Sunday, July 22, 2007

Good News For Iowa Third-Party Supporters

Starting in January '08, Iowa voters will be able to register as members of a third party. This comes as a settlement after the ACLU of Iowa slapped a lawsuit on the Iowa Secretary of State, on behalf of the Libertarian Party of Iowa and the Iowa Green Party. (I guess the ACLU doesn't suck ALL the time.)

The parties will still face certain hurdles to qualify. Each party will have to collect at least 850 signatures in at least five counties. For the Libertarian Party that will be no sweat. The old standard, to be recognized as a "legitimate" party by the State of Iowa, was that a party's candidate must earn at least 2% of the vote in a statewide race (Governor, U.S. Senate or President). So a third party could have swept every single seat in the Iowa state legislature but not be recognized as a party by the state. (That's why we Libertarians allowed the other two parties to hang on to the Iowa legislature. Wasn't worth our effort.) The Iowa Green-Wienies had a brief stint as a major party in Iowa after their dark horse candidate Ralph Nader garnered the required 2%, in his run for president, to qualify them.

It will be nice to finally register as a Libertarian. I'm still registered as a Republican, but I'm not going to change my registration until after I vote for Ron Paul in the primaries.

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