1Article IV, Section 3, http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Article_IV,_New_Mexico_Constitution

2Rob Nikolewski, "We’ve got one fine primary mess this year," Santa Fe New Mexican, April 8, 2012, http://www.capitolreportnewmexico.com/2012/04/commentary-weve-got-one-fine-primary-mess-this-year/

3Richard Winger, "Ballot Access: A formidable barrier to fair participation." http://archive.fairvote.org/reports/1993/winger.html


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