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Monday, September 20, 2004

Independence party and ballot access

By now, most people have heard that the Independence Party may not be on the ballot anywhere in the state due to a little-known and seldom-used law regarding primary election results. It appears that no Independence Party candidate got the required number of votes in the primary. The secretary of state Mary Kiffmeyer used this law to justify her actions. I really can't fault her for applying this law, since it is a law that is on the books (fortunately, she doesn't yet have the power to create new laws and implement them, even though she has tried).

What does this mean for the Independence Party? Frankly, the "Jesse Ventura" party's days were always numbered. In our first-past-the-post electoral system where the person with the most votes wins, the default is to have two parties, no more. Third parties are usually celebrity affairs. Unless we move towards a proportional representation system (which I would consider for local races, up to the state level), this isn't going to change.

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