Raleigh, NC – The 2016 Reform Party nominee, Roque De La Fuente filed a lawsuit in North Carolina over the state’s strict ballot access laws. North Carolina’s ballot laws have an infamous reputation among minor party activists, and are among the strictest in the nation. To date less than five minor parties have gained ballot access in North Carolina, and only one, the Libertarian Party, was able to maintain it for a length of time.
In order for a party to gain ballot access, a party must obtain about 85,000 valid petitions. Because a percentage of the petitions will always be thrown out, a party trying to qualify must gather close to 120,000 petitions to succeed.
To maintain ballot access, a qualified party must obtain 5 percent of the vote in the statewide governor’s race every four years. This means that during an election year, a party must expend a large amount of resources to gain ballot access, and exhausts them before it can campaign for governor. These laws, which the Reform Party of North Carolina argues is unconstitutional, succeed in keeping minor parties off the ballot.
The Reform Party of North Carolina hopes Roque De La Fuente’s ballot access lawsuit will pave the way for laxer ballot laws, and break the establishment’s stranglehold on the North Carolina ballot.