Vote to Ease Ballot Access
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by Richard Hall

[This letter appeared in Florida Today on August 27, 1998]

If Floridians want the option of voting for anyone other than a Republican or Democrat (and on occasion, many voters do), they better take advantage of a rare opportunity and vote in favor of Revision 11 for Fair Elections next November.

You see, the entrenched incumbent Republicans of Florida have made this the most difficult state in the union for an independent candidate to get on the ballot--not to get elected, just to get on the ballot.

They have accomplished this by means of a number of patently unfair election rules, the most flagrant of which is the requirement that an independent candidate must collect huge numbers of signatures (3 percent of the district's registered voters) just to get on the ballot.

In the case of a statewide election, that means 242,000 signatures!  And guess how many signatures the Republican or Democratic candidate must collect?  None!  As a result, and as a practical matter, only "Republicrats" can get on the ballot.  Thus, Floridians are being told: "Other than the political beliefs of the two largest parties, you will have no other choices."  Does that sound like a democracy, or does that sound like Adolf?

This and other grossly unfair practices will be eliminated with the passage of Revision 11 for Fair Elections.  It wasn't easy to get this measure on the ballot for '98.  But current practices are so undeniably wrong and indefensible, it could no longer be kept off.  However, if it doesn't pass this year, in the future you will certainly hear the hue and cry: "It was on the ballot in '98, and the voters turned it down."


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