Parties Are Fighting To Get On The Ballot

Editors note: This is reposted from an Op-Ed in Politics NY


Parties Are Fighting To Get On The Ballot

Last week, more than 30 Republican candidate ballot petitions were disqualified by the BOE for a technicality –– listing the election district and volume numbers in what would have otherwise been a blank space. For that, their petitions were thrown out and none of the candidates made it onto the ballot for the Republican primaries in June.

Theirs is a story that is retold (over and over) before every election.

A party outsider decides to run for office. They dutifully walk the streets, convincing people to sign their petition to get on the ballot. They file said petitions and then, because of a variety of complex, technical and bureaucratic rules, said petitions are rejected and the candidates are denied a spot on the ballot.

The disqualification is then followed by an outcry from those cast aside. They go to court. Sometimes they win. Sometimes they lose.

This script reliably plays out in the lead up to every election in New York City

And it doesn’t just happen to Republicans. Democrats have their fair share of ballot fights as well.

Their complaints are similar: The county parties have a stranglehold on elected office and the electoral process, which those trying to get involved say doesn’t encourage democratic participation. And, the county parties are so deeply entwined with the BOE that it may as well be a rigged system.

But despite these aligned complaints, people on the right and the left who are fighting what is essentially the same battle can’t put aside their partisan politics to fight together.

I wonder what would happen if the frustrated Republicans and Democrats who feel as though their respective county parties are in cahoots with the BOE to keep them out of the electoral process banded together?

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