In a display of blatant voter suppression and support for duopoly rule, the 11th Circuit Court has overturned a ruling in Georgia and restored one of the worst ballot access laws in the country. 

In September, a long-awaited ruling was issued by a federal judge rightly recognizing Georgia’s signature-gathering requirement for third-party candidates seeking non-statewide offices as unconstitutional — a violation of the 1st and 14th Amendments. With her ruling, U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May reduced the required number of signatures from over 20,000 to between 4,000 and 7,000. Given the more attainable petition requirement, dozens of candidates who do not identify as Republican or Democrat (the old parties are not held to a signature requirement) began preparing to run for office. 

On January 5th, that ruling was overturned unanimously by a panel of three judges who evidently see nothing wrong with unequal and overbearing requirements designed to limit voter choice and keep political competition off the ballot. The requirement that the Georgia Secretary of State puts on non-duopoly candidates is so onerous that not a single Independent, Libertarian, Green, or other party candidate has successfully been placed on the ballot for a congressional race since 1964. In that same time, 82% of state legislature candidates have run unopposed.

These requirements are, without question, unconstitutional and immoral. 

It is news to no one that the old parties are failing. The Republican Party has bent the knee to one man, casting out anyone unwilling to follow him blindly after a year of delusional attempts to prove he won an election he clearly lost. The Democrat Party is trying to beguile voters to believe that the Biden/Harris administration has accomplished anything worthy of regard, all while polls show their approval rating at or around 40%. This should be no surprise considering that record inflation, Trump-like immigration policies, and a continued bungling of pandemic responses are about all that can be shown from this administration’s first year. 

It is exactly because of these failures that Americans are abandoning the two old parties, and in turn, the ruling class is seeking every way to keep other, better choices away from voters. Across the country attempts to ease unfair and outdated ballot access policies are being fought in state legislatures and in courtrooms. It is clear to voters that partisans are desperate to limit the choices that are offered on the ballot. 

The Libertarian Party has been fighting these battles for 50 years and there will be no backing down in 2022. Republicans and Democrats know that their reigns are coming to an end — they may have the power to delay their demise a little longer, but they cannot prevent the change that is coming. Every day more Americans are turning their backs to the duopoly and 185 years of disastrous attempts to control our decisions — who we vote for and how we live our lives. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s