Attempting to tear down Illinois' high ballot access barriers
Illinois ballot access requirements has been gamed by the two parties in order to make it all but impossible for any third party candidate to be able to run. The side effect of this is that even Republican and Democratic candidates have to do an enormous amount of work, often spending large amounts of money to do so, just to get the huge number of signatures required. It's hard to argue that democracy is enhanced by creating unnecessarily high barriers for people to simply get on a ballot.
To that end, Rep. Mike Boland has co-sponsored (along with Reps. Froehlich and Franks) a bill which would lower this Chinese wall.
It's key provision would lower the statewide petition signatures required from the current 25,000 to 10,000, and district petitions from 5% of the number of votes cast in the last election to 1%.
While ballot access requirements are there to prevent a chaotic ballot ala Iraq's recent election, with hundreds of candidates cluttering the ballot, reducing this excessively prohibitive barrier as it stands is a good idea. After all, in the marketplace of ideas, as with other markets, competition is a good thing that ultimately benefits the consumers, namely, the citizens of Illinois. The two parties shouldn't be afraid of letting a little fresh air and competition into the game.
Libertarian blogger Jeff Trig follows this issue.