On June 19, "Gov. Jan Brewer signed an elections bill that basically wipes out Libertarian and other third-party candidates, boosting their signature requirements to unattainable levels. Green Party candidates would actually have to collect more signatures than they have party members."
Laurie Roberts of azcentral.com interprets this as "Republicans pull a fast one on voters", giving examples of two Republican candidates who would have become congressmen if they had gotten the votes given to their Libertarian opponents.
The so-called "elections integrity bill" was passed by Republicans in a party-line vote. It was also criticized as a "voter suppression bill", as it will also "trim Arizona's permanent early voting list and limit who may return mail ballots for voters. Democratic lawmakers, voting rights groups and third-party politicians had fought the measure, calling it a thinly veiled effort to keep Republicans in power by creating new hurdles for some candidates and for low-income voters." (Cristina Silva, AP)
In the signature requirements, the bill doesn't overtly give special privilege to Republocrats: this is the "un"intended consequence of no longer relating the required number of signatures to voters registered in the candidate's party, but tying them to numbers of registered voters in general.
It also introduces new technicalities that petitions for initiatives and referendums must conform to -- quite convenient for a Republican administration wishing to keep the status quo!
Will Faithless Sophia wrote here on A/N two years ago: "...the duopoly system is just a convenient way of fooling the people into thinking they still live in a democracy. The 'republicans' are outright fascists while the democrats co-opt grassroots progressive movements and hollow them out from the inside."
But the weevils are showing themselves once more as not comparable!
I've heard arguments in favor of Instant Runoff Voting and others in favor of range voting (score voting) as ways to give third parties a viable voice. Any thoughts on how best to reform our election system?
Naturally they'd label a law casting out democracy as an "elections integrity bill".
I agree with Will Faithless Sophia's quote.
Actions like this push the US closer toward total self-destruction. When a system can no longer adjust and adapt it's headed for catastrophic collapse.
Oh yes indeed, Republicans and Democrats play this two-party system against the people and get away with it. Third party candidates have a very up-hill battle that they cannot win with this law. This is a time when small business and wage-workers join together in common cause. The mom and pop store has incredible obstacles facing them, largely because of economies of scale for the big companies. If the population does not understand the consequences of small business squeeze it becomes part of the problem.
Just as the weevil lays its eggs inside grains, the young weevils eat their way out, damaging the crop, so does the political party lay their eggs inside government and eat their way out of families, businesses and progress of a community.