(Originally posted at skepolitical.com on February 27, 2014.)
A recent conversation with Bob Fitrakis has convinced me to give up my plan to get the Protest Party on the ballot in 2014, and instead aim for 2016. In the meantime, I still need to seek supporters (the Meetup Group now has a third member) and develop some infrastructure such as a website and by-laws. The Ohio ballot-access laws are currently in flux, and there is a chance (according to Fitrakis) that they will become much more lenient for 2016. More likely, the Protest Party will need to collect over 28,000 petition signatures from unaffiliated voters starting in Fall 2015. That’s a lot of signatures, so obviously I will need gear up in the interim and try to hit the ground running in around 18 months. I will also use the time to consider other strategies for undermining our corrupt political process.
As I mentioned last time (#2), the reason I was aiming for access in 2014 was that I thought it might be the easiest road to gaining ballot access in 2016; easier, that is, than trying to collect 28,000 unaffiliated voter signatures. Fitrakis explained to me that my plan was not feasible because I missed the February 5th deadline to get the party on the ballot, and this is not the sort of thing the courts would rule to be unreasonable. The courts have ruled that it’s reasonable for an Independent candidate to be put on the ballot with only 5,000 signatures after the February 5th deadline, but having an Independent candidate (ie non-Protest Party) would defeat the purpose, which was to get 2% of the vote for the Protest Party (which would get it onto the 2016 ballot). So we are back to Plan A, which was to actually play by the oppressive rules set by the State Legislature and Secretary of State.