Michigan Petition Fiasco Highlights Dysfunctional, Costly Ballot Access Laws


Ok, Michigan needs to fix this stupidity and now.

Simply END the signature requirement altogether. There is no ■■■■■■■ need for it.

Simply impose a qualifying fee high enough to discourage nuisance candidates. Perhaps $5,000 to $10,000 for Federal and Statewide Offices and Judicial Offices, somewhat less for county and municipal offices. Perhaps make some or all of that refundable if a candidate crosses a certain vote threshold, as is the case in the United Kingdom.

And as the article points out, gathering signatures has become an industry rife with fraud and abuse and at a prevailing rate of $4.00 a signature in some places, it is just INVITING signature collectors to invent fraudulent signatures.

Just abolish signature collection and establish a filing fee instead.

I wonder if they can investigate and find out if these signature gathers were working for anouther campaign?

Possible, more likely they are just submitting false signatures for pure greed and nothing more.

The other candidates didn’t seem to have a problem.

The fact that ANY candidates did and the fact that this is a long standing issue, point towards the need for rectification.

The very fact that signature collection is prone to abuse is sufficient reason for change, even if all candidates are not affected.

But. It’s clearly not hard to follow the signature requirement guidelines. As evidence by the other candidates in this election who followed the rules.

I understand that some laws and requirements can be needlessly burdensome and unnecessary. You act as if the offenders had no power over this process which is clearly not the case.

But this process makes it very easy for a candidate to fall victim to less than reputable signature collection services.

And Michigan can accomplish the same result with the much more simple method of a ballot access fee, which does not lend itself to fraud.

Again. These candidates are not powerless. It is their responsibility to verify the signatures they receive.

San Francisco - and maybe California as a whole - has a hybrid system that I think works well.

The filing fee can be paid in cash, in signatures, or a combination of both - for every 4 valid signatures, it knocks a dollar off the filing fee.

So if the fee is $1,000, a canddiate can pay the whole fee - or they can pay $500 and submit 2,000 signatures. Or submit 4,000 signatures and pay nothing.

This way, the incentive to use shady petitioning companies is minimized, but a dedicated candidate without a penny to his name can still get on the ballot, if he works hard enough.

But as the article points out, the time to do so is extremely limited.

It does not take very long to verify a petition signture - perhaps 15 to 30 seconds, per signature.

Speaking as someone who has spent more hours than you can possibly imagine doing exactly that.

New York has an interesting spin on petitioning, as well - there’s a signature requirement, but collected signatures are public, and opposing candidates can challenge signatures individually. This results in all candidates verifying their opponent’s signatures.