Indiana Senate panel backs easier ballot access for parties

Smaller political parties would face lower requirements to get their candidates on Indiana's ballot under a bill backed by a legislative panel.

Current state law requires parties to either have a candidate for Indiana secretary of state, obtain 2 percent of the vote or collect that many petition signatures to be included on the November election ballot statewide. That would be nearly 45,000 votes from the 2018 election results.

The Senate Elections Committee endorsed Senate Bill 571 sponsored by Republican Sen. Greg Walker of Columbus lowering the secretary of state vote total needed to 0.5 percent. It would allow parties on the ballot if they collect at least 500 voter signatures in each of Indiana's nine congressional districts.

Libertarians are the only smaller party candidates to make Indiana’s ballot since 2000.

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